With grasslands spreading over a massive 524 sq. km, Satpura National Park in Madhya Pradesh is filled with a multitude of flora and fauna. The national park is a one of a kind with beautiful hilly terrains and virgin forests. Its presence dates back to 1862, when it was first explored by Captain James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancers. It was then that the lush green woodland areas were declared as India’s first reserve forest. Later, it was declared as a tiger reserve by the Government of India.
The national park is made up of 3 areas: the Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve and Satpura. Because of its large spread, Satpura has a speckled landscape; from grasslands to open woodlands. With the Denwa River in the north and the Tawa River in the west, Satpura also has a river ecosystem. What really sets Satpura apart is the varied tourism options–other than jeep safaris, the national park also offers walking safaris, canoeing on the river and boat safaris.
Satpura focuses on its unique wilderness experience but also concentrates on taking care of its wildlife. The national park has a fairly large tiger population and is also a great spot to see leopards, sambars, sloth bears and the exceptional flying squirrel, unique to the national park. It is also the only park in Madhya Pradesh with a teak and deciduous forest; its flora consists of over 1300 species of plants including sal, tendu, mahua (Indian butter-tree), bel (stone-apple), bamboos, among others.
Naturalist Aly Rashid calls Satpura “one of the most exciting tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh and the best place for any nature lover.” Watch this video and put Satpura on your 2018 travel list.