October 13, 2014

Pench-Indias tiger reserve

The thought of going for a wild safari, my first ever, into Pench National Park was quite enthralling. Winning a Room Voucher through Tara Sharmas Show on TV was the reason for picking a Taj Safari Resort. The contest was simply digging out a lovely old pic of My daughter Jade and myself on a winter sled on the Frozen Lakes of Beijing. The photo we clicked back then in 2008 really did still have a magical effect! Taking the long weekend of Holi 27th and 28th of March '12 and hoping to catch the last good weeks before the summer heat set in , we booked ourselves for Pench.

Pench is situated between the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh in India. It derives its name from the Pench River that flows through the National park from north to south around 299 sq. km in core area.

The closest airport is Nagpur Airport only about 88 km which is a pretty relaxing and comfortable drive till one crosses over to MP. Here starts the pushing over by trucks onto sandy patches on the road. Thankfully it isn't long before there is a quick left exit towards Pench.

Situated at the edge of the national reserve , is Taj Baghvan in village Avarghani. Maintaining its rustic and raw feel of a forest theme , the 12 rooms are tastefully done. We were just closing in on the best months, so during the day the weather was hot and one could feel the dry heat. However the evenings were pleasant. The swimming pool didn't look too appealing and seemed unattended to but we were more than happy with the overall accommodation. The Baghvan Taj rooms had roof top machaans that were gorgeous. Low comfortable beddings, and the use of wooden furniture all around added to the exquisite star feel. Not to forget the outdoor open air bathrooms. At times we felt a little vulnerable as we had reptiles for company indoors and shrieking monkeys hanging onto branches outdoors!

For the Safaris at Pench National Park, please do visit the official MP website and book yourselves a safari or else you may need to rely on your hotels booking and applicable rates. The drive into Pench N.Park is pretty smooth and the forest is mixed with bamboo shoots and dry Teak species. The park is specially famous for large herds of Gaur (Indian Bison), Cheetal, Sambar, Nilgai, Wild Dog and Wild Pig. The key predator is the Tiger followed by Leopard, Wild Dog and Wolf. Other animals include Sloth Bear, Chousingha, Chinkara, Barking Deer, Jackal, Fox, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Porcupine etc. Source: http://www.penchnationalpark.com/wild-animals-in-pench.html

We didnt have any Tiger sighting, but we did enjoy the abundant flora and fauna.

After a weekend of a mix of adventure and relaxation , we were reenergised for the week ahead!

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