JUNGLE BOOK TRAIL – The enduring world of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book has been the subject of one of Walt Disney’s most popular animated creations and a timeless hit with both kids and grown-ups. Today you can re-wind the escapades of Mowgli, Sher Khan and Baloo in Madhya Pradesh’s loveliest game parks. Sign up for a tour with Taj Safaris, which has tied up with South Africa-based ‘& Beyond’ to introduce a Mowgli trail. These especially crafted itineraries follow a trail covering the wilderness reaches from Kanha National Park and Pench National Park, in Madhya Pradesh. Stays are arranged at the Banjaar Tola and Baghvan luxury lodges. Game drives, village community visits and Anglo-Indian menus are part of this wildlife deal. Jabalpur airport is 165kms from Kanha National Park.
BHIMBETKA – The world’s largest group of painted rock shelters dating to the early Stone Age was discovered by chance in a densely forested region in the Vindhyas. A Unesco World Heritage Site, Bhimbetka’s rock paintings rank among the world’s greatest testimonies for the first traces to Homo sapiens, evolving culturally as they sketched the human journey from the Mesolithic period right through the historical times. The oldest date back about 30,000 years. The well-preserved linear representations, geometric figures and paintings feature dancers and hunters, tigers, bisons, elephants, deer rhinoceroses and bulls. Traces of Homo erectus have also been found at the caves. The Bhimbetka caves can be accessed from Bhopal, 45km away.
OORG – Karnataka’s charming Kodagu, or Coorg district, offers visitors rich and varied holidaying delights in its balmy environs. Long renowned for its coffee and spice plantations, where one can book a colonial homestay experience, the Coorg region is also rich in wildlife-come here to meet Malabar squirrels and tigers. In Dubare, look forward to interactions with elephants at the government-run Elephant Training Camp. Go trekking in forest trails along the Ka-veri to the Pushpagiri and Brahmagiri sanctuaries. At Madikeri enjoy rambles in Tippu’s fort. At Kakkabe climb Thady-endamol Peak and look for rare orchids. The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport, 160kms away.