Did you know that the exquisite caves of Ellora in the Indian state of Maharashtra were hewn from rock formed in the greatest lava floods the world has known-eruptions so enormous that they may well have obliterated dinosaurs? Or that Bengaluru, the capital of the state of Karnataka, owes its unique climate to a tectonic event that took place 88 million years ago? That the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers sequester nearly 20 per cent of global carbon, and their sediments over millions of years have etched submarine canyons in the Bay of Bengal that are larger than the Grand Canyon? Ever heard of Rajasaurus, an Indian dinosaur which was perhaps more ferocious than T. rex? Many such amazing facts and discoveries – from 70-million-year-old crocodile eggs in Mumbai to the nesting ground of dinosaurs near Ahmedabad – are a part of Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent.
Researching across wide-ranging scientific disciplines and travelling with scientists all over the country, biochemist Pranay Lal has woven together the first compelling narrative of India's deep natural history filled with fierce reptiles, fantastic dinosaurs, gargantuan mammals and amazing plants. This story, which includes a rare collection of images, illustrations and maps, starts at the very beginning – from the time when a galactic swirl of dust coalesced to become our life-giving planet – and ends with the arrival of our ancestors on the banks of the Indus. Pranay Lal tells this story with verve, lucidity and an infectious enthusiasm that comes from his deep, abiding love of nature.
Indica won the award for the best non-fiction debut award at the Tata Lit Fest in Mumbai in 2017, the best book award at the Delhi Book Fair 2017, and was named among the top 10 memorable books of the year by Amazon and The Hindu's non-fiction list of 2017