Named after the river Pench, which divides it in almost two even halves, the Pench National Park is one of India’s most well known natural parks for two reasons – The Jungle Book and the Tiger.
The setting for Rudyard Kipling’s perennial children’s favourite, The Jungle Book, the Pench National Park, also known as the 'Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park' commands an area of approximately 293 sq km, to which is added a buffer zone of another 466 sq km; bringing the total area to approximately 756 sq km.
A sanctuary in 1977, upgraded to a national park in 1983 and finally relegated to the status of Tiger reserve in 1992, the Pench National Park is home to a stable population of Tigers and leopards, the two dominant predators.
Other wildlife consists of Gaur (Indian Bison), Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Dhol (Indian Wild Dog), Sloth Bear, Chausingha and Barking Deer to name just a few. Add to this the 258 plus resident and migratory birds that call Pench home, approximately 50 species of fish, an assortment of reptiles, butterflies and insects and you have one of the most biodiversity rich national parks
As with any national park in India that is home to tigers, the summer months from March to May are best for visiting, since the watering holes offer many possibilities of good tiger sightings. The park is closed from July to September and one can visit again in the cooler months that follow, primarily from October to February.