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ಸಾರ್ಥ [Sartha]

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  514 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Saartha, which means Caravan. Through a caravan, the novel explores the whole of India of the 8th century A.D. covering the political, economical, artistic and spiritual life of the country. It uses some historical persons like Shankaracharya, Mandanamishra, Ubhaya Bharati and Kumarila Bhatta and institutions like Nalanda. It is a unique novel translated into Sanskrit and ...more
Paperback, 8th Edition, 292 pages
Published 1998
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Ashish Iyer
Another great book by Bhyrappa. I have read Aavarana and Tantu, both were amazing. Love the way Bhyrappa write his stories. Saartha means Caravan. Nagabhatta the protagonist, joins saartha (The Big caravan of merchants who travel from places to places trading in goods) under the order of the king to understand the working of saartha. He travels from place to place without any goal but with a strong intention of finding the meaning of life and religion. Through a caravan, the novel explores the w ...more
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have ever read in my life. It deserves more than 5 stars. It takes you through a journey of one man, with the most wandering mind I have ever noticed as he experiments with his life, with available options around him and then trying and analyzing all.

The story is set in 8th century India...When the Buddhist are at a peak on debating against Vedik tradition and converting Hindus; Time when Shankaracharya participated in debates to spread his Advaitha philosophy and as all
Ram Chadalavada
'Freedom is better than and superior to God' when interrogated in a prison: Nagabhatta.
Set in 8th century India, The Caravan is the story of Nagabhatta's travels and self discovery during his journey across the breadth of India and the various philosophies, beliefs and characters he encounters during a period of religious and political upheaval in India.
It is a story that depicts how long before 'enlightenment' in Europe and western world, religious respect, intellectual debates, conversions bas
Sanjeev Nv
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a book, one of the best I have read. This is my first S L Bhyrappa book and Iam a fan. I want to read all his books which has been translated to english. A great debate on vedas, religion, self righteousness and self realization in the backdrop of a fantastic plot. Simply mesmerising and Iam sure it would be even more enriching to read this book in kannada.
Shashank Naik
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Best one. I never knew it had real incidents of past. It is set in the time at Shankara's presence. It gives detail account of lifestyle at that time. The plot having a traveler who moves along Sartha or Caravan has served purpose. Very good read.
Sayan Mukherjee
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience of Byrappa's writing(obviously in translation) and I must say I am impressed. The theme of the book- that of aimless travel towards self discovery has been seen in books which has preceded it. SHrikanta by Sarat CHandra or Sidhartha by Hesse were modelled on this concept. However the greatness of this book lies in the fact that in spite of taking a theme which is not new the authour manages to add substantially to the theme and build a fiercely independent story ut o ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it liked it
"Saartha" by Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa which literally means a trading caravan traces the journey of a Vedic scholar Nagabhatta in the eighth century. It's a physical as well as a metaphysical journey that takes him through various streams of philosophy and ways of life that were intermingling, negotiating and fighting for survival in 8th century India. "Saartha" is an engaging narrative of intense conflicts at one level between religions, sub-sects, political and economic powers, and at another within ...more
Udaykiran Joshi
This may be the first time I struggled hard to find meanings of so many Kannada words and wished I had Kannada to Kannada dictionary :-)

Novel deals around a Vedic Brahmin who joins a trade Caravan ( "Saartha") on the insistence of his king, n tries to find out the trade secrets of these caravans! But slowly he starts exploring many facets of 'Buddhism' which was getting spread across the nation in those days!

The story deals with numerous debates between ' Hindu Vedic Tradition', 'Buddhism' and
Madhav Pathak
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the English version, 'The Caravan'.

I love historical fictions written in first person and this is just that kind.

A lot of research would have gone behind this book, which is clearly reflected. In a story form, one understands different Indian philosophical paths. Especially inclusion of famous Shankracharya-Mandan Mishra debate in the book was the best part according to me. Also a complete other side picture of buddhism is painted in this book.

Must read.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second best book I read after Parva by same author. Usually SLB's works are near to the truth which is why he is broadly accepted by huge fans. Saartha also continues to be in same path except Shankara yati's soul getting into King Amaruka's body to find out the real experience while debating with Kumarila bhatta's sister. Leaving this one incidence everything else you can visualize it as truth. Overall this book is an exceptional work by SLB after Parva.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A man's life journey where he keep influenced by divinity,love,lust,black magic etc. usual bhyrappa's recipe.
Vishwanath Koushik
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After reading Aavarana, this is my second book by Sri S.L Bhyrappa. This historical fiction set at the time when Buddhism was at its peak and when Arabs started invading Sindh. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It gives the reader an introduction to different philosophies of India. The book clearly explains the debate culture that has been existing in India. I loved the second half of the book, starting from chapter 8, where the protagonist Nagabhatta enters Nalanda University and the ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
An amazing journey through the eyes of a traveler in pre-modern India.

Some of the points to think about:
- Conversion of Vedic Brahmins like Nāgārjuna, Nāgasena, Dharmakīrti etc. to Buddhism either due to presence of caste system, animal sacrifices or lack of śraddhā in Veda in spite of being paṇḍits.
- Difference in the style of architecture between Hindu temples and Bauddha chaityas: In Hindu temples, the structure from outer prākāra to inner garbhagṛha becomes smaller and smaller while in chait
Hemant Kumar
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author has brilliantly used the backdrop of eighth century when Buddhism is thriving, debates between Vaidik and Buddhist traditions are at their peak, and Indian subcontinent is encountering Islam for the first time. The philosophical intricacies of Bhuddism (discussions of Nagabhatta and Sathapati (sculptor)), Sanyas marg and Karma kand (Shankar & Mandan Mishra, Shankar & Kumaril Bhatt), and Grihasth ashram (Bharati Devi) have been beautifully weaved into the story by the author. T ...more
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Indian history
The trade and the difficulties and challenges the traders were facing; How volatile was the situation of people during Kings!

Chapters 5 & 6 are very disturbing due to the explanations of what Tantriks do?

Later chapters give a view on the Buddhism at that time and life in Nalanda university.

It also gives the extrance to SLBs next historical book 'Avarana' by explaining the beginning of Muslim invasions on India & its early effect on trade.

It finally ends with a logical end with a hint of
Jayasimha Devale
This book is an abstract journey of Nagabhatta through political, historical, economical conditions during 8th Century. During whole journey it helps Nagabhatta to understand himself deeper. It takes you through various proceedings in forests, many cities, Vamachara, Yoga. Nalanda university is described vibrantly which gives amazing experience. Chandrika's character was inspiring to me and opens the book to theatre, music, yoga. Overall it's inner sartha or journey within self when Nagabhatta w ...more
Seema Vishnu
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An awesome description of India in the early ADs. Book shows lot of research by the author wrt different customs and religions thriving in India at that point of time. The comparisons and differentiations commented were too much for me to comprehend but still enjoyed the flow of narration.Makes the reader ponder on the relgious and spiritual aspects of Hinduism and gives some insight to Buddhism in socio-politico scenery. Just loved it.
This story is based in the 8th Century CE in India. A fictious story is woven around facts such as
philosophical - advaita; religious - clash of buddhism & vedic traditions, entrance of islam; historical - nalanda university; lifestyles of trader caravans, artists.

A brilliantly book, originally written in Kannada & translated into English.
Dhananjay Hegde
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ಓದಿದ ಪರತಿಯೊಬಬರನನೂ ಯೋಚನೆಗೆ ತೊಡಗಿಸುವ ಈ ಹೊತತಿಗೆಯು ಧರಮ ಮತತು ಕರಮ ಮಾರಗಗಳ ಒಳಹುಗಳನನು ಎಳೆ ಎಳೆಯಾಗಿ ಬಿಡಿಸಿಡುತತದೆ. ಎಂಟನೆಯ ಶತಮಾನದ ತರುವಾಯದ ಭರತಖಂಡದ ಅವನತಿಗೆ ಅಹಿಂಸೆಯೆ ಪರಮಧರಮವೆಂದ ಶರಮಣ ಮತ ಕಾರಣವಾಯಿತೆ ಇಲಲ ಹತತು ಹಲವು ಶಾಖೆಗಳಿಂದ ಕೂಡಿದ ವೈದಿಕ ಧರಮವೇ ಕಾರಣವಾಯಿತೆ?

ಜನಾನ ಮಾರಗದ ಪರತಿಪಾದಕರಾದ ಶರೀ ಶಂಕರರ ಅನುಯಾಯಿಗಳಾದ ನಾವು ಕರಮ ಮಾರಗಕಕೆ ಕಟಟು ಬಿದದಿರುವುದು ಎಶಟು ಸಮಂಜಸ?
Harsha Matadhikari
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I read, gave a good idea of how economy worked around Shankaraharya,s period when Hinduism took the reigns back from Hinduism..reconfirmed myself that Bhyrappa is the best story teller who missed Gnanapeeth
Shivanand Pujari
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It gives picture of ancient India and views of different religions and at last brings Shankarachary and debate between Shankarachary and MandanMishra is well narrated .its a gem from SLB to Kannada literature
Triveni Rao
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its a very good book where author narrates the story how buddism affected the unity of India during pre-Moghul invasion. How a religion turned a strong country as a weak country and allowed the foreigners to rule it.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book. While reading the author takes the reader to the different directions. Reading this book will be a great experience.
Mansoor Ahmed
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yet again bhyrappa doesn't disappoint.
The best book I have ever read from S L Bhyrappa .I don't think "the best " will change when I complete another book from Bhyrappa as happened before!!
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kannada
Quite an Interesting tale. With a background of a subtle conflict between two religions. This is not one of my favourites book written by Bhyrappa but it is still quite readable.
Pradeep Tm
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is very good book.
Rakshith Kumar P
Absolute beauty....
Arjun Pradhan
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
indian philosophy and life of medieval india explained, can call it prequel to aavarana
Karthikeya Bhat
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
ಇತತೀಚಿಗೆ ಓದಿದ ಭೈರಪಪನವರ ಸಾರಥ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯ ಕುರಿತು:

ಭೈರಪಪನವರ ಎರೆಡು ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳಲಲಿ ಆವರಣವು ಒಂದು,ಸಾರಥವು ಮತತೂಂದು.
ಸಾರಥ ಕರಿ.ಶ. ೮ನೆಯ ಶತಮಾನದ ಭರತಖಂಡದಲಲಿ ನಡೆಯಿತೆಂದು ಕಲಪಿಸಿಕೂಳಳಬೇಕಾದ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳನನಾದರಿಸಿದ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ. ಆನೆ,ಕುದುರೆ,ಹೇಸರುಗತತೆ ನೊರಾರು ಗಾಡಿಗಳ ಮೇಲೆ ವಾಣಿಜಯ ಪದಾರಥಗಳನನು ಹೇರಿಕೊಂಡು ವಯಾಪಾರ ಮಾಡುತತ ದೂರ ದೂರ ದೇಶಗಳಲಲಿ ಸಂಚರಿಸುವುದನನು ಆ ಕಾಲದಲಲಿ ಸಾರಥ ಎನನುತತಿದದರು.

ಬೌಧಧ ಧರಮದ ಪರಭಾವವು ಇಲಲಿ ತಿಳಿಯಬಹುದು.
ಅಮರುಕ ಮಹಾರಾಜನು ಸಾರಥದ ಮರಮವನನು ತಿಳಿಯಲು ಮಾಹಿಷಮತಿಯಲಲಿ ಮಂಡನ ಮಿಶರರ ಶಿಷಯನಾದ ನಾಗಭಟನನನನು ಕಳುಹಿಸುತತಾನೆ.ನಾಗಭಟಟನು ಅವನ ಆಜಞೆಯಂತೆ ಮನೆ,ಹೆಂಡತ
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Dr S.L. Bhyrappa is a litterateur par excellence. He writes in the south Indian language, Kannada, and has been the bestselling novelist for over 25 years now. His novels are widely translated to pan Indian languages. He is the bestselling novelist in Marathi over the past decade and is among the top-five bestselling authors in Hindi. He is a conscious artist that depicts fundamental human emotion ...more