One of India’s lesser-known wildlife sanctuaries, Pench covers a protected area of 757 square kilometres and is dominated by hills, forests and valleys.
Pench’s typical dry deciduous forest of teak trees supports a rich variety of wildlife. In addition to tiger, leopard, dhole (Indian wild dog), gaur (Indian bison), sambar, chital and sloth bear are all seen here. The birdlife is also first class. The open habitat lends itself to wildlife viewing, but also offers striking views of the area’s natural beauty. The landscape and its creatures inspired Rudyard Kipling and appear in his classic tale, the Jungle Book.
Running north to south, the river Pench divides the park into almost equal halves, western and eastern – the well-forested areas of Chhindwara and Seoni districts respectively. The highest summit in the park, the hill of Kala Pahar, reaches 650 metres above sea level.
Pench is conveniently situated 95 kilomtres or around two and a half hours by road from Nagpur (which is served by flights to/from Delhi and Mumbai), and 210 kilometres, or around four and a half hours by road, from Jabalpur (which has trains and flights to Delhi), and three to four hour drive from Khana, with which it is sometimes combined. The park opens from mid-October to April.
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