Shiv Kunal Verma is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker who has worked across genres. Having done his initial schooling at St Joseph’s Academy and the Doon School in Dehradun, he did his graduation from Madras Christian College, Tambaram, a cross-India move that impacted his outlook on life deeply. His career began with Tiger Tops Mountain Travel. This job entailed opening trekking routes between Kashmir and the Zanskar and Ladakh regions, apart from being trained as a naturalist at Chitwan in Nepal. He then had a brief stint with India Today before moving on to Associated Press, where apart from covering Punjab, he also worked on various wildlife and environment-related stories. In 1986 he went on to direct and film the bulk of the Project Tiger television series that Bittu Sahgal produced.
In 1992, he shot and produced Salt of the Earth for the IAF, where he clocked hundreds of hours on fighters and helicopters, flying to some of the most inaccessible parts of the country. This film was followed by a series of Naval and Army films, culminating with one on the Kargil War, where he operated with both 8 Mountain and 3 Infantry Divisions. In addition, he has also made films on the NDA (The Standard Bearers) and the IMA (Making of a Warrior). In 2002 he made Aakash Yodha, which premiered with the NDA film on Discovery Channel and then aired repeatedly. His other works include the film on the War College, Mhow, and the College of Defence Management, Hyderabad. He also made the first-ever film on the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas).
Simultaneously, he worked on various illustrated books, first producing a book on aerial India, Ocean to Sky, followed by a pictorial on the Military World Games in 2007. The Northeast Palette on the Dimapur-based 3 Corps was a journey through Nagaland, Manipur, the Barak River Valley, Tripura, and Mizoram, and the beginning of the work done to put the Northeast Trilogy together. Books on the Assam Rifles further helped cover most of the Naga Patkai region in fine detail.
The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why delved into Jammu and Kashmir geopolitics and was published in 2012. He also authored 1962: The War That Wasn’t and 1965: A Western Sunrise, both hailed by critics as the definitive accounts of the two wars. His autobiography, Life of an INDUSTANI: Six Degrees of Separation and a set of twelve books that make up the Value Education program are currently being released. Apart from the three books on the Northeast, the South India Trilogy covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry, Karnataka and Kerala. The Wildlife Quartet then covers the entire subcontinent’s wildlife, while two single volumes are on the Trans-Himalayan region. Finally, the Illustrated Military History of India completes the seminal series.