Life Style

Travel Guide to Pench National Park and Pench Tiger Reserve

I’m within the land of Mowgli at Pench Nationwide Park.  The woods are darkish and deep and the forests are wrapped in a dense fog of thriller. My date with the jungle begins within the wee hours earlier than daybreak. Century-old bushes stand as guardians of the forests. As the primary mild of daybreak seeps in by way of the lattice of leaves, the forest reveals itself, painted in shades of greens, yellows, reds, and browns.  Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle E book comes alive within the moist teak and dry deciduous forests with clumps of bushes like mahua, palash,  sal, neem, and a plethora of fruit bushes beside a smattering of grasslands and clusters of bamboo forests. It’s mesmerizing, and enchanting as properly.  Surrounded by hills, the River Pench flows by way of the woodlands, creating murmuring brooks and gushing forest streams, lakes, and reservoirs including to the magical panorama. Amidst the mist, the ghost bushes add to the drama. No marvel Kipling’s Mowgli was reluctant to go away his great wild household and return to what we, people name civilization. In some ways, I really feel a bit like Mowgli, wanting to remain within the jungle and meet the endearing characters like Bagheera and Baloo and naturally, Shere Khan. As a toddler, I used to be obsessed like most youngsters of my period with The Jungle E book, but it surely has taken me this lengthy to be on this land that impressed Rudyard Kipling to create the immortal characters. And as I soak within the second, I current to you a short Journey Information to Pench Nationwide Park.

Journey Information to Pench Nationwide Park

That is my first expertise on the spectacular Pench Nationwide Park. I’ve solely been to Panna National Park and Sanjay Dubri wildlife sanctuary however I hoped to discover extra of the nationwide parks in Madhya Pradesh quickly. Nonetheless, I really feel that two days is just not sufficient to understand the huge pure wealth of any wildlife sanctuary however I’ve created a straightforward and easy journey information to Pench based mostly on my journey right here with Pugdundee Safaris.

The heartland of tigers was declared a Nationwide Park in 1983 and virtually a decade later, as a tiger reserve. Together with tigers and leopards, the forests are residence to giant numbers of animals like barking deer, noticed deer, nilgai, and sambar apart from sloth bears, gaurs, langurs, wolves, and hyenas amongst others.

There are additionally 285  species of birds, together with the 4 endangered species of vultures. In reality, it has all the time been the birds that had beckoned me to the forests. As an avid and newbie birdwatcher, I’ve all the time been fascinated by the winged species. However this time, I can really feel the thrill of a attainable encounter with ShereKhan himself.

Pench Tiger Reserve – Bordering Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

Pench tiger reserve is exclusive as it’s unfold between the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Whereas the bigger tracts of the nationwide park are within the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh,  the remaining are throughout the border within the Nagpur district of Maharashtra.  Named after the Pench river that flows by way of the Satpura – Maikal Vary of Central India, the picturesque verdant woodland occupies a core space of 411 sq km and a buffer zone of round 768 sq km in Madhya Pradesh.

The Mowgli Pench Wildlife Sanctuary occupies about 118 sq km. and it’s included within the core zone, though it’s not but opened for tourism. This put up is extra of a journey information to Pench in Madhya Pradesh.  I haven’t explored the Pench Tiger Reserve Maharashtra throughout the border as but.

Which zone is finest in Pench Nationwide Park?

The primary issues that the majority wildlife vacationers familiarise themselves with are the varied core and buffer zones in every nationwide park and the various gates. The zones and gates are important to plan a visit to any nationwide park and here’s a journey information to Pench that can assist you plan your safaris.

There are completely seven safari zones and eleven gates, of which 5 are in Madhya Pradesh and 6 in Maharashtra. The core zone in Madhya Pradesh has three important gates – Turia gate, Karmajheri gate, and Jamtara gate.  The opposite buffer zones are known as Rukkad, Teliya, Khawasa, and Kumbhpani-Tekadi. Each Rukad and Kumbhpani – Tekadi buffer is near Karmajhiri gate and affords evening safari as properly. The opposite gates are Saleghat, Kolitmara, Chorbahuli, and Surewani. Morning jeep safari begins at dawn and ends at 11.00 hrs, whereas night safari begins at 2.30 pm and ends at sundown and the timings could range barely relying on the season.

Which gate is finest for safari in Pench?

Most wildlife resorts are positioned round Turia, which is positioned on the cusp of each Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.  Sillari and Khursapur, positioned close to Turia Gate are positioned in Pench Maharashtra. We’re nevertheless staying at Pench Tree Lodge with Pugdundee Safaris which is positioned near the Karmajheri gate. And our wildlife safari begins as we drive by way of the portals of Karmajheri with our naturalist Vishal Sharma. A forest guard jumps into one jeep and the journey begins.

The Safari Expertise

The safari for me seems like being on a treasure hunt. Typically it’s a wild goose chase.  However the pleasure is within the monitoring and trailing. The jungles are each mysterious and magical. Invisible eyes watch us because the hunter turns into the hunted.  With the luxurious thicket of bushes whizzing previous me, I’m somewhat enchanted like I’m within the wooded territory of the Jungle E book. The dense cover of teak forests greets us as we search for the elusive tigers and leopards.  This was the hang-out of the legendary Collarwali who made Pench Nationwide Park her residence for years. Many tigers and tigresses have come and gone however each story revolves round this late tigress whose spirit nonetheless lingers across the jungles.

The legendary Colarwali of Pench .. courtesy Caroline Radhakrishnan

The jungle lastly begins to disclose itself to us because the denizens slowly come out to say a reluctant howdy. To start with are the deer, the noticed, and the sambhar selection. In nice hordes, skipping, frolicking, taking part in. We see gaurs and boars, rustling amidst the woods. The silence is often damaged by the hen calls as we squint by way of the mist and haze to identify them, particularly alongside Sita Ghat which is parallel to the Pench River.

There are a number of waterholes and reservoirs in each these zones – Baginalla, Junewani, and Bodhanalla amongst others. Nonetheless one of many fascinating trails accessed from the Karmajheri Gate is the Runi Jhuni Path. The three km strolling path can be nice for birdwatching as properly,  A tigress that had lately given delivery to cubs alongside this space is named the Runi Jhuni Tigress and we at the moment are searching for her and her cubs on the safari.

For a second they’re right here, the following second they’re there. Whispers about their whereabouts could be heard. And eventually, I see amidst a clump of bushes, a blurry define, some stripes, and a whisk of a tail as he disappears into the undergrowth.  Ultimately, in a blink-and-miss second, we see one other cub hop, skip and soar throughout the street in entrance of a dozen jeeps. All of it occurs inside a jiffy. The thrill continues to be at an all-time excessive, as I lastly break the jinx of seeing a tiger within the wild, even when it’s for only a fraction of a second.  A hazy shot from a clip taken by buddy and blogger Caroline Radhakrishnan who had the quickest reflexes amongst all of us.

How do I e book a jeep safari in Pench?

I used to be hosted by Pench Tree Lodge and Pugdundee Safaris however they e book safaris for all their friends as properly. Most resorts and lodges will e book your safaris. Nonetheless, if you wish to e book a jeep safari by yourself, you may e book on-line as properly by way of the web site:

How a lot does a Pench safari value?

Pugdundee Safaris at Pench Tree Lodge costs round Rs 10000 to Rs 14500 for each Indian and overseas friends who stick with them

In case you are reserving by way of the federal government web site you’ll have to pay individually for a ticket after which rent a jeep and driver. The full value can be within the vary of Rs 7000-Rs 9000

Pench Nationwide Park ticket value could be round Rs 2500-Rs 3000 for Indians and RS 5000-Rs 6000 for foreigners.

Weekend charges are costly in comparison with weekdays.

Dos and Donts for safaris

A easy information and a guidelines in your safaris

Carry your ID- Aadhar, cameras and lenses. Put your cellphone on silent mode. Pench permits mobiles not like Tadoba.

Put on impartial and muted colors that may camouflage with the forest hues. NO brilliant reds or oranges.

Carry your cameras, binoculars and in case you are a hen watcher, a hen e book as properly

The temperatures are excessive. So in case you are visiting in winter like we did, put on satisfactory winter clothes.

Put on ample sunscreen and carry a bottle of water.

In case you are occurring a strolling path, make sure that you put on good strolling footwear as properly

Watch out whereas taking pictures. NO taking selfies with animals or getting near them. Tadoba has banned cellphones for a similar purpose.

Please don’t throw your thrash or litter the Nationwide Park

There are designated areas to have breakfast for all of the jeep safaris

Bathrooms can be found in designated areas as properly.

Alcohol and smoking are strictly not permitted within the Nationwide Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries

Most significantly, keep silence and don’t get off the jeep until you’re on a licensed strolling path or biking route, and take heed to your information.

Pench Nationwide Park Actions

Whereas morning and night jeep safaris are the principle points of interest, listed below are another experiences

Go for a nature stroll across the Runi Jhuni Strolling Path

Cycle round Rukkad Sanctuary or go for a day journey which incorporates safaris as properly

Plan an evening path or evening safari alongside the buffer zone

For individuals who wish to discover tribal hamlets, you may go for a village stroll,  see the weekly gala’s and be taught extra about rural, tribal cultures and crafts like portray and pottery.

Getting there – Which is the closest airport to Pench Nationwide Park?

Nagpur in Maharashtra is the closest airport and it’s about three to 4 hours by street relying on the situation of your resort. It’s a world airport as properly and is well-connected to many of the cities in India.

How lengthy is Pench from Nagpur ?

Nagpur is positioned about 145 km away and you’ll e book taxis from the airport or ask your inns to rearrange for transfers. As Pench Nationwide Park is positioned on the Nagpur Jabalpur freeway, there’s a smaller airport at Jabalpur as properly.  The street journey from Jabalpur is longer at about 5 hours. Some vacationers mix a visit to Pench and Bandhavgarh or Kanha Nationwide Parks in addition to Tadoba on the Maharashtra aspect. We drove from Pench Tree Lodge to Waghoba Eco Lodge in Tadoba and it took us about 5 hours by street as properly.

How one can attain Pench Nationwide Park?

In case you are visiting Pench by bus, then there are hourly buses accessible from Nagpur to Khawasa, which is nearer to Turia gate. For Karamjhari, you will get off at Suktara and transport can be organized by Pench Tree Lodge which is 20 km away.

If you happen to choose a prepare journey, then the closest railheads are at Nagpur or Jabalpur or Chhindwara after which you may take a taxi from there or ask the resort to rearrange transfers.

Nonetheless,  as really useful by each journey information to Pench , it’s simpler to fly into Nagpur after which drive down from there.

What’s the finest time to go to Pench?

Winter is one of the best time to go to Pench Nationwide Park, between the months of October and February when the nationwide park opens after the lengthy hiatus after the monsoons. It’s also one of the best time to do some hen watching, particularly for the migrants. Whereas summer time is a good time to see tigers, it could get very popular within the months of  April and Might. Pench Nationwide Park is closed throughout monsoons.

Are you able to keep inside Pench Nationwide Park?

You may keep amidst the woodlands close to the gates and the villages within the buffer zone. Most properties are positioned close to the Turia Gate of the Pench Nationwide Park. I used to be hosted by Pugdundee Safaris at their Pench Tree Lodge which is positioned close to the Karamjhari Gate. However there are a number of jungle lodges, each luxurious resorts, and price range stays. There are eco-friendly jungle camps like Pench Jungle Camp positioned close to the nationwide park. MPT ( Madhya Pradesh Tourism ) additionally has wildlife camps and lodges close to Pench Nationwide Park. Additionally, you will discover luxurious resorts managed by Taj Safaris and different five-star wildlife resorts close to the park.  There are additionally boutique lodges and homestays as properly.

What number of days do you want in Pench Nationwide Park?

Ideally, a minimal of three to 4 days is really useful though some wildlife fans choose to remain even every week.  In case you are a wildlife fanatic, a typical journey information to Pench would counsel at the least 4 safaris to enhance your probabilities of sighting a tiger or a leopard. You can too mix your wildlife jaunt by including close by wildlife parks like Tadoba, Bandhavgarh, or Kanha as properly.

Do you may have another questions or suggestions or suggestions concerning a journey information to Pench Nationwide Park? Please share within the feedback beneath

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