Thursday, 27 June 2013

Brajesh's Review : Ranthambore : 10 Days in the Tiger Fortress

I speed read this part journal - part photo book at a dhabha cum bookshop between Jaipur and Ranthambore . The book chronicles a 9 day holiday of Valmik along with his family and some friends.

Disappointed by the situation around Tiger conservation, Valmik a grass root warrior for the tiger cause for 3 decades had decided never to write another book on tigers (post 1998). He vowed that he would only break this promise if he saw some dramatic turnaround in the situation.

In his own words, during this 10 day holiday in April 2008, he observed just such a miracle at Ranthambore. The book has many rare photos of tigers - posing in the beautiful settings of Ranthambore Fort and Jogi Palace, a full sequence of a fawn kill, 2 cubs on hind legs playing, around the famous banyan tree etc. etc.

The narrative isn't half as fast paced as the photos are and could have had more insights, but as I said before - this book is part journal and part photo book.

I would not advise this photo-book to people on their way to Ranthambore as this will raise your expectations sky high and totally unreasonable. I doubt any normal person (without the clout of Valmik Thapar) can have such a range of exciting and rare sightings within 10 days at any game park in India.

BUT I must say (having interacted with him last year) that nothing short of dramatic and magical would have made Valmik break his vow, and pictures in this book are testimony of the same. So enjoy the book but keep your expectations rooted.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Also See my review on Valmik Thapar's - Secret Life of Tigers

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