Indian literature abounds with epic tales featuring tragedy, love, and grand wars. Here are some of such captivating narratives that make for a compelling read and would look great on screen.
BuddhacharitaWritten by a Buddhist poet, Asvogosha, the book delves into the life of Buddha, his teachings, and the miracles he performed. Asvagosha, who was one of the members of King Kanishka’s court, wrote about the Buddha’s journey of becoming a spiritual teacher.
Shiva TrilogyAmish Tripathi authored a trilogy which depicts a conflict between the kingdoms of Meluha and Swadeep, and follows the expedition of a tribal man to Mount Kailash as he transforms into the Mahadev. This literary work has been a global success with over 2.5 million copies sold.
KiratarjuniyaAn epic poem, written by Bharavi, it is said to be one of the most powerful works ever written in Sanskrit. Set during the time of the Pandavas’ exile during the Mahabharata, the poem tells the tale of how Sage Vyasa advises the Pandavas to please the Gods during this period.
Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-PrinceAnuja Chandramouli’s book focuses on Arjuna and his thrilling escapades. It also gives a peek into the lives of the Pandava brothers and their many shenanigans. The book is known for its depiction of love, friendship and human emotions.
Chanakya’s ChantIn Ashwin Sanghi's book, Chanakya manipulates events to ensure that his disciple, Chandragupta Maurya, ascends to the throne of the Mauryan empire. Millennia later, Chanakya is reincarnated as a destitute Brahmin teacher, seeking to break the curse that was placed on him in his childhood.
Aryavarta ChroniclesWritten by Krishna Udayasankar, the trilogy — consisting of Govinda, Kaurava and Kurukshetra — is a reinterpretation of Mahabharata. The series is captivating as it follows the protagonist Govinda Shauri, who sacrifices everything he loves to save humanity.
ImmortalAs the name hints, the book is about a man who is cursed to walk on Earth for thousands of years and cannot die. Written by author Krishna Udayasankar, it follows the quest of Vajra which is said to be the secret of unending life.
The ArthashastraThe book, composed by Kautilya between the 2nd and 3rd century BCE, comprises of five parts covering a range of subjects. It offers insights into topics such as the nature of governance, law, civil and criminal court systems, ethics, economics, markets and trade.
ShakuntalaKalidasa's Shakuntala is yet another epic narrative featuring the eponymous protagonist, the daughter of sage Vishwamitra and the gorgeous apsara, Menaka. The story is replete with naturalistic depictions, curses, and dramatic plotlines.
Vikram-BetaalSomdev Bhatt, a Kashmiri poet, composed an epic featuring a compilation of short stories narrated by a vetala, a semi-divine being, each time King Vikramaditya captures him. Each story concludes with a riddle that engages the reader's problem-solving abilities.