FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Corbett National Park – Domain of the Wild
Posted:May 15, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
By Kul Bhushan
 
Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards, he became an experienced hunter in the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh, now called Uttarakhand.
 
Observing the beauty of wildlife, he morphed into an avid photographer and later a conservative. He persuaded the then governor to set aside this area as a wildlife sanctuary, naming it ‘Hailey National Park’. Writing his exploits as a hunter in a book, ‘Man Eaters of Kumaon’, he turned out to be a best-selling author for this and other books that followed. After his retirement, Corbett moved to Kenya in 1947 and settled in Nyeri, a sleepy town on the slopes of Mount Kenya, where he wrote a number of his books, including what was to be his last one about the world famous ‘Tree Tops’ residence, where Princess Elizabeth during her Kenyan visit was declared Queen of Britain in 1952. He died there of a heart attack in 1955.
Two years later, the Indian government renamed the park he loved so much in his name for initiating conservation in India, especially saving the tiger. Indeed, he raised the first voice of concern for conservation in India which later led to the famous Project Tiger.
 
Corbett National Park - Domain of the Wild (Konark, RS 1995) is celebrated in this brilliant coffee table book with crisp text by Ashima Kumar and stunning photographs by Dushyant Parasher. It not only celebrates the animal sanctuary but also Jim Corbett.
 
Both collaborators have visited this park regularly over a couple of decades and it shows in the depth of the text and the quality of photographs. Interestingly, the book is also slickly designed by Parasher who is a reputed designer in his own right. This book starts off by detailing the first steps for wildlife conservation in India that took off from this park.
 
Unlike many coffee table books on wildlife, this well-printed volume gives the history of the park with the dark days of British Raj when forests were cut for wood and animals killed for the sport of shikar. It goes on to document the first voice of concerns for conservation to the launch of Project Tiger. Then it describes the mega fauna and other forms of wildlife, including the bird life, trees and flora, ending with threats to the park and the perennial question of development versus conservation.
 
The book is a pleasure to leaf through due to its arresting photos and interesting to read as each chapter has three or four pages of text, enlivened with sparkling photos. It is difficult to decide whether to read the captivating text or gloat over all the photos. The text is sometimes in first person describing the real life experience of the location, and then moving to the core issue while the photos add to the interest.
 
Ashima begins the book with one of her visits in summer 2015: “The sprawling grassland was shimmering in the golden glow of the morning sun,” she writes, “I was scanning the stillness all around me for any movement that would give away the presence of the many secrets that I knew it held within these green fields. Suddenly, barely ten meters away from me, a blade of grass moved!” Yes, it was a tiger moving to jump on its prey as a photo by Parasher right opposite that page shows so dramatically.
 
Ashima takes the reader on a jeep safari all over the park covering all its divisions. Her keen eye does not miss even the insects; leave alone the trees and the birds. Again, the first person style seems as if the reader is watching a documentary what with the evocative photos for every page of text. Parasher’s bird photos make the grade of seasoned birders since the eyes of every bird are in sharp focus.
 
This is a volume to treasure for every wildlife lover.
 
(Kul Bhushan can be contacted at kulbhushan2040@gmail.com)
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image India’s Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari visited Armenia recently to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
 
read-more
The US has slammed Pakistan for failing to crackdown on terror groups operating from "safe havens" inside its territory, and said the Nawaz Sharif government did not take any action against the LeT and JeM, which continue to operate openly.
 
read-more
In dispatching its  PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)  marines to Djibuti in the Horn of Africa on Wednesday (July 12 ) by amphibious ships, from the southern port of Zhanjiang, China has taken a significant step in enhancing its  trans-border military footprint.
 
read-more
It is becoming increasingly obvious that China is experiencing a sort of superiority obsession, imagining it can dominate and conquer the world. Several Chinese acts in the recent past indicate such an attitude. Asian nations, which are now apprehensive about China’s aggressive postures, are unclear how matters will shape up.
 
read-more
The aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir point to the way towards a workable democratic pluralism in the state.
 
read-more
For many of us in India — and, indeed, in the rest of the world — the Chinese economic story has been seen for what it is: a country determined by its leadership’s sheer will to lift its people first out of paddy fields
 
read-more
South Asia is situated in a strategically important location and has always been bone of a contention for control by major powers.
 
read-more
  The U.S. administration’s decision to slap sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and entities on Tuesday, only a day after it certified to Congress that Tehran was compliant with the conditions of the nuclear deal, sums up its strategic resolve in taking on the Islamic Republic and the tactical dilemma it faces while doi
 
read-more
S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore on "India, ASEAN and Changing Geopolitics”
 
read-more
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Column-image

Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive