Covering an areal sprawl of about 3,42,000 sq km in north-west India, Rajasthan counts among the largest states of the country. A land known not only for Rajput valour and chivalry but, far more, for its strikingly rich cultural heritage -- articulated in its magnificent temples, awe-inspiring forts, princely palaces, colourful traditions, folk festivals, dances and music, arts, handicrafts, and pomp and pageantry. For sure, Rajasthan has a long glorious past. Its very air breathes romance.
For its vast size and latitudinal variations (sea level to over 1,700 meters), Nature has endowed Rajasthan with richly variegated vegetative cover: from the semi-evergreen forests of Mount Abu to almost barren or dry scrub grasslands of the desert, and from the dry deciduous thorn forests of the Aravalli hills to the wet marshes of Bharatpur. Together with its varied climates, soils and other geographically distinctive features, it exhibits the kind of environmental regimes that are at once conducive to wildlife.
Here is a brilliant record: both textual and pictorial, of the wild wonders of Rajasthan, ranging from marsh crocodiles to migratory Siberian cranes, from leopards to lizards, and from desert foxes to duck of different descriptions -- that include some of the rare, even threatened species. Contextually, the book looks at this whole variety of wildlife against the backdrop of local forests, trees, shrubs, hilly terrains, desert stretches, and food chains, among other relevant aspects.
The book is veritably a visual extravaganza which, through its beautifully arranged mosaic of colour photographs, sets out enchanting glimpses of Rajasthan's wildlife, in its near entirety.
The Authors: V D Sharma was, till recently, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Rajasthan -- where, earlier, he has also served as Chief Wildlife Warden as well. Rajpal Singh, a widely reputed photographer, has been associated with Rajasthan's wildlife as an avid naturalist and conservationist.