Maharajah Jungle Trek

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Maharajah Jungle Trek
Maharajah.jpg
The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a walking trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Animal Kingdom
Land Asia
Attraction type Walking Trail
Opening date March 18, 1999
FastPass + No

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is an attraction located in Asia within Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Attraction History

Although not an opening day attraction, the Maharajah Jungle Trek opened with the rest of Asia on March 18, 1999 [1]. Sometime after 2009 the Tapir was removed from the Jungle Trek [2].

Attraction Description

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a self-guided walking tour that brings guests face to face with some of Asia's rarest animals. The Jungle Trek (like the rest Asia) is set in the fictional village of Anandapur.

Backstory

The backstory for the Maharajah Jungle Trek states that since ancient times, the rajahs of Anandapur have hunted tigers in the forest. In 1544, King Bhima Disampati decreed that the forest would become a Royal Preserve where he and his guests could hunt. In order to make the hunting easier, he had the forest enclosed, trapping the animals inside. Ironically, the king was later killed in a hunting accident, and his successors eventually turned the enclosed forest into a nature preserve, where animals and the villagers could live in harmony.

Further evidence in the attraction suggests that the preserve was part of a British colony until 1948, when the villagers of Anandapur regained control and opened the preserve up to the outside world [3].

A Bengal tiger as seen from the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Photo by Theme Park Tourist

Animals

  • Komodo Dragon
  • Malayan Tapir (No longer present [4])
  • Rodrigues Fruit Bats
  • Malayan Flying Fox
  • Blood Python
  • Bengal Tiger
  • Blackbuck
  • Eld's Deer
  • Green Peafowl
  • Banteng
  • Bar-headed Goose

Birds

The Maharajah Jungle Trek also features an aviary where guests can see some of Asia's most exotic birds.

  • Wompoo Fruit Dove
  • Golden Pheasant
  • Indian Pygmy Goose
  • White-Cheeked Bulbul
  • Long-Tailed Broadbill
  • Temminck's Fruit Dove
  • Masked Plover
  • Plum-Headed Parakeet
  • Jambu Fruit Dove
  • Nicobar Pigeon
  • White-Throated Kingfisher
  • Gold-Crested Myna
  • White-Rumped Shama Thrush
  • Crested Wood Partridge
  • Pheasant Pigeon
  • Chestnut-Breasted Malkoha
  • Fairy Bluebird
  • Piked Imperial Pigeon
  • Hooded Pitta
  • Mandarin Duck
  • Green Winged Dove
  • Bali Mynah
  • Lesser Green Broadbill

Other Points of Interest [5]

King Bhima Disampati holding a bow.
  • Following the bat exhibits, guests enter the old hunting grounds of King Bhima Disampati. Here guests can see decaying ruins and ornate fountains that were once used as part of the hunt.
  • Following the tiger viewing area, guests see the detailed walls of the former king's hunting lodge.
  • Near the hunting lodge guests can see an ancient coral tree where villagers have hung scarves and garland as offerings. They can also see bells which are used to represent prayers that have been answered.
  • While passing through a large archway, guests see a mural of King Bhima Disampati on the left and three murals of his successors on the right. The first king is shown holding a bow and arrow while his successors hold signs of peace. It is implied that these three maharajas turned the hunting lodge into the forest preserve.
    • Past the archway, guests come upon a courtyard where they can see Blackbucks.
    • An ancient medicinal garden is located near the courtyard.
    • Across from the garden is a watering hole which holds safe water for travelers.
    • After passing the watering hole, guests come upon and old bridge, where numerous prayer flags are located.
    • To the right of the bridge, guests can see a mural that shows the death of King Bhima Disampati while on a tiger hunt. The king was apparently killed by a tiger.

Anata's Sarcophagus [6]

Finally, guests reach the final resting place of Anata the founder of the Kingdom of Anandapur. Five carved tiles show the relationship that man (as represented by Anata) have had with animals.

1. In the first tile man and animal live together in harmony.

2. In the second tile, animals hide under a tree, living in fear of man.

3. In the third tile, man destroys the forest and kills the animals.

4. In the fourth tile, the heavens show their displeasure with man's actions.

5. Finally, man repents and once again lives in harmony with the animals.

After passing by the tiles, guests come to the burial place of the ancient king in the form of a sarcophagus inside a temple. The inside of the temple serves as the attractions aviary.

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • When guests enter the Maharajah Jungle Trek, they will notice that old Anandapur newspapers are being used as insulation [7].
  • There are 6 tigers located within the Maharajah Jungle Trek [8].
  • Just outside of the bat caves, guests can see photographs of real caves in Asia where bats live. In one of the pictures guests can even spot Imagineer Joe Rhode with his camera [7].

Official Site

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/animal-kingdom/maharajah-jungle-trek/

References

  1. http://www.florida-project.com/images/guidebook/AK/1998v2/animal-kingdom-guidemap-dec-1998-11.jpg
  2. http://www.jamboeveryone.com/search/label/tapir
  3. http://www.disunplugged.com/2010/03/27/maharajah-jungle-trek-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/
  4. http://www.jamboeveryone.com/search/label/tapir
  5. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2009/10/maharajah_jungle_trek_1.html
  6. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2009/10/maharajah_jungle_trek_1.html
  7. 7.0 7.1 https://books.google.com/books?id=0i54BwAAQBAJ&pg=PT211&lpg=PT211&dq=Maharajah+Jungle+Trek+Anandapur+newspapers&source=bl&ots=ilBQBu2pls&sig=kruJr-omfFvuPMBvcREzMUmrz7g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDEQ6AEwA2oVChMIzpzSyeeLyQIVl36ICh19OAYa#v=onepage&q=Maharajah%20Jungle%20Trek%20Anandapur%20newspapers&f=false
  8. http://allears.net/tp/ak/ak_mjt.htm