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Review: Tigers in the Emerald Forest

books Updated: Mar 30, 2012 19:30 IST

KumKum Dasgupta, Hindustan Times
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Tigers in the Emerald Forest

Valmik Thapar

oxford univ press

Rs.1,750 pp 126

‘Ranthambhore was sparkling, shining and, at it’s very best. The sun was sharp and crisp and everything looked cleansed and gleaming. All I could say was ‘amazing’!’

This is how Valmik Thapar, the man who knows Ranthambhore inside out, describes the ‘special post monsoon’ period at the national park. The monsoon deluge — the park received 1,200 mm of rain in 2011 — had turned it ‘wet’ green, making it look like an ‘emerald forest’.

Like the earlier coffee table books authored by Thapar, this one too gives the reader the best ringside view of the forest and its inhabitants (though, if you ask me, nothing beats the first-hand experience). There are 200 photographs about the park’s rich and varied flora and fauna (tigers beating all others paws down) as well as the formidable fort that looms over the forests. Don’t miss the photographs of the varied fauna that gets a new lease of life after the rains.

For example, the photograph of enormous water lilies in Malik Talao, one of the many water bodies in the park, splendidly captures the park’s post-monsoon glory.