Pench National Park lies nestled in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills, on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh. Earlier a wildlife sanctuary, Pench was given the status of a tiger reserve in the year 1992, when it was included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger". Spread over an area of approximately 758 sq km, the national park has been named after the Pench River, which flows inside its premises from north to south. The best time for visiting the park is November to March.
Landscape and Flora
The flora of the Pench Wildlife Sanctuary is basically made up of
Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest. However, one can also
find tropical dry deciduous teak trees making up its vegetation. One can
see a number of seasonal streams and nallahs crisscrossing through the
landscape of the wildlife park. The Pench River, which is the major
source of water for the rich fauna of the Pench Tiger Reserve, usually
experiences shortage of water around the end of April and mostly, dries
up during this time.
The numerous water pools, known as 'dohs', then come to the rescue of
the wild animals and birds that have made Pench their abode. But since
they are not widely spread throughout the park, most of them remain
unutilized by the wild animals. During the dry season, another major
source of water is the Pench Reservoir, situated right in the middle of
the park. Infact, this reservoir serves as the main drinking water
source for the animals and birds, because of its strategic and
Tigers can be found inhabiting the area around the Pench River, since
it has a very high concentration of preys. As per an estimate, there are
around 25 tigers in the park. If you want to see leopards, then the
peripheral areas of Pench National Park are your best bet, though they
can occasionally be seen in the deep forest too. Leopard Cats, Small
Indian Civets and Palm Civets are also not seen easily in the open.
Amongst the commonly seen wild animals at the wildlife sanctuary are
Jungle Cats, Cheetal, Sambar, Nilgai, Jackals, Wild Dogs, Gaurs, Sloth
Bear, Chinkara, Langoors.
The chances of seeing the magnificent Rhesus Monkeys are less and the
best places for looking for them are around the fringes of Pench
Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary boasts of around 39 species of
mammals, 13 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians. There are
also approximately 210 species of birds at the park, which includes the
migratory birds that come here every year. The birds that are commonly
seen include Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Crow Pheasant, Crimson Breasted
Barbet, Redvented Bulbul, Racket Tailed Drongo, Magpie Robin, Lesser
Whistling Teal, etc.