was first explored by Captain James Forsyth. He served as captain in Bengal Lancer during British Raj, and penned down details about the park at great length. The expanse of Satpura was the primary reason behind it being named as the first reserve forest of India, in the year 1862. It was later declared a National Park and Sanctuary by the State Government, to further the cause of conservation of flora and fauna. Finally, the Indian Government named Satpura a Tiger Reserve.
Located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, the park lies in the Satpura Ranges, which start from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in east, passing through the borders of Maharashtra and going up to Gujrat. Named after Satpura ranges, the name itself has deep roots. It is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Sapta’ – seven and ‘Pura’ – mountain; collectively meaning seven mountains.
The Satpura Ranges in the national park vary from 290 m to 1350 m, Dhoopgarh being the highest peak at 1400 m.
Satpura is an incognito National Park and along with Panchmarhi, Bori and Madhai, is a highly disparate biosphere. Denwa river flowing through the National Park is the lifeline of this forest. Originating in south-east part of Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, the river flows from east to west direction joining Tawa river . At the confluence of these two, the Tawa Dam has been constructed. Both these water bodies are tributaries of Holy Narmada river which is the soul of Central India.
The varied terrain of Satpura, homes 300 species of birds. Even wetland species thrive in this diverse ecosystem. With its proximity to the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats, it serves as a passage for summer migratory birds like Indian pittas and winter migratory birds such as bar-headed geese, ruddy shelducks and great cormorants.
Denwa is haven for resident and migratory birds of Satpura national park. Resident birds like Tawny Eagle, Black Eagle, Shikra, Eurasian Sparrow Hawk, Daters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Wolly Necked Storks, Sarus Crane, Lesser Whistling Duck, Oriental Honey-Buzzard have their home in Satpura national park. Migratory birds like Steppe Eagle, Great Crested Grebe, Black Stork, Common Crane visit Satpura national park in winters. Many duck species like Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Garganey, Eurasian Wigeon also migrate to Satpura in winters.
Having a contrasting landscape, Satpura consists of gorges, ravines, sandstone peaks and dense forest. The king species, Tigers, stroll freely through the entire Tiger Reserve. Other anials which are often sighted and are residents of this beautiful park are: Leopard, Sambar, Chital, Indian Muntjac, Nilgai, Four-Horned Antelope, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Bear, Black Buck, Fox, Porcupine, Flying Squirrel, Mouse Deer and Indian Giant Squirrel. It even boasts a variety of flora from Sal, Teak, Tendu, Phyllanthus Emblica, Mahua, Bel, Bamboo and medicinal plants.
Best experienced through jeep, walking and boat safari, it has a lot to cater to a nature lover. Bird watching is best experienced by boat safari which takes place on Denwa river. Many Birding enthusiasts made this a birding hotspot in recent times. You can easily hire experience bird naturalists from lodges. Local guides too are highly experienced and help you identify tons of bird species.