The Rhododendrons of Nepal
by René de Milleville
2002, pp. x + 136
ISBN 99933 13 23 8
This book is meant for those who love flowers, and also for trekkers who want to admire rhododendrons on the spot and identify them easily. I have put down the date, the place and the altitude where the pictures were taken and all the data is provided in an easy-to-understand format. The information in the book will be useful for those preparing a trek to Nepal, the country of rhododendrons. Not only can readers find out where these beautiful flowers can be seen but also when.
This book is the work of a trekker. All the pictures in this book have been taken in the nature and show rhododendrons that are the most likely to be seen during a walk on the mountains. Geographically, they have been taken from the easternmost part of Nepal up to the Dhorpatan area in the west.
The size of this book had to be practical and light enough to fit into the backpack of a trekker going into the mountains, but it also had to be of a quality that would find its place in a bookcase. I hope I have succeeded in that regard and also that the reader will find enough valuable information to help him/her learn more about rhododendrons and appreciate these beautiful flowers further.
Born in 1929, René de Milleville’s contact with Nepal began with Gurkha soldiers he met during the Second World War in his native France. His first trip to Nepal was in 1962, during which he undertook a visit to Gosaikund where he saw his first rhododendron. After that, Milleville came back every year, alternating between trekking in the spring and autumn. Later, between 1970 to 1973, he worked as the Flight Operations Director of Royal Nepal Airlines. He was back many more times to climb several peaks and to trek among Nepal’s mountains. Over the years he has clocked an impressive 740 days of trekking all over Nepal. An ardent advocate of the establishment of a rhododendron park in Milke Danda, he has been to that area eight times between 1973 and 1998, and seen the destruction of the pristine rhododendron forests that has occurred over the years.