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Ranthambhore: The Tiger's Realm

Anjali Singh (Author) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (Author) Jaisal Singh (Author)

Spread across 164 pages of a mega-sized coffee-table book are photographs from the personal archives of Anjali and Jaisal Singh, who run a chain of luxury hotels, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter. The three have been travelling to, and photographing tigers at, Ranthambore, in south-eastern Rajasthan, for many years now.

The medieval ruins of Ranthambore, some of which date back to the 14th century, provide a picturesque backdrop for the big cats. The park stretches over 1,334 sq. km and, with the Aravalli hills forming a natural citadel around it, Ranthambore is said to be the finest place in the world to observe and photograph the magnificent big cats in their natural habitat.

Jaisal’s association with Ranthambore started when he was a child and accompanied his uncle Valmik Thapar, a tiger conservationist, on safaris. Vadra’s relationship with the tigers goes back many years as well.

In her essay in the book, titled My Family and Other Animals, Vadra says she first went there as a 13-year-old. “I think it was my father’s love for nature that spirited itself into my being. I take photographs because he taught me to; no other reason at all really,” she writes. The book is dedicated to her late father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Slideshow: The three friends decided to put their archives together in the form of a book in April. The photographs are on a par with some of the best wildlife photography that one has seen, but what is unique are the detailed narratives they come with. Each tiger is named; and its relationship with the others in the pages before and after detailed. Personal essays, anecdotes and photographs of the three with their families on safari jaunts make up a significant portion of the book. Vadra describes waiting to see the tigers mate-a rare sight=and being “cooked” in the jeep for 4 hours at 45 degrees Celsius. They had another 3 hours to go.

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About the authors

Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh was educated at the Aiglon College, Switzerland after which she went on to receive a Bachelor's and Master of Arts Degree from the prestigious Central St. Martins School of Art and Design in London. A trained artist, she has recently started to paint tigers in the abstract. She because absorbed by wildlife after her first visit to Ranthambhor in 2004, a love that has found expression both through photography and her paintings. Along with her husband Jaisal, She also spends a few weeks every year photographing while on safari in Africa, an area of the world she cannot get enough of. Anjali is the Creative Director of SUJAN Luxury Hotels, which she runs jointly with Jaisal. In 2009 she designed The Serai, Jaisalmer- SUJAN's Luxury desert camp and spa in the Great Thar Desert.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was born in 1972 to Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi. An alumni of Jesus and Mary College, where she read Psychology, Priyanka thereafter did a post-graduate Diploma in Buddhist Studies. She is Executive Trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and heads their education initiative. Priyanka has a deep love of nature and wildlife and she is interested in issues relating to the conservation and preservation of India's natural heritage. She is also a master scuba-diver.

She married Robert Vadra in 1997 and they have two children, Raihan and Miraya. Her family share her love to wildlife, tigers and Ranthambhore.

Jaisal Singh

Jaisal Singh first went to Ranthambhore in 1979, aged just eight weeks and has spent a significant amount of time there since. He has been obsessd with wildlife, particularly tigers, since he can remember. Jaisal was the first to observe and document a tiger fighting with and killing a crocodile- the first such record in the natural history of the tiger. His unique footage featured in a wildlife documentary which was aired on the BBC and this apart, he has captured many other rare wildlife sequences on film, both still and moving.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ranthambhore: The Tiger's Realm
Format Hardcover
Date published: 02.08.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788192158600
length 164p., Photographs; Maps; 45cm.