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Adi Parva - Churning of the Ocean

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  238 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Kari comes a brilliant new interpretation of mythology. Combining stories from the Adi Parva which precede the main narrative of the Pandav-Kaurav war for succession.
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by HarperCollins India
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The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee DivakaruniJaya by Devdutt PattanaikAjaya by Anand NeelakantanKarna's Alter Ego by Surendra NathMrityunjaya, The Death Conqueror by Shivaji Sawant
Books on Mahabharata
13th out of 112 books — 47 voters
Kari by Amruta PatilCrocodile in Water, Tiger on Land by CWTLZero Defect by Aarohan AtwalThe Itch You Can't Scratch by Sumit KumarMoonward by Appupen
Indian Comics
12th out of 30 books — 14 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rijula D
May 10, 2013 Rijula D rated it it was ok
Amruta Patil has the ability to craft a sentence that turns a knife ever so excruciatingly somewhere inside the reader's soul; this book had a few of those moments too, but ultimately it was a red herring. A fractious, cobbled-together pastiche of the Mahabharat for the fancy Indians and their white friends. what does it start from? where does it go? what is the grain of sand, the central heart stopping philosophy that the pearl is woven around? Mahabharat has an answer to those questions, Adi ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Jan 20, 2013 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing
There is the concept of the storyteller in the Indian tradition, also known as the sutradhar. The one who holds the thread, that’s what it means. Of storytelling, of plots, of history and of the present and the future. One must not underestimate the ability of a storyteller. There is more to them than what meets the eye. This is what Amruta Patil tries and brings about amongst many things in her latest offering, “Adi Parva”.

“Adi Parva” is Book 1 of the Mahabharata. It is how the epic came to be,
Ronil Diyora
Jun 20, 2016 Ronil Diyora rated it liked it
My review will actually be: 3.5

A good book with large and detailed images and drawings! It has chosen only one topic particularly about Mahabharata, so if someone starts to read the book with thought that it will give detailed insight of Mahabharata then one will get disappointed.

The illustrations are sometimes very gorgeous and thought-provoking, while sometimes they are bit out of the context. So it makes one fill like the continuum is not maintained but on second thought it seems there are ma
Parmeet Kohli
Jan 28, 2015 Parmeet Kohli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top
So a Mahabharata fixation made me pick Adi Parva - Churning of the Ocean by Amruta Patil. My first graphic novel and I wasn't sure what to expect. What an outstanding read it turned out to be! Up there with Mrityunjaya for me as an alternate narration of the epic. Her paintings are beyond words and so is the narrative. Her prose never fails to match her stunning artwork and sets a wonderful pace to the tale. Patil uses the age old Indian tradition of a "sutradhar" to weave her web of stories and ...more
Abhinav Agarwal
Dec 26, 2012 Abhinav Agarwal rated it it was amazing
A spectacular graphic retelling of the Mahabharata. This first in a trilogy will leave you spellbound

Adi Parva, by ("via") Amruta Patil is a standout addition to the retellings of the epic, for several reasons. This lavishly produced high quality edition is a marvelous work, for several reasons. This is a graphic book, with the emphasis being more on the drawings than on the text. Each page has at most a two-three lines of text, which leaves you with a full page of charcoal or color illustration
Jan 22, 2013 Vaidehi rated it it was amazing
A stunning new take on traditional Indian myths and legends as well as the oral tradition. The author is able to add incredible depth to these oft-told stories and her original illustrations allow an incredibly interesting perspective to the tales - an absolute must-read!
Nov 15, 2016 Dpcinh rated it it was amazing
Any retelling of this eternal epic is bound to be interesting. This graphic version is no exception. Frankly, I found the illustrations dense and rather abstract - as if clouded by the mists of time. However, my artist wife considers them brilliant, and I've valued her judgment in all things aesthetic. What I found fascinating was the script - was it hand crafted or printed? Finally, my 5 star rating shows my appreciation. Have also got the sequel "Sauptik" and am champing at the bit to start on ...more
Varsha Dinesh
Sep 26, 2016 Varsha Dinesh rated it really liked it
I think overall 3.5

Some of Amruta Patil's prose is absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the format is very well suited to this kind of storytelling. I adore the story-within-a-story narrative, and the paintings are gorgeous. I do wish there was a little more depth to each story told within the network of stories. This reads like a collection of very condensed nuggets from the Mahabharata rather than an in-depth look at any particular narrative thread: I do wish Patil had focused on something
Nesa Sivagnanam
Jul 23, 2016 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. Gorgeous artwork on smooth as silk pages.

An old tale told as it should be ... in the voice of storytellers who are themselves part of the tale.

Not all great stories have small beginnings. Sometimes a storyteller meets a tale so vast she can only start with the gods.

Adi Parva opens under a tree beside a river. Not far away, smoke rises to the sky, and fiery sparks shoot up to burn the stars: King Jamejaya is burning snakes. All the snakes, in the entire world. He's summoned ris
May 19, 2016 Rohit rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythology
My recently re-discovered love for Indian mythology, thanks in no small measure to Mrs. Divakurani's 'The Palace of Illusions', guided me to purchase this book when a group on FB announced that a book by the name of 'Adi Parva' was available at a discount. The name piqued my interest, the theme appealed to me, and after ascertaining that the reviews were mostly positive, I decided to take the plunge.

The books deals with a handful of ancillary tales surrounding the main story of Mahabharat. These
Jul 08, 2013 Suhit rated it really liked it
Amazing graphic interpretation of unknown parts of Mahabharata. The creativity/imaginations put in most of art work is in different mediums charcoal acrylic etc and its really beautiful. This book doesn't talk about the great fight or the great conversation between Arjun and Krishna. The stories are mostly before that. The storytelling using Ganga as a sutradhar brings up a connection to the modern world. Even the dialogues seem anachronistic but delivers the message with a contemporary connect. ...more
Aseem Kaul
Sep 28, 2013 Aseem Kaul rated it really liked it
Amruta Patil's Adi Parva features some exquisite art work, and the idea of using Ganga as a sutradhaar, recounting stories to a justifiably skeptical audience is truly inspired; so it's a shame that the story it tells is not more engrossing. A few bright touches aside (I loved the section on Gandhari) Patil does little more than rehash the old myths, in a way that will neither endear them to those unfamiliar with Indian mythology, nor excite those who are. If anything, Adi Parva makes these old ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Jatan rated it liked it
Shelves: female-authors
An embellished and beautiful artifice, except it's as hollow as the Trojan horse on the inside. The concept and stylistic narrative is pretty funky overall, maybe as an art project; as a graphic novel, it really doesn't make the cut for me. Could be 'cz the Mahabharata, for all of Miss Patil's exhortations about the need for cosmic stories to be continuously re-interpreted, seems antiquated to me.

A word of advice to the author: Completing high school wouldn't have been such a bad idea after all
Madhurabharatula Pranav Rohit Kasinath
A wonderful, abstract and dreamlike venture into the heart of the greatest epic in the world. Shinig with stunning examples of art - abstract and modern with stunning colours and palettes that seek to capture the inner wonder of a world in the early stages of creation, Adi Parva is embellished with beautiful prose from its accomplished author. Wit irreverence and a deep understand of the cyclical nature of the Hindu Culture takes us from the beginning of the Universe to another beginning of ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Manish rated it really liked it
What failed to impress me was the art work. Somehow, the form and the manner of her drawings failed to catch much of my attention.
But having said that, Patil’s retelling of the Adi Parva was illuminating. Her comparison of Kunti and Vinata, the first portrayal of Gandhari and the motif of riverbanks and women as a recurring theme in the Mahabharata were some of the tidbits that are going to stay with me for some time.
Shivangi Yadav
Mar 21, 2013 Shivangi Yadav rated it it was amazing
If there is one book that you plan to buy this year, make it Adi Parva. It's not a book, it's painted poetry. Each frame so beautifully crafted that you just cannot stop yourself from staring at the pages in awe.

The book is like a rare casket of fine wine, which is not to be imbibed but each sip is to be savored.

It was with a heavy heart that I finally finished this book. I hope Amruta Patil does not make her readers wait for the next one too long.
Jul 09, 2016 Marcy rated it really liked it
The art work in this book is stunning. There is texture to it, layering of images, and the colour as well as design is just gorgeous. The story, of course, is a familiar one, although Patil imbues this rendering of the Mahabharata in subtly modernised ways. I just wish it was a bit more child friendly as I know so many young readers who love graphic novels and who adore re-reading various versions of the Mahabharata.
Swamy Atul
Sep 21, 2013 Swamy Atul rated it really liked it
Thank you Amruta Patil. Thank you for spelling Indian mythological names as they are pronounced and not as our colonial hangover forces us to spell them. I have always found it weird that we call our hero Ram but spell his name as Rama. And why is it Mahabharata when we could have just as easily written Mahabharat, as it is pronounced.
The other good things about Adi Parva can be read in other reviews. I don't have much to add here.
Jul 29, 2013 Vishesh rated it really liked it
This book is a collectible.
The beauty of the Indian mythological stories is enhanced by the reconstructive crude collages and brush strokes. Although not a 'graphic novel' in its true sense, it has a gripping power.
Worth appreciating are the questions asked by the folk to the storyteller, and some contextual analogies.
Shinjini Dey
A little underwhelming, I began with high expectations of a feminist, queer retelling in the modes of Carter, Carson and even Warner - but the characters aren't developed enough for that sort of insight.
Four stars for the art, for the scope and the brilliant beginning. Maybe she's making a point about how some stories are lost while telling others, maybe her story will only have snippets.
Jan 11, 2013 Shahina rated it really liked it
Shelves: timeless
If you have it in you to talk to the river she says then ask. If it touches you threefold, she says then there is a story....if it turns in your heart, at the crossroads, in the galaxies.... yes, a story worth in gold.
Makes for a beautiful read....some exceptional visuals and some wise soothsayer like sayings.
Tia Raina
Quite a gorgeous book. Four stars for the art. However if the reader is unfamiliar with the stories in the book, Amrita Patil sure does her best to make them sound bland and boring! That completely negates the point as the fascination with these older texts lies in how the tales are open to interpretation and often symbolic.
Giri Prasad
Jun 14, 2016 Giri Prasad rated it it was amazing
Patil’s retelling of the Adi Parva was illuminating. Her comparison of Kunti and Vinata, the first portrayal of Gandhari and the motif of riverbanks and women as a recurring theme in the Mahabharata were some of the tidbits that are going to stay with me for some time.
Jul 11, 2016 Jaydeep rated it it was amazing
Amruta Patil's artwork here is quite beautiful and otherworldly. And her writing keeps pace, lingers, surges ahead in step with the paintings (that each frame essentially is) with impeccable elegance. The book itself is printed and bound with care and attention. What's not to like?
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
The graphic version of epic, is really interesting. This book uses the narrative style of Sutradhar, the storytellers.
Jun 13, 2015 Ram rated it really liked it
Gorgeous artwork, fabulous narration and images that define the most classic fable of India. This is a keeper!
Neha Dharwar
Dec 18, 2014 Neha Dharwar rated it it was amazing
What a lovely way of combining art and Indian mythology in one book. This book does it. Wonderful way of telling a story. Loved it.
Manoj Venkat
Apr 02, 2014 Manoj Venkat rated it really liked it
Like the multiverse it encodes, the nature of the Mahabharat is fractal recursive. This book is a treasure.
Veena Ganesh
Veena Ganesh rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2013
Jaya rated it really liked it
May 17, 2016
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