Best driving routes: Nagpur to Pench National Park
India is infamous for its shabby roads, but at the same time there are many fantastic driving roads spread through the length and width of our beautiful country. OVERDRIVE has been fortunate enough to experience quite a few of these roads, and we want to share the joy with a weekly feature of a fantastic road that you should aspire to experience someday. For this week's best driving route, I have chosen the route from Nagpur to Pench National Park which is a good 121km and lies majorly on the AH43.
It was for the first time that I was driving on this part of the country and was impressed by the well-paved dual-carriage highway that is also known as the Kolkata-Mumbai Highway or the Outer Ring Road. The roads are simply amazing with moderate traffic flow. However, one has to be on the constant lookout for animals roaming on the highway. Looking beyond that the road has many snack joints along the way to Pench National Park. The roads are wide enough to maintain higher speeds and overtake without much effort. While the highway is majorly straight section, it turns after crossing Vhirgaon and entering Pandhurna.
There are multiple stopover options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. However, I would personally recommend eating only veg food. Surprisingly, every hotel on this stretch of road serves delicious veg food at a reasonable price too. Once you cross the different joints and reach the outskirts, the scenery gets beautiful with tall trees. This green zone is seen from Chorbahuli to Pauni, and then from Wadamba onwards there are densely green jungle areas. It is here that the roads are being repaired, and one is compelled to take a detour at different sections. It is only in these patches of road that one would see a minor traffic jam that too caused by the movement of heavy vehicles.
The dual-carriage highway then continues till Khawasa where one has to take a left to reach Pench National Park. One has to be careful as most end up missing the left turn with lack of proper signboards on the route. The road here is a single lane but well-maintained and flows through Turiya. This entire route is surrounded with the vast of Pench National Park and is recommended to be extremely cautious as many animals cross the road.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this route as it is the most convenient and easiest way to reach to Pench National Park. The are many accommodation options nearby that also provide jungle safari to visit the national park. Just that one has to make a prior booking to visit the national park.