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Nicobar Islands (In Nature’s Kingdom)

Nicobar Islands (In Nature’s Kingdom)
$59.50$85.00  [ 30% off ]
Item Code: NAK522
Author: Dr. Tilak Ranjan Bera
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789383098668
Pages: 292 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.5 inch x 9.0 inch
weight of the book: 1.3 kg

About the Book

 

The author is absolutely in love with the little known islands of the Nicobars and the simple people who live a peaceful life there. He has visited the region several times before and after the tsunami of December 2004. This book is a gripping description of a 'forgotten archipelago' and the tsunami aftermath that completely transformed the islands. The documentation of the pre-tsunami Nicobars is a valuable historical record. The book is also an exceptional attempt by a single individual to record the multidimensional changes following the disaster.

 

Nicobar Islands: In Nature's Kingdom introduces the reader to a region that is mysterious and awe-inspiring. It is a chance to explore this remote area of the country that reveals the splendour and beauty of nature and its catastrophic power.

 

About the Author

 

Dr Tilak Ranjan Bera is an avid nature lover and has a passion for travelling, writing as well as photography. His meticulous presentation makes his books unparalleled. He completed his medical graduation from Calcutta Medical College in 1981 and post-graduation in Ophthalmology from Mumbai University.

 

Dr Bera has also explored many remote areas of India and has written about them extensively. In recognition of his works, he was awarded the Fulbright- Nehru Fellowship by the United States-India Educational Foundation as well as a Senior Research Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He was an Associate at Yale University in the USA, during his Fulbright Fellowship.

 

Preface

 

I had the unique opportunity of exploring the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before the tsunami as well as several times after the disaster. The Nicobars have shown me the wonder and beauty of nature as well as its catastrophic power and I feel an intense need to share with my readers the upheavals, both within me and without.

 

There are very few books on the Nicobar Islands. Some were written by European visitors at the beginning of the last century, before Independence. Cecil Boden Kloss, the British author who accompanied the American team led by Sir William Louis Abbott, went on an expedition to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to collect biological specimens which were donated to the National Museum of Washington, USA. He explored the region in 1900 and wrote In the Andamans and Nicobars. This book (published from London in 1903) remains the benchmark for any study of the islands. Rev. George Whitehead, who lived in the Car Nicobar Island as a missionary and helped Bishop John Richardson to compile the first dictionary in the Nicobarese language, wrote a book titled In the Nicobar Islands, published from London in 1924. Edward Horace Man, the officer-in-charge of the British penal settlement of Kamorta in the late nineteenth century, authored The Nicobar Isuuuis and Their People (1923). Records of the British government, such as the census reports published every decade (1901, 1921 and 1931), serve as the other authentic documents on the Nicobar Islands. The books published after 1947 are also few; mostly written by the government departmental officers and administrators who were serving the archipelagoes.

 

The Anthropological Survey of India series on the tribes deals with the characteristics of the tribes of the region. I obtained authentic information about the Nicobar Islands from the commemorative volume published by the diocese of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the occasion of the centenary celebration of the landing of Vedappa Solomon (a Christian missionary from Chennai who established a school in Car Nicobar during the end of the nineteenth century) in 1896. I also compiled information from several write-ups published in local magazines by various administrative officers posted in the Nicobar district in various capacities.

 

Ever since I visited the Nicobar archipelago for official purposes, in 1999, 1 have been enthralled by these islands. Admittedly, the Nicobars are a remote corner of India, but it is both strange and surprising that we know so little of its interesting history. There are several books on the Andaman Islands but comprehensive information regarding the ... Nicobars is scarce. While I have no special qualifications which make me an authority on the Nicobar Islands, I realised that few people have the kind of information I have gathered during my visits to the region, both, before and after the tsunami.

I have made an attempt to keep a photographic record of the unique physical features of the region and cultural peculiarities of the people living in the Nicobars during my excursions before the tsunami. I visited the archipelago several times after the disaster, starting from July 2005, to record and compare the changes at various periods. The geo-morphological, ecological, anthropological and social changes taking place there since the disaster are remarkable. I have penned down my experience gathered in each major Nicobar island before and after the tsunami in separate chapters.

In the last chapter, I have elaborately described my visit in May 2010, which revealed the most startling and remarkable changes in the archipelago.

 

I will consider my effort successful if this book helps people to understand this wonderful and 'little known' territory of our country and that of the world. The Nicobars otherwise unfortunately occupies only a few pages in the vast intern et encyclopedia with dishearteningly poor information.

 

Contents

 

Preface

9

Prologue

13

Destination Nicobars

17

The Nicobars: Isles of Peace

33

Car Nicobar: Pristine Nature

79

Chowra: Abandoned Isle

119

Nancowry: Dream Destination

145

Charismatic Katchal

173

Great Nicobar: Unexplored and Unknown

189

The Reincarnation of the Nicobars

213

Epilogue

281

Acknowledgements

285

Further Reading

287

Index

288

 

Sample Pages



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