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9 books to read on this World Environment Day

One cannot deny or be blind to God’s creation; we should marvel at it, at what we call our world, our dear earth, that we live in. The strategic positioning of the earth to the sun, the perfect rhythm of the tilting on one plane giving our seasons, the perfect revolution on another that gives us the day and the night, the perfect mathematics that go into our eco-system, thus enabling the sustaining of life, and then above all the coexistence of us human beings and the flora and fauna and other forms of life that we collectively call biota, is a miracle of harmony. However, we–who consider ourselves superior to them all–have walked the path of many follies, be it in the past or present and have taken our resources, our ecology and our environment for granted. Collectively and individually and criminally it is sad to say. It is true, that in the pursuit of economy, modernization and industrialization we have looked the other way and have deprived the earth of its invaluable nature. Felling trees, polluting rivers and air alike, poaching, encroaching space with concrete are many of the things that we have done to upset the balance that ecology and environment so badly needs. But again, on the positive side there are a few minds, focused exactly on a conscious effort to halt the erosion that we have created ourselves and turn the negativity to a more positive way of things. This World Environment day we at Niyogi Books pledge, to inject more effort so that the future is greener and more vibrant. We, at Niyogi Books, have never faltered on the necessity and awareness of issues related to the environment. We made it our goal to bring to readers various aspects on the subject from eminent writers, environmentalists, photographers, officials and teachers, who wanted to bring forth their thoughts and publish them. India is a vast country and is blessed with natural resources, wild life and varied flora spread out from the north to the south and east to west. While the mountains reach high in the sky, our rivers run deep. While our rain forests in the east are intensely dense, our deserts in the west are vast. India is diverse in its characteristics where environment is concerned. Highlighting this, we chose to publish books that enlighten as well as give us food for thought. Here are a few that we are proud to have published.   Sunderbans The world’s largest mangrove expanse Sunderbans have a unique eco-system, are the home of the Bengal Tiger as well as numerous fauna including species of birds, snakes and crocodiles. A very difficult terrain to negotiate due to its couple of high tides and low tides each day, both man and animal have learnt to adapt to the environment. Sunderbans is a treasure trove for nature lovers and wildlife photographers. It is a wonderland for tourists all over the world. Numerous references have been found in ancient Hindu literature on the Sunderbans like Upanishads, epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, thus adding to its aura of mysticism. This book is well illustrated and vividly written and is a fitting tribute to this paradise of nature which is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To buy:         Wild Wonders of India This book takes the reader through a visually delightful journey across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the wealth of flora and fauna that the country possesses. It is like a tour through the country’s many-splendoured forests, wildlife specialities, precious national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves. It also tackles more serious matters, such as the rapidly growing list of the country’s endangered wildlife species. To buy:         Sariska: The Tiger Reserve Roars Again In Rajasthan, Sariska is one of the most famous national parks in India, specifically for its tigers. In a gradual onslaught of poaching the reserve was devoid of the tiger population at one time. At the time the revelation was devastating not only for the country but abroad too. With apprehensions, arguments and some legal battles involved, and then with the directions of the then Prime Minister, a decision was taken to shift a few tigers from Ranthambore. An experiment ventured for the first time ever, even worldwide, it turned out to be a success as Sariska saw the population grow to a half a dozen. The book recounts such instances and several other interesting first-hand accounts, including confrontation with villagers and local politicians, by the author who was then the field director of Sariska. To buy:             Decade with Tigers This volume came from a PR professional leaving his cosy comforts of the corporate world to become a field-man, turning avid traveller and nature photographer by passion. Managing Director of Nature Wanderers, India’s premier photo tour company specializing in Indian wildlife including capturing rare species and camera trap photography, this book is a tribute to the tigers who have played a vital role as ‘Brand Ambassadors’ of Indian Wildlife. This book is a photographer’s take on the dramatic rise in the popularity of tigers in the past decade or two, documenting the various moods and behaviours of tigers in forests across the country. Tigers have been anthropomorphized, with some of them becoming the ‘tiger icons’ of India. The volume chronicles legendary tiger mothers and male tigers, through thousands of hours on the field, photographing in terrains ranging from montane forests to the plains of Central- India. A must-buy for lovers of nature and photography, of animals, of, may I dare say, life itself? To buy:       Birds in Paradise Bharatpur’s Keoladeo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a birds’ paradise with all kind of birds, both resident and migratory. The author who is the author of Sariska: The Tiger Reserve Roars again also is a veteran wildlife manager, who takes the readers through an amazing tour of this sanctuary, through its days of glory, debacle and revival. This book should be an inspiration to visit this park. To buy:             The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to save the Western Himalayas The Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important protected areas in the Himalayas, one of the World’s great biological realms. The book is intended both as a history and an ecological overview of the Park and as a plea for continuing conservation of the rich legacy of Himalayan plants and animals. In addition to descriptions of the ecology, the book includes local history and culture and a review of current development in the region.  The pictures, taken by the authors and their collaborators, vividly illustrate the grandeur and diversity of the area. The book has universal appeal: to naturalists, scholars, resource managers, trekkers, arm-chair travellers. To buy:     Rivers of India Rivers of India is a pictorial journey that delves into the symbiosis between India’s major rivers and the people and their intimate link with myth, belief and religion. This book is focussed on eight main rivers of India—the Brahmaputra, Ganges, Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Mahanadi, Narmada and Yamuna. This selection was based on demographics, the decisive factor being the correlation between the most densely populated river valleys, and the challenges triggered by unchecked exploitation of natural resources.To buy:             Ganga: An Endless Journey  The 2,500-km long river, originating from Gaumukh in the Himalayas and merging with the ocean at the confluence of Gangasagar, is the cradle of Indian civilisation. Innumerable cities, villages and temples have sprouted on its banks, converting the entire stretch into a pilgrimage. The author’s insight has enabled him to perceive the pulsating spiritual existence of Indian culture, thriving gloriously down the ages on the banks of the Ganga. The people he has met and the stories he has heard have further enriched the narrative. The photographs have vividly captured the very essence of India’s culture and heritage. This visually resplendent book is a testimony to the intrinsic spirit of the Ganga – the spirit of continuity, the spirit of love and reverence. To buy:     Flora of the Southern Western Ghats and Palnis This field guide is the result of the author’s intense study of the flora of the southern Western Ghats as well as those of Palni hills for several years. The book lists more than 200 species of trees, herbs, and shrubs that can be found in the region. The author names the genus, the species, the short name of the botanist who classified the plant, and the family name of the plant, in all the cases. She also takes great pains to provide the common English names as well as the local names of the species in various regional languages of India.  This is an extremely useful field guide not only for the general readers and nature lovers but also for students, teachers, and researchers in botany. To buy:
niyogibooks | 05-Jun-2020