“Writing with the precision and passion of a poet, Alter narrates his experience in the mountains that he loves. His descriptions of treks and expeditions, to Nanda Devi and Mount Kailash in Tibet, among others, are interwoven with insights on how we interpret ourselves in the ceaseless exploration called life …”

– Jug Suraiya, The Speaking Tree

The Cobra’s Gaze: Exploring India’s Wild Heritage

In The Cobra’s Gaze, award-winning writer Stephen Alter takes us on an astonishing journey of discovery through the wild places of India. As we accompany him on his quest to uncover multiple layers of meaning associated with the flora and fauna of the country’s woodlands, mountains, rivers, deserts, and coasts, we meet, among others, king cobras, the largest venomous snakes in the world, in the steamy rainforests of Karnataka; snow leopards, the elusive grey ghosts of the mountains, making their solitary way through the vastness of the Himalaya; rare crocodiles and blind dolphins in the Chambal ravines, once the haunt of dacoits; man-eating tigers stalking their prey in the mangroves of the Sunderbans; and Kottigehara dancing frogs trembling on the verge of extinction in the Western Ghats.

Becoming a Mountain

Wild Himalaya

Amritsar to Lahore

Sacred Waters

Elephas Maximus

Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief

All the Way to Heaven