Tuesday, May 15, 2007


GANGTOK, May 14: The second book on Orchids of North East India by celebrated orchid expert and author from Sikkim, Mohan Pradhan was released on 01 May at New Delhi.

Ms Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh released the book

at a special function held at the Prime Minister’s residence at 5 Race Course Road in the presence of Union Minister for Tourism & Culture, Ms Ambika Soni along with various MPs, formers MPs, members from various Central Government departments and other distinguished guests.

The book titled ‘100 North East Indian Orchids’ is the second book in a series being brought out by Mohan Pradhan. The first book titled ‘100 Sikkim Himalayan Orchids’ was published in 2005 and was highly recommended in book reviews by the American Orchid Society and the Orchid Society of Great Britain. The first book is presently one of the best selling Orchid books in United States of America and Canada.

A new hybrid of Orchid named in memory of Mahatma Gandhi on the centenary of Satyagraha Movement was also unveiled on the occasion. This particular hybrid of Orchid was developed by Mohan Pradhan at his nursery, Himalayan Flora & Biotech in Gangtok.

The two books are the first illustrated books on Orchids of the region. The last illustrated book on Sikkim Orchids was published in 1898. The books contain full page illustrations of some of the rarest and most beautiful orchid species along with extensive chapters on history, cultivation and tourists.

“This book with exquisite photographs captures the natural beauty of the North East. It brings alive some of the plants and tempts us to visit the region and observe these plants in their natural surroundings”, said Ms Gursharan Kaur adding that the North East should be perceived better from the people who live there.

Union Minister for Tourism & Culture Ms Ambika Soni said “I could not believe my eyes that anyone could have taken such gorgeous photographs. If one does not have a chance of going to North East, especially to Sikkim, then I think glancing through the photographs will make you feel that you are almost there”, acknowledging that the book ‘100 North East Indian Orchids’ will encourage those who want to branch out into doing different things.

The author, Mr. Pradhan has served as ‘Eric Young Orchid Scholar’ at the Royal Horticulture Society, United Kingdom – the first South Asian to do so in UK’s 197 years history. Mr. Pradhan is also credited with the registration of the first orchid hybrid from the state in 1998.

Mr. Pradhan is presently a life member of the American Orchid Society and an elected member of the Orchid Specialist Group/ World Conservation Union (worlds largest NGO) Geneva, Switzerland as well being the Secretary to its South Asian Regional Section.