Located in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park derives its name from a River called Pench which flows through the park. It flows from north to south and divides the park into two nearly equal western and eastern halves – the forested areas of Chhindwara and Seoni respectively. As the density of prey population is higher here, the Tigers are usually seen around the Pench River. It also serves as the major water source, desiccates or dries up in April end. Then, water pools known as ‘dohs’ serve as water suppliers for the fauna of the park, along with Pench Reservoir. Characterised by small ridges and hills having steep slopes, with a number of seasonal streams, carving the terrain into many folds and furrows, the general topography of Pench Tiger Reserve is mostly undulating. The topography becomes flatter close to the Pench River.
In 1977, it was declared a sanctuary and was raised to the status of national park in 1983. It was established as a Tiger Reserve in 1992. The park is known for its population of the fearless master predator – The Bengal tiger which is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers. Due to an increasingly visible tiger population, the park has been attracting growing interest and most of the tourists come here to visit the place, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Tiger. The landscape varies between undulating terrain with small hills, open grassy meadows and dense forests. The protected area is covered with small hills and well-stocked teak mixed forest. The Reserve lies in the southern lower reaches of the Satpura Range of hills on the southern border of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the topmost destinations for wildlife tourism in Madhya Pradesh.
Flora, Fauna & Avifauna
- Pench National Park offers numerous wildlife attractions which include 25 Tigers, 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians and more than 210 varieties of birds. The flora of Pench Tiger Reserve comprises mainly of Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest and tropical dry deciduous teak.
- Major species of fauna found in the region include tigers, cheetal, sambhar, nilgai, jackals, wild dogs, sloth bears, langoors, small Indian civets and palm civets. Other mammalian species animals are lesser cat, jungle cat, leopard cat, striped hyena, wolf, pangolin, chausingha, rhesus macaque, flying squirrels and the mighty Indian gaur.
- Around 220 species of birds are listed in the park, including a host of migratory species. Some of the prominent avian residents of the park include peafowl, crow pheasant, crimson breasted barbet, red vented bulbul, red jungle fowl, wagtail, waterfowl, barbet and blue kingfisher which beautify the skies of Pench.