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Former teacher’s book throws light on Rishi Valley landscape | Thiruvananthapuram News

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A retired teacher from the city has come out with an extensive book on the sprawling landscape and flora of Rishi Valley, which houses the educational centre founded by philosopher and thinker J Krishnamurthi. Sunil Thomas, a former student and a retired teacher of Rishi Valley School which is part of the educational centre, took six years to complete his work.
Titled, The Landscapes and Trees of Rishi Valley, the compilation speaks on the diverse landscapes and flora of Rishi Valley, which is 16km from Madanapalle in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh.
The book begins with the historical background of the Valley with detailed photographs, sketches, and geographical maps describing soil, vegetation, water, and climate of the Valley, prepared by engineers during a survey conducted by Theosophical Society in 1926.
The following chapters cover the nuances of diversified vegetation at the place. He classified each plant variety based on its physical characteristics, family and local names, along with a detailed description of its fruit, flower colour, purpose, and its location at the campus. Each description is complemented with photographs by alumni of the school.
Kadambari Misra, a designer and former student of Rishi Valley School, is the book designer.
Thomas, a native of Nanthancode, did his graduation in Botany from St Joseph’s College Bengaluru. He was the student of plant taxonomist late Fr Cecil J Saldanha S J, who led him to the world of plants.
His love for Rishi Valley made him join the school as a teacher in 2003, where he created a small club called ‘Fighters Club’ for students who are interested in plant identification and documentation.
“I thought of documenting details of plants digitally. But the task was not easy as there were a lot of pictures and text. So, I decided to engage a designer, and was fortunate enough to find Kadambari, who is also an ex-student of Rishi Valley,” said Thomas.

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