PENCH

Pench National park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the satpuda hills is named after PenchRiver, meandering through the park from north to south. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara.Pench National Park, comprising of 758 SQ Kms, out of which a core area of 299 sq km is the national park and and remaining 464 sq km is the buffer area. The undulating topography supports a mosaic of vegetation ranging from moist, sheltered valleys to open, dry deciduous forest. Over 1200 species of plants have been recorded from the area including several rare and endangered plants as well as plants of ethno-botanical importance.

The area has always been rich in wildlife. It is dominated by fairly open canopy; mixed forests with considerable shrub cover and open grassy patches. The high habitat heterogeneity favours high population of Chital and Sambar. Pench tiger reserve has highest density of herbivores in India (90.3 animals per sq km). The tracks are smoother, the trees are thicker with dense undergrowth, perhaps one reason why the herbivore population here is larger in size compared to Kanha and Bandhavgarh. There is a distinct silence here. You feel you are the King, when suddenly your driver halts seeing the Pugmarks of the actual King of the area. A Tiger has just crossed; he shows them to you, and suddenly an alarm call from one of the denizens of the forest. You, your driver, your naturalist are all alert. Looking in the direction of the call, eye balls much bigger than usual, heart pounding at 120 beats a minute. Ears as big as of an Elephant, you want to see the true King of Pench. The drama, unfolds, and you are in Pench, the true and original Kipling country. 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 locally known as 'dohs' 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.


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