As a new 3D version of 'The Jungle Book' hits the screens interest in the national parks and tiger reserves of India are sure to surge as the adventures of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and King Louie, and the incredible imagery of India’s remote jungle locations, captures travellers’ imagination.
Rudyard Kipling, the famed English writer who penned The Jungle Book among many other children’s stories, was born in Bombay in 1865 and the state of Madhya Pradesh and Kanha National Park are often cited as the inspiration for the setting of Kipling’s books.
Directed by Jon Favreau the new film stars Neel Sethi as Mowgli with the supporting voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken.
If you are wanting to set off on your own Jungle Book adventure, hoping to spot Shere Khan and his jungle companions in the wild here’s our top four spots…
Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore National Parks
Bandhavgarh was established in 1968 as a National Park and in 1993 recognised as a tiger reserve. It is a land of dense jungle hills, forest and vast stretches of grassland, with one of the highest densities of tigers in the world. Ranthambore National Park occupies a large swathe of territory in southern Rajasthan. Formerly the royal hunting grounds of the Jaipur Maharajas, today it is a prominent conservation zone, home to a huge diversity of species, among them Bengal tiger.
Why not start with a night in Delhi, then move to Bandhavgarh National Park for a stay at Kings Lodge, which is staffed by a knowledgeable naturalist team. Your days can be spent on jungle safaris and guided cycling tours. After a return to Delhi for a night, you could then catch the Golden Temple Express train to Sawai Madhopur for a stay in a luxury cottage at the Pug Mark Hotel, situated at the edge of Ranthambore National Park. Here you can enjoy early morning and afternoon game drives by Jeep each day.
Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa National Park attracts far fewer visitors than most of India’s wildlife parks, making for a more authentic experience and the chance to see the resident wildlife in their unaffected environment. Begin in Delhi, where you can take a train journey to Lucknow where you could stay at the Vivanta by Taj hotel, and explore the colonial-era city. A scenic drive to the Tree of Life Jaagir Lodge in Dudhwa will offer you time to spend on game drives into Dudhwa National Park, home to tigers, leopards, Asiatic black bears, sloth, rhinoceros, elephants, cheetahs, several species of deer and around 400 types of birds.
Explore prime tiger country, Madhya Pradesh, home to several of India's most famous tiger parks. You can visit Pench, Tadoba and Kanha National Parks. At the Svasara Jungle Lodge in Tadoba you can enjoy game drives in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, the Maharashtra's original tiger park. A stay at the upmarket jungle lodge Tuli Tiger Corridor with explorations of Pench National Park’s protected forest is a must. After that if you stay at Tuli Tiger Corridor Kanha you'll discover the Kanha National Park, said to be the king of the jungle when it comes to the best tiger viewing opportunities in India.
Satpura National Park
For a chance to camp in an Indian Tiger Reserve enjoy Satpura – the only national park where comfortable mobile camping is possible, with trekking on foot offered in the core area of the reserve. At the 'Reni Pani Jungle Lodge', an exquisitely designed conservation lodge nights are spent under canvas in the National Park itself, leaving no trace to the local environment. The mobile camps are well-equipped with beds/mattresses, a dining area and portable bathrooms. This unique camping opportunity leaves you more time to explore Satpura, with local expert guides searching for tigers.
For trip information, prices or to book your Indian adventure visit wildlife specialists, Gane and Marshall. They offer thrilling tours of several different tiger reserves, in the National Parks of Satpura (Madhya Pradesh), Bandhavgarh (Madhya Pradesh), Ranthambore (Rajasthan), Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh) and Tadoba, Pench and Kanha (Maharashtra).