A book by Nanditha Krishna

This book was published back in 2007 by Penguin. It is a book about ancient Indian Myths and stories the various demons of the Hindu culture.

I picked this book as a part of the research for my upcoming fantasy novel and it did not disappoint. I found great information and reference about the various demons of Hindu mythology. How they came into being, their myths, also explore different narratives around the same myths and why the difference suited the time and the community.

The amount of research the author would have gone through to write this book is mind-boggling.

Spoiler: The book tells about the movement of people who came in and settled in Sindhu valley, what we now know as the Harrapan civilization. It explores various facets of the evolution of Hinduism, those who accepted the culture were absorbed and the rest were demonized. Incredibly some of the most revered gods too were demons for the ancients but were later made a part of the Hindu faith. The book successfully broke some of my own preconceived notions about the Hindu culture, like the Aryan and Dravidian divide, the holy trinity of the divine Hindu pantheon. Do you know some of the old Hindu gods to were Asuras according to Rig Veda?

There is a long Dictionary of demons, which covers almost 35% of the book. It could be difficult to read for some people because most stories are structured alike.

The book was a great source of information about my own culture. In all, it is an interesting read and a great reference guide. It deserves a total of 4 stars.


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