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Books > History > Ranthambhore (10 Days in The Tiger Fortress)
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Ranthambhore (10 Days in The Tiger Fortress)
Ranthambhore (10 Days in The Tiger Fortress)
Description
From The Jacket
Ranthambhore 10 Days In The Tiger Fortress

The tiger has always evoked awe, fear, and fascination. Ranthambhore: 10 Days in the Tiger Fortress creates an engrossing, unforgettable portrait of this magnificent creature, featuring many images of tigers in the wild never before captured in film. The book is as much about the rich and vibrant habitat that makes Ranthambhore one of the finest places to watch wild tigers up close, as about a man who over the years has developed a special intimacy with the tiger.

Valmik Thapar, after thirty-three years of tiger watching, finds himself in Ranthambhore once again where he confesses spending his finest ten-day stretch ever. An authentic record of what Ranthambhore has to offer to the keen observer, the more than 200 colour photographs helps showcase every incident that took place as the author tracked six tigers in the course of ten days. Tigers reining over lakes, forts, ruins, chhatris, and Ranthambhore's famous 600-700-year-old banyan tree – the arresting photographs, captured moment to moment, meld into another to create a visual continuity perhaps experience only in motion pictures. A must-read for tiger enthusiasts and all animal lovers.

For the record, in June 2008 two tigers from Ranthambhore National Park were shifted to Sariska Tiger Reserve in an effort to reintroduce the big cats at Sariska where the last tiger had disappeared by 2004.

Valmik Thapar is an internationally celebrated tiger and wildlife conservationist. He is a member of the National Board of Wildlife chaired by the Prime Minister and also a member of other policymaking bodies responsible for tiger conservation. A member of the National Tourist Advisory Council of the Government of India, he is the author of fifteen books on tigers, most recently Tiger: The Ultimate Guide (OUP, 2005), The Last Tiger: Struggling for Survival (OUP, 2006), and The Illustrated Tigers of India (OUP, 2007).

Back of The Book
"This book is about a fantastic ten-day journey in Ranthambhore National Park where it was difficult to move without bumping into tigers…'

Introduction
This is my story and it happened at a moment of great turbulence for the tigers of India. In early 2008 the final estimation of tigers left in India done by the federal government came to the shocking figure of 1400. In a way all my fears at the turn of the century had been justified. In fact this is roughly the figure that I had predicted many years ago and which few had bothered to believe. Inept and inefficient governments had allowed the tiger to slide towards oblivion. I remember stating in my book The Last Tiger (2006) that only a miracle could save the tiger in India. In March 2008 I believed the tiger was steadily walking down the road to near extinction. All our government – central and state – had failed to deal with the crisis. Just simple strategies of protecting the tiger's home or flushing out poachers from their jungle hideouts had been completely ignored. Thousands of tigers had died to service the needs of the Chinese for skin and bone for traditional medicine. India poachers had had a field day. And the political will of this nation had failed to keep wild tigers safe.

I had tried everything in my armoury to save this animal. It had been thirty-three years of effort but this March of 2008 must have been my gloomiest moment. I was enveloped feelings of not just my own failure but this country's complete inability to govern and protect the natural world. Why was it so difficult for the government to act? Why did they not care? The solutions were simple, basic commonsensical measures. Were we now a country without the sense to save a unique wilderness with its diverse species? Would global warming and climate change devastate this region? Would everything vanish under the economic onslaught of this strange century? While all these thoughts chased each other anarchically in my mind, I found that my son's ten-day Easter vacation was about to start. My wife was vanishing for a week for a theatre meet in interior Karnataka, and like a flash I jumped on a window of opportunity, deciding to vanish into my beautiful Ranthambhore with my son. Nearly 6, I felt he was now at an age to engage. Armed with his first camera ever, we caught an afternoon train to Ranthambhore. What follows is our story over nine days in Ranthambhore as it happened. On the last two days my wife joined us. I said in The Last Tiger that I would not do another book unless there was some kind of miracle in the life of the tiger. I believe now that we were witness to the magic of tigers in Ranthambhore between 22 and 31 March 2008. That is why I have put pen and picture to paper again. That is why I believe once again that the tiger can be saved through basic common sense and simple interventions. Ranthambhore proves it. This turned out to be one of my finest trips in thirty-three years, and it left me stunned and overwhelmed. While the tigers Ranthambhore gave of their best, it was also a superb engagement for Hamir with the forest. And therefore this is a personal story of this remarkable journey with Ranthambhore's tigers over ten days. All this in a moment of severe gloom and desperation surrounding the tiger's future.

We arrived in Ranthambhore late one everything and as the next day was Holi we decided to stay home. You can be drenched with colour on your way in and out of the Park. Our home exists on about 10 acres of land that I bought twenty years ago when it was totally arid and had not a blade of grass on it. I planted with my own hands 4000 trees of sixty diverse species, many of them from seeds found in the Park. In this desert-like landscape I watered them myself. Today they are 30-40 feet high and include dhok, Chila, banyan, and sheesham. As they grew the wildlife came – first the reptiles, especially snakes, then endless birds that could perch and make their homes in the trees; as the trees grew higher, peafowl, langur monkeys, neelgai, wild boar, and the occasional chinkara also started visiting. As the wildlife become richer on what was once totally barren landscape, the leopard and tiger were also occasionally seen. I remember in the early days watching with a torch a tiger and wild boar fight late in the evening, with the boar holding the tiger off. Even the occasional bear drifted in to eat, and even caracal arrived. It just shows what is possible with a little protection and nurturing. That day I told Hamir this story of the regeneration of land while we watched a variety of birds coming to drink from a water pipe. I thought about the magical transformation that can take place on land just by planting trees.

Ranthambhore (10 Days in The Tiger Fortress)

Item Code:
IDK828
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2008
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
ISBN:
0195699467
Size:
11.8" X 9.1"
Pages:
167 (188 Colour Illustrations)
Price:
$60.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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From The Jacket
Ranthambhore 10 Days In The Tiger Fortress

The tiger has always evoked awe, fear, and fascination. Ranthambhore: 10 Days in the Tiger Fortress creates an engrossing, unforgettable portrait of this magnificent creature, featuring many images of tigers in the wild never before captured in film. The book is as much about the rich and vibrant habitat that makes Ranthambhore one of the finest places to watch wild tigers up close, as about a man who over the years has developed a special intimacy with the tiger.

Valmik Thapar, after thirty-three years of tiger watching, finds himself in Ranthambhore once again where he confesses spending his finest ten-day stretch ever. An authentic record of what Ranthambhore has to offer to the keen observer, the more than 200 colour photographs helps showcase every incident that took place as the author tracked six tigers in the course of ten days. Tigers reining over lakes, forts, ruins, chhatris, and Ranthambhore's famous 600-700-year-old banyan tree – the arresting photographs, captured moment to moment, meld into another to create a visual continuity perhaps experience only in motion pictures. A must-read for tiger enthusiasts and all animal lovers.

For the record, in June 2008 two tigers from Ranthambhore National Park were shifted to Sariska Tiger Reserve in an effort to reintroduce the big cats at Sariska where the last tiger had disappeared by 2004.

Valmik Thapar is an internationally celebrated tiger and wildlife conservationist. He is a member of the National Board of Wildlife chaired by the Prime Minister and also a member of other policymaking bodies responsible for tiger conservation. A member of the National Tourist Advisory Council of the Government of India, he is the author of fifteen books on tigers, most recently Tiger: The Ultimate Guide (OUP, 2005), The Last Tiger: Struggling for Survival (OUP, 2006), and The Illustrated Tigers of India (OUP, 2007).

Back of The Book
"This book is about a fantastic ten-day journey in Ranthambhore National Park where it was difficult to move without bumping into tigers…'

Introduction
This is my story and it happened at a moment of great turbulence for the tigers of India. In early 2008 the final estimation of tigers left in India done by the federal government came to the shocking figure of 1400. In a way all my fears at the turn of the century had been justified. In fact this is roughly the figure that I had predicted many years ago and which few had bothered to believe. Inept and inefficient governments had allowed the tiger to slide towards oblivion. I remember stating in my book The Last Tiger (2006) that only a miracle could save the tiger in India. In March 2008 I believed the tiger was steadily walking down the road to near extinction. All our government – central and state – had failed to deal with the crisis. Just simple strategies of protecting the tiger's home or flushing out poachers from their jungle hideouts had been completely ignored. Thousands of tigers had died to service the needs of the Chinese for skin and bone for traditional medicine. India poachers had had a field day. And the political will of this nation had failed to keep wild tigers safe.

I had tried everything in my armoury to save this animal. It had been thirty-three years of effort but this March of 2008 must have been my gloomiest moment. I was enveloped feelings of not just my own failure but this country's complete inability to govern and protect the natural world. Why was it so difficult for the government to act? Why did they not care? The solutions were simple, basic commonsensical measures. Were we now a country without the sense to save a unique wilderness with its diverse species? Would global warming and climate change devastate this region? Would everything vanish under the economic onslaught of this strange century? While all these thoughts chased each other anarchically in my mind, I found that my son's ten-day Easter vacation was about to start. My wife was vanishing for a week for a theatre meet in interior Karnataka, and like a flash I jumped on a window of opportunity, deciding to vanish into my beautiful Ranthambhore with my son. Nearly 6, I felt he was now at an age to engage. Armed with his first camera ever, we caught an afternoon train to Ranthambhore. What follows is our story over nine days in Ranthambhore as it happened. On the last two days my wife joined us. I said in The Last Tiger that I would not do another book unless there was some kind of miracle in the life of the tiger. I believe now that we were witness to the magic of tigers in Ranthambhore between 22 and 31 March 2008. That is why I have put pen and picture to paper again. That is why I believe once again that the tiger can be saved through basic common sense and simple interventions. Ranthambhore proves it. This turned out to be one of my finest trips in thirty-three years, and it left me stunned and overwhelmed. While the tigers Ranthambhore gave of their best, it was also a superb engagement for Hamir with the forest. And therefore this is a personal story of this remarkable journey with Ranthambhore's tigers over ten days. All this in a moment of severe gloom and desperation surrounding the tiger's future.

We arrived in Ranthambhore late one everything and as the next day was Holi we decided to stay home. You can be drenched with colour on your way in and out of the Park. Our home exists on about 10 acres of land that I bought twenty years ago when it was totally arid and had not a blade of grass on it. I planted with my own hands 4000 trees of sixty diverse species, many of them from seeds found in the Park. In this desert-like landscape I watered them myself. Today they are 30-40 feet high and include dhok, Chila, banyan, and sheesham. As they grew the wildlife came – first the reptiles, especially snakes, then endless birds that could perch and make their homes in the trees; as the trees grew higher, peafowl, langur monkeys, neelgai, wild boar, and the occasional chinkara also started visiting. As the wildlife become richer on what was once totally barren landscape, the leopard and tiger were also occasionally seen. I remember in the early days watching with a torch a tiger and wild boar fight late in the evening, with the boar holding the tiger off. Even the occasional bear drifted in to eat, and even caracal arrived. It just shows what is possible with a little protection and nurturing. That day I told Hamir this story of the regeneration of land while we watched a variety of birds coming to drink from a water pipe. I thought about the magical transformation that can take place on land just by planting trees.

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