Pench Tiger Reserve

Pench Tiger reserve is named after the Pench river which flows across the entire park. Pench’s claim to a wild tiger country comes from the fact that it has the highest density of herbivore population like the chital, sambhar etc.. and the unique teak forest.

The Pench Tiger Reserve and its neighborhood is the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book.

Pench shot to celebrity status when the BBC wildlife team filmed the brilliant documentary “Tiger- Spy in the Jungle” detailing the life of tigers in Pench.

An area of 450 in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh was protected as Pench Sanctuary in 1977. 292 sq. km. was upgraded as Pench National Park in 1983. In 1992, a total area of 757 was declared as Pench Tiger Reserve, India’s 19th tiger reserve.

Gonds, the local tribe revere Mansingh Deo, a legendary figure who was believed to be a magician who had supernatural healing powers. He would ride into the local bazaar on his tiger. There are two temples dedicated to him, the Chhota Mansingh and Bada Mansingh temples.

Pench is the True Kipling Country, and has been mentioned by naturalist like Captain J. Forsyth in very high regards. The terrain of the park is undulating with mainly gentle slopes criss-crossed by streams and nullahs, though most of these water courses are seasonal. Many of the hills are flat-topped and allow fine vistas of the forests around- best known of these is ‘Kalapahar’ with an altitude of 650 mts. The Pench river flowing from north to south-west through the center of the Reserve dries out by April but a number of water pools locally known as ‘dohs’ are found, which serve as waterholes for wild animals. A few perennial springs also exist. Recently a number of earthen ponds and shallow wells have been developed leading to well distributed sources of water all around the reserve.

Pench forest is termed as southern tropical dry deciduous and dry mixed deciduous forest with other species of shrubs, trees and climbers. Teak and its associates moyan, mahua, mokha, skiras, tendu, bija, achar, garari, aonla, ghont, baranga, amaltas, kihamali, khair, palas are in abundance. Bamboo occurs sparsely, restricted to some valleys.

With the distinction of a reserve with highest density herbivore population, Pench will definitely not disappoint in terms of game viewing. The tiger and the leopard are the predators who claim fiefdom in Pench.The sloth bear and the leopard cat co-exist with the four-horned antelope and mouse deer. Spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, nilgai and wild boars may also be encountered. Langurs and the wild boars are most commonly sighted. Reptiles like crocodiles, monitor lizard, turtles, Indian pythons, cobra and  viper are also found here.

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