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Big Game Shooting In Eastern And North Eastern India

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About the Book

It is a remarkable book on hunting which is regarded as the world’s second oldest profession. From the days of caveman who made hunting his daily pursuit for satisfaction of his food needs to the present day sportsman who resorts to games shooting as an exciting sport, hunting is undoubtedly the manliest of sports. The author, the then Maharaja of Cooch Behar describes it as a ‘Rough Diary’, of his 37 years’ career of Big Game Shooting which he started in 1871 and ended in 1907. This is ‘Rough Diary’ in the sense that it gives bald facts of the record of his shooting expeditions in a chronological order without playing the role of story-teller. In the introduction of the book the author gives for the benefit of readers an account of the country where he used to carry out his big game shooting and the clever methods he adopted to circumvent the game. The then State of Cooch-Behar had an area of 1300 square miles-plain or triangular in shape and covered with a network of rivers, streams and marshes. The State bordered on Assam and Bhutan Duars and was covered by heavy grass or reed jungles providing excellent shelter to big ‘game.’ At the Maharaja advanced in age and gained hunting expertise his tally of ‘kills’ registered a corresponding increase. During the decade 1871-1880, his hunting prize consisted of 15 tigers besides a large number of other wild beasts. But during the year 1905 alone he begged 18 tigers, not to speak of the number of other big game. The Maharaja delighted in organising and leading big hunting expeditions consisting of large number of elephants, hunters, attendants and heavy baggage and his fame spread all over the country with the result that even the highest dignitaries in the land were delighted to join his shooting parties. At least two viceroys Lord Curzon and Lord Minto joined him in big game shooting. He organized a ‘shoot’ for Lord Curzon at Madari Hat on 4th April, 1904. Two tigers and a black leopard were sighted- one tiger got away but the other was killed by the Viceroy who shot two more tigers on the following day. Lord and Lady Minto joined him for a shoot on 18th February, 1907 which proved a glorious day as they bagged three tigers on the forenoon and four in the afternoon. The Viceroy stayed for full one week. In the previous year (1906), the Maharaja of Bikaner joined his shooting expeditions on 22nd March, 1906 and remained in the camp for three days. The book abounds in a vast array of neat and attractive photographs depicting senses, the jungles as abodes of wild beasts, the running streams, the shooting bivouacs and lastly the finest photographs of the well known elephants of Cooch-Behar Durbar. One such photograph is of a famed elephant which once upon a time belonged to Yakub Khan, the Amir of Agfhanistan, who named his as ‘Mowla Bux’ and which the Maharajah later on rechristened as ‘Indrajit’. Even the famous hunter Sanderson has described this elephant in his book. A Unique book on hunting, written in a simple and straight-forward language, with a multitude of photographs of hunting scenes, is worthy of acquisition not only by lovers of manly sports but also by lovers of all kinds of adventures and sports, besides the libraries throughout the world.

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