A few places are close to my heart.
Seoni, the halfway point between Jabalpur and Nagpur within the Satpura Range; this little known scenic paradise is home to the Pench National Park. Seoni’s attraction lies in its panoramic views combined with its widespread greenery and varied wildlife.
The hilly countryside, the clean air, the bright green of the trees and the beauty of animals in their natural habitat– Seoni offers all of this and more!
The Pench National Park, which is named after the undulating Pench River that winds its way through a section of the park dries up at the end of April, but when the river is at its fullest, it is a popular spot for water rafting.
Spotting tigers and capturing them in my camera being one of my pastimes, Pench is my place to be. The Park was first declared a sanctuary and over the years went up the ladder to ‘National Park’ and eventually ‘Tiger Reserve’. It is quite large and is spread over Seoni and the nearby Chinndwara district.
While famous for the tigers that inhabit the park, Seoni is also famous for other wild animals such as leopards, palm civets, Indian civets, wild boars, sloth bears, chinkara and jackals. Seoni comes under a dense forest belt. The abundance of trees promotes the wildlife in the area. Though the forests are largely teak, other trees like white kulu, bamboo, mahua, saja, salai, aonla, dhaora and many others are found. This forested and scenic area is easily accessible by road. The tourism in this area has been increasing steadily over the last couple of years due to the popularity of the National Park.
In Western Seoni, there is the small village of Katalbodi. The famous Hindu guru Shankara Charya built a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in this village. He also built the Guru Ratneshwar Mahadeo temple in Dighori, Northern Seoni. Both these temples are also popular tourist and religious attractions.
When visiting the National Park, it is best to stay at the Forest Rest House, MPSTD Lodge or any of the other lodges in the nearby vicinity. Rudyard Kipling has used Seoni as the setting in his Jungle Book. BBC has also done a documentary on the tigers in the Pench National Park. And for an explorer and writer like me, Seoni is definitely a place to be!
Wildlife Enthusiast |Brand ambassador for Forest and Wildlife,
Government of Maharashtra