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image001Author – Purushottam Agarwal

Illustrator – Devdutt Pattanaik

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 202

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic tale of love recently sparked interests for the scholars and historians. In this recent one year, a number of books have been published on the Rani Padmavati and her tale of love with her lover and husband Raja Ratansen and turbulence in the hands of Alauddin Khilji who wanted to possess her for her beauty.

The reason to turn the old pages of books and understand the epic tale of love by Jayasi ‘Padmavat’ is that the movie recently made based on his poem. The poem was originally written in Awadhi not widely used now. The book Padmavat is an attempt to understand the truth and myth behind the tale. The author Purushottam Agrawal has been successful in narrating and translating the Awadhi poem into English for the readers and making it simple. This also gives a fair chance to the readers to decide right and wrong of the claim and protest by the Rajput Samaj on the dignity and pride of Rani Padmavati.

Jayasi’s Padmavat was a tale of timeless love and beauty and is fictionally born out of an imaginative mind. I think the protestors misunderstood the poem and that it is fictional and nothing to do with the history. I think they were lazy and quick to come to a conclusion. They might not have created such a havoc if took time to understand and read Jayasi’s Padmavat. A much-needed book after the recent controversy over the movie. A must read for every reader. The book has beautiful illustrations making reading a pleasure.


Purushottam Agrawal is a New Delhi based writer and literary historian. He works on Bhakti, spirituality without religion, and India’s organic early modernity which, he argues, was halted in its tracks by colonization. His works draws upon sources in Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu, Braj and Awadhi.

His books on Kabir, Akath Kahani Prem Ki: Kabir ki Kavita aur Unka Samay (2009) is considered a contemporary classic and won the first Rajkamal Kriti Samman. He is well-known public intellectual, lending his voice to newspaper and television debates. He is a contributing editor at The Quint.

Devdutt Pattanaik writes and lectures on the relevance of mythology in modern times. He is the author of My Gita and My Hanuman Chalisa. He is also an illustrator, something that is often overlooked.

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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’