Pench Tiger Reserve - The Lush Environs!
Pench National Park or Tiger Reserve is one of the premier tiger reserves of India and the only one to straddle across two states - Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Ordinarily, the reference to Pench is mostly always to the tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh(M.P). 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 Reserve gets its name from the Pench River that flows, north to south, 74 km through the reserve. The Pench River bisects the original Pench core reserve into two nearly equal parts; the 147.61 km² of the Western Block which falls in the Gumtara Range of the Chhindwara Forest Division and the 145.24 km² of the Eastern Block in the Karmajhiri Range of the Seoni Forest Division. Administratively, the Tiger Reserve is divided into three Forest Ranges; Karmajhiri, Gumtara, and Kurai, nine Forest Circles; Alikatta, Dudhgaon, Gumtara, Kamreet, Karmajhiri, Kurai, Murer, Rukhad, and Pulpuldoh, 42 Forest Beats, and 162 Forest Compartments. The NH 44 (old NH 7), runs between Nagpur and Jabalpur along the eastern boundary of the reserve for around 10 km. Flora and FaunaThe 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 and mushrooms, 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 favors high population of Chital and Sambar. Pench tiger reserve has highest density of herbivores in India (90.3 animals per sq km). Wildlife TourismPench is one of the topmost destinations for wildlife tourism in Madhya Pradesh, albeit a little less famous and popular than the other star attractions of the Madhya Pradesh tiger circuit- Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Much like the system of wildlife tourism in most of India, the tourism activity in Pench Tiger Reserve is restricted to 20% of the core area and is carried out through safari drives done each day in the early morning and evening. The number of jeeps that are allowed entry into the reserve is restricted by the Forest Department. For purposes of tourism, there are two main gates on the MP side of Pench Tiger Reserve. The gate that is mostly used is the Turia gate. When you plan a day out in the lush environs of the Pench National Park you know that it's the vibes of the untamed wild that leave you overwhelmed.