In the last few years there has been an increase in the popularity of Indian Mythology books. The genre is well-known as Indian Mythological Fiction. The genre has been able to capture both old and young generation.
These 8 books are my personal recommendation for every book lover who either wants to read a new genre or wants to read something different.
#1 The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
The series is based on the radical idea that all gods were once humans, and they became gods owing to their actions. The books re-tell the Shiva mythology in an easy-to-understand language. This series on Indian Mythology helped increase readership of this genre. This trilogy still remains a bestseller.
#2 Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik
The novel is an engrossing retelling of the longest and greatest epic, the Mahabharata. The author is successful in not only encapsulating the classic Sanskrit plot of the epic, but also effortlessly includes stories from the regional variants of the epic. Accompanying the story are some beautiful line drawings by the author. He has also stated some interesting facts, like the names of the hundred Kauravas.
#3 Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelkantan
Every Indian knows the story of Ramayana, the story of the victory of ‘good over evil’. Hundreds of times has the story been told and retold. However in this novel, the author tells us the story from the point of view of the ‘so-called’ antagonist/villain, Ravana, and that of an another Asura called Bhadra.
#4 Karna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen by Kavita Kane
This book tells us the story of the unsung hero of Mahabharata- Karna, through the perspective of his wife Uruvi. As the narrator of the story is someone who was not directly involved in the war, we get to see a new and fresh perspective of the events.
#5 The Ram Chandra Series by Amish Tripathi
After the Shiva trilogy, Amish Tripathi came up with a new series. This time, it was based on yet another famous and great Indian epic, Ramayana. The first book of this series Scion of Iksvaku is based on Ram, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the prince of the kingdom of Ayodhya. The second book of this series which was recently released is Sita-Warrior of Mithila; the second part is based on Sita, the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.
#6 The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik
The book tells the story of a king who gets pregnant as he accidentally drinks the potion which was meant to impregnate his wives. In a society like India, which is very rigid on gender roles, telling this lesser-known sub-story of Mahabharata is no easy task. Yet Devdutt is accomplishes in drawing the attention of his audience.
#7 Ajaya series by Anand Neelkantan
After retelling the Ramayana from the point of view of the ‘so-called’ villains, Anand Neelkanthan successfully attempts to show us the other side of Mahabharata. This very series compels the readers to question what, for all these years, we believed was true.
#8 The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
For the readers of The Palace of Illusions, the Mahabharata comes up with a completely new angle to Indian Mythology. Unlike Mahabharata, which has always been narrated from the male perspective, this novel narrates it from perspective of Panchali or Drapaudi, the wife of Pandav brothers. The readers learn about her love and admiration for the unsung hero of this epic, Karna. Then how she kept shifting her role as a wife for each of the five Pandav brothers. Also, despite all of the troubles, her admiration for her mother-in-law, Kunti.
These are not the only books available in the genre of Indian Mythology. Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi and Gita, Sita by Devdutt Pattnaik are two other great books one must read. Read history from fresh perspective.