Exploring the many facets of Wild India!
Dive into the real charm of wildlife in India parallel with Rudyard Kipling’s all characters of “The Jungle Book” in Indian jungles.
Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” is one of the most famous and well-read books that can be found in the bookshelves of Indian families, but do you know the inspirations behind this masterpiece?Kipling was born in Mumbai in 1865 in the Shimla, one of the mesmerizing hill stations in North India. Shimla was known as the summer capital of India, and this place is deeply influenced and intoxicated by the themes of the erstwhile British colonial architecture. So to step into the real-life jungle book, you need to visit some places in wild India because the background of this text is based on this country only.
How would you step into the real life jungle book?
It is true that the background of Kipling’s Jungle Book was an adaptation of Disneyland, but when you go through the characterization of the Jungle Book, you will find some living characters like Baloo the bear, Sher Khan the tiger, Bagheera with a soft voice and an exotic python named Kaa. These characters do not belong to any foreign regions and all of these characters are born through the imagination of the writer. Kipling sketched such characters on the basis of the life experience of his British friend, who spent a long period in Satpura National Park, near Hoshangabad in MP.
Apart from that, Kipling took his characters from the Indian jungles, for example, he has taken the character Sher Khan from the Tadoba National Park which nestled the largest Bengal tiger project in India. Even the hero of the novel “Mowgli” was also sketched based on the wildlife guide Mr. Himanshu Bagde. Kipling described the nature, hoary basils, uneven pathways with potholes and the dusty, unkempt look of the jungle through the binoculars of Bagde. So step into the real-life jungle book and explore the wild India, and you will feel extremely thrilled when you experience the unique safaris in such Indian jungles.
Some of the popular wildlife jungles in India that can give you the feelings and background of real-life Jungle Book are the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, Kanha National Park in MP, Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Bandipur National Park in Karnataka and the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.
Kipling’s lively jungle setting all done well
There is also a reference to a centuries-old temple which is a death-bringer for the palace of King Louie portrayed in Disney’s The Jungle Book movie with its intricate carvings and bael trees growing through its foundations. Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra has the highest density of Bengal Tigers in the entire country and sightings of Kipling’s ‘the Big One’, Sher Khan is almost guaranteed. Tourists come to this park in large numbers from all over the world to catch a glimpse of this majestic animal. The wildlife guide Himanshu Bagde can be seen as a grown-up version of Kipling’s Mowgli, with a shirt and a tie. Like Mowgli, Himanshu strolls across the jungle on its dusty paths filled with potholes like his home, and he knows the jungle almost like the flat surface of his own hand. Since he was a boy, he has been in love with nature, not just with the animals and trees, but with the aura of the forest.
You can also see the fox-like dholes, which are rarer than the Tigers during the safari, and according to Kipling, these pack hunters are the most dangerous predators of the jungle. You will find animals like gaur or leopard during your trip to Tadoba National Park.
Maya, a tigress whom everyone wants to see can be seen swimming with extreme comfort and ease through the black water filled with green lily pads. Himanshu has always felt a powerful connection with Maya and loves her like a member of his family. Maya seems a lot similar to Kipling’s Sher Khan, the fictional tiger.
Mumbai and Shimla: The two important cities in Kipling’s Life outside Wild India
Kipling’s birthplace is Mumbai, or Bombay, the name by which the city was known in 1865, the year when he was born. The building which has now replaced the home where he was born, still stands; in a place ‘between the palms and the sea.’ The colonial-era building now sits amidst a serene grove of fig, guava and mango trees. Shimla is a place which has had a very important role in Kipling’s life. It took the young Rudyard Kipling five days to reach Shimla from Calcutta in the 1880s when he was covering ‘the season’ as a news reporter.
Shimla was known as the summer capital of India, and this place is deeply influenced and intoxicated by the British colonial architecture. This beautiful town, located in the foothills of the Himalayas used to be a popular destination for the colonial rulers of British India who came here with their wives, children, administrative staffs and servants to escape the scorching heat of the plains. According to Kipling, the town was a center of pleasure those days. During his time, the Gaiety Theatre used to be the focus of social life here, and he himself performed in the very first play staged here in 1887 – Time Will Tell, a comic farce.
Wild India: Visit and experience Kipling’s jungle today
If you want a real-life experience of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, then you must visit the jungles of wild India. During your visit, you will have a once in a lifetime opportunity of watching Kipling’s characters walking in front of you. So do not think anymore, plan your trip to the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of India and explore the diverse nature and wildlife. Your visit to the jungles of India will give you the chance to live through the pages of Kipling’s book and see his jungle from your own eyes. All the parks and sanctuaries have various safaris which will give you a memory that you can never forget.
As mentioned before, some of the popular wildlife jungles in India that will give you the feeling and background of the real-life Jungle Book are the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, Kanha National Park in MP, Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Bandipur National Park in Karnataka and Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. It is always advisable to take good cameras so that you can capture the best moments and also check the weather before you go. There are different tour packages that are available.