The state of Madhya Pradesh is literally and figuratively the heart of India. It is a cross-section of India in many ways, be it culture, heritage, or nature. But the most beautiful reason why it is so representative of India is the fact that it is home to the Indian national animal, the Tiger.

Pench National Park is one of the six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh where the roar of the majestic animals sends shivers up the spine. The jungles of Madhya Pradesh are not only great breeding grounds for the tigers but also great catalysts for fuelling the imagination. It is believed that the stories of Jungle Book were woven by Rudyard Kipling based on his imagination of these very jungles.

Safari through jungle

Safari at Pench National Park. Photo Credit: Sandy and Vyjay

“Welcome to Pench, are you ready to see the tigers”, says the smiling guide as you file into the open safari jeep. As the jeep drives deep into the jungle, the atmosphere is pregnant with anticipation, each pair of eyes in the jeep is wide open without blinking so as not to miss a furtive movement in the bushes.

A peacock in the jungle

A peacock strutting in the jungle. Photo credit: Sandy and Vyjay

The Jungle Book seems to come alive as the jeep cruises silently across the large expanse of forest densely covered with Sal and other trees. Monkeys with black faces make merry on the branches overhead, a peacock struts in narcissistic splendour, a herd of deer throw a shy glance and trot gracefully away into the depths of the jungle.

Deer in jungle at Pench

A deer in the jungle. Photo credit: Sandy and Vyjay.

Pug marks on the dirt track indicate that a tigress named Langdi along with her cubs has been in the vicinity. Suddenly the silence of the jungle is smitten with the cacophonic and high pitched noises of the monkeys and deer in unison. It is the alarm call of the approach of ‘Shere Khan” a.k.a. Tiger. And then he appears in the distance graceful in gait, arrogant in demeanour, an animal who is master of his space and time. He gives a fleeting appearance and disappears in the halo of the setting sun, behind a grove of trees.

The safari is over for the moment, till another day, and another rendezvous with a tiger, the Shere Khan of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

Sandy and Vyjay

We are Sandy & Vyjay a couple travel blogger who have moved beyond the restricting world of excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations to discover a whole new world through our travels. We are based in Bangalore and our travels have taken us through the length and breadth of India and to the shores of USA, Europe, Africa, and South East Asia. We share our travel experiences through our site Voyager. For us, travel is much more than a mere ticking off places from a bucket list. We love immersive travel where we live and enjoy each and every moment of the experience wherever we are. The passion for travel goes hand in hand with our passion for writing which finds expression on our blog as well as the print media. We have been published in some leading lifestyle magazines as well as Inflight magazines of airlines. We have also been featured in an award-winning Podcast portal, Amateur Traveler.