Indian mythology is among the most coveted genres in the world, with millions of people finding peace in our ancient scriptures. There are arguably thousands of books that are focused on various deities and characters from our mythology.
With mythology fast becoming more and more popular among the urban youth for its relevance in our modern society, here is a list of the 10 most important books that can keep you engrossed for weeks.
- The Pregnant King, Devdutt Pattanaik
One of the most relatable books for many bibliophiles who are still looking for their identity, this book offers an intriguing read. It revolves around the character of Yuvanashva. His mother, Shilavati, yearns to be the king, but cannot be so because of her gender.
Yuvanshva drinks a magic potion that takes away his male genitals and results in him giving birth to a son.
The travails of heartbroken Shilavati and her son is the central plot of the book, which breaks numerous gender stereotypes and barriers to present a modern-day issue in the veil of mythology.
- Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished, Anand Neelakantan
While the Ramayana is a famous story about the heroics of Lord Ram, this book puts the reader in the shoes of its vanquished warriors.
The book is written from the perspectives of Ravana and Bhadra, one of his closest aides. These two vanquished warriors narrate the story of a young leader who is the only hope for his people to achieve prosperity and peace.
- The Palace Of Illusions, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Palace of Illusions is another retelling of the Mahabharata from the perspective of Panchali or Draupadi. The celebrated author’s book is written with a unique approach to the epic that isn’t very common in the mainstream renditions of the Mahabharata.
Banerjee decides to give voice to the oppressed and provide a more feminist narration of the epic battle between good and evil.
- The Liberation Of Sita, Volga
Volga presents a unique take on the Ramayana from the perspective of Sita.
In this book, Sita roams around the lands, meeting other characters from the Ramayana to develop her unique individual perceptions, and this in turn gives a fresh new point of view to readers.
- Karna’s Wife, Kavita Kane
While Karna is widely acknowledged to be the Mahabharata’s unsung hero, his wife Uruvi is a character who draws even less attention.
This book again retells the tale from a woman’s perspective and unravels the complications between the Kauravas and the Pandavas that lead to the Great War.
- The Krishna Key, Ashwin Sanghi
The author relies on mythological tales to create an irresistible piece of historical fiction. It is the story of a rich young boy who grows up believing himself to be the Kalki Avatar but ends up being a serial killer.
The human race cried with desperation when the mysterious character named Krishna succumbed to death like a mortal. But the god had assured his followers that he would be back when things go further south, when people of the world would need him the most to guide them unto salvation.
If you are a fan of books like The Da Vinci Code, then this one’s for you. A historian rushes to Dwarka to find the submerged relic of Lord Krishna in order to foil the plans of a notorious killer.
- The Shiva Trilogy, Amish Tripathi
If the personality of Lord Shiva fascinates you, then pick this trilogy right away.
The three books tell the story of a Tibetan immigrant, Shiva, who is viewed as the saviour of his people. His journey is full of adventure and breathtaking perils as he establishes himself as God and Destroyer of Evil.
- The Hastinapur series, Sharath Komarraju
The elaborate and voluminous series tells the enthralling tale of the rise of Hastinapur as one of the key contemporary centres of power and politics.
The series begins with the story of Ganga, who is distraught following the death of her seven sons. The author’s storytelling abilities take readers to the second book where Amba is living for revenge against her enemies.
The series narrates the story of various women characters from the Mahabharata and depicts Bhishma from a perspective that many others have not worked upon. In these books, women are pivotal characters.
- Shikhandi And Other Stories They Don’t Tell You, Devdutt Pattanaik
A landmark book exploring queerness and, in turn, the larger LGBTQ community.
This book talks about different characters such as Shikhandi, Mahadeva or Chudala who seem to change their gender at will to help others in all sorts of ways. This book helps readers to have a more in-depth understanding of the word, “queer”.
- Mrityunjay, Shivaji Sawant
Here is another book delving into the personality and character of Karna, one of the most significant characters in the Mahabharata.
The book is written with narrations and perspectives of many different characters, including Karna, Kunti, Duryodhana and Krishna.