Pench

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General Info of Pench

History of Pench

The Pench National Park is located in Southern Madhya Pradesh in India, about 70 km from the city of Nagpur. Spread over an area of 275 km². 90% of area is in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh rest 10% in Maharashtra. The vegetation here is typical of the southern tropical deciduous forest. The best time to visit the park is between February and April. The common animals which can be seen are the gaur, sambhars, blue bulls, macaque, langur, wild boar, bears and wild dogs and the Park is well-known for its deers and leopards. A few Tigers and civets can also be spotted sometimes.

Pench national park is situated to the south of satpura hills. It is named so after the name of the river Pench which flows through this area. This is the 19th project tiger reserve in India and was declared so in 1992.It has tropical moist deciduous forest. The prey concentration is highest along the banks of the river Pench. The Pench national park has a count of 8 tigers (as in 1998) and 7 panthers (as in 1998).This national park is rich with chitals i.e. axis or more commonly spotted deer. There are 10 villages in the national park - 1 inside the park (Fulzari) and 9 on the periphery. A high vigilance level has kept the park away from poaching. Not that the park is free of poaching but it has a very good control over the poaching. Even unnecessary felling and illegal felling of trees is also controlled by timely patrolling. Group patrolling is also carried out here. The nearby villagers also help a lot in patrolling. This has paid dividends and the park is flourishing. This park is also a paradise for bird watchers as a lot of species; around 270 of them can be sighted here.

The Park is open to The Park is open to visitors between 6 AM to 10:30AM in the morning and 3 PM to 6 PM in the evening. The park remains closed during the months of July, August and September. It can be accessed by road as well as railway. The nearest rail-head is at Ramtek and a bus can be taken for the next 35 km to the Park. Other important natural forests in Maharashtra like the Nagzira Sanctuary and the Navegaon National Park are also close to Pench. The name of Pench National Park was changed to "Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park" in November 2002 Similarly the name of Pench Sanctuary has been changed to "Mowgli Pench Sanctuary".

Recently in 1992, Pench has been included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve. A total of 758 Sq. kms of this Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest has its extent mingling with the tropical dry deciduous teak. The area is crisscrossed by a number of streams and 'nallahs' most of which are seasonal. Though the Pench River dries up in April end, a number of water pools are found which serve as water holes for the wild animals. The Pench Reservoir at the center of the park is the only major water source during the pinch period.

In Pench, Cheetal, Sambar, nilgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in the Park. Packs up to 15 of wild dog can be seen near Chhedia, Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the Reserve. Herds of gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches commonly in summer months. Sloth beers occupy hilly, rocky out crops and favor mahul bel infested forest. Chnkara is present in very small numbers and is found in open areas around Turia, Telia and Dudhgaon villages.

Langoors are very common in Pench, whereas the Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally Langoors are very common in Pench, whereas the Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes. Pench boasts of, more than 210 species of birds that include several migratory ones also. Commonly seen are Peafowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Redvented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin and lesser whistling teal.

Past History

S.No. Year Details
i 1977 Declared Pench Sanctuary (449.392 sq km)
ii 1983 Declared Pench National Park (292.857 sq km) 118.473 sq km remained as sanctuary and 38.062 excluded from umbrella of PA
iii 1992 Included in Project Tiger
iv 1995 Management of Sanctuary was handed over to Pench Tiger Reserve
v 1998 The Pench Sanctuary was finally notified by vide the Govt. of M.P. Forest Department's Notification no. F.15-65-96-X-2 Bhopal dated 21-8-1998.
vi 2002 National Park was renamed as "Indira Priyadarshinig Pench National Park" and Sanctuary was named as "Pench Mowgli Sanctuary"
vii 2005 Final notification as "Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park" vide notification dated 16.12.05 by MP Govt. no. F-15-11-05-x-02
viii 2007 Areas of National Park and Sanctuary are declared as Core of Pench Tiger Reserve Reserve notified dated 24.12.2007 by MP Govt. no. F-15-31-2007-X-2.
ix 2010 The Buffer Zone of the tiger reserve has been notified F-15-8/2009/10-2 dated 05-10-2010

Conservation History

In the year 1977 an area of 449.392 sq. km. was declared Pench Sanctuary. Out of this, an area of 292.857 sq. km. was declared Pench National Park in the year 1983 and 118.473 sq.km. remained as Pench Sanctuary. In 1992 Govt. of India declared 757.85 sq. km. including the National Park and sanctuary, as the 19th Tiger Reserve of the country. The Pench National Park and Pench Sanctuary were renamed as Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park & Pench Mowgli Sanctuary in year 2002.

Statement of Area :
Core Area 411.330 Sq. km.
Area of Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park 292.857 Sq. km.
Area of Pench Mowgli Sanctuary 118.473 Sq. km.
Buffer area 768.302 Sq. km.
Total Area of Pench Tiger Reserve 1179.632 Sq. km

The Pench hydroelectric dam straddles the Maharashtra - Madhya Pradesh boundary. The dam, constructed during 1973 to 1988 has resulted in the submergence of about 72 sq. Km area out of which 54 sq km is in Pench National Park M.P & the rest in Maharashtra.

Biodiversity

Floristically, this Tiger Reserve is a part of Indo-Malaya realm, whereas Zoo-geographically, it is a member of the oriental region. According to the biogeographic classification of the Wildlife Institute of India (Rodgers and Panwar 1988), it lies in the Zone- 6E Deccan Peninsula Central Highland

(i) Flora : The undulating topography supports mosaic of vegetation ranging from moist, sheltered valleys to open, dry deciduous forest. Over 1200 species of plants have been recorded from the area. This includes several rare and endangered plants as well as plants of ethno-botanical importance.

(ii) Forest Type :
The forests in Pench tiger reserve are classified into three types:

  • South Indian Tropical Moist Deciduous (slightly moist)
  • Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Teak Forests and
  • Southern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forest

Mixed Dry deciduous forests occupy over one third of the area. The major species are Anogeissus latifolia, Boswellia serrata, Buchnania lanzan, Lannea coromandelica, Terminalia tomentosa, Diospyros melanoxylon, Tectona grandis etc. The riparian areas along the banks of streams have Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini, Ficus glomarata, Ixora parviflora and Terminalia tomentosa. Open forests near old, abandoned villages have Madhuca indica, Butea monosperma, Ziziphus mauritiana, etc. About a quarter of the area has Tectona grandis (teak) dominated forest. In some area bamboo is overlapping with teak and miscellaneous species. Much of the area even under teak forests supports good grass cover and is consequently a fine habitat for herbivores, especially the Spotted deer.

(iii) Fauna : The area is dominated by fairly open canopy mixed forests with considerable shrub cover and open grassy patches. This high habitat heterogeneity favors high population of Chital, Sambar, Wild boar & Blue bull. Another factor is the availability of doob grass (Cynodon daxctylon) during the late winter and early summer months in the drawdown area, which provides highly nutritious forage to the herbivores. Pench tiger reserve has of the highest density of herbivores (90.3 animals per square kilometer) and the second highest prey base biomass in India after Nagarhole (6013 Kg per square kilometer). The area supports large number of Gaur (Indian Bison), Sambar, Barking deer, Chousingha, Chinkara and Wild boar. The key predator is the Tiger followed by Leopard, Wild Dog and Wolf. Other animals include Jackal, Fox, Palm civet, Small Indian civet, Jungle cat, Common mongoose, Small Indian mongoose, Ruddy mongoose, Hyena, Porcupine, Ratel. There are over 325 species of resident and migratory birds including the Malabar Pied hornbill, Indian Pitta, Osprey, Grey-headed fishing eagle, White eyed buzzard, 6 species of vultures etc. In winter thousands of migratory waterfowl including Brahminy duck, Pintail duck, barheaded geese, Coots, Pochards, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard etc visit the tanks and reservoir within the park. Pench Tiger Reserve is also among the best area for bird watching. The other fauna present include 50 species of fishes, 13 amphibians, 37 reptiles, 105 butterflies, 100 Moths, 20 spiders, 35 dragon and damsel fly and numerous other insects.

Census Year 2002 to 2015
Species 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006   2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tiger 50 55 57 55 *27-39 *65 (53-78) **23 - **36 **43 **38
Panther 32 39 39 41 - - - - - - -
Bison 686 775 735 727 - 635 2013 1875 1321 1240 1326
Sambhar 2399 2628 2835 2844 - 3577 4209 6167 5612 4758 5765
Spotted deer 11372 14548 14850 15389 - 30841 49249 69260 51914 36862 59330
Blue bull 1709 1986 2143 2170 - 1005 1958 2847 2134 1253 2012
Barking deer 417 353 199 202 - - - - - - -
Wild boar 2994 3107 3289 3374 - 5431 6638 10328 4430 3658 7355
Wild dog 239 364 273 366 - - - - - - -
Chousingha - - 159 154 - - - - - - -

* Figures for 2006 and 2010 are for the Pench landscape that includes Pench Maharashtra
** 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 Tiger figures are minimum number of tigers found in the Core Area during yearly camera trap exercise

Jungle safari

The major attraction of the park is the jungle safari. In a Jeep drive round the park one can see a variety of animals and birds, especially large herds of chital. The various points in the park worth a visit are as follows:

Alikatta : A relocated village site that is now the main elephant camp of the park. The grassland or maidan here has numerous herds of chital and the submergence around the southern and western sides of the village affords splendid scenery.

Pyorthadi : An abandoned village site that is partly submerged. The submergence attracts huge herds of chital and other animals. The submergence is open only after December.

Chindimatta : A small hillock on the edge of the submergence, this is the main base of the boating facilities in the park.

Karmajhiri: This is a forest village outside the northern gate of the park. The accommodation facilities of the park are located here.

Bodanala: The Bodanala irrigation tank on the park boundary is a picturesque water body that attracts animals as well as numerous birds during winter.

Chhedia : The second relocated village in the park, now a fine grass land.

Elephant Ride

The park has elephants that are used to track and show tigers to the tourists. An elephant ride into the forests is an enchanting experience.

Boating

The large Pench reservoir within the park with its numerous islands provides a magical setting for boating. Motorboats and Paddleboats are available for the tourists at Chhindimatta

Nature trail

For tourists who want to experience nature close at hand, nature trails are the best option. Nature trails have been identified outside the park and numerous flora and fauna can be encountered in their natural surroundings. Trained guides can be hired for nature trails at the park gates at Turia and Karmajhiri.

Tourism activities

(a) Entry Fees for Tourism Activities, Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Rate Chart of Tourism Activities in Pench Tiger Reserve, M. P.
No. Purpose of Entry Fee (in Rs.)
1 Viewing wildlife by vehicles (Per round)
A Light vehicle, Upto 8 persons (6 Tourists+1Guide+1Driver) 1,500/-
B Mini bus, per tourist, per round (Bus Facility by MP Tourism Development corporation) 510/- Per person
2. Fees for Guides (G-2)Excursion in vehicle per round 360/-
3. Photography by tourists - Video / Still camera free
4. Elephant ride 1 hour. (To be booked one day in advance) 1000/- per person
5. Filming and Photography
No. of days Indian educational / research institute Other
a. 1st Seven days 10,000 40,000
b. 8th to 15th days 7,500 30,000
c Next 16th days 5,000 20,000

Field Director
Pench Tiger Reserve, M.P.

Vehicle / Guide Availabilities :
There are around 94 private gypsies registered at Turia gate.
List of registered gypsies and their contact mobile numbers at Turia Entry Gate

04 private gypsies are registered at Karmajhiri gate.
List of registered gypsies and their contact mobile numbers at Karmajhri Entry Gate

Registered Park Guides are also available at Turia, Karmajiri & Jamtara Gates.
List of registered Park Guides {Turia/Karmajhi/Jamtara Gate}.

NOTE :- It is responsibility of the tourist(s) to arrange vehicle (s) for their Park Safari.

Visiting time

Month Date Morning Evening
Entry Time Exit time Entry Time Exit time
October 01 - 31 6.00 11.00 3.00 6.00
November 01 - 30 6.15 11.00 3.00 5.45
December 01 - 31 6.30 11.00 3.00 5.30
January 01 - 31 6.45 11.00 3.00 5.45
February 01 - 28/29 6.30 11.00 3.00 6.15
March 01 - 31 6.15 11.00 3.00 6.30
April 01 - 30; 5.45 11.00 4.00 6.45
May 01 - 31 5.30 11.00 4.00 7.00
June 01 - 30 5.30 11.00 4.00 7.00
July 01-31 Park close
August 01-31 Park close
September 01-30 Park close

Note :
1. Entry & exit timings have been fixed by PCCF(Wildlife) M.P.
2. The timings may be changed by the Park Management for management purposes.
3. Park is open for tourists from 1st of October to 30th of June.
4. Entry for park round is in the morning and in the evening Park remains closed for tourists in the afternoon of Wednesday.

Park rules

ABIDE BY THESE RULES, NON OBEDIENCE WILL LEAD TO LEGAL ACTION

  • Always enter inside the Protected Area with valid permit and valid ID (Adhar card, Passport, Driving license, PAN Card, Voler ID any other ID issued by Central or State Govt. I Card issued by School/College)
  • It is compulsory to take authorised park guide with every tourist vehicle. Obey the park guide.
  • Please don't get down from the vehicle, until advised by the park guide.
  • To carry and use of Tobacco items, inflamable articles etc. is prohibited inside the Protected Area.
  • Use of and to carry alcohol, and entering in intoxicated condition is prohibited inside the Protected Area.
  • To carry arms-ammunition and explosives etc. inside the Protected Area is prohibited.
  • Use of polythene is prohibited inside the protected area
  • Littering is prohibited inside the protected area.
  • To carry pet inside the protected area is prohibited
  • Creating noises by the use of transister, tape-record or blowing horn or similar equipment is prohibited inside the protected area.
  • Except photography, any other use of Mobile phone is prohibited inside the protected area.
  • Lifting of any forest produce, plants or animal article inside the protected area is prohibited.
  • Tesing of wild animals, feeding them or chasing them is prohibited inside the protected area.
  • To ensure the safety of wild animals speed limit of 20 kmph is decided for the tourist vehicles. In case of speeding please inform to the park management.
  • Maintain silence and discipline during safari. Misconduct, Indiscipline or shoulting is prohibited inside the protected area.
  • Follow the provisions of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, M.P. Wildlife (Protection) Rules 1974 and the rules
  • Before entering the Protected Area must read the information / instructions displayed on the signages at the entry gate and follow them.

-: Order by : Field Director, Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh :-

Places Of Tourist Attraction

Sitaghat

This spot is arguably the prettiest location in all of Pench National Park.As the winding track comes to a dead end, it brings you to the bank of the river Pench dotted with rocks and artistic looking trees. In the summer months, bushes with white flowers run all along the bank. To see these flowers in full bloom, it is a must to visit the spot in the morning hours, as they close by early evening. If patient, it appears to be an excellent spot for wildlife viewing. The only problem being you are totally exposed, and animals being as vary of humans as they intellegently are, chances are they will shy away before you even know they are around. The evening has a charm of its own here with the light of the low sun painting an amazing scenery with contrasting shadows and highlights. It is a good spot for bird lovers. Make sure you have your binoculars with you.

Alikatta

The Alikatta area appears to be the hub around which the park is planned. All tracks seem to wind their way in different directions only to all end at Alikatta. It is a fascinating expanse of grassland (when it isn't submerged under water!), where it is possible to come across any of the animals found in the park. It is one of the few places left in the country where every evening one gets to see the amazing spectacle of grazing herds consisting of thousands of spotted deer. Where there are deer, there will be predators. So keep your eyes open here. It is also the location from where the elephant rides commence. Alikatta is also home to Saraswati, a recently born baby elephant (in June 03), who one is sure will keep visitors enthralled with her antics for a few years to come still.

Chhindimatta Road

This road that branches off and leads to the huge Pench reservoir is an absolutely must see while visiting the park. While a majority of the rest of the park is quite flat, this section is full of ups and downs over rocky hills and through excellent forest. Although not very high, the rockly cliffs beside the track seem like excellent places to come across a handsome leopard to make it a perfect picture. It is also an excellent area for spotting buzzards, eagles and hawks.

Bodhanala range

This area is worth seeing for its variety of topography. It goes from slopy hills, to bamboo forest, to a large pond close to the edge of the park. Although Mohit didn't see too many animals in this area, he was fascinated by the number of bird species he saw here. Similar to the Chhindimatta Road, it is an excellent area for raptors. Maybe even better. He also spotted a huge grass snake darting across the track on his last visit to the area. The small reservoir is an excellent location to spot water birds. Your jeep driver will most probably stop here to check with the outpost for news of tiger sightings, giving you a good opportunity to stretch those legs and to do some duck and cormorant sighting.

Raiyakassa

This is the location of a watchtower built by the park authorities. The roof of this cement watchtower provides an excellent view of the river pench. The park authorities also offer visitors the choice of spending a night at this watchtower. The facilities are extremely basic but any night spent on that roof will be embedded in the visitor's memory forever for sure. It is quite common to spot Bison coming down to the river here. On occasions, a tiger too has been spotted from this spot.

Doob Road

This track running close to the edge of the water bodies is an excellent area for spotting all varieties of animals. After the monsoon season however, most of it is submerged until the water levels once again recede. During the rest of the year, it is quite common to come across huge herds of deer and bison, while driving along this track. Leopards have also been seen in this area. > The Kalapahad area comes up on the main track leading in from the entrance at The Pench Jungle Camp.

Excursions of Pench

Tour Packages of Pench

How to get there

Entry Points :
Turia gate (Via Khawasa, Seoni District), Karmajhiri gate (Via – Suktara, Seoni District) and Jamtara (Chhindwara District).

Carrying Capacity in PENCH (From 1st to 15th Oct.)
S.N. Name of Gate No. of Vehicle per day
1 Turia gate 36
2 Karmajhiri gate 06
3 Gumtara gate 02
  Total 44

Carrying Capacity in PENCH (From 16 Oct.)
S.N. Name of Gate No. of Vehicle per day
1 Turia gate 68
2 Karmajhiri gate 12
3 Gumtara gate 08
  Total 88

Tourism Area : 84.76 sq. kms. (Approx.)
Road Lengths Available for Tourism : 116 kms.

Nearest Airport :
Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh)), Chhindwara (M.P.) & Nagpur (Maharashtra)

Nearest Railway Station :
Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) & Nagpur (Maharashtra)

Distance by Road :
Seoni – Suktara(NH7) – Badalpar – Ghatkohka – Bhodki – Barelipar – Karmajhiri : 50 km.
Jabalpur – Seoni – Suktara – Badalpar – Ghatkohka – Bhodki – Barelipar – Karmajhiri : 195 km.
Balaghat – Seoni – Suktara – Badalpar – Ghatkohka – Bhodki – Barelipar – Karmajhiri : 150 km
Nagpur –Khawasa - Suktara – Badalpar – Ghatkohka – Bhodki – Barelipar – Karmajhiri : 135 km.
Seoni – Khawasa – Turia : 110 km.
Jabalpur – Seoni – Rukhad – Khawasa – Turia : 215 km.
Balaghat – Seoni – Rukhad – Khawasa – Turia : 200 km.
Nagpur – Khawasa – Turia : 85 km.
Chhindwara – Bichhua – Pathri – Thotamal – Jamtara : 80 km.
Chhindwara – Chand – Maghdoun – Thotamal – Jamtara : 59 km.

Map of Pench

Photo Gallery of Pench