The author was a photo officer with Ministry of Tourism, The government of India. Today I am sure a lot of people would envy him. And would want to be in his shoes. Though it must not have been as easy in his days to travel on those roads. And to be on the move all the time. At the same time, it must have been fun as the crowds would have been less. And he was probably the only professional photographer around. In this small version coffee table book India’s Legendary East Coast he takes the reader through the east coast of India through his text and photographs. You can clearly see that photography is his strength.
Starting from West Bengal he takes the reader through the states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Before finishing his photo journey at the sunset at Kanyakumari. He takes you through Sunderbans. And introduces you to the people and their lives there. And tells you their stories through their boats stuck in the slush. He takes you through Dakshineshwar temple in Kolkata. And then into the by lanes of the city. In Odisha, of course, it is Jagannath Puri, its famous Yatra and the Sun temple at Konark. In Andhra, he tells you tales of Fishermen and their lives, of various European settlements that came up on these shores and whose signs can still be seen. He showcases the rice bowl of the region.
In Tamil Nadu, he enters through Lake Pulicat and showcases the birds that you can see there. Before moving to the famous cities along the coast from here – Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Rameswaram & finally Kanyakumari.
He describes the eastern coast of India a spiritual coast, as it is dotted with many places that are a favorite with the spiritually inclined. There are temples from various periods of the eras dotting the coast. At the beginning of the coast is Ganga merging with the Bay of Bengal and at the end, the three oceans merge creating a one of its kind confluence in the world. I never thought of East coast in this way, but going through this small book made me realize that what Mr. De is saying is indeed true.
Photographs are small as the book’s format itself is small, but nonetheless, they capture the spirit of the places they describe.
Pick this book India’s Legendary East Coast to see India’s East Coast from a new perspective.