Queen of the Elephants

Queen of the Elephants

by Mark Shand (Author), Aditya Patankar (Photographer)


The recent stampede by 50 Asian elephants which killed six people and destroyed whole villages, illustrates how the Asian elephant, revered by Hindus as the God of Protection and utilized for thousand of years in service to mankind, is now increasingly feared by the Indian people. The competition for land has put them at odds with each other for survival, forcing the Asian elephant to the brink of extinction. Mark Shand experienced this conflict first-hand when he trekked 300-miles across East Benghal and Assam on the back of an elephant with Parbati Barua, the foremost and only female elephant trainer in all India. During the journey along the elephants' migratory route (from the remote foothills of the Himalayas to the distant Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan) Parbati teaches Mark all she knows about how to ride and care for his elephant. This book describes the experiences shared during this remarkable journey - joining a government 'elephant squad' together with local villages to chase a band of wild elephants off a tea estate; making a stop at Parbati's ancestral home, now a virtual shrine to her father's lifelong work with elephants. The importance of this ancient knowledge becomes clear: if not preserved, the Asian elephant stands an even greater chance of disappearing altogether.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Edition: BCE
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Published: 04 May 1995

ISBN 10: 0224035444
ISBN 13: 9780224035446

Author Bio
Mark Shand received the Travel Writer of the Year Award for his number one bestseller Travels on my Elephant. Eric Newby called it 'a pachydermic triumph'. His previous book, Skullduggery, wihth photographs by Don McCullin, is the story of his search for the head-hunting tribes of Indonesia. he wrote the script and narrated the 'Discovery' feature-length television film Queen of the Elephants.