Back to Mahabharata Resources Page

Mahabharata Related Works in Bengali

(Annotations by Shri Pradip Bhattacharya)

Complete Translations

Complete translation by Kali Prasanna Singha. Read an article by Shri Pradip Bhattacharya on this translator and the work.


Fiction, Poem, Studies

Dr. Nrisinha Prasad Bhaduri

  • Krishna Kunti Ebang Kaunteya
    A gripping survey of Draupadi, Kunti and her sons (including Karna) with startling revelations reached by working out the implications of statements we usually overlook in the epic narrative.

  • Dandaniti
  • Debotar Manabayan
  • Mahabharoter Bharot Yudha O Krishna
    Written in inimitable style, packing in tremendous erudition in colloquial Bengali, providing a host of new insights on the war and Krishna's role (e.g. the North-Western powers ganging up against the South-Eastern in Bharatavarsha).

  • Mahabharoter Chhoy Prabin
  • Mahabharot
    (Ananda Publishers, Calcutta).

Amalesh Bhattacharya
Mahabharater Katha
(Aryabharati/Srinvantu, 1985).
A brilliantly illuminating journey through the intricacies of the epic full of revealing insights.

Monoranjan Bhattacharya
first performed 1934 with the author in the role of Shakuni, with music by Kazi Nazrul Islam. The theme is Shakuni's carefully plotted revenge on the Kauravas for starving his father and brothers to death. He makes the dice out of their bones. In a way, Krishna and Shakuni are partners. An English translation of select passages by Pradip Bhattacharya is available here .

Dr Sukumari Bhattacharya
Ramayana & Mahabharata: Anupatik Janapriyata
(Camp, 1996). A study in their comparative popularity and its reasons.

Buddhadeb Bose
Mahabharater Katha
(1974) Englished by Prof. Sujit Mukherjee as The Book of Yudhishthir (Sangam Books, Hyderabad, 1986).
The first serious attempt to establish Yudhishthira as the protagonist of the epic, which A. Hiltebeitel pursues in his Rethinking the Mahabharata: The education of Yudhishthira (University of Chicago Press, 2001)
Excerpts from the Book of Yudhisthir

Jahnavi Kumar Chakravarti
(DM Library, 1981).
Possibly the only novel on Satyavati, portraying her as Acchoda reborn.

Dr Dipak Chandra

(all published by Dey's Publishing, Kolkata-700073)

  • Srikrishna Purushotham (Srikrishna, The Best of Men) (1986)
    An omnibus comprising Sri Krishna in Indraprastha, Sri Krishna comes to Dwaraka and Despondent Sri Krishna that reconstructs the revolution brought about by the greatest man of his time who ruled over the hearts of people as ruler, warrior, statesman, politician, harbinger of peace, loving friend and establisher of righteousness.

  • Indraprasthey Srikrishna (Srikrishna at Indraprastha)(1979) [Hindi (1992)][English (1993)]
    English translation by Enakshi Chatterjee (New Bengal Press, Calcutta), Hindi translation by Aloka Mukhopadhyay (Vividh Bharati, Allahabad)
    The political maelstrom of Kuru-Pandava squabbles at Hastinapur and Indraprastha drags in Krishna directly or indirectly, the curtain rising at Draupadi's bridegroom-choice contest. Then the entire chain of the Mahabharata events revolves round Krishna's diplomacy and political manoeuvrings, his dreams, political ambition and pride of authority.

  • Srikrishna Elen Dwarakey (Srikrishna Comes To Dwaraka)(1980)
    Hindi translation by Mandira Chakravarti (Vividh Bharati, Allahabad)
    Sri Krishna built his new empire at Dwaraka, away from Mathura, freeing the latter from the tyranny and exploitation of Kansa. He did so much for the people of Mathura, but he could not live among them. He never sought to return there either. Why? With this question as its focal point the novel deals with contemporary politics, social conditions, corruption and conspiracy vis-a-vis the peoples' sufferings, endurance, self-abnegation and resistance to save Krishna.

  • Vishanna Srikrishna (Downcast Srikrishna) (1981)
    Following the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna introspects, searching for the reasons behind the fall of men. He sacrificed so much for the Yadavas, yet suspicion encroached upon faith, stark enmity shut out love till they ran at one another's throats. The novel depicts the tragedy of Krishna's life.

  • Srikrishna Sundaram (Srikrishna, Beauty Epitomized) (1994)
    An omnibus comprising Mana Vrindavan, Krishnastu Bhagawan, Yadi Radha Na Hoto and Krishna-Arjun Samvad covering the career of the great personality.
    In a land that is dead and joyless only love can bless a people with self-confidence and faith. The music of Krishna's flute spreads all around to spread the message of liberation inspiring people to come out, overcoming fear, to accept the life eternal.

  • Krishnastu Bhagawan (Krishna, The Lord Himself)(1988) [ Hindi (1993)
    A reverential treatment of the conflicts and character traits through which Krishna's superhuman powers uplifted him from the position of an ordinary mortal to that of God.

  • Krishna-Arjuna Samvada (Dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna)(1991)
    It describes the complex circumstances on the eve of the great battle of Kurukshetra that leads to Arjuna's terrible dejection. Krishna dispels his doubts and conflicts one by one.

  • Yadi Radha Na Hoto (If There Were No Radha)(1985)
    Radha-Krishna's eternal love story. Without Radha how could we ever find the Krishna the lover?

    Mana Vrindavan (The Heart Lies in Vrindavan) (1993)
    The romantic life of Braja got lost in the sound and fury of political conflict. When life becomes a desert under the scorching heart of despair, casting aside all pride Krishna's heart thirsts for the land of Braja and his mind and heart veritably become Vrindavan.

  • Draupadi Chirantani (Draupadi, the Eternal) (1982)
    Hindi translation by Aloka Mukhopadhyay (Vividh Bharati, Allahabad).
    A psychological probe into. Draupadi's self-awareness, her deep love for Arjuna, her awareness of her father's dark reasons behind the holding of her swayamvara. In the political gambling she stands as a stake to ensure Yudhisthira's final victory, a sacrifice to political skulduggery.

  • Kurukshetre Dwaipayana (Dwaipayana in Kurukshetra) (1986)
    This is not the Maharishi, but a down-to-earth character, full of malice and hatred, shrewdly entering Hastinapur politics as Satyavati's son. He sides with the Pandavas to avenge himself on Bhishma, guiding from behind the screen his son Vidura, the Pandavas and even Krishna himself.

  • Gandhari, Kurukshetre Gandhari (Gandhari in Kurukshetra)(1987) [Asamia (1996)]
    Assamese translation by Pranabpran Bhattacharya (Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati)
    The moving tale of Gandhari's predicament as a mother who has no sympathy for her own sons. She is the first mother to believe her enemies and blames the misdeeds of the Pandavas on her own son Duryodhana. She realises that taking advantage of her simple faith, she has been fooled.

  • Urvashi Janani (Mother Urvashi)(1988)
    A moving tale of the awakening of motherhood in the courtesan of heaven whose infinite variety and charm age could not steal. The empress of the Puru dynasty casts off her traditional womanliness and wealth to get lost in the world of men. To please men, for the sake of Pururava's political gains. Then she meets Arjuna who calls her 'Mother'.

  • Ebong Ashwatthama (Therefore, Ashwatthama) (1988)
    The fall of Duryodhana does not draw the curtain on Kuru-Pandava rivalry. Ashwatthama re-kindles the hostility between Panchal and Hastinapur to take vengeance for his father Dronacharya's death. A gripping story of hermit Ashwatthama's conversion into an avenger.

  • Tomari Naam Karna (Karna is your name) (1989)
    Based on the self-destructive struggle of illegitimate Karna against his environs, his near and dear ones, the mystery of his birth and his own conflicts. The novel presents a Karna of flesh and blood, very much alive in our own society.

  • Pitamaha Bhishma (Grandfather Bhishma) (1989)
    The complete Bhishma - ascetic, politician, diplomat and manipulator, above all, a remarkable man of flesh and blood. Amba and Dwaipayan entered the life of this guardian of Hastinapur through the fissure of his vow to gratify his father. They ruined his life, but none could even catch a glimpse of his agonized heart atoning for his errors of commission and omission.

  • Ashramkanya Shakuntala (Shakuntala, daughter of a hermitage) (1990)
    Bold and full of self-respect, she rears her child without anyone's help like a modern woman who knows how to rebel, true to herself.

  • Mahabharate Shakuni (Shakuni in the Mahabharata)(1991)
    Was Shakuni really an unmitigated villain? A loving brother sacrificed himself for the sake of his sister and his land. A new Shakuni is shown here.

  • Dwaipayane Duryodhan (Duryodhana in Dwaipayana)(1992)
    Faulty strategy brought about the fall or Duryodhana in the battle of Kurukshetra. He learnt from his mistakes in order to turn over a new leaf, but his fate is battle, not victory. Yet, the darkness of Fate did not engulf his great and noble life.

  • Samrajni Kunti (Empress Kunti) (1993)
    Kunti's days of woe start the day she becomes Kunti from Pritha. How inveterate was the longing of this changed Pritha for becoming a king's mother and her lust for vengeance! Stopping at nothing to achieve her victory, she pauperises herself remorse makes her existence pitiable.

  • Yojanagandha Satyavati (Satyavati, fragrant for miles)(1997)
    (part of SUDHASAGAR TEEREY, "On the banks of the ocean of nectar")
    A short story on the fisher-maid Satyavati who used her remarkable intelligence to take over the kingdom of Hastinapur. The collection also includes "Kuntir Tarjani" (Kunti's warning).

  • Agnigarbha Khandav (Smouldering Khandav) (2003)
    The exploited and oppressed Nag tribes of Khandav forest driven out from their land launch terrorist attacks on the Pandava kingdom, killing their king Parikshit through a suicide squad. Their fury is reflected in today's separatist movements and terrorist squads of Kashmir and Afghanistan.

  • Pandaver Mahaprastaner Pathey (Following The Route of the Pandavas' Great Departure)(2004)
    On the road to Haridwar, Kedarnath, Badrinath following the trail of the Pandavas' great departure.

Also edited by Dr. Dipak Chandra :
Jagaddhitaya Sri Krishna.

Ashim Chattopadhyay

  • Karuna Tomaye Kunti
    (Modern Column, Calcutta)

  • font color="blue"> Svanamey Durnamey Duryodhan
    (Modern Column, Calcutta)

Madhu Chattopadhyay
Mahabharatey Janmakatha
(Sahityasri, 1991)
Examines the birth accounts of Vashishtha, Parashara, Aurva, Matsyagandha, Vyasa, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Pandavas, Duryodhana, Draupadi and what they reveal about social conditions of those times.

Prodyot Kr. Chattopadhyay
Jugantakari Dui Vyadh
(Sahitya Sanstha, Calcutta)

Subodh Ghose
Bharat Prem Katha
(Ananda, Calcutta); English translation by Pradip Bhattacharya, (Rupa, Calcutta).

Kalkut (Samaresh Basu)

(Mondal Book House, Calcutta)

Nara Narayana
(a play in Bengali)

Jagat Laha
Dvaipayaney Duryodhan
(Sri Guru Prakashan, Calcutta)

Birendra Mitra
Yaduvamsa--Braja Parva
His thesis is that Brahma planned the extermination of the independent kings of Bharatavarsha to establish the hegemony of the devas through the brahmin priests, of whom Garga is seduced by promises of knowledge of astronomy to become the agent of the gods. That is why the gods plant their seed in chosen women to engender future rulers who will propagate their empire. They are centred on Gandhamadana mountain, and use aerial craft to reach anywhere they wish to, astonishing the natives.

Birendra Mitra
Danikentattva O Mahabharater Svargadebata, Kurukshetrey Debshibir, Ramayaney Debshibir
(Nath Publishing).
A very interesting extrapolation of Erich von Daniken's Chariot of the Gods to both epics. He was working on expanding this to Harivamsa.

Gajendra Kr. Mitra
Panchajanya, 2 vols.,
(Mitra & Ghosh, Calcutta)

Rajyeswar Mitra
Mahabharat Chinta
(Nabapatra Prakashan).

Shaonli Mitra
Nathavati Anathavat,
Katha Amrita Saman
(M.C. Sirkar, Calcutta)

Amarjyoti Mukhopadhyay
Mahaprasthaney Yudhishthir
(Sahitya Sanstha, Calcutta)

Birendra Kumar Ray
Mahabharater Charitra
(Malda, 1985)
Analyses the epic characters with remarkable thoroughness.

Birendra Kumar Ray
Mahabharater Krishna
(Malda, 1989)
Pursues Bankimchandra Chatterjee's line of approach in studying Krishna to produce an extremely rewarding study.

Nabin Chandra Sen
Raivatak, Kurukshetra, Prabhas
an epic trilogy in verse,

Dr Atul Sur
Mahabharat O Sindhu Sabhyata
(Ujjwal Sahitya Mandir, 1988).
The eminent historian deals with Mahabharata and the Indus Civilization, Mahbharata as national history, How far the descriptions in Mahabharata are true (answering four key questions raised by Rajshekhar Basu in his introduction to the Bengali condensation of the epic), Kurukshetra war and the Pandavas in Bengal, Whether Yudhishthira's bodily ascent to Svarga is true, Indus Civilization and Bengalis.

Numerous plays on Mahabharata by D.L. Roy, Girish Chandra Ghosh and other Bengali playwrights.