Book Reviews

Author: Subas Pani
Publisher: Niyogi Books, New Delhi
(Pp 240, ISBN 978-93-85285-56-1, Rs 1,995)

Ratha Yatra, the ancient annual festival of the chariot journey by Lord Jagannatha, the presiding deity of the great temple Srimandira at Puri, is one of the grandest spectacles on earth. Jagannatha along with siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra ride three colourful chariots in their annual sojourn to their garden house and birthplace Gundicha Temple where they stay for seven days before returning. Ratha Yatra is rooted in ancient traditions, myths and legends and embodies the most colourful elements of the classical and folk cultures of the Indian subcontinent and the Odisha region.

This book is a comprehensive account of Ratha Yatra, which is a unique event in the entire world. Rich in detail, the book covers a wide span including the sacred geography of Puri, legends surrounding the temple, the unique architectural style of the temple complex, the elaborate preparatory summer festivals leading up to the main festival and generic discount levitra the process of making the chariots. It brings alive every stage of the intricate rituals and ceremonies lasting almost two months, giving a complete portrayal of different phases of the festival. With around 250 pictures, the book is a treat for the eyes.

Author: A. Sethumadhavan (Sethu)
Translation: Prema Jayakumar
Publisher: Niyogi Books, New Delhi
(ISBN: 978-93-85285-57-8, Rs 495)

The Saga of Muziris is a fascinating tale of the glory and decline of a major port, a hub of maritime trade in Kerala, in South India, which had mysteriously disappeared from the face of earth during the fourteenth century. Historians,archaeologists and academics, from the world over, had been looking for the lost Muziris, ever since. Some interesting leads, at the excavations at Pattanam, prompts Aravindan, the narrator, to pay a visit to his homeland.

What follows is a magical journey, enticing Aravindan to sail into the dark annals of history. In an effort to document his findings, Aravindan unravels the evolution of the area over several thousands of years— through political turmoils, social struggles, emigrations and more—unfolding an alluring history through powerfully and indelibly etched characters. The result is a gripping mix of history, myth, legend, fiction and magic reality. It takes the reader on a journey through antiquity, moving back and resources forth to reflect on the socio-economic ferment of varying periods, also, interestingly, establishing an organic link to the most recent times. Beautifully written, the book is a masterpiece.

Publisher: DK
(Pp 512, ISBN: 9780241299722, Rs 1999)

There is no dearth of material on the Mahabharata — translations, retellings, adaptations, commentaries, poems, criticisms, plays, children's versions, TV serial, movies, even satires and parodies. Was there a need for a coffee table book? DK certainly thought so and gives us The Illustrated Mahabharata.

This illustrated edition of Mahabharata from DK brings the world's longest epic to life. With more than 500 stunning images showcasing India's varied art forms, the book encapsulates stories from all 18 chapters, the Gita, and the Harivamsa in a uniquely accessible and visually stunning way. With clarity and simplicity, the stories reveal the eternal relevance of the Mahabharata, an epic that has shaped Indian thought for more than 3,000 years. An exploratory journey of lost kingdoms and dynasties, with characters that resonate with millions of people, DK brings you this beautiful retelling of India's greatest epic with a foreword by Mahabharata scholar Bibek Debroy.

Here’s what a satisfied customer in Hyderabad has to say, "I have already sold numerous copies of The Illustrated Mahabharata to individuals of different walks of life. IBD is taking another batch and the branch manager, Sri Gopal is helping me in its promotion. I congratulate the entire DK team for their work on this great Indian Epic. And I am sure you are going to create history in selling this great book. The coming together of fonts, photographs, artistic sketches, narration and presentation have all resulted in a product of par excellence. In my opinion, this book is unrivalled. It is the Bahubali of the written word!!! Every customer who has purchased a copy of The Illustrated Mahabharata from me has expressed their total satisfaction in possessing it." - M Madhusudan, Bhagyanagar Book House, Hyderabad.

Authors: Prof MP Poonia and SC Sharma
Publisher: Khanna Book Publishing, New Delhi (
(Pp 394, ISBN 10: 938617309, ISBN 13: 9789386173096, Rs 350)

Pollution poses an alarming threat to the environment & mankind and the environmental degradation all over the globe has become a major concernin the name of modernization resulting in negative impact onthe earth’s eco-system. India has put alert and importance of environment and environmental studies. Educational institutions haveincluded ‘environmental studies’ fulfilling the curriculum with this publication of Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies publication is a creation of Prof MP Poonia, VC of AICTE, with the support Shri SC Sharma, a distinguished writer in Mechanical Engineering. Prof Poonia, an M Tech (Mech) and Ph D (Thermal Engg) Degrees holder from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Prof Poonia is a renowned & specialized personality in the areas of Mechanical Engineering (IC Engines, Gas Dynamics, Ref AC), Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development. He possesses vast experience on various fronts.

Covering the syllabi of technical universities and others in diverse disciplines, whether it could be environmental science or ecology or natural resource management, Environmental Studiesis intensely written to bring about knowledge and awareness of all facets of environmental issues among students of different grades. Divided into 23 chapters,each chapter in the book narrates about different environmental concerns and their relative impacts and mitigations. Key lessons inthis book are on eco-system, ecology, forest resource, waste management, social issues and all othersrelated to environment.

Author: Abhishek Ray
Publisher: Tara Art Press
(Pp 184, ISBN 978-81-8386-136-6, Rs 299)

Set in Kolkata, the book revolves around an old woman’s murder that has left everybody baffled. There is a tribal who has run away from prison to the jungles of Sunderbans, back to his tribe, to correct the mistake they made. A teenager, who loves to get high on marijuana, can see dead people. His mother, a middle-aged woman has a secret, which she wants to forget but her son is bringing all old memories back. The destinies of all these four people bring them together.

It is a dark thriller but an intriguing one. Though the author has left many questions unanswered, probably for the sequel, the book does make an impression on the minds of the reader.