"Corbett National Park-Domain of the wild" | Corbett experience captured between the covers
Home to the majestic tiger, elephant, leopard, crocodile and many smaller mammals and varied bird life, Corbett is a treasure trove to discover wild India
Nothing can stimulate the appetite to set out for a wildlife area more than a good pictorial book on the region. This new book on Corbett has certainly once again increased my craving for that wonderful place that is famous for tigers and elephants but is also shared by countless other equally amazing mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and birds
Corbett National Park remains open from October till mid-June and every visit to this wonderland is always unique. Not only does the landscape wear a new look with the change of every season, the unpredictability of wildlife sightings also ensures that no two days are ever alike. Although I have visited Corbett National Park countless times in the past, going through this book turned out to be a very enriching experience. For one, as I flipped through its pages, looking at those sensitively photographed images, I felt as if the seasons were changing in front of my eyes. Then the gripping text took me off to a journey that started with the reshaping of continents and formation of Himalayas. It took me through the periods of formation of forests and rivers, distribution of wildlife, dark days of deforestation and mindless hunting, driving the tiger dangerously close to the doorstep of extinction, and finally to the dawn of conservation. It also talks about the threats to our environment that are still staring at us in the face and the possibilities of sustainable tourism. This coffee table book by Konark Publishers is a visual delight. ‘Corbett – Domain of the wild’, celebrates India’s wildlife heritage through some awe-inspiring wild life and landscape images. It is almost a ticket to an arm-chair journey through Corbett down the ages with a remote in your hand to pause, reverse or fast-forward at will.
The book is roughly divided into three sections. The first part deals with the history, hunting and deforestation in the area. In due course of time, a few conservation conscious people called for the setting up of wildlife reserves of which Corbett National Park was the first to be setup. Chapters in the middle of the book are dedicated to the rich biodiversity of Corbett. Home to the majestic tiger, elephant, leopard, crocodile and many smaller mammals and varied bird life, Corbett is a treasure trove to discover wild India.
The last section talks of the threats to wild life and our environment as such. Climate change is not a distant fictional phenomenon but a very real threat faced by all of us today. If we continue to ravage and pillage our environment our very survival as a species is under threat. Forests like Corbett not only sequester carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen they also cool and moisten the air. Everything in the forest works towards purifying the water in the rivers that flow through them and life any where cannot exist without oxygen and clean drinking water.
The book points out the need for us to protect forests and safeguard wild life. The message in the book is clear, while on the one hand it brings to the fore the glory and beauty of forests such as Corbett but at the same time urges the reader to consider how we humans are hell bent upon destroying this beauty all in the name of progress and development. As I read the book, with the temperature outside my window hovering at around 39 degrees Celsius.I can’t help but agree that cutting down trees and opening forests to mining and depleting its biodiversity is definitely not the answer. The only way forward, is to recognize the importance of forests anywhere and bring more areas under green cover.
Corbett National Park is nature in all its glory and a must visit once in a life time but if that travel plan is yet to materialise, then pick up this book for a virtual journey through the wilderness of Corbett just as I did sitting right here at my desk.
Priyanka Sharma is a Noida based environmentalist.