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Pench National Park in MP in India

Updated on April 15, 2018
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As a content writer Uday loves to write about destinations in India. He loves to travel to wildlife destination and tourist places in India.

Pench Tiger

Tiger at Pench National Park
Tiger at Pench National Park | Source

Pench Tiger Reserve

Park Co-Ordinates: 21.6716° N, 79.3033° E situated on MP & Maharashtra State.

Temperature minimum 4 °C in Winter & Maximum 42 °C in summers. Average rainfall is 1300 mm.

Pench National Park in MP comprises of 758 sq. km of forests. The core is of 299 while the buffer zone is 464 in area. It is situated in Seoni and Chindwara Districts.

The park is also a tiger reserve, it is under the aegis of Project Tiger Program. As conservation unit it aims to protect tigers living in its forests. The Program aims to increase tiger population in the country and conserve their habitats.

There are forty five tigers in Pench and efforts are being made to increase their population. In recent times the park has witnessed more tiger activity and breeding suggesting a move towards success.

The forests are divided between two states Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The two tiger reserves so created are a contiguous patch of forest intersected by the Pench River and Totlah Doh Dam.

This is the only tiger reserve in Central India where river rafting and hot air balloon safari is possible. The destination is also a birders paradise with many avian wonders all around. Topography of Pench comprises of hills and valleys with sparse grasslands. Maximum Altitude is 620 MSL while lowest is 424 MSL.

Tiger Day Rally at Pench

Save The Tiger Conservation Rally at Pench
Save The Tiger Conservation Rally at Pench | Source

Kipling Country

A Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
A Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories

kipling's Amazing creativity brings jungle to life and to whatever he wrote about. Must read.


Wildlife Images

Bison | Source
Langurs | Source
Sambar Doe
Sambar Doe | Source
Barking Deer & Peacock
Barking Deer & Peacock | Source
Mating Tigers
Mating Tigers | Source

Pench Wolf

Indian wolf at Pench National Park in India
Indian wolf at Pench National Park in India | Source

Pench - Kipling Country

The Central Indian preserve exhibits amazing biodiversity and was once contiguous with Kanha National Park. The prime animal is the tiger, besides the preserve is home to leopard, Indian wolf, hyena, sloth bear, wild dog, Nilgai, barking deer, sambar, four horned deer and spotted deer. The latter is the main prey base of the Bengal tigers.

This is where Mowgli the Wolf Child was discovered by Lt. Moor and was immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in "Jungle Book". The book highlights the escapades of the wolf child and his friends the Tabaki , Baloo the Bear, Baghira, Kaa and Sher Khan.These pristine forests are a sheer joy for the visitors on safari and the best place in the wild to see the tigers.

Conservation Unit

As a conservation unit the reserve offers protection to wildlife, birds and the forests. Tree felling is completely stopped inside the park. The park management comprises of:

  • Field Directory
  • Divisional Forest Officer
  • Park Superintendent
  • Rangers
  • Deputy Rangers
  • Forest Guards

    The Field Director has over all responsibility of park. He is also the Chief Conservator of Forests. He is stationed at HQ which is at the nearest town Seoni. The rest of the staff is stationed at the park itself and is responsible for physical protection of the reserve and regulation of tourism.

    Park elephants and guides also help in patrolling the reserve to prevent poaching. There are a large number of elephant camps and fire prevention huts scattered all along the reserve which act as a look out posts. Most of the staff and camps are equipped with wire less communication systems and patrol vehicles.

Tigers in Pench

Pench River

Pench River
Pench River | Source

Totlah Doh Dam

Totlah Doh Dam
Totlah Doh Dam | Source

Pench River

The park gets its name from this river and it is the lifeline of Pench ecosystem. It plays a crucial supportive role during summers whence most of the water bodies in the park dry down. Pench river flows in north to south direction and intersects the park.

The flow spirals down after the winter months but water remains in small pools all along. The river is dammed by a dam called Totlah Doh. Tigers frequent the sandy beds of Pench waterways and are a good place to look for them.

The banks of the water body and the dam are good spots to look for wintering ducks and shore birds. Migratory species arrive in winters hence augment the numbers.

Wildlife Images

Spotted Deer Herd
Spotted Deer Herd | Source
Gray Francolins
Gray Francolins | Source
Sambar Deer
Sambar Deer | Source

Pench River

Pench River
Pench River | Source

Wildlife of Pench

A STUDY OF VIGILANCE BEHAVIOUR OF CHITAL (Axis axis): Examining the Determinants of Individual and Group Vigilance for Chital in Pench Tiger Reserve, India
A STUDY OF VIGILANCE BEHAVIOUR OF CHITAL (Axis axis): Examining the Determinants of Individual and Group Vigilance for Chital in Pench Tiger Reserve, India

Survival is the key and the vigilant survive in the forest of Pench where deer hungry tigers are always on the lookout.


Overview Pench

Pench is renowned for its safaris. The main gate of the Park is at Turia about ten km from Khawasa on Jabalpur Nagpur Highway. Another entrance gate is at Karmajhiri. The preserve is about 200 km from Jabalpur and 80 km from Nagpur both are connected by air with New Delhi. Pench is about six hours drive from Kanha.

Tiger Safari

Pench has received much publicity after BBC filmed its tigers. Some other films have also been made on big cats of Pench. Wildlife safari on jeep is the best recourse to move around the park which opens in the morning and evening. The morning round begins at predawn and ends before lunch time.

Early morning is the best time to sight tigers and leopards though the latter is a rare sight. Herds of Gaur or Bison can also be seen in grasslands. Other animals that can be seen around the grassy meadows and wetlands are deer, Nilgai, sloth bear and wild dog. Spotted deer, wild boar and Hanuman Langur are a common sight besides peacock and many other common birds. Pench River is the lifeline of this ecosystem and bisects the park into two. It has been dammed for water storage and supply which is unfortunate.

For birding morning time is best as this preserve is an excellent birding destination in MP. There are more than two hundred fifty avian species in the park during winters. Migratory birds come from far and wide. Totlah Doh reservoir is a habitat for wetland birds while dense canopy is home to forest birds.

The best time for safari at Pench is in winters but holiday season should be avoided. Summers are excellent for animal watching but it is very hot. This season is preferred by wildlife photographers who take benefit of good light conditions and proximity of animals. The stressful conditions forces wild mammals to congregate in and around water holes which increases sightings.

Only Jeep Safari is allowed in the park and trekking is not allowed. This is for the safety of tourists and to avoid a direct confrontation with animals of the park. The evening round on every Wednesdays are not available at Pench.

Short ride on elephant back is available as tiger show. This is a good way of seeing big cats from close if you have not seen them on the jungle road. At the moment the show is banned but joy rides on elephant back are available.

Since the preserve gets crowded during the peak season it is better to book the park entry in advance. Most of the luxury hotels in Pench book the safari in the park. Else online booking facility at MP Online Portal is best for advance booking for jungle rides. There are many resorts in Pench ranging from 3 star hotel to luxury and budget accommodations.

Pench offers a good chance of sighting rare Indian wolf. But it is seen more often outside the park. Hence keep a look out for the animal before you enter the dense canopy of the National Park. You can visit Kanha as well from this reserve since it is about five hours drive.

National Park

Pench National Park
Pench National Park | Source

Big Cat Photo

Big Cat at Pench
Big Cat at Pench | Source

Birds of Pench

Large Cuckoo Shrike
Large Cuckoo Shrike | Source
Malabar Pied Horn Bill
Malabar Pied Horn Bill | Source
Mottled Wood Owl
Mottled Wood Owl | Source
Painted Snipe
Painted Snipe | Source

Bird Photos

Indian Silver Bill
Indian Silver Bill | Source
Large Billed Corw
Large Billed Corw | Source
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Rose Ringed Parakeet | Source
Eurasian Thickknee
Eurasian Thickknee | Source

Birding at Pench

Pench is a birding heaven yet to be discovered. The preserve boasts of couple of hundred of bird species inhabiting its dense forests and the Totlah Doh Dam.

The major attractions are:

  • Osprey
  • White Eyed Buzzard
  • Booted Eagle
  • White Backed Vulture
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Changeable Eagle
  • Crested Hawk Eagle
  • Red Kite
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Barhminy Duck
  • Nakta
  • Lesser Whistling Teal
  • Cotton Pigmy Goose
  • Great Egret
  • Median Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Litte Egret
  • Grey Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Great Cormorant
  • Median Cormorant
  • Little Cormorant
  • Eurasian Thicknee
  • Common Iora
  • Collared Scops Owl
  • Tawny Fish Owl
  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Indian Pitta
  • Peacock
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Golden Oriole
  • Black Hooded Oriole
  • Yellow Crowned Wood Pecker
  • White Backed Woodpecker
  • Black Rumped Flameback
  • Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
  • Chestnut Belied Nuthatch
  • Puff Throated Babbler
  • Greater Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Black Drongo
  • Ashy Drongo
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • White Rumped Shama
  • Tailor Bird
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Plain Prinia
  • Zitting Cisticola
  • Brown Rock Chat
  • Chestnut Shouldered Petronia
  • Common Woodshrike
  • Grey Francolin
  • Painted Francolin
  • Tickell's Flowerpecker
  • Plum Headed Parakeet
  • Greater Coucal
  • Common Stonechat
  • Pied Stone Chat
  • Hume's Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • White Browed Bulbul
  • Red Vented Bulbul
  • Long Tailed Shrike
  • Bay Backed Shrike
  • Gray Shrike
  • Red Avadat
  • Indian Silver Bill
  • Crested Bunting
  • Rufous Treepie

A professional guide for birding at Pench Tiger Reserve can be hired for a charge. But many of the park guides are very good birders, good enough for an amateur work.

Open Jeep Safari

Open Jeep Safari
Open Jeep Safari | Source


Pench National Park is situated in Madhya Pradesh while another reserve in connecting forests is situated in Maharashtra. The main Turia Gate is situated ten kilometers from Khawasa in MP. Turia gate can be reached from Nagpur which is eighty kilometers from the park. Nagpur is well connected by rail and air.

Jabalpur is about 200 km from Pench and is connected to New Delhi and Mumbai by air. It is very well connected by rail to major towns.

Kanha National Park is at distance of 175 km and can be reached in about five hours.


Pench National Park is also named a Priyadarshini Tiger Reserve after the ex Prime Minster of India Smt. Indira Gandhi. She was always at the forefront of conservation and was dedicated towards preservation of heritage wealth of the country.

Pench National Park Map

Pench National Park:
Pench National Park, 441401, India

get directions

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© 2011 Uday Patel


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