Does your weekend plan include watching the all new Walt Disney’s 'The Jungle Book', then, this is for you. Before you head out to the movie halls to watch this extravaganza, which was shot in a studio in the US, we have to tell you that the story is set in the forests around Seoni in Madhya Pradesh.
'The Jungle Book': Making
The forest where Mowgli was found by and raised by the wolves then, are actually parts of the present Kanha National Park and the Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh. A look around
Kanha National Park
Set up in 1955, the Kanha National Park promotes itself as being the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book'. The sal and bamboo forests of Kanha is home to swamp deer, sambhar deers, sloth bear, Indian wild dog, jackals, foxes, pythons, monkeys and Indian Gaur in addition to the Royal Bengal Tiger and the leopards. That is, if you are lucky, you will see the great great great grandchildren of Shere Khan, Baloo, Bhageera and Ka, all in the same forest.
Where: Nagpur is the nearest major town about 260kms away. The major railway station is Jabalpur Best season: February to June Morning visiting hours: 6:30 am to 12:00 noon Evening visiting hours: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Closed: 1 July to 15 October
Pench National Park
Situated about 100km from Kanha National Park, Pench too boasts of a 'Jungle Book' connect. Pench was declared a sanctuary in 1977 and then became a National Park in 1983 and a tiger reserve in 1992.
The Bengal tiger is the main cat species of the park. You also get to see spotted deer, sambar, wild pig, jackal, leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, monkey, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, four-horned antelope and barking deer in the park. According to an estimate of the wildlife authorities, the park houses more than 210 species including several migratory ones.
Where: The nearest city is Seoni, about 35 kms away. Nagpur, about 168 kms away is the major town which is connected by rail and road.
Best season: November to May Morning visiting hours: 6 am and 10:30 am Evening visiting hours: 3 pm and 6 pm Closed: July to October
Interesting Fact #1 Rudyard Kipling has never been to Seoni or the forests he has described so vividly in his 'The Jungle Book'
Interesting fact #2: Pench is in the news for the wrong reasons - a tiger and her cubs were poisoned recently.