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satpura

Forsyth’s Lodge is located at the outer edge of the Satpura National Park. The National Park, part of an ambitious government initiative that seeks to preserve and reclaim dwindling forests, is a landscape of hills and ravines. As your eye ranges carefully over this readily visible contrast, you will begin to notice the many small things that make the National Park unique—an intersection of North with South, and indeed, East with West, never mind what the good Mr. Kipling said. A zone of meeting, mingling and divergences of transitions and continuities.

Map

Protected region with an area of 4926.28 sq. km

If you have a map-adjusted eye, this paragraph will make visible one of those intersections. The Satpura National Park takes its name from the Satpura hills that range across central India. It covers 524 sq.km of protected forests. In 1999, the Madhya Pradesh Government created the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, a protected region with an area of 4926.28 sq. km, covering three conservation units: Bori Wildlife Sanctuary (518.00 sq. km), Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary (461.37 sq. km), and Satpura National Park. This Reserve has a designated core zone which is the Satpura National Park. The remaining area is described as the Buffer Zone—a sprawling 4501.91 sq km area spread across the districts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chhindwara that is slowly being reclaimed by the jungle.

While the terrain is largely hilly, the action of the local streams over many millennia has resulted in deep and narrow gorges and ravine—a landscape that perfectly suits the reclusive habits of the tiger. The Tawa reservoir and the many streams that feed into it--such as the Denwa and the Sonbhadra--ensure that a good part of the park is well-watered.

The park is classified as part of the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests eco-region and forms part of a zone of steady transition between the forests of eastern India and Western India—the careful observer will thus come across stands of both Teak and Sal (Shorea robusta).

This confers on those who arrive here the privilege of being at the exact place where several habitats coincide and overlap. Apart from the tiger and the leopard, the area is also home to Gaur - the Indian Bison, to the Sloth Bear, to several species of deer, the Chausingha or four-horned antelope, and the Nilgai antelope, the wild dog, the wolf, the hyena and the Rhesus Macaque. The Malabar Giant Squirrel and the Mouse Deer, unusual species for Central India, have also been spotted here. Among the smaller mammals reported are the Indian Civet, the Palm Civet, the Indian Porcupine, the Bengal Fox, the Black-naped Hare, the Jungle cat and the Rusty Spotted Cat.

picture gallery - fauna
  • Zebra Blue
  • Tree Frog-ling
  • Sambar Satpura
  • Marsh Crocodile
  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Indian Thick-knee
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Indian Jackal
  • Indian Burrowing Frog
  • Indian Skimmer in flight
  • Sloth Bear
  • Chameleon
  • Grey Francolin
  • Eurasian Eagle Owl
  • Gaur
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Chital (Spotted Deer)
  • Bar-headed Geese

What makes the National Park such a great birding destination?

It is home to a diverse ecosystem and, in addition, the Satpuras form one corridor of movement between the mountains of the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats. It thus provides a habitat for migrant waterfowl, including Bar-headed Geese, the Pintail, the Garganey, the Pochard and the Ruddy Shelduck. Birds of prey such as the Black Eagle, the Rufous-bellied Eagle, the Shahin Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle, and the Mountain Hawk Eagle have often been sighted. These are but a small sampling of a long list of more than 300 oft-spotted bird species. And we haven’t even begun talking about the rarer species.