Seoni is one of India’s smaller districts, but it’s also one of the most beautiful.
Set in the State of Madhya Pradesh, the dense jungle, wild animals, and natural wonders of the area were the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel The Jungle Book.
Named after the Seona trees that populate the forest, many of The Jungle Book’s locations can still be visited today. The following are locations in Senoi and greater Madhya Pradesh which bring The Jungle Book to life!
Follow in the Footsteps of Mowgli by Visiting Seoni, India: Real Life Locations From The Jungle Book
Seoni in The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is over a century old, but the story remains as popular today as it was upon its publication in 1894.
The character ‘Mowgli’ was created based on a true story narrated by Sir William Henry Sleeman, about a boy raised by wolves. The novel has been adapted over the decades, but the 1967 Disney animation remains the most famous in popular culture.
There have also been Jungle Book comics, stage productions, radio adaptions, and video games. There is even a fun slot game inspired by The Jungle Book, called the Jungle Jackpots slot.
The stories of The Jungle Book were inspired by the Indian jungle of Seonee; which is now spelled “Seoni” in real life. While Rudyard Kipling spent years living in India, he actually never visited the Seoni jungle. Instead, he relied on books, photographs, and first-hand accounts from acquaintances.
So, while you can’t follow in Kipling’s footsteps by visiting Seoni, you can follow in the footsteps of Mowgli. The following are places in Seoni where you can experience Mowgli’s jungle.
Pench National Park
One of the most memorable and frightening characters from The Jungle Book is Shere Khan, and tigers do indeed live in Seoni.
Unfortunately, tiger populations are on the decline, so Pench National Park, one of India’s premier tiger reserves, is much needed and doing lots of good work at protecting the awesome big cats.
The reserve itself, which is nestled in the southern slopes of the Satpura range, is incredibly beautiful. In addition to being able to see tigers close up, you can tour around the national park of dense forest to spot around 300 bird species and stop off at the Pench Mowgli Sanctuary.
And if you’re looking for somewhere fun, comfortable, and adventurous to stay, you can stay at Pench Tiger Reserve’s Pench Jungle Camp. The resort features rustic wooden huts that are designed to make you feel at one with the surrounding nature.
If you’re a fan of Mowgli and think, “Oh, oobee doo, I wanna be like you…” then you’ll want to visit Amodagarh.
The area is not an actual rainforest, but it’s supposedly the place where Mowgli lived, so is naturally the busiest tourist hotspot in the area.
Located on the Seoni-Mandla state highway, Amodagarh is worth visiting even if you’ve never read The Jungle Book or seen the movies. The hilly place is stunning, especially around sunset when the wild animals begin to come out into the open.
While there you can also take in the remains of the palace of Sona Rani.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is the region that is said to have have inspired Kipling the most; a park where Bengal tigers and bison roam freely among leopards, wild dogs, and Barasingha (a swamp deer found nowhere else in the world).
It is nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India that forms the central Indian highlands. It too has a Tiger reserve and is one of the finest wildlife areas in the world.
Declared a reserve forest in 1879, then a wildlife sanctuary in 1933, before becoming a National Park in 1955, the landscapes here include meadows, forests, streams, and the wildlife is unrivalled.
You can take wildlife safaris, tiger tours or head yourself over to Bammi Dadar, also known as the Sunset Point. The best time to visit for wildlife is from October to June.