Kipling Country Where Jungle Book Characters Live

by pateluday

The famous Seoni Hills of Central India were once clothed with dense forests. The animals thrived and Rudyard Kipling was able to pen vivid characterization of the inhabitants.

Jungle Book is one of the most popular fiction in the World. The esoteric character of Mowgli so portrayed has captivated the imagination of millions, young and old. Rudyard Kipling created a masterpiece that speaks of his literary genius. Today the characters thrive in the protected area known as Pench National Park. It is enchanting tiger heaven that invites thousands to experience a wildlife holiday. Mowgli is no more but the day-to-day enactment of wilderness makes you feel his presence on a tiger safari.

Yet, in the outskirts, thousands of Mowgli live their antics as wild as the wolf child. The quaint hamlets with the tribal living with the wolves and the tigers are feathers in the cap of an incredible and unique destination the State of Madhya Pradesh. Tabaki and his wolf pack survive in the outskirt in depleted numbers and humans as usually are the persecutors.

Wolf at Pench

Pench Wildlife
Indian Wolf
Indian Wolf

Mowgli The Story As it Goes

Jungle Book Character

Jungle BookI have a weak recollection of account of the discovery of "Mowgli The Wolf Child" the central character of Jungle Book.  

It is said one Lt. Moor was the first to discover Mowgli in the company of wolves in the village of Sant Vavadi during the Raj in India This was probably in the nineteenth century. Lt. Moor is then supposed to have mentioned or penned his discovery. This came to the notice of  William Henry Sleeman of the British Army based in Jabalpur. Incidentally, he was a popular figure among the locals and was instrumental in bringing to end the rule of thugs in Central India.  

Sleeman is supposed to have penned an account of Mowgli in a pamphlet. The book is probably Rambles & Recollection of an Indian Official. During the British Raj Central India was an exotic land very little understood and was yet to be discovered. Incidence like occurrence of a man cub living with the wolves  was in that era. 

In his memory, a town was named near Jabalpur. It is known as Sleemanabad that is 30 km from Jabalpur in MP..     

The rest is history whence Kipling wrote Jungle Book. The book became popular but greater publicity was accorded to the region and the park with the making of the film "Jungle Book" based on the exploits of Mowgli the naked wolf  child. A story based between the facts and fiction nevertheless has stirred extreme curiosity and wonder and hence thousands flock Pench National Park to witness the wild thrills themselves.  


Big Cat
Tigress at Pench
Tigress at Pench

Seoni Hills in Satpura Ranges

Madhya Pradesh State

Totlah Doh DamSome distance away from Jabalpur City & Mandla Township there is a small town known as Seoni. It is situated on the present Nagpur Highway near Pench Tiger Reserve. The forests since ancient times known as Seoni Hills were host to amazing biodiversity. The animal life was enchanting and the forests were one large contiguous region comprising of Kanha National Park and other protected areas.       

Fragmented and reduced to patches thanks to the ravaging of times and the ever-burgeoning population the jungles are in a sordid state. The forests are now conserved as Pench Tiger Reserve in an area much reduced but nevertheless still able to hold substantial wilderness.

The Seonee Hills as known earlier were popular for the dense forests and jungle life. They find mention in Ain E Akbari, Highlands of Central India (Forsyth), Dunbar Brander’s ‘Wild Animals of Central India’, or Robert Armitage Strendale’s ‘Seonee – Camp life in Satpura Hills’.      

During the passage of  Seoni Hills lost connectivity with Kanha, and a weak corridor exists now. Much diversity was lost due to uncontrolled hunting, timber felling, and lately rapid urbanization that is taking over the whole of India.  Tigers and wolves were most persecuted but both survive within the confines of the tiger reserve and Pench Wildlife Sanctuary nearby.         

Jungle Book Video

Jungle Book Characters

The Story

Wild DogTigerSher Khan the tiger is the ruler of this veritable paradise in Central India. He is making his last stand after years of persecution and substantial loss of his kingdom. Man has become the chief predator outside the ecosystems and is gobbling forests in name of development and for rabid economic gains. 

Nevertheless, the Indian Government has created safe pockets known as protected areas offering the beleaguered wilderness a chance to survive.   Recently an eco over bridge has been  built to facilitate wild animal migration and this has prevented many fatal accidents between the fast moving vehicles and the animals.

On your visit to Pench, you could come across Sherkhan, Baghira, Baloo, Kaa, Bandar Log, Akela the wolf, Tabaki, and Riki Tikki Tavi. Left to your imagination you will elaborate all that you will see on exciting tiger safaris. The destination is one of the best in India for a wildlife holiday and recreation.  

Tiger Safari 

The safaris are organized from predawn to noon and from evening till sunset. In the morning safari visitors can carry lunch to be consumed at a designated place. The park is divided into many zones in the core are as well as the buffer zone. Visitors need to book their excursions in an allotted zone in the morning and the same is applicable to evening safari. A forest guide is mandatory on the jeep but the visitors can also hire a naturalist subject to six passengers on the jeep being the limit.

The game rides can be booked at MPOnline Website and at the gate subject to availability. Please remember their is a limit to entry in each tourism zone in the park. 

Photo Tiger on Kill

Tiger on Hunt
Tiger on Hunt

Jungle Book DVDs

CD & Videos

Pench National Park

Tiger Reserve

Pench RiverMale Tiger Situated in the Satpura Hill Range Pench is somewhere between Jabalpur in MP and Nagpur in Maharashtra. It is much closer to Nagpur. The forests are a cluster with relatively low and high-density canopies, bamboo clumps, and grasslands.  Characteristic low-rise hills shape the tiger landscape interspersed with dry deciduous forests and rivers.

The Pench river virtually dissects the 758 sq. km park into two and is the lifeline of this ecosystem. A number of rivulets and waterholes provide succor to the wild animals whence the Pench River partially dries up during the hot summers. The river is dammed and the reservoir is named Totlah Doh.         

On a tiger safari, you can come across amazing animals like tiger, sloth bear, wolf, leopard, bison, wild dog, Nilgai, sambar, and barking deer. Among the common sights are the peacock, wild boar, spotted deer, and langur or Hanuman Monkey.     

Avian abound making Pench National Park one of the most sought-after birding destinations in India. Ideally suited for forests birds, the reserve also supports waterfowls, shorebirds, and wintering teals.    

Updated: 06/10/2022, pateluday
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pateluday on 07/10/2017

Thanks blackspanielgallery

blackspanielgallery on 07/10/2017

Excellent use of images.

pateluday on 07/07/2017

Thanks for the comment!. Attitude towards the wolves among most people is that of neglect. But there are few in contemporary India who persecute the animal especially whence they are blamed for child lifting. But at Pench the attitude seems to be that of tolerance. Anyway the status is that of an endangered animal in India. The wolf plays important role of an efficient predator. In India the Wildlife Protection Act forbids hunting of any wild life species hence wolves are protected by law. Any persecution against this animal is a punishable crime. Hope the population in the country grows. In earlier times of British rule, like many other animals the wolf was declared a vermin and it killing was rewarded. Not Now!

DerdriuMarriner on 07/07/2017

pateluday, Dayton Duncan says in the PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea that people never have forgiven wolves for not giving up their freedom and joining subsequently domesticated dogs at ancient camp fires. The series shows naturalists proving the need for wolves to keep populations under control by preying upon the old and the sick in non-greedy ways and ranchers standing firm in extinguishing all wolves. What is the attitude at Pench National Park and elsewhere in India?

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