2008

The Story of Asia’s Lions

(First Published: February 2005, Revised Edition: October 2008)
By: Divyabhanusinh
Binding: Hardcover
Specifications: 268 pages, 162 illustrations
ISBN: 978-81-85026-87-9
Dimensions: 280 x 215 mm

The writer introduces the lion and its present habitat, and goes on to examine through written and visual records the interaction between this majestic animal and human beings in Asia, from the earliest available historical records to the present day. The book evaluates efforts made for the conservation of the species in the first half of the 20th century by British administrators and more remarkably by the last two nawabs of Junagadh. The status in independent India is recorded, with indications of what the future holds for the lion in the 21st century. The work is of a unique nature as very rarely has an account of any species from historical times been attempted, one exception being this author’s internationally acclaimed research on the cheetah in India. While there are innumerable books on the lions of Africa, there have been only three books about the lions in India ever written in English, none of which is easily accessible. There is, in fact, no book on the species’ history either for Africa or for Asia and this is a pioneering attempt.

Divyabhanusinh had a distinguished career in the Tata Administrative Service and has throughout taken an active interest in nature conservation and its history. His book The End of a Trail: The Cheetah in India (1995) was a pathbreaking history of a species, for which the University of Pune awarded him the rare D.Litt. degree.

Preface

Acknowledgements

Asia’s Lions Today

An Oriental Patrimony

A Search through Antiquity

Mrigaraja: King of the Beasts

Under the Delhi Sultanate

The Great Mughals Go Hunting Lions

The British Come Calling

Soruth Sarkar Saves Lions

The Last Nawab Battles On

The Dominion of India Inherits Lions

The Great Numbers Game

A Second Home

Life in the Republic: The Lion in Winter

References

APPENDICES
Glossary of Flora and Fauna and Indian Words
Gujarati Words (most from the Kathiawari Dialect) for the Lion
The Size of Asiatic Lions
Letter from Lord Curzon to Burma Game Preservation Association
Legal Basis of the Indian National Emblem, by Udaybhanusinh

MAPS
Past and Present Distribution of the Lion in North Africa and Asia
Past and Present Distribution of the Lion in India, R.I. Pocock’s Map
Junagadh State at the Turn of the 20th Century
The Gir National Park and Sanctuary
Current Distribution Range of the Asiatic Lion

Bibliography

Index