The Indian landscape is not just a treat for the Bag-Packers and the traveling enthusiast but has also inspired many poets and writers with its lush green meadows, snow-capped mountains, sparkling riversides and mesmerizing hilltop views.
As the vacations come to an end, let’s rest those happy feet and relax at home while reading books that describe the natural beauty of India in the most raw and vivid way. You never know, which of these light sparks in your heart and give you a new traveling destination!
1. The Hungry Tide By Amitav Ghosh
The writer takes you to the treacherous lush scenery of the Sundarbans surrounded by tiny islands, off the easternmost coast of India. The description of their search for rare species of dolphins and the trips to the backwaters flow effortlessly from his pen. The story takes you to the ups and downs faced by a biologist, a local fisherman and a translator in their adventurous journey which will keep you at the edge of your seat throughout the story.
2. Srikanta By Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
The story revolves around a middle class Bengali boy and his journey in the rural Bengal. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that this book, perhaps catches the essence and beauty of West Bengal in the most remarkable way. Published around 70 years ago, Srikanta is the tale of fighting the social norms, experimenting with love and travelling to different places in search of the soul within. All of these and many more in the first modern Indian novel runs with the streets of Bengal in the background. Those gardens with its flattering flowers, the mornings and evenings by the Riverside simply fills the reader’s mind with the desire to run away into those vast serene stretches of land, where you can hear just the chirping of the birds and your heart’s song.
3. The Blue Umbrella By Ruskin Bond
The classic Ruskin Bond novel that picturizes his love for nature. The story of a little girl Binya hailing from a small village of Himachal Pradesh who trades her leopard claw for a blue umbrella has been winning millions of hearts since its launch. Bond gives life into his words with his descriptions of the mesmerizing mountains and terrains of Himachal. As Binya’s small feet run through the courses of Himachal land, you feel yourself lost in the serenity and beauty of sprawling pine trees and velvet green land cover. You would want to sit by your window, one rainy day and enjoy this book with your favorite cup of coffee.
4. Rain In The Mountains By Ruskin Bond
The poems and proses in abundance describes the beautiful land of Mussoorie- The Queen of Hills. The silky white falls that make Mussoorie into what spectacular beauty it is known for, is narrated in a classic Ruskin Bond way. Bond tells the story of his home in Mussoorie and the breathtaking view he sees from his window, where he sits to pen down his thoughts. The story takes us to the ups and downs of a mountain life. The use of trees as a metaphor for best critics is nothing less than an interesting read. Ruskin bond again defrosts the heart of his readers by his realistic and colorful narration.
5. Into Thin Air By Jon Krakauer
The thriller adventure is much more than the account of a Mt. Everest Disaster. The 1997 best-selling non-fiction depicts the tragic journey of eight climbers who lost their lives during the storm of 1996 around the Mount Everest peak. But the expedition trip is not just that, it is the tale of the valleys and passages to the magnificent Himalayan range. Before the storm sets in, the author beautifully carves the beauty of India’s crown. The great mountain peaks that adorn the country’s northern most edge. The icy roads, small hamlets with snow all over their roofs. A must read for all the adventure seekers.
6. Around India In 80 Trains By Monisha Rajesh
Monisha along with her family shifted to Madras but tired of the scenarios they saw, returned back to England merely after 2 years of stay. 20 years later, Monisha returns and starts her journey, travelling 40,000 kms across India in 80 trains. You can just imagine the diversity she must have seen, the culture she must have experienced and the beauty she must have felt passing through all those beautiful terrains of India. The tale is of India and India alone. From its culture and customs to hills and mountains. Not just the spectacular views of different parts of the country, but Monisha finds herself lost in every simple detail of India. Once the veil is lifted, the naturalistic beauty of Indian sceneries charms her like nothing else and through her words, it leaves a mark on the readers as well.
7. The Making Of The Indian Landscape By Aditi Chatterji
The well-researched book captures how landscape of India has changed over past many years. From the colonial to urban period, it takes into account how the cities developed, some rivers dried up, new falls erupted, monuments and heritage sites were protected and how the Indian landscape developed the way we see it now. Divided into two volumes, it is an outcome of more than twenty years of surveys and research in Oxford and Kolkata. A treat for historians and those who follow the Indian land, water and architecture.
8. Shades Of Kashmir By Shome Basu
More of a photographer than a writer, Shome Basu’s work on the Kashmir valleys got him acclaimed worldwide. With his camera as the door to rare stories in the beautiful valley of Kashmir, he captures the days and nights of a valley man, the children walking barefoot on the white sheet of snow, kids playing near the shimmering streams of water. His words reflect his love for the heavenly beauty of Kashmir and the local culture. The book is more than just about the meadows and rivers and shifts smoothly to the militants and government over the course of progress. A commendable job by Basu to mirror the life in Kashmir.
9. The Night Train at Deoli and Other Stories By Ruskin Bond
Yet another collection of stories by Ruskin Bond about the small town in India. Bond’s love for nature is not hidden from anyone and through the night train at Deoli and other stories, he again wins at carving the beautiful landscape of India with mere words. It is the story of Gulmohar trees and blue birds, of love and loneliness, of morning fogs and evening sun rays, of the hills and mountains, of life and death. There is magic in his words, the way he is flattered by nature’s beauty, the way he mesmerizes his readers of the same. Reading the stories makes you feel that you, like him, are walking down the path near the hills with fallen leaves and exquisite flowers.
10. Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra By Ruskin Bond
A series of fourteen stories about the Doon Valley traces author’s life from childhood to present. Gliding through the pages, it feels like moving across the Dehra valleys and roads with Bond’s unmatched narration about the autumn leaves that paint the roads rust, the pine trees that decorate the valley and hamlets in the hills that give life to the landscape. The story touches the heart for many reasons and you’ll end up hitched with the book even after the tale ends.
This was our list of ten books that are the outcome of author’s inspiration from Indian landscape. Comment below and let us know which one of these has made space in your shelf!