Noor: Queen of Ranthambhore is co-written by Andy Rouse and Aditya “Dicky” Singh and covers four years in the life of the eponymous tigress.
It’s a large-format photography book (opens in new tab) packed with 200 stunning pictures of Noor captured in the Ranthambhore National Park in the Rajasthan region of north-west India.
Presented as a chronological collection of stories, the book follows Noor’s life for four years, with tender portraits of her as a mother contrasting sharply with dramatic images of hunting and surviving in the wilds of the national park.
Take a look inside Noor: Queen of Ranthambhore
Noor had four litters between 2012 and 2016, producing six cubs – three male and three female – many of which feature in the book.
Readers can also discover the sad story of Ustad, the father of Noor’s first litter of cubs in 2012. A magnificent tiger and once the “King” of Ranthambhore, Ustad was put in captivity after killing four men in 'stalk and kill' incidents between 2012 and 2015. Andy and “Dicky” felt very close to Ustad and wish they had taken more opportunities to have seen him in the wild.
“For us, Noor is the ultimate tigress – an incredibly ruthless killing machine one minute and a tender mother the next,” write Andy and “Dicky” in the book’s introduction.
“There’s no doubt that she’s a mean mamma… we have spent every moment we can in her territory and in return she has shared incredible moments of her life with us.”
Photographing Noor’s life in the Ranthambhore National Park demanded impressive levels of dedication and stamina, with hundreds of hours spent waiting, watching and hoping – sometimes in oppressive temperatures well over 40C.
Noor’s habitat is dominated by immense rocky bluffs towering over a boulder-strewn landscape, with sedimentary river valleys criss-crossing the territory and providing a choice of water sources.
Despite the technical challenges that Andy and “Dicky” had to overcome, the book features an extensive selection of vivid photographs, presented in colour, monochrome and infra-red.
And for any wildlife photography enthusiasts who are keen to find out more about camera setup and technique in these conditions, then you're in luck – Andy goes into some detail about these areas in the penultimate chapter.
“This book is very different from any other tiger book,” says India’s foremost tiger expert, Valmik Thapar. “It is a tribute to the incredible success of Ranthambhore’s tigers over the last decade.
“The turn of this century was tough and poachers wiped out nearly half of the tigers. But during the last decade, after a huge effort by forest ofﬁcers and tiger activists, Ranthambhore evolved.
“Andy and Dicky capture the incredible beauty of the tiger through the story of Noor, who survived this last decade and epitomises the very best of Ranthambhore’s amazing tigers.
“Ranthambhore is now the tiger destination of the world, and this book celebrates that fact.”
Noor: The Queen of Ranthambhore is the first in a new series of books by Andy Rouse and “Dicky” Singh, celebrating a passion for photography, tigers and conservation, with more titles due to follow in the spring.
The Queen of Ranthambhore project will donate funds to local tiger conservation and community projects in Ranthambhore.
Noor: Queen Of Ranthambhore by Andy Rouse & Aditya “Dicky” Singh is on sale now, priced at £40 or £60 for two copies, via Andy Rouse's website (opens in new tab).
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