in Review

Publisher: Rupa Publications
Language: English
ISBN: 9788129140364
Price: 140 INR
Pages: 170

Man-eaters of Kumaon‘ is undoubtedly the best book written by the revered tracker-turned-environmentalist, author and naturalist Jim Corbett. Jim Corbett is famous for his hunting of man-eating tigers and leopards in different places in the mountainous terrains of North India. In 1957, the most famous national park at Uttarakhand has been renamed as Jim Corbett National Park, in his respect.

MOKIn ‘Man-eaters of Kumaon‘, first published in 1944, Corbett has told us the stories of his man-eater huntings. This is a collection of stories of the exploits of the (in)famous tigers and leopards in the various hilly villages and how the hunter in Jim Corbett took pains and efforts to stop the exploitations with the limited resources that he had access to.

Among the many stories, Corbett keeps a separate section for ‘Robin’, his favorite dog, whom he used to take along in his hunts. That Corbett had intense affection towards Robin and that he used to be amused by Robin’s actions has been pretty clearly summed up in the chapter titled ‘Robin‘ in the book. In this chapter, the author narrates the tales of bravery and sense of stewardship that Robin used to possess.

This collection had stories about tigers – which were very common in the northern hilly states in pre-Independence India. The number of tigers started dwindling soon after India’s Independence. It became worse over time – so much so that the Government of India had to launch ‘Project Tiger‘ in 1973 – a conservation project aimed at saving tigers in their natural habitats from extinction.

Jim Corbett‘s name is taken in the same breath whenever the history of tigers in India comes into relevance. Although this book thoroughly displays the marksmanship side of Corbett, his efforts at natural conservation of tigers in India can never be denied.

With his effortless story-telling and narratives, Corbett keeps the readers glued to the stories like ‘The Bachelor of Powalgarh‘, ‘The Chowgarh Tigers‘, ‘The Kanda Man-eater‘ etc. If you are a nature lover (a cliched term, still) and love animals (not the only-on-Animal-Planet types), this is a book that shall be thoroughly enjoyed by you. And even if you are not, then also this book shall be an interesting read for the excellent narratives of the author.

Recommended? Yes, highly.

Rating: 8/10

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