Weird History

The Real-Life Inspiration For Mowgli In The Jungle Book Was A Feral Child Raised By Wolves

Many believe that Dina Sanichar, the Indian wolf boy, was the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling's famous work, The Jungle Book. Just like Mowgli, Dina was a feral boy raised by wolves, although his life was quite different from his fictional counterpart's. Mowgli the man-cub entranced readers with his fascinating upbringing. After wandering into an Indian forest, he was adopted by the animals who fed, protected, and sheltered him. Dina, too, was raised by wolves. But the boy who inspired Mowgli did not have such a fantastical life.

Kipling was born in India and lived there until the age of six. He moved to England but then returned to the country of his birth 10 years later. He wrote The Jungle Book in 1895, less than 20 years after Dina Sanichar was captured living among a pack of wolves. Unlike Mowgli, Dina was mentally stunted despite years of reintegration into human society.

Dina isn't the only one who lived an unusual life or whose story was made into a book. But he most certainly made an impact on one of Britain's most famous writers.