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Life and Culture in Northeast India

Nominated | Book Awards 2021 |

Life and Culture in Northeast India

The definitive book on the eight states of north-eastern India, including the lives and beliefs of the many communities and the fragile ecosystems that make this region so fascinating.

Full Title: Life and Culture in Northeast India

Author: Dipti Bhalla, Shiv Kunal Verma

Award Category: 
About the Book: 

The eight states of India’s Northeast make up only 8 per cent of the country’s land mass, but they are home to over one hundred tribes, each with its own unique culture. The terrain, predominantly hilly, ranges from snow-capped Himalayan peaks to tropical rainforests, and the national parks and preserves contain exceptional scenery and an abundance of wildlife, from red pandas to snow leopards. Now, for the first time, noted documentary filmmakers and photographers Dipti Bhalla Verma and Shiv Kunal Verma provide a comprehensive introduction to this little-known yet captivating part of the world.
Bhalla and Verma conduct us from the towering Kanchenjunga massif in Sikkim to the tea plantations of Assam, to the astonishing biodiversity of Arunachal Pradesh, to the martial tribes and Baptist churches of Nagaland, to the birthplace of polo in Manipur, to the living root bridges of Meghalaya, to the farms nestled among the hills of Tripura and Mizoram. The authors take us into the lives of the many peoples of Northeast India, who maintain their traditional customs and beliefs even in the face of growing ecological threats. They trace the history of the major population groups from the earliest records to the present, and illustrate their characteristic art forms, from dance to architecture. Special sections are devoted to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Khangchendzonga National Park and Kaziranga National Park, all three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Featuring more than three hundred colour photographs and twelve detailed maps, Life and Culture in Northeast India will be an essential volume for anyone interested in the peoples and places of Planet Earth.

About the Author: 

Dipti Bhalla Verma is an alumna of Loreto Convent, Lucknow; Miranda House, Delhi; the Film and Television Institute of India; and the Australian Film and Television School. Her filmography includes popular music videos, fiction shorts, television serials and documentaries. Under the banner of KaleidoIndia, a production company she cofounded with Shiv Kunal Verma, she has directed and produced numerous highly acclaimed films on wildlife and the armed forces, among other subjects. One of these films, The Standard Bearers, on the National Defence Academy, is considered by critics to be an all-time classic. She has authored and coauthored several books, including Ocean to Sky: India from the Air, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and the path-breaking Northeast Trilogy.

Shiv Kunal Verma was educated at the Doon School and Madras Christian College. He then worked with Tiger Tops in Ladakh, reconnoitring trekking routes in the early 1980s. After a stint with Associated Press he was the cameraman for the Project Tiger television series. For KaleidoIndia he shot extensively with the armed forces, clocking many hours on frontline fighter aircraft and filming the Kargil War in 1999. The author of several distinguished books, including The Long Road to Siachen and 1962: The War That Wasn’t, he is also developing an Enhanced Education Program for educational institutions that includes military history.

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