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The Illustrated Mahabharata: The Definitive Guide to India’s Greatest Epic

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by DK
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Average rating 4.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Robin Friedman
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Learning About The Mahabharata

I have been studying Buddhism for many years but have little knowledge of the Hindu texts that formed a key part of background for an understanding of Buddhism. Thus, I was glad to read this new book "The Illustrated Mahabharata" which may well be, as the subtitle calls it, "The Definitive Guide to Indian's Greatest Epic". The Mahabharata is the world's longest epic poem. It is written in Sanskrit and would be daunting in content and length to any new reader. This
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book. Edited and designed with utmost interest. Definitely a collectors item! The associated art work and historical place pictures help with the perspective. Still, with regard to content, nothing new or informative. Those familiar with the Mahabharata may feel that it could have been better.
Sunitha Prabhu
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Illustrative Mahabharata, though an excellent idea, is a copy of Devdutt Pattanaik's book Jaya.

The stories within this book are repetitive - right in the next page.

The pictures, especially the different styles of idols, paintings, carvings, forms of dance, plays from from regions in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, was excellent.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For those readers like me who don't really feel like tackling the reading of the longest epic poem ever written (time's short and getting shorter for me), this book is a gorgeous guide or reader's companion. It's chock full of beautiful illustrations, with over 500 images of paintings, photographs and sculptures, which makes it one of the most striking coffee table books ever to grace my coffee table.

The 509-page book contains (1) Introduction (pp. 12-29); (2) Stories from Mahabharata's 18
Sudarshan Bindal
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have a great fondness of illustrated books which makes the reading so much more interesting...enjoyable.So,as soon as I say this version of my favourite epic in Kitab Khana coupled with a high recommendation by Jagat,a desire arose to have it in my library.

Just finished reading.Decent narration-just right for one to get a good overall view of the scripture.Not painstakingly detailed.Though I won't say it's the most captivating.

Still one can finish the book in a couple of days.The pictures are
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collect
An exquisite book, beautifully designed, wonderful graphics, and lots of side stories. It helps if you want to introduce Mahabharata to a young adult or someone completely new to this epic. Those who think they know all about it would also find quite something new for themselves.

It's a collector's item. I'm using it as a coffee table book.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest epic ever, in one amazing book.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, amazon-vine
I posted my review of this amazing book on
Erik Champenois
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this together with Ramesh Menon's two-volume version of the Mahabharata. This version adds some of the parts that Menon left out, while thoroughly summarizing all of the most important parts of what I read from Menon's work. And it does so while adding in several illustrations of artwork and architecture from India and Southeast Asia portraying parts or themes from the Mahabharata. The guide even occasionally includes information on different versions of stories in the Mahabharata.

Serge Bouvet
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
More than 500 exciting, synthetic and fun pages on Mahabharata! First of all, the book is beautiful: the pagination is impeccable, perfectly aligned and relevant to the information delivered. The magnificent illustration contributes to fully enter the text. It is a real pleasure to read this book. Congratulations to these authors who make us discover Indian mythology in such an entertaining way. It's the book I was looking for and you did it. Thank you!
Shree Basu
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best, most comprehensive book I have ever read on the Mahabharat. It is very difficult to condense and explain the complexity of the Mahabharat, especially for a non-Indian audience, but this book is probably the best introduction. Moreover, the illustrations show the immense influence the Mahabharat has had on art, craft and culture not just in the Indian sub-continent but also Southeast Asia.

Must-buy for the home library for anyone interested in Hinduism.
Nancy McQueen
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: india-hinduism
Gorgeous book. Terrific for the person who wants an introduction to the Mahabharata or to the person who has studied it before. Lots of beautiful artwork and explains the epic in detail. Plus it looks great on the shelf or better yet, on the coffee table.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, nf-misc
A beautiful illustrated guide to India's greatest epic with background information, side notes with both historical and contemporary information, and just generally a gorgeous work of art.
Jack Cook
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books
Probably the greatest story ever told
Shelley Schanfield
Admirably condensed version of India's greatest epic, with utterly gorgeous illustrations. An excellent companion to Carole Satyamurti's spare and brilliant verse version, Mahabharata: A modern retelling.

It took me several months of leisurely dipping in and out to finish. Worth savoring.
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