Nirupa Rao is a botanical illustrator based in Bangalore. Her work is inspired by regular field visits into the wild, and informed by close collaboration with natural scientists to achieve accuracy. A National Geographic Young Explorer, she has illustrated two books, ‘Hidden Kingdom—Fantastical Plants of the Western Ghats’ (2019) and ‘Pillars of Life—Magnificent Trees of the Western Ghats’ (2018).
She illustrated the cover of Amitav Ghosh’s latest novel, ‘Gun Island’, and re-jacketed four of his older novels for Penguin-Random House. In 2019, she was named a Plant Humanities scholar at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Centre, and will participate in an exhibition at their museum in March 2020. She has also been named an INK Fellow, one to ‘watch out for’ in Forbes India’s annual 30 Under 30 issue, and one of Harper’s Bazaar India’s ‘Indian Women to be Proud Of’.