Pench National Park in India

by pateluday

Find write-up on Pench National Park also a Tiger Reserve in India. Read about wild animals, birds you can see on tiger safari at Pench.

Pench National Park is one of the finest tiger havens on Earth. It is home to Bengal Tigers as well as amazing wild animals and birds. The biodiversity of the park is astounding and floral and fauna elements abound. The keystone species is the tiger but the park has a large number of Bison or Gaur which are the main attraction. This destination is also known as the Kipling Country as Mowgli the Wolf Child was supposed to have been born here. The Jungle Book is set in and around this famous National Park.

There are many tigers in the park hence it is being conserved under the umbrella of the Project Tiger Program. The main purpose is tiger conservation but in the effort whole ecosystem benefits.

The National Park is situated in the Seoni District of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. Part of the reserve lies in the State of Maharashtra. It is about two hundred kilometers from Jabalpur City and eighty km from Nagpur. Both the cities are connected by air and rail with New Delhi and other major towns.

Tiger Portrait
Tiger Portrait
Teerath Singh

Pench Tiger Reserve Video

Pench Tiger

Pench Wildlife

National Park in India

Leopard The forests are a part of the Central Indian Highlands which James Forsyth has written about so extensively. The tracts that extended to more than five thousand sq. km. are now fragmented. Wildlife conservation efforts have helped in saving these precious jewels that we have inherited.

As you drive from Seoni Hills to Pench a spectacular panorama unfolds and you become eager to discover what lies ahead. The hill country will not disappoint you rather you will become busy getting a 360-degree view as the drive proceeds. 

Pench is a wonderful tiger reserve with unique wildlife and is situated at “Seoni Hills” in the district of Seoni in Madhya Pradesh. These Hills also find reference in the book “The Highlands of Central India” written by Capt: James Forsyth.

Tiger is the keystone species here and other wild mammals, reptiles, and insects are as exciting to see during the tiger safari in the park. The birdlife at Pench has yet to be explored and no checklist has been made so far. A large number of wetland species can be seen in winter at Totlah Doh Dam built on the River Pench which is the lifeline of the habitat.

The tiger reserve is now very famous for wildlife watching and birding tourism. A tiger safari offers sightings of Indian Tiger, Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambar Deer, Nilgai, Spotted Deer, Wild Dogs, Barking Deer, Wild Boars, and Langurs. Indian wolf is often seen in the periphery of the tiger reserve. There are many nocturnal creatures like mongoose, porcupines, Indian civets, ratel, and many birds like nightjars and some owls like a mottled wood owl. These can be seen in night safaris outside the park as they are not allowed within the park's confines.

For management purposes, the reserve has been divided into ranges. These are Karmajhiri, Kurai, and Gumtara. These ranges are subject to extensive patrolling by the forest staff in order to prevent poaching and wood logging. Adjoining the National Park lies the Mowgli Wildlife Sanctuary which adds to the forest cover.

The park is divided into Core and Buffer zones each of which receives varying degrees of protection. The core is a completely inviolate zone while the buffer is subject to minimal activity. Tourism takes place in the core area on limited jungle roads. Only jeep safaris are allowed in the park and trekking on foot is prohibited.

Wildlife Photo Pench

Deer Photo
Spotted Deer
Spotted Deer
John Mathai

Birding at Pench

Bird watching in India

Malabar Pied Horn BillPench is rich in birdlife though most of it is unexplored. The striking number of avian species makes this one of the most potential birding destinations in India. Due to the presence of the Totlah Doh Dam in the park, there is great scope for watching wetland as well as forest birds. A large number of migrating species arrive here in winter.

Some note able avian species are:

  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Shama
  • Indian Pitta
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Hume’s warbler
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler
  • Tawny Babbler
  • Booted Eagle
  • Osprey
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Changeable Hawk Eagle
  • White Naped Woodpecker
  • Black Rumpled Flame Back
  • White-Eyed Buzzard
  • Jungle Owlet
  • Indian Scops Owl
  • Iora
  • Yellow Eyed Babbler
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Tickell’s Flycatcher
  • Black Naped Monarch
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Black Drongo
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • Racket Tailed Drongo
  • Golden Oriole
  • Black Headed Oriole
  • Grey Hornbill
  • Shikra
  • Spotted Owlet
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Red Spurfowl
  • Grey Francolin
  • Brahminy Duck
  • Northern Pintail
  • Cotton Pygmy Goose
  • Little Grebe
  • Lesser Whistling Teal
  • Wooly Necked Stork
  • Open Billed Stork
  • Black Headed Ibis
  • Red Headed Ibis
  • Wryneck
  • Pariah Kite

About a three-day visit is required to enjoy birding in this preserve. The best season is winter whence the migrants arrive.

Wildlife Blog

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The largest share of tiger sighting that takes place is between Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks. But you can see the tiger at Pench, Ranthambhore, Tadoba, and Cor...
For regular visitors to Bandhavgarh appears to be pristine forests and grasslands but if you notice the niche habitats it will create a liking for the National Park. N...

Bird Photos Pench

Brahminy Duck
Brahminy Duck
John Mathai

Flora of Pench


Pench Forests are tropical dry deciduous mix types. The mixed forest topography offers a large variety of fruiting trees, herbs, and shrubs besides grasses. This results in an excellent food factor in which the herbivores thrive. Some of the noted trees found in the park are:

  • Saaj
  • Sagwan
  • Mahua
  • Lendyia
  • Bahera
  • Harra
  • Forest Hill Range
  • Tendu
  • Salai
  • Bel
  • Amla
  • Berry
  • Tinsa
  • Bhilma
  • Amaltas
  • Dhok or Palas
  • Arjun
  • Sarteli
  • Mokha
  • Skiras,
  • Bija
  • Char
  • Bhaman,
  • Khair

A large number of flowering trees are found at Pench. Some of the herbs include wild tulsi, touch me not, goat weed, and little glory to name a few. Bamboo is found on hill slopes but is not abundant.

Tiger Photo Pench

Teerath Singh
Wild Dog
Wild Dog
Teerath Singh

Accommodation at Pench

Places to stay

Earlier in the park accommodation was available only in the forest rest house within the core area. After some time more rooms were built nearby. But all these rooms were subject to availability with preference going to public sector employees.

Gradually as tourism increased more accommodations began to come up. Initially, only budget hotels were established. Later on, luxury resorts at Pench with modern amenities were established. Tourism increased fourfold in the nineties and consequently accommodations also increased.

All the hotels in Pench National Park are situated on the periphery near the Turia Gate. The tariff ranges from budget to five-star the latter are owned by big hotel chains. Most of the resorts arrange tiger safaris and also assist in gate bookings for excursions.

Map Pench National Park


Tiger Tourism at Pench

Holiday Safaris

Tiger Safari Pench

Like the other reserves in Central India, wildlife safaris are organized by the Pench Forest Department under the aegis of the state government. The safaris are the only way of exploring and enjoying the wildlife of the park. You can carry binoculars and bird books with you. Your hotel will provide breakfast in the morning to be consumed at a designated place. The naturalist or guide will help in the interpretation of the park ecosystem and the animals and birds you come across.

The safaris are organized during the early morning and late evening period and each has to be booked prior to the excursion. The rides are on a privately hired forest jeep registered with the department, or on a shared canter managed by the MP Tourism Department of the State Government. The morning rise is usually five hours, and the evening ride is usually three hours and ends before the sun sets in. The charges are mentioned on the MP Government Portal which provides all details. 

A forest guide accompanies the tourist jeep as mandatory and you can also hire a naturalist provided his name is mentioned on the permit. There are many rules and regulations that are applicable to the excursions, and they have to be strictly followed. 

Permit Booking 

There is a centralized portal called MPOnline that facilitates safari booking at Pench National Park in India.  All those partaking in the safari have to be mentioned and this should be supported by a photo ID or passport in the case of overseas visitors.

At the time of booking please keep the ID details of all tourists on the jeep. Since the tourism zone in the core of the protected area is divided into zones you have to choose one. During the excursion, you cannot cross over to another zone remember this. You are now allowed to get down of the vehicle except at designated spots and please do not litter or make a loud noise.

Carry warm clothes in the winter, and the necessary medicines, but no alcohol, firearms, hunting knives, or cannons Ha! Just carry a smile and wish Namaste to all the forest people and the animals and birds you come across.

Pench Wildlife Posters

Cinquenta, Tigre Real
Bengal Tiger Face, Panthera Tigris, Asia
Tiger Snow
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Updated: 12/02/2022, pateluday
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pateluday on 05/26/2021

Increasing human population and settlements encroaching into forests.

DerdriuMarriner on 05/24/2021

pateluday, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
What accounts for formerly 5,000-plus-square-kilometer tracts ending up fragmented? Is it part of dividing into ranges and buffer and core ranges? Or is it something else, like having to sell off land to developers for budgetary reasons?

pateluday on 09/18/2016

Pench is a tiger heaven

Raju itkelwar on 01/26/2016

This days in india
Best tigers sighting in PENCH national park

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