The Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve extends over an area of 257 sq. km. in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges, along the northern boundary of Nagpur District. It was declared a National Park by the "Tiger Reserve of India" In February 19999.
The Park gets its name from the Pench River, which meanders through it like a mammoth python, dividing it down the center. Rich in its biodiversity, its terrain defined by hills, valleys and the occasional precipitous slope, Pench is an important ecosystem supporting an abundance of flora and fauna, including a rich variety of aquatic life.
Not surprisingly, the beauty of this part of central India has earned much literary attention. The poet Kalidas waxes eloquent about the scenic charm of the place in his epics Meghdootam and Shakuntalam. R.A. Strendale's "Camp in the Satpura Hills" draws a vivid pen picture ofthis idyllic paradise, as does Forsyth's "Highlands of Central India".
Indeed, the Pench National Park is four different forest regions in one: an extravagance of trees, shrubs, grasses, climbers, weeds and herbs, with teak being the most prominent of the tree species. The park is home to 33 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles, and a wide variety of insects.
While officially reserved for tigers and panthers, Pench is also home to sambar, chital, barking deer, nilgai, black buck, gaur, wild boar, chausingha, sloth bears, wild dogs, langurs, monkeys, mouse deer, black-naped hares, jackals, foxes, hyenas, porcupines, and flying squirrels, to name a few.
Here, birdlife is equally bountiful. The feathered denizens of Pench include both resident and migratory bird like Malabar pied hornbills, Indian pittas, ospreys, grey-headed fishing eagles, white-eyed buzzards, storks, waterfowls, four endangered vulture species, and the green pigeon, which is the State Bird.
Pench is a naturalist's dream come true, a mind-expanding experience if ever there is one.
Ambakhori: This spot on the bank of the Pench river, near Totladoh, is noted for its natural beauty and serenity. Locals as well as visitors find its charms irresistible.
"The Eyes Of "Shakuntala": The Meghdoot Reservoir at Totladoh and the Lower Pench Reservoir at Navegaon Khairi resemble the tear-filled eyes of Shakuntala, Kalidas epic heroine, when seen from abouve. The Meghdoot Reservoir is formed by the Pench Hydroelectric Project and aside from providing power, ensures a continual supply of water to the Lower Pench Reservoir. Both catchment areas are fed by the Pench river, which flows through the forest.
Nagardhan Fort: The Historical town of Nagardhan is said to have been founded by Nandvardhan, a king of the Shail Dynasty. The land houses a fort, supposedly built by the Bhonsles, with walls made of brick.
Karmajhiri: Karmajhiri is reputed to be excellent bison country. This is also the location of the museum , the Forest Rest Hose, and the Mowgli Huts, which form the residential complex.
Nature Interpretation Center: Owing to its proximity to Nagpur, Pench attracts thousands of visitors each year: school children , college students, teachers and professors who wish to gain insights into Pench's Unique ecosystem. The Nature Interpretation Center is the place to visit.
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