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The Winds of Hastinapur

(Hastinapur #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  68 reviews
‘My hair is white and thin, now. In a few moons, the Goddess will claim me, and I do not have a fresh young virgin by my side to absorb my knowledge and take my place once I am gone. The Mysteries of Ganga and her Sight will vanish with me, and the Great River will become nothing more than a body of lifeless water … It is my intention, therefore, to tell you the story as ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 15th 2013 by HarperCollins India
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“Myth is truth which is subjective, intuitive, cultural and grounded in faith.”
----Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik, an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist and author.

Hindu Mythology is so rich and divine and with so enlightening filled with millions of legends, that if you're an author, than you can't stop yourself from making the most incredible story of your life out of it. Similarly, Sharath Komarraju an Indian author has also spun his new book, The Winds of Hastinapur based
Soumya Prasad
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have always been fascinated by mythology. Even though I had never read the books, I have seen the adaptations on television ever since I can remember. I know the tales of 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata' pretty well, all thanks to my grandmother who used to explain the story to me while we were watching it. I have wanted to read the original stories though. After reading the 'Ramayana' I fell in love with the mythological genre. The only problem is that it takes a really long time to finish the ...more
Hindu mythology has always attracted my attention and of them, the retellings of Mahabharata and its characters are my favorite. So when I was given an opportunity to read and review a book based on Bhishma, I knew I couldn't miss it. The Winds of Hastinapur is a story told by Ganga, the first wife of Shantanu, one of the Kuru Kings, and Satyavati, his second wife who was a fisher-girl in the kingdom.

The first part, told by Ganga, tells us about the world beyond mountains, in Meru where
Vinay Leo
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Review at A Bookworm’s Musing:

Read this book for mythology delivered from a different point of view, but with magic and flair that is necessary with the genre. To hear the Mahabharata, or rather a part of it, from the viewpoint of two of the women in the epic was a refreshing change, and it brought with it those unexpected twists that I quite enjoyed reading. If there is anything that holds the book back, I feel it is the cover design which wasn’t up to scratch.
Soumyabrata Sarkar
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Winds of Hastinapur is the tale of "the Beginning of the End"!!

Hold on. . . .. . . . put a "BEFORE", before the quotes!!

It is perhaps, the most beautiful re-telling of the epic, I have ever come across. Beautiful in the sense that it reads much like a poetry! The story is full of colours, vividness and the emotions and depths, expressed by the two leads and paints a really intoxicating and remarkable imprint into one's mind. The characters seem full-fledged, layered upon respective
Maniparna Sengupta majumder
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mahabharata , the great epic , is impregnated with so many sub-stories that it would not be an exaggeration to say that it might take a lifelong read to absorb all the intriguing incidents and their inter-connections. And it is a story of women , women with sharp minds , great political vision and bodacious beauty to allure men of high stature making them mere marionettes . Sharath Komarraju , in his book The Winds of Hastinapur , has woven a story picking two not-so-focused female characters ...more
Pankaj Goyal
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
‘The Winds of Hastinapur’ by Sharath Komarraju is the first book of one more series based on the grand old epic Mahabharata. The distinguishing feature of this new series is that it concentrates on the ladies rather than the well known men of the epic. While the narrative of Draupadi has been retold various times, no one had exploited the sentiments of other women characters of Mahabharata so far. This new book series by Sharath Komarraju beautifully captures this opportunity and offers voices ...more
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had previously never heard of Sharath or his Hastinapur series. It just so happened that he had put out a post on a Facebook group that we are both part of to be part of an early access group who would get to read both the books in his Hastinapur series (of which Winds of Hastinapur has just been released) for free and our only obligation was to write a review of Winds without any obligation as to write a positive review. Full disclaimer before the review proper as I did get to read the first ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thoughts after completing the book:
Very interesting approach and presentation - loved the book!

I enjoyed the approach of the author in presenting the story from the perspective of women! I was surprised on how effective this idea was and enjoyed it!

I like the scientific approach in which the author explains what we often disregard as imagination and makes a very good case for how events could really have occurred in reality.

The flow of the story as well as the transition was very smooth and had
Veena Soujanya
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sharath
The Winds of Hastinapur is about the two powerful women who were never properly acknowledged in the epic Mahabharata but nevertheless are the genesis for a Great Kingdom which resulted in Great War. The story gives us an imaginary conception of the thoughts and emotions of Ganga and Satyavathi based on the situations faced by them which led to their choices. Sharath's speciality lies in the characterisation of these two women who are portrayed as an epitome of womanhood. Along with strength and ...more
Parwati Singari
Whispering Winds
The Winds of Hastinapur
Author: Sharath komarraju
ISBN 978-93-5116-087-8
Publisher HarperCollins
I have not enjoyed a book so much in a long time.
Krishna here’s the Queen’s rival, a bard of another kind.
The author narrates the oft sung story of Great War, but it is through the eyes of the women. Consciously or unconsciously the author has drawn deeply from the Devi Bhagawatam and the shakti cult. The fundamental concept of Devi Bhagawatam, of eternal balance if good happens
Shweta Kulshreshtha
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
As a story, the entire tale is tightly woven into a narrative that passes on from one character to the other. The reader is taken into the magical world of Meru, the kingdom of Hastina and the enchanting banks of Yamuna. The descriptive nature of the book allows the reader to clearly visualize the perception of these places from the author’s point of view. The places almost become a silent character in the narrative.
The narrative begins with Ganga as a young child who is oblivious of what lies
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mahabharata is a very rich work that can serve as base material for thousands of other works. There have been numerous interpretations in various media – books, movies, plays etc. ‘Winds of Hastinapur’ is yet another spin related to this great tale by upcoming author Sharath Komarraju who already has two crime thrillers under his belt.

This story does not span the entire Mahabharata story but just touches upon the beginning – up to the birth of Pandu and Dhritarashtra. The author has taken two
Jun 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Mahabharata from the narrative of its lesser written about women: Ganga and Satyavati. A fascinating premise for a mythology based book. Unfortunately, does not live up to the promise of the premise.
First, there is little about Ganga the woman in Part 1 of the book. Part 2 on Satyavati is better in that it mostly focuses on her. The part on Ganga has narratives on the capture of Meru by the Celestial Folk (Devas) from the dark skinned ones, betrayal of Mohini, a dark skinned belle by Vishnu, the
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved
Tales of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were an essential part of my childhood that gradually with the passage of time became a part of me. The super dramatic version telecasted by the Doordarshan every Sunday during the 1990's catalysed the permanency of the tales in my brain.

While growing up, I did not know what feminism was. But always felt that the Mahabharata was sort of-of the men,for the men and by the men. Female characters are seamed into it to add the right degree of reality.

Of all
Radhika Taneja
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Winds of Hastinapur is a narrative fascinatingly woven to form a beautiful depiction of the lives of the characters which were not debated much upon, before. The author tries to take the reader into a world which is completely appealing to the lives of Ganga and Satyavati, the two most intriguing characters of the Mahabharata . There is a beautiful depiction of the deepest emotions of the ladies and what they went through while playing their parts in the epic; how ambition and desire led ...more
Radhika Taneja
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Winds of Hastinapur is a narrative fascinatingly woven to form a beautiful depiction of the lives of the characters which were not debated much upon, before. The author tries to take the reader into a world which is completely appealing to the lives of Ganga and Satyavati, the two most intriguing characters of the Mahabharata . There is a beautiful depiction of the deepest emotions of the ladies and what they went through while playing their parts in the epic; how ambition and desire led ...more
Kumar Anshul
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
There have been hundreds of folklores, interpretations and retellings of the mother of all stories 'Mahabharata'.

'Winds of Hastinapur' by Sharath Komarraju begins at the point when Ganga was sent to earth to grant 'moksh' to the cursed vasus, granting them freedom from the cycle of birth and death. But what was it like for the river maiden to kill her seven sons, make the eighth one the most powerful warrior only to give him away to his father once he reached adolescence? With this book Sharath
Solomon Manoj
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mahabharata has always fascinated me from childhood. There have been many interpretations and perspectives by different authors.

Sharath Komarraju’s take on the epic was different and detailed. I have always considered that Draupadi is the strongest female character. I was just proved how wrong I was.
Ganga and Satyavati are the characters behind the scene and it’s time for them to be in the lime light. The Winds of Hastinapur was the right stage. From the eyes of the great river the epic is
Jairam Mohan
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catalog
With the first half of the book, Sharath Kommarraju weaves magic into the enigmatic character of Ganga. He takes us on a journey into the heights of Mount Meru, its inhabitants and how their lives are linked to the lives of the humans living on earth. Ganga's destiny to live on earth, beget seven children who she has to kill, her eighth son Devavrata who was destined to change the fortunes of all the kingdoms on earth; these are the threads that the author weaves into a wonderful tapestry.

Ravi Jain
Full review of Sharath Komarraju's "Winds of Hastinapur".

With more than 74,000 verses and about 1.8 million words, Mahabharata is the longest epic in the world. It has been widely translated, simplified, retold and fictionalised over the centuries. But most of them do not give you the total picture of the epic for two simple reasons – first, the womenfolk are largely ignored and second, most of them start the narration with the birth of Pandavas and Kauravas, while the actual story has its
Jayant Sinha
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are many versions of Mahabharata, but "The Winds of Hastinapur" is refreshingly different. Probably for the first time ever, the epic has been retold through the lives of Ganga and Satyavati - the two most enigmatic ladies in the story. The story unfolds on predicable lines, but with a twist, which captures the imagination of the readers, with the powerful characterization of the two ladies, who are depicted to wield more power than their husband Shantanu - the king of Hastinapur. ...more
Naman Mukesh Chaudhary
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued as soon as I heard the plot of The Winds of Hastinapur, and I knew I was going to like it right away. I think Sharath deserves four out of the five stars I gave him just for thinking of the idea itself. The Mahabharata has been part of India's ancient culture and history for the past 3000 years, and yet no one ever thought of narrating the epic from a different point of view.
Vikas Datta
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Quite an innovative retelling of some characters usually skipped over or cursorily dealt with - but a little disjointed between the two perspectives. And I do hope there will be a follow on, because there are several questions left hanging, several avenues unexplored...
Shreyasi Mukerji
May 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Good read. Beautiful realistic characterizations in an attempt to rewrite the cherished epic. Read my book review here:
Ritambhara Dixit
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not the best take on Mahabharat, could have been a lot better. The view points and story leaves with a feeling that something more is to be continues.
largely unsatisfying
Srikkanth G
The only reason to pick up this book was because the first book I read of the author, 'The tree bears witness', was the one I loved and I gave it 4 stars.

It was about 60% of the book that I realized my IQ level was down to 'level 0'. Why did it take me so long to realize that I was reading the story of Bhisma Pithamaha? May be because I didn't read the premise or even if I did, I don't think anything is mentioned about Bhisma. I knew the book was about Mythology retelling and my guess was that
Rahul Vishnoi
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it

Dear Sharath,
I chanced upon the first member of your ambitious hastinapur series, and there were prejudices galore in my mind when I embarked upon the fruits of your hardwork.
The novel started slow, meandering through the mythical lands of Mere, depicting Ganga in the human emotions of want and regret.
But boy, was I blown away at the end of this epic? I surely was.
Now to tell the readers, this novel is not for those who want everything at a breakneck speed. This is a
Swagata Tarafdar
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a re-telling of the great epic Mahabharata from the perspective of it's female characters. This first book narrates the story of Ganga and Satyavati, relatively minor characters of the epic. We have all grown up listening to the great epic and even watched it in television. But almost every version of the epic is from male viewpoint. It's really fascinating to read it from the viewpoint of it's female protagonists. A few years back, I read the novel "The Palace of Illusions" by ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-mythology
Perhaps because I have read quite a few books that dwells on different protagonists of Mahabharata's point of view, I found this a little dull. There is nothing wrong on the surface, the articulation of the various females who played a role before the onset of the epic's central male characters is intriguing and novel, in equal measures. However, there is something in the manner the story is told that makes it less compelling. Towards the second half of the book, I was more inclined to finish ...more
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Sharath Komarraju is an author of fiction and nonfiction based in Bangalore, India. Once a software engineer, now he writes for a living, and on lazy days he watches cricket and talks to his wife (often at the same time).

His most popular work to date is the Hastinapur series, in which he speaks into the silences of the Mahabharata story through the epic's many women characters.

Other books in the series

Hastinapur (3 books)
  • The Rise of Hastinapur (Hastinapur, #2)
  • The Queens of Hastinapur (Hastinapur, #3)
“nothing in the universe comes without a price; that in every instance you received something you wanted, you had to give up something you had, and in every instance you lost something, you gained something you did not have.” 2 likes
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