Rudyard Kipling’s 19th-century story “The Jungle Book,” deep in the forests of India and its secret society of anthropomorphic tigers, bears and “man-cub” named Mowgli, has long captivated our imaginations.
The state of Madhya Pradesh in central India wants to keep it fresh in our hearts as well with a campaign that showcases some of the country’s most stunning and biodiverse areas to groups.
Enter Mowgli’s Jungle
The book references Madhya Pradesh’s city of Seoni repeatedly, and groups can step right onto the pages during wildlife, heritage and pilgrimage tours into Mowgli’s jungle, Pench National Park, with sustainable wildlife guides Pugdundee Safaris. This may end with a gourmet meal and sleepover in the trees at Pench Tree Lodge’s luxe treehouses. Pungdundee offers six luxury accommodations throughout Madhya Pradesh.
Connect With Locals
Groups can arrange a biking adventure to nearby villages and local markets for cultural exchanges, CSR givebacks, handicraft shopping, and local open-fire cooking classes in authentic pots. Kiki Paris, a US rep for Pundundee, says her group also “had the fascinating experience of witnessing and participating in a Diwali celebration conducted by a Hindu priest.”
Experience the Mystery of Sacred Spaces
All of the white tigers of the world trace their ancestry to Bandhavgarh National Park, a place of mythological significance. Groups can trek through Bandhavgarh with a guide to catch a glimpse of more than 250 species of birds, 80 species of butterflies, and the highest density of Royal Bengal tigers in the world. The 2,000-year-old Bandhavgarh Fort, believed to have been gifted by Lord Rama to his younger brother, draws a regular crowd, while vegetation-draped statues (like the ancient Shesh Shaiya, a 65-ft idol of Lord Vishnu) stand guard at temples and river channels.
Tigers, Cheetals and Leopards…Oh My!
Groups staying at Bandhavvilas’ 20-villa spread can experience a safari at a tiger reserve that would make Shere Khan proud. Likewise, groups staying in the Reni Pani Jungle Lodge’s 12 luxury cottages can experience cheetal and leopard spotting via guided jeep, jungle walk and boat tours. This lodge is adjacent to the Satpura Tiger Reserve.