Anil Dhir was born in 1961 at Cuttack, India. After schooling from Stewart School he graduated in English Literature and enrolled at the Utkal University , Bhubaneswar where, for eight years, he immersed himself in English Literature,History,Anthropology, Sociology and accumulated hundreds of lecture room hours and collecting three masters degrees. The pursuit of knowledge, he maintains, is a worthy objective in its own right and needs no external validation.
He meanwhile underwent flying training for his Private Pilot’s Licence from the Bhubaneswar Flying Club.
He has, over the years, traveled extensively all over India; mostly off the beaten track.He has worked among the tribals and fisher folk of Odisha, discovering many new unknown aspects. Anil is a confluence hunter, and had located and tracked down all the confluences in Odisha and written a book titled “Confluences: Journeys into the heart and soul of Odisha”.
He is a Life Member of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and the Co-ordinator of many projects for its Odisha Division. He undertook the Jagganath Sadak Yatra in which he travelled by a Bullock Cart from Kolkata to Puri to retrace the old Jagannath Sadak.
Anil had done an extensive research on the Indian National Army veterans. He discovered the INA veteran Laxmi Panda and forced the government to recognise her as a freedom fighter. For 15 years he sold and published books. An avid philatelist, he has won national and international awards and has written three books on Philately. He other interests include photography, flying, collecting old books and manuscripts, temple art and architecture, green issues, traveling second class by Indian Railways and getting involved in issues that he should not get involved in. He has also made an award winning documentary film titled “The Last Post” of the Dak Tonga of Jeypore in Koraput.
He is a regular columnist for many magazines.
List of Books:
1. Confluences: Journeys into the heart and Soul of Odisha
2. The Jagganath Sadak
3. The Great Orissa Famine of 1866
4. The Romance of the Rarities
5. Delhi Chalo: Netaji and the INA
6. Iron and Steal : The Mining Scam (Forthcoming)
7. The Purulia Arms Drop Mystery (Forthcoming)
8. Biju Patnaik : Indian Buccaneer (Forthcoming)
9. Kalinga Airways : The Story of Biju Patnaik’s Airline