Located close to Nagpur, forest of Pench is spread across 2 states – Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
The jungle gets its name from a perennial river called ‘Pench’ river which flows through the forest and divides the 2 districts in Madhya Pradesh, namely Chhindwara and Seoni.
On the Maharashtra side, Totladoh dam is built on the Pench river and the water is used for power generation.
Spread around the backwaters of Totladoh dam, this beautiful deciduous forest consists of open meadows, undulating hills and many rocky hillocks, making it an ideal habitat for tigers as well as leopards.
This region is believed to be the birthplace of Mowgli! So most of the characters from Rudyard Kipling’s novel – ‘the Jungle Book’, can be seen here, such as Wild Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Wild Boar, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Flying Squirrel, Barking Deer and Porcupine and also the Leopard and Tiger ! In 2020, a Black Panther cub (Melanistic Leopard – a leopard with more concentration of melanin) was spotted for the very first time in Pench.
In addition to this, Pench is home to around 200 species of birds.
Pench came into limelight in the year 2008, when a documentary titled ‘Tiger – Spy in the Jungle’ narrated by Sir David Attenborough was released by BBC. The documentary showcases the journey of 4 cubs from their birth to adulthood and has been filmed using spy cameras and innovative filming techniques.
One of the 4 cubs shown in the documentary, upon reaching adulthood, became more famous and the world knows her by the name of ‘Collarwali’. This legendary tigress till 2021 had given birth to 29 cubs in the wild which is a record itself. More than 23 of her cubs had been successfully raised to adulthood.
How to reach –
- By air – Nearest airport is Nagpur (100 km from Pench).
- By rail – Nearest railway station is Seoni (60 km from Pench). But Nagpur has more options for train travel.