Hotels in India » Heritage of India » Books on Heritage

Books on Heritage

By Nanditha Krishna
Published by Penguin Books India

The Book of Vishnu

Vishnu is the preserver, the protector, and the guardian of dharma, the law of righteousness and the moral order. He is benevolent and reigns in Vaikuntha, the highest form of heaven and the goal of the pious. Vishnu’s incarnations come to earth whenever dharma is in danger, to save good from evil. This book describes Vishnu’s attributes, along with his 10 incarnations, from the earliest, the Matsya avatar, to Kalki, the destroyer, who is yet to appear.

Also part of the five-book series are The Book of Devi by Bulbul Sharma, The Book of Ganesha by Royina Grewal, The Book of Shiva by Namita Gokhale and The Book of Krishna by Pavan K. Varma. Each pocket-sized book traces the origin of the gods and their significance.

Rich in drama and symbolism, the stories are as relevant today as when they were first told. The book cover is glossy and vibrant; the illustrations add to their appeal.

By Eicher Good Earth Limited
Published by Ajanta Offset

Varanasi City Guide

Capturing the spirit and magic of the holy city, the book is a handy guide for tourists. Along with a historical background, there are useful details about the city’s ghats, temples, lanes and bazaars, festivals and food.

The book compiles exhaustive data about the lifestyle of people, information on accommodation, where to shop for good bargains and other useful tips. The text is supported by detailed maps. Over 160 photographs document the city’s architectural splendour. Uttar Pradesh tourism has provided valuable inputs for the production of the book. The book is as much for the armchair tourist as for the intrepid traveller.

Delhi: A Tale of Seven Cities

By Urmila Varma
Published by Smriti Books

The book conveys Delhi’s importance in the history of India. There are accounts of the seven cities that made up Delhi. These were Lalkot and Kila Rai Pithora, Siri, Tughlaqabad, Jahanpanah, Firozabad, Dinpanah and Shahjahanabad. Even though Delhi was buffeted by dynastic changes, it still retains glimpses of its royal heritage. The book is an attempt to revive those memories.

The author, Urmila Varma, is a well-known short story writer and poet. The plates, both in colour and monochrome, add to the interest.

By Anaryan
Published by Smriti Books

Hindoo Stories

Fables and stories have always imparted instruction and amus-ement. These were designed to exemplify precepts for human conduct. The stories in this book are divided into four groups, that is, Sanskrit or Hindoo, Arabic or Persian, Western or European and American.

Among these, Sanskrit stories are the oldest. They served as the basis for Persian tales, which, in turn, gave way to many European stories. This collection narrates and analyses relevant pieces from ancient Sanskrit literature, like the Kamasutra, Panchtantra, Hitopodesa, Kathasaritsagara and others.

The stories provide an insight into social mores.

Conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti
Published by Smriti Books

Thought is Your Enemy

There is a saying that truth is always bitter. This book exemplifies that truth. It explores a wide spectrum of issues related to thought. The book focuses on U.G. Krishnamurti, a man who has been described differently by each person who knew him.

All the chapters in the book are in question-answer form. Each episode in U.G.’s life has always lead to another without any systematic form. His meditation sessions under the guidance of spiritual masters like Ramana Maharshi find mention. As does the fact that his voracious hunger to find the magical land promised by prophets and spiritual masters had come to an end.

According to him, a person’s body is neither interested in grief nor joy that exists only in the realm of mind. Readers will often find themselves grappling with U.G’s thoughts and ideas. What is he trying to convey? Is there a hidden meaning in his words of wisdom? Try reaching between the lines and reach the depths of the conversations in this book. And you may actually find some answers.

Conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti
Published by Smriti Books

The Courage to Stand Alone

While addressing visitors outside his chalet in Gstaad, Switz-erland, U.G. Krishnamurti had reportedly said, “...You have come to the wrong place... because you want an answer, and you think that my answer will be your answer.... You have to find out for yourself and by yourself the way in which you are functioning in the world, and that will be your answer.”

With these words, the editor, Henk Schoenville hopes that U.G.’s words will go a long way in helping readers find the courage to “stand on your own feet”. This book tries to explain U.G.’s thoughts about discovering one’s inner self.

For Mahesh Bhatt, an eminent film-maker in India, U.G. was the greatest teacher he has ever known. He insists that U.G. is not a guru, not a priest, not a savant and certainly not a teacher. He has no interest in enlightening you. At the same time, your life is dark without his light.

By Donald A. Mackenzie
Published by Smriti Books

Indian Myth and Legend

The book deals with the myths and legends of India that form part of the storehouse of Sanskrit literature. Of course, the growth of religions like Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism have contributed to collection of tales.

The reader is introduced to the sacred works of the Hindus, including the ancient hymns of the four Vedas, and the great epic poems of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.The ancient forest sages and poets of India embellished the legendary themes and traditional beliefs with beautiful symbolism and used them as a medium for speculative thoughts and profound spiritual teachings.

These noble ideas are still a potent cultural influence in the domestic, social and religious lives of millions of Indians around the world even today. This book is a must for those who believe that putting these ideas into practice can help us to become better individuals.

To students of history they present features of peculiar interest.

By John Platts
Published by Smriti Books

Baital Pachchisi

Baital Pachchisi or Twenty Five Tales of a Demon (or Sprite) is one of the most popular collection of tales, which has been told and retold in almost all the vernacular languages. Years ago, it was one of the most highly rated programmes on television.

The stories are narrated by the sprite-who haunts the cemeteries-to Vikram, the king of Oojein. Each story ends with a riddle. If the king answers, the sprite flies back to the tree, which is its abode and must be brought down again. The writer, John Platts, has translated this collection into English from the original in Sanskrit. At the same time, he has ensured that the flavour of the tales is retained. The result is a collection of stories in an easy-to-comprehend language. In addition, explanatory and other notes accompanies the tales.

By Sanjeev Maheshwari, Rajiv Garg
Published by CBSPD

Ancient Indian Architecture

The book is a compilation of details on the Indus Valley Civilisation, the Vedic and Buddha periods, the golden period of the Guptas, Chalukyas, Pallavas, Cholas, Chandelas and various other dynasties from 3000 BC to the 12th century AD. The authors have presented their interpretation of historical events and architecture, and sacred religious texts like Mansara, Mayamata and Garudh Purana.

A pictorial presentation through maps, sketches, drawings makes the treatise more eloquent. This volume will enable architects, students and scholars to understand and draw other related building details in a better manner. The volume is divided into 12 chapters-each one has details of the various dynasties which patronised the art and architecture of that era. The inputs provided by the Archaeological Survey of India have also been incorporated in the book.

The history of architecture is of importance to both architects and historians alike. It mirrors the past to understand the ethos and cultural development of the people it is profiling. At the same time, it is a window to the future. In this book, the authors make an attempt to interpret historical events and the architecture of the related periods.

The authors have studied architecture and are now teaching the subject to college students.

 Email this page