Located in the heart of India, Pench National Park is one of the most popular tiger reserves in the country. The park is spread over an area of around 758 square kilometers and is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. It is also famous for being the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel “The Jungle Book”.
In this blog, we will explore the hidden gems of Pench National Park and provide a detailed guide on how to plan a trip to this beautiful wilderness.
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About Pench National Park
Pench National Park is located in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh and is divided into two parts – the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary and the Pench Tiger Reserve. The park is named after the Pench River that flows through its core area.
Pench National Park is located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, and is one of the most popular national parks in the country. It covers an area of approximately 292 square kilometers and is named after the Pench River that flows through the park.
The park is famous for its diverse wildlife, which includes tigers, leopards, wild dogs, Indian bison, sambars, spotted deer, and over 285 species of birds. The park is also home to a variety of flora, including teak, bamboo, and grasses.
Apart from its rich wildlife, Pench National Park is also known for its beautiful landscape, which includes rolling hills, grasslands, and deciduous forests. The park is dotted with several water bodies, including the Pench River, which flows through the park and is a source of water for the park’s wildlife.
In 1992, Pench National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary and in 2002 it was designated as a national park. The park is managed by the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and is open to visitors from October to June.
Overall, Pench National Park is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers who are looking to experience the true beauty of the Indian wilderness.
Best time to visit Pench National Park
The best time to visit Pench National Park is between October and June, when the park is open to visitors. The weather during this time is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 10°C, making it a comfortable time to explore the park’s natural beauty.
The winter months of December to February are particularly pleasant, with cool mornings and evenings and a comfortable daytime temperature. This time of the year is also ideal for birdwatching, as migratory birds visit the park during the winter months.
The summer months of March to June are also a good time to visit the park, as this is when the wildlife is most active. However, the temperatures during this time can be quite high, with the mercury soaring up to 40°C in some parts of the park.
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The monsoon season, from July to September, is not an ideal time to visit Pench National Park as the park remains closed during this time. The heavy rains can make the park’s roads and trails muddy and difficult to navigate, and the park’s wildlife tends to be less active during this time.
It’s important to note that the park remains closed during the monsoon season and is open to visitors only from October to June. So it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.
Overall, the best time to visit Pench National Park depends on your interests and preferences. Whether you want to explore the park’s natural beauty, go birdwatching, or spot wildlife, there is something for everyone in Pench National Park.
How to reach Pench National Park from Mumbai
Reaching Pench National Park is quite simple. The nearest airport is located in Nagpur, which is approximately 90 km from the park. From there, visitors can either take a taxi or hire a private car to reach the park. Another option is to take a train to Nagpur and then hire a taxi or car to reach the park.
For those traveling from Mumbai, there are several options available. One option is to take a flight to Nagpur and then proceed to the park. Another option is to take a train to Nagpur and then hire a taxi or car to reach the park.
I opted for a Nagpur Duronto Express which leave at 8:15 pm from CST Mumbai and drop you by 7:15 am to Nagpur. This is the best option as you can plan your day/work and spend the night on the train. The journey takes up to 10 hours and the cost would be 720-850 sleeper and 1200-1400 three tier AC.
If you opt for a flight to Nagpur is yet another faster option as compared to train. But make sure to book in advance so it can be pocket friendly. The round fare from Mumbai to Nagpur would be roughly around 6.5k to 8k per person.
Once you reach Nagpur station/airport you will have to rent or book a cab to reach Pench National park, the to and for journey in a sedan would cost you roughly around 5-6k which would easily fit 4 people. It will hardly take 2 hours for you to reach pench national park turia gate which is 95 km from Nagpur.
Budget setting for Pench National Park
Pench National Park offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. The cost of accommodation varies depending on the type of accommodation and the season.
When planning a visit to Pench National Park, it’s important to consider your budget as it can impact your overall experience.
Here are some details to help you set a budget for your Pench National Park trip:
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Stay: Accommodation options in Pench National Park range from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. The cost of accommodation will depend on your choice of lodging and the time of year you plan to visit. Budget options can start from around INR 2000-3000 per night, while mid-range options can cost anywhere between INR 5000 to INR 8000 per night. Luxury options can go up to INR 20,000 or more per night. It’s best to book your accommodation in advance to get the best rates.
Food: Most resorts and guesthouses in Pench National Park offer meal plans that include breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cost of food will depend on your choice of meal plan and the resort you are staying at. It’s also possible to find local restaurants and dhabas that serve affordable food in nearby villages, but they are at a faraway distance.
Travel: If you are traveling from Mumbai to Pench National Park, you can choose from various modes of transportation such as flights, trains, or buses. The cost of travel will depend on your choice of transportation and the time of year you plan to visit. Flights can cost anywhere between INR 5,000 to INR 8,000, while trains can cost anywhere between INR 600 to INR 2,500. Buses can be the most economical option and can cost around INR 800 to INR 1,200. Once you reach Pench National Park, you can hire a taxi or a jeep to travel within the park.
Tickets and Safari: The cost of tickets to enter the park is relatively low, with rates varying between INR 15 to INR 250 for Indians and INR 150 to INR 1,500 for foreigners, depending on the type of safari you choose. Jeep safaris can cost between INR 2,000 to INR 8,000. It’s best to book your safari in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Remember to book your safari well in advance at least 40-50 days prior.
Other expenses: Apart from the above-mentioned expenses, you may also need to consider other expenses such as guide fees, camera fees, and tips. It’s always a good idea to keep some extra cash handy for any unforeseen expenses.
Overall, the cost of visiting Pench National Park can vary depending on your preferences and the time of year you plan to visit. However, with a little bit of planning, it’s possible to enjoy a budget-friendly trip to this beautiful national park.
Where to stay in Pench National Park
When it comes to staying in Pench National Park, there are several Pench national park resorts available to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the best Pench national park resorts in the area include the Pench Jungle Camp, the Pench Tree Lodge, and the Rukhad Jungle Camp. These Pench national park resorts offer luxurious accommodations, delicious food, and a range of activities such as bird watching, nature walks, and jeep safaris.
There are several resorts and guesthouses in and around Pench National Park, which offer comfortable and luxurious accommodation options. Some of the popular resorts include Baghvan, Taj Baghvan, Tuli Tiger Resort, and Pench Jungle Camp. These resorts offer a range of facilities, including swimming pools, spas, and restaurants.
Pench Jungle Camp resort
Find the Perfect Stay at Pench National Park Resorts
In this blog, we'll take a closer look at two of the most popular Pench national park resorts in the area - the Pench Jungle Camp and the Rukhad Jungle Camp.
Hidden gems of Pench National Park:
Sitaghat: Sitaghat is a beautiful spot located on the banks of the Pench River. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the park. One can also take a boat ride on the river to spot crocodiles and other wildlife.
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Kalapahad: Kalapahad is a scenic area of the park that is known for its beautiful landscape and rock formations. It is an ideal place for hiking and trekking.
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Alikatta: Alikatta is a remote part of the park that is not accessible by vehicles. One can only reach here by foot. It is an ideal place to spot tigers and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
Chhindimatta: Chhindimatta is a secluded area of the park that is known for its stunning natural beauty. It is an ideal place for birdwatching and exploring the park’s flora and fauna.
Raiyakassa: Raiyakassa is a lesser-known area of the park that is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and sloth bears.
Kohka Lake: Kohka Lake is a beautiful lake located near the park’s entry gate. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the park. One can also take a boat ride on the lake to spot crocodiles and other wildlife.
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Bodhanala Range: The Bodhanala Range is a lesser-known part of the park that is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and wild dogs. It is an ideal place for birdwatching and exploring the park’s flora and fauna.
Jhamtara: Jhamtara is a secluded area of the park that is known for its beautiful landscape and stunning views. It is an ideal place for hiking and trekking.
Teliya: Teliya is a lesser-known part of the park that is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and wild dogs. It is an ideal place for birdwatching and exploring the park’s flora and fauna.
Karmajhiri: Karmajhiri is a beautiful spot located on the banks of the Pench River. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the park.
Rukhad Buffer Zone: is a lesser-known part of Pench National Park that is located in the Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the five buffer zones of the park and is known for its diverse flora and fauna. The buffer zone is situated at a distance of about 15 kilometers from the Khawasa Gate of the Pench National Park and can be accessed by jeep safaris.
Overall, the Rukhad Buffer Zone is a hidden gem within Pench National Park that is worth exploring for those seeking a unique and offbeat wildlife experience.
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Rukhad Hill top: is a popular attraction within the Rukhad Buffer Zone of Pench National Park. As the name suggests, it is a hilltop that offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can reach the hilltop by taking a short walk from the jeep safari of the buffer zone, which takes about 30 minutes from the Rukhad gate.
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Pench National Park is a beautiful wilderness that offers a range of hidden gems for visitors to discover. From secluded areas of the park to scenic spots and beautiful lakes, there is something for everyone in Pench National Park. By planning a trip to this beautiful park and exploring its hidden gems, one can experience the true beauty of the Indian wilderness.