Satpura National Park is located in district Hoshangabad of Madhya Pradesh in India. It gets the name from Satpura hill ranges (Mahadeo hills). It is located near the capital city of Madhya Pradesh i.e. Bhopal. It covers an area of 524 km². Satpura National Park, and along with the adjoining Bori and Panchmarhi Sanctuaries, provides 1427 km² of unique Central Indian Highland ecosystem. It was set up in 1981 mainly for the conservation of Tigers, the national animal of India. The terrain of the national park is extremely rugged and consists of fascinating deep valleys, sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, rivulets, waterfalls, thickly dense green forest of Sal and other medicinal herbs and Tawa vast reservoir. Un-even altitude ranges from 290m. to 1352 m. Highest peak of national park is in Satpura National Park i.e. Dhoopgarh at an altitude of 4500 feets(1400 m.). As it is the highest peak of Madhya Pradesh, sunlight reaches this peak earlier than anyother landscape of Madhya Pradesh. Being a part of unique eco-system, Satpura National Park is very rich in bio-diversity. Its fauna comprises Spotted Dear, Indian Bison(Gaur), Tigers, Leopards, Wild boar, Wild dog (locally called Dholes), Sloth bear, Black buck (unique attraction), Porcupine, Sambhar, four Horned antelopes (Chowsingha), Smooth otter, Pangolin, Marsh crocodile, Languars etc. Indian Giant squirrel is the special feature of Satpura National Park as it is rare in India now. Sighting of Leopards, Gaurs, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear is good in compare to other national parks of Central India. Bird-watching in Satpura National Park is great. Here very frequently we can see variety of birds during stay and safari. Tiger sighting of this national park is not so impressive as compare to nearby Bandhavgarh, Kanha or Pench national parks. So it is required when we go for jungle safari in national park, we should no go with single mindset of tiger-sighting but enjoy sighting all members of national park as they are equally share the jungle with tigers and are extremely beautiful creatures of nature. Bio-diversity of national park is stunning with over 1300 species of plants. Flora of national park includes teak, sal, tendu, mahua (Indian butter-tree), bel (stone-apple), bamboos, grasses, bushes, unchecked grown lantanas and other many medicinal plants whose details are not available now. It is said that in majority of jungle we can judge that sal is the prominent flora of National Park.
Satpura is surrounded by hills so the weather is very pleasant here throughout the year. The temperature is never above 37 degrees during summers and below 7 degrees during winters. The best season to visit this place is between Januray to June. About Satpura National Park Lush green carpet, spread over 524 sq. kms of area in Stapura hill ranges (Mahadeo hills), Satpura National Park lies in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Adjoining to famous hill station Pachmarhi, Satpura Tiger Reserve, on encompassing, Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary (estd in 1977, area= 417 sq. kms.)and Bori Wildlife Sanctuary (estd in 1975, area= 646 sq. kms.)Makes 1427 sq. km. area, ideal place for some rare wildlife species and medicinal trees. In the year 1981, Satpura National Park was established with an area of 524 sq. km. recently in May, 2009 it became in news due to arrival of a new generation of tigers in cradle of Satpura hills. It is spread over different altitudes ranging from 300 meters to 1350 meters. It is still believed to be untouched and unspoiled wildlife sanctuary. Tiger reserve is offers panoramic view of nature at its best with rocky mountain peaks, gorges, gurgling waterfalls, sparkling stream, dense deep valleys, rivulets etc. This unexplored hill station was first explored by Captain James Forsyth of British Army in 1857. It became a sanatorium for British troops in the Central Provinces of India. During that time Captain James was leading a cavalry regiment that moved from Jabalpur army base towards Satpura hills in search of freedom fighters. Satpura National Park is the only Tiger Reserve in Central India that offers Nature Walk inside Tiger Reserve to feel the nature from close. Such nature walk is in group of 4 visitors accompanied by trained wildlife expert who can ensure comfort and safety of associates.
Satpura & Bori abound in Central Province wildlife. The bio-diversity is stunning with over 1300 species of plants, which include numerous rare bryophytes and pteridophytes. While Sal & Teak forests are abundant, Central India mixed deciduous forests covers a major part of the area. An evident eyesore is the rampant and unchecked growth of Lantana. The meadows and valleys have been completely taken over by this invader. The terrain, which is covered by some of the oldest Sal & Teak forests in India, is home to 50 mammal species, 254 bird species & 30 species of reptiles. The Tiger, Gaur, Leopard, Indian Giant Squirrel, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Chital, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Rhesus Monkey, Langur, Nilgai, Hyena, Wild Dogs, Smooth Otter, Pangolin, Porcupine, Marsh Crocodile, Ratel, Four Horned Antelope and many other species of wildlife are seen. Birds are everywhere and Malabar Pied Hornbills, Crested Serpent Eagles, Crested Hawk Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Paradise Flycatchers, Pittas, Thrushes, Peafowl, Pheasants fill the air with their calls.
Cahuragarh Dhupgarh- These are two separate hills in Pachmarhi. From here one can watch the spectacular Sunrise and Sunset. The ancient Shiva temple of Cahuragarh is also worth seeing. The Sunrise at Dhupgarh leaves one mesmerised. One can also spend one night at Dhupgarh. B-Falls - About 3 kms from Pachmarhi is a very beautiful waterfall called the B Falls. Its about half a kilometer below Pachmarhi. One gets the feeling that molten silver is being poured from this fall. Falling from a height of 150 feet these falls provide an ideal refuge to the body and mind. Jatashankar - 1.5 kilometer from the bus stand are the natural caves of Jatashankar. These caves display the unique architecture of nature. At Jatashankar there is pool between two rocks and another rock is suspended without any support. This natural spectacle has enthralled the visitor from times immemorable. This place is also very popular among the director and producers of films. Pandav caves - These caves are considered to be carved out during the Buddha period. Mythology supports this version of the historians by saying that during Mahabaharata era the five Pandav brothers had spend few years in exile here. There are five temples made in their honour. Mahadev - This cave is 30 meter long and water is always seeping inside the cave. The source of this water has been traced to a water fall. In the middle of the cave is a small pool of water. Inside the cave is a Shivaling (Phallus). Here on every Shivratri a fair is held and about 4-5 lakh devotees throng this place. During the first war of Independence Tatiya Tope had reassembled his army here. Nearby Mahadev are the caves of Gupt Mahadev. Though nature has provided Pachmarhi with immense beauty and there are many places to go around. Hadi Koh, Richgarh, Apsara Vihar, Daurithi Deep, Rajendra giri, Rajat Pratap, roman Catholic Church, Little Fall are some of the places which one should not miss if he goes to Pachmarhi. Tamiya - Tamiya is more beautiful than Pachmarhi and is totally unvisited by tourists. The Sunset point at Tamiya is place where you can sit for hours and enjoy the setting sun. This experience cannot be matched by any other thing. The stay at almost a century old government rest house and watching the natural beauty of the Satpura hills gives you a feeling that there is nothing than the hills in this world. You are bound to be lost in the scintillating beauty of the Satpura hills here. Tamiya has good and low budget hotels.
The Satpura hill range is one of the major geographical plateaus of India. The Dhoopgarh peak (1352 m above msl) located at Pachmarhi hill station is the highest point in the Satpura hill range. The TR consists of hill ranges, valleys, plains, deep gorges and water bodies providing a verity of habitats for different kinds of wildlife. The TR forms a junction of different forest types occurring in the State. The area is also rich in bio-cultural diversity. This TR consists of the following three units:
The area is known as a part of the Gondwana tract after the Gond tribe, who chiefly inhabited in this area and practiced shifting cultivation. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century, this area of Gonds was infiltrated by Rajputs and who, by the time of Mougals, had succeeded in reclaiming several parts of the Narmada valley for agriculture. The Gonds were pushed to higher plateaus and slopes to continue hunting and their shifting cultivation. This area saw unrest due to the tension between the Marathas and the Mougals during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. During the year 1818, the area saw the advent of British rule. In the year 1861, the forest Department was set up in the central provinces under Captain GF Pearson of the Madras Army, with Captain J. Forsyth of Bengal staff Corps, as one of his assistants. In 1862, the forest Department of the central provinces started in a building named Bison Lodge in Pachmarhi. The original house no longer exists, but at the same spot, another building has been constructed, which is also called Bison lodge and has been converted into a forest museum under the Satpura NP.
The Satpura TR consists of areas with vast topographical variations. The general configuration of the area is hilly having undulating terrain with precipitous slopes at places. Several areas in the Pachmarhi plateau including the Mahadeo hills have deep and narrow gorges. There is a considerable altitudinal variation ranging from 320m to 1352 m above MSL. The Satpura hill ranges run east to west and the Panchmarhi plateau is in the center of the reserve. The Panchmarhi hills have steep slopes in the north and in the south. Some of the hilly areas are Jambudweep, Dhoopgarh, Handikho, Mahadeo, Chauragarh and Bee Fall. Among these, Dhoopgarh is the highest point (1352 m above MSL) in the state. The interior of these hills consists of a series of hill ranges cut up by streams due to their fragile rocks and soils. About 60 km2 of the Panchmarhi plateau consists of deep gorges having many waterfalls, marshy places, perennial steams and hills of various elevations. In many places, even sunrays are unable to reach. The Tawa reservoir created by a dam on the Tawa river is located on the north-western side of the park. The backwater of this reservoir spreads far into the channels of the Tawa, Naini, Sonbhadra, Denwa and Wagdwari rivers providing water resources in the Bori WLS and Satpura NP. Due to the Tawa reservoir, which extends over an area of 204 Sq. Km, water availability is much better in Satpura NP and the western part of the Bori WLS. The availability of water is limited in the Panchmarhi plateau, forming a part of the Panchmarhi WLS. Most part of the Satpura TR exhibits a wide variety of rock and soil formations. The Panchmarhi plateau enjoys a moderate climate during the summer, heavy rains and cloudy climate during the rainy season and cold climate during the winters. The Bori area receives about 2000 mm rain fall, while some of the plateau area receives only 1200 mm rainfall annually.
Satpura Tiger Reserve is bestowed with biological diversity of different forest types ranging from dry thorn forest to tropical dry deciduous, moist deciduous and semi evergreen forests. There is a considerable variation in the vegetation due to immense heterogeneity of soil, geology, temperature and moisture conditions. The forests may be broadly classified into
Teak bearing forest occur in areas having a rainfall of 1500 mm to 2000 mm particularly in central swell as south western part of Bori WLS . These forests are in good form in Bori, Dhain, Kajiri, Churna and Rampur areas. The slopes of hills and vallys are occupied by a good growth of bamboo as an under storey. The main species of bamboo are bans (Dendrocalamus strictus) and katang bans (Banboosa arundinacea), katang bans occurs, along streams, Dendrocalamus strictus occurs in comparatively drier areas. B. polymorpha also occurs in Bori WLS as an understorey. The other Three species occurring in these forests are saja 9Terminalia alata), tendu (Diospyrous melanoxylon), achar (Buchanani, lanzn), haldu (Adina cordifolia), bija (pterocarpus marsumpium), mahua (Madhuca latifolia), kusum (Schleichera oleosa), lendia (lagerstromia parviflora), pula (kydia calycina), jamun (syzygium cumini) and tinsa (Ougeinia oojeinensis). A large number of shrubs and herbs occupy the understory, many of them are of high medicinal value. Some important grasses and edges include Apluda varia, Eragrostis viscos, cyperusiria, Themeda quadrivalvis, Heteropogon contortus, Dicanthium annulatum etc. Dry teak forests are localized in part of Panchmarhi WLS. These forests are associated with dhawara (Anogenissus latifolia), tedu (Diospytos melanoxylon), amaltas (Cassia fistula), faldu (Mytragyana parvifolia), and salai (Boswelia serrata). In the lower canopy , species like , Nyctanthus arbortristis, woodforida fruiticosa , Helectris isora, Grewia hirsute, Indigofera pulchella, Carissa spinarum and Holarrheba antidysenterica predominate. Sal (Shorea robusta) forests also occur in Pachmarhi plateau. The associate of sal forest are almost the same as described in teak forests. The occurrence of sal is ecologically an important feature of these Tiger Reserve. Pure forests of anjan (Hardwickia binata) and bhirra (Chloroxylon sweitenia) occure in some pockets of plateau. These forests contain Syzygium cumini, Cassia fistula, Terminlia alata, Anogeissus latifolla, Eliodendrum glaucum, Cosearia tomentosa, atrema Orientalis, Bombax, ceiba, Kydia cylicina etc A part of Panchmarhi plateau consists of deep gorges with perennial streams, which provid a environment for the luxuriant growth of several moisture loving plants like ferns, orchids, bryophytes, algae and several herbs having immense ecological and economical value. These areas are considered as gene bank of rare and endangered species. Over 48 species of fern and several species of fern allies are found in these areas. Important ferns occurring inthese areas include Psilotum triquetra, Isoetes panchanaii, selaginlla exigual Cythea gigantia, Polybotrya etc. Marsilia quadrifolia, water fern grows in Panarpanivalley, Bee fall, Kajri and Nagdwari. Drosera an insectivorous species occurs in many damp places.
Satpura Tiger Reserve is traditionally rich area in wildlife. Upto about 19th century, the area hea had a rich population of major animals like panthers, tiger, elephants, bison, wild buffaloes and barasingha. But fast deterioration of wildlife habitat led to the disappearance of many of these species, most of the areas of Satpura Tiger Reserve are covered with dense forests. However, there are several open patches and grasslands providing Ideal habitat for the wild animals. Tiger, the main species is found in the Tiger Reserve in good numbers but remains confined in good forest areas. Panthers are found all over the reserve. Gaurs the largest herbivore, are in large number but are largely localized in moist and semi-moist forests of Bori WLS and Satpura NP.Sambar, Chital, barking deer, chin Kara and mouse deer are distributed all over the reserve. Chausingha or four horned antelope and nilgai are found throughout the area. However, the sighting of barking deer and four horned antelope are not common. Nilgai are found concentrated in drier parts of the Reserve. Sloth bear is also frequently seen in forests rich in fruit trees particularly mahua, tendu and achar. These animals are more frequently seen in Sonbhadravalley. Langurs are common throughout the Reserve. Rhesus monkeys are localized at Pachmarhi particularly close to habitation. Wild dog or dhole and wolf are also found in the Reserve. Civet, common fox, jackal and jungle cat are found throughout the Reserve. Wild boars are seen in plenty throughout the Reserve. Giant squirrels and flying squirrels are also seen in the Reserve. Giant squirrels are found all along the nala and rivers around Pachmarhi, Bori, Dhain and Churna. Among reptiles, cobra, Russel viper, python, chameleon and common Indian monitor are found in large numbers throughout the Park. Crocodiles are also found in water bodies of the Reserve. Water bodies of the Reserve are rich in fish fauna; the fish fauna include Notopterus notopterous, Catla catla, labeo rohita, L. rohita, Cirrhnus mrigala, C. reba, Rita rita, and several others. There are other amphibia like frogs, toads, etc. Which have not been properly studied. The avi-fauna of the Reserve have not been systematically studied. A large number of birds are found in the area. Some common species include jungle fowls, quails, partridges, pigeons, doves, parakeets, bee eaters, king fisher’s, wood peakers, owls, warblers myna, munia, bulbull, paradise fly catcher, sparrows, egrets, vultures, falcon, eagle and several others. The Reserve is an ideal place for the bird watchers. Several water birds are also seen in water bodies of the Reserve. A large verity of butterflies, moths and other insects are seen in the Tiger Reserve.