NEW DELHI

`Magical value' of Western Ghats

"A wildlife photographer and a professor... ." -- the relationship does sound something like a chalk-and-cheese combination, but for photographer Sandesh Kadur and professor Kamaljit S. Bawa it was an ideal tie-up.

Having got together to do a coffee-table book on `Sahyadris: India's Western Ghats -- A Vanishing Heritage', the first copy of which was presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the duo claim to have managed to capture the beauty and the `magical value' of this biodiversity hotspot.

Put together for the Ashok Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) by Sandesh and Kamal, "the book," insists Sandesh, "is a must have for anybody who wants to understand and work in this area. It is not a collection of spectacular photographs but a result of 18 months of hard work where we stayed in the area, researching, collecting facts, shooting, writing the text and putting together a book that can be used as a ready reference."

The book highlights the beauty and incredible diversity of life in the mountains that stretch nearly 1,600 km along the south-western coast of India.

"When Prime Minister Manmoham Singh was presented with a copy of the book, he immediately asked, `So how can we prevent the loss of this beautiful natural heritage?'," says Sandesh. -- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

-- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

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