Does This Couple Look Familiar?

Does This Couple Look Familiar?

Royal Couple of Anandapur

If you have paid attention while visiting the Asian section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you should have a vague recollection of seeing this photograph. This couple’s likeness turns up time and time again. But who are these people?

As it turns out, they are the Royal Couple of Anandapur, descendants of a long and noble lineage.

Anandapur (meaning “place of delight” in Sanskrit), was founded centuries ago by Ananta. This wise leader learned the importance of living in harmony with the animals and taught this lesson to his subjects. His sarcophagus can be seen on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Sarcophagus of Ananta

However, in 1544, King Bhima Disampati decreed the forest a royal preserve and built a hunting lodge for himself and invited guests. In an effort to make his “sport” easier, he had his subjects enclose much of this area, effectively trapping his prey. Soon after, he was attacked and killed by tigers in a turnabout of fate. Subsequent maharajahs, remembering Ananta’s teachings, transformed this enclosure into a nature preserve where the animals and the local people could live in harmony once again – a tradition that lives on to this day.

In an effort to show their respect to the current ruling family and their benevolent ways, every shop owner in the village displays a picture of the Royal Couple. The size of the picture will vary depending on the wealth of the shop owner. Some merchants hang large, framed and matted photographs while others merely pin a postcard to the wall. The Royal Family’s close association with tigers can be seen on the royal coat-of-arms.

Royal Coat of Arms

So next time you’re in Asia, be sure to look for pictures of the Royal Couple. See how many you can find.

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12 Replies to “Does This Couple Look Familiar?”

  1. The Disney dedication to
    “back-stories” is quite remarkable. While the stories themselves may never be evident to the park-goers, they are certainly reflected in the cohesiveness of the designs and the overall integrity of the attractions.

  2. Hey Jack,

    Thank you for writing about this photograph. Now I have to look and count how many pictures of the Royal Couple I can find. Good eye Jack!



  3. Thanks for this info! Our family always loves a good treasure hunt, so I’m really looking forward to finding some of these pictures with them in January!

  4. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for the back story. It seems there’s always a back story when it comes to Disney.

    I’ll be going to Animal Kingdom tomorrow with friends, so I’ll be sure to be on the lookout, and have something to impress my friends with.



  5. Jack,

    I have always love the story of the Maharajas of Anandapur and how it continues the conservation message at Animal Kingdom.
    Thanks for writing about it on your blog so more guests are aware of it.


  6. The way it was told to me that these were tax stamps and the more prosperous a business was the more the tax and the larger the tax stamp.

  7. Hi Jack,
    Like the other “posters” I am amazed at what you come up with each week! Your blogs are always so interesting and I appreciate the time
    you take to find new subjects. I have never noticed this couple so I will be looking for their photos when I visit in Dec.

  8. Jack,

    I do the same as Wendy and check All Ears everyday for your blogs. You know so much about Disney you make your adventures so vivid to your readers. Keep up the great work! Have you ever thought about writng a book about Disney?


  9. hey jack
    it is absolutly amazing how much knowlege you pocess when it come to disney. i had no idea about the pictures but next time i visit i will be sure to keep my eye out for them. can’t wait for your next blog and as always, keep up the great work.

  10. Hi Jack,

    I am always amazed at the wealth of your knowledge – you obviously spend a lot of time researching for your articles. I look on All Ears everyday to see if you’ve posted something new.

    Keep them coming, please.