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Leaves don't rustle! Water doesn't trickle! Grasses stop to move! Even the wind pauses to hold its breath and watch the drama unfold! Then all of a sudden the Jungle springs to life! Langurs groan. Branches of trees begin to swing under their springing jumps. Fleeting hooves rustle the grass. Heavy bodies splash the water. Spotted Deers let out the alarm call. Let it be known - the King is here - "Hail, the King!" Lesser creatures flee. The King sweeps a gaze over his Kingdom. Period. Utter silence. The show begins.

Places of Interest in Pench National Park

Sitaghat : This spot is arguably the prettiest location in all of Pench National Park.As the winding track comes to a dead end, it brings you to the bank of the river Pench dotted with rocks and artistic looking trees. In the summer months, bushes with white flowers run all along the bank. To see these flowers in full bloom, it is a must to visit the spot in the morning hours, as they close by early evening. If patient, it appears to be an excellent spot for wildlife viewing. The only problem being you are totally exposed, and animals being as vary of humans as they intellegently are, chances are they will shy away before you even know they are around. The evening has a charm of its own here with the light of the low sun painting an amazing scenery with contrasting shadows and highlights. It is a good spot for bird lovers. Make sure you have your binoculars with you.

Alikatta : The Alikatta area appears to be the hub around which the park is planned. All tracks seem to wind their way in different directions only to all end at Alikatta. It is a fascinating expanse of grassland (when it isn't submerged under water!), where it is possible to come across any of the animals found in the park. It is one of the few places left in the country where every evening one gets to see the amazing spectacle of grazing herds consisting of thousands of spotted deer. Where there are deer, there will be predators. So keep your eyes open here. It is also the location from where the elephant rides commence. Alikatta is also home to Saraswati, a recently born baby elephant (in June 03), who one is sure will keep visitors enthralled with her antics for a few years to come still.

Chhindimatta Road : This road that branches off and leads to the huge Pench reservoir is an absolutely must see while visiting the park. While a majority of the rest of the park is quite flat, this section is full of ups and downs over rocky hills and through excellent forest. Although not very high, the rockly cliffs beside the track seem like excellent places to come across a handsome leopard to make it a perfect picture. It is also an excellent area for spotting buzzards, eagles and hawks.

Bodhanala range : This area is worth seeing for its variety of topography. It goes from slopy hills, to bamboo forest, to a large pond close to the edge of the park. Although Mohit didn't see too many animals in this area, he was fascinated by the number of bird species he saw here. Similar to the Chhindimatta Road, it is an excellent area for raptors. Maybe even better. He also spotted a huge grass snake darting across the track on his last visit to the area. The small reservoir is an excellent location to spot water birds. Your jeep driver will most probably stop here to check with the outpost for news of tiger sightings, giving you a good opportunity to stretch those legs and to do some duck and cormorant sighting.

Raiyakassa : This is the location of a watchtower built by the park authorities. The roof of this cement watchtower provides and excellent view of the river pench. The park authorities also offer visitors the choice of spending a night at this watchtower. The facilities are extremely basic but any night spent on that roof will be embedded in the visitor's memory forever for sure. It is quite common to spot Bison coming down to the river here. On occasions, a tiger too has been spotted from this spot.

Doob Road : This track running close to the edge of the water bodies is an excellent area for spotting all varieties of animals. After the monsoon season however, most of it is submerged until the water levels once again recede. During the rest of the year, it is quite common to come across huge herds of deer and bison, while driving along this track. Leopards have also been seen in this area.

Kalapahad : The Kalapahad area comes up on the main track leading in from the entrance at The Pench Jungle Camp.




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