Durgesh Nandini – Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

“Durgesh Nandini” is the first Bengali novel written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Having heard about it first time during school days, I had a perpetual fascination to it. Over a period of time, I read Bankim’s “Anandmath” first and then, his first novel and the only one in English – “Rajmohan’s wife” next. I kept hearing about Durgesh Nandini through online sources periodically. Finally, got a chance to read it now! Thanks to the friend who lent me this book.

I prefer to classify it as a Historical Thriller, if there exists such a genre. It has all the requirements of a thriller novel, full of several twists and turns. Its a tale of the relations and wars between the Mughals, Rajputs and Pathans. Maharaja Mansingh of Amber is assigned the duty of checking the advent of Pathans in to Bengal area by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Pathans already occupied the Orissa area. Jagat Singh,  young son of Mansingh is sent on this mission. In this process, he meets Tilottama, the daughter of Virendra Singh, ruler of Ghar Mandaran. Its love at first sight for both of them, though owing to a flash back, its impossible for the marriage to happen, due to a rivalry between Virendra Singh and Man Singh. There are Bimala, the maid of Virendra Singh and Abhiram Swami, his spiritual advisor. In a sudden twist in tale, when Jagat is on a secret meeting with Tilottama in her palace, Pathans attack Virendra singh for not siding with them in the war with Mughals. Jagat is taken captive, despite putting up a valiant fight. Virendra Singh is beheaded by Katlu Khan, the Pathan Ruler. The rest of the story is on how Bimala takes revenge on Katlu Khan. Who is Bimala? Why should a servant maid avenge Virendra Singh’s death? What is the fate of Tilottama? What happens to Jagat – all this form rest of the story.

It appeared to be 200+ pages, but, perhaps the font size was bigger. I read it quicker than expected. The narration style was gripping enough. It was racy and I had the feeling of “what happens next?” all the time, throughout. It had a good dose of History in it too, nevertheless, told in a very interesting way. I don’t know how much of this book is fact and how much of it is fiction, though. One thing that still baffles me is the name – Durgesh Nandini. I don’t know why the book is named so. Further, I expected something else from the novel. Hence, for no mistake of its, I was dissappointed with the novel. But, then, Bankim and “Durgesh Nandini” are enough to drive you in to reading this. The theme and narration will keep you glued to it.

Verdict: Its a very good novel for the first read. Further, it makes you more curious about Bankim and encourages to read more of him.

Book Details:
Name: Durgesh Nandini
Author: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
English Translation: B.M.Bhalla
Publishers: India Log (www.indialog.co.in)
Cost: 195/-

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Published in: on July 27, 2008 at 2:33 pm  Comments (14)  

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. బాగుందండి మీ పరిచయం.తెలుగులో ఈ పుస్తకాన్ని ఎవరో అనువదించారని విన్నాను,మీకు తెలిస్తే చెప్పగలరా?దుర్గేశనందిని అనుకుంటాను తెలుగులో,ఈ నవల బంకిమ్చంద్రుడు రాసిన మొదటినవలా?అసలు బెంగాలీలోనే మొదటి నవలా అన్నది కూడా కాస్త వివరించగలరు.నాకు ఇలాంటి కధాంశాలు చాలా ఆసక్తి.నేను ప్రస్తుతం కన్నడం నుంచి తెలుగులోకి అనువదించబడ్డ చిక్కవీర రాజేంద్ర చదువుతున్నాను :)

  2. Happened to see this post when searching for ‘Durgesh Nandini’, which I happened to read years ago and liked a lot! Am not sure if the other post answers your question :) but here goes ….

    Nandini = Daughter; Durgesh = Master of the fort.

    So, it essentially refers to Tilottama, who is daughter of the master of the fort!

  3. I would like to get a free copy of the same at my residence…..can I please??

  4. “Durgesanandini” was translated into Telugu by Sri Chaganty Seshayya garu of Kapileswara puram. He has also translated the second part of the novel called “Navabunandini”
    Chaganty Seshayya garu has authored exhaustive research oriented series called ” Andhra Kavi Tharangini” . This seies of books describe the history and style of Andhra kavulu starting from Nannayya Bhattu and ending with Chinnayasuri.
    Ther are total 25 volumes and I think about 12 vloumes are published and remaining is in the form of manuscript only.
    I know all this because I am one of his grand sons.

  5. I happened to read the Durgesh Nandini story in teluguChandamama. Now i am longing to read once again can any body help me in getting this book and Mogul Durbar Kutralu- please

  6. Almost all of the seventeen Novels of Bankimchanra Chattopadhyay were translated into Kannada by Bindiganavale Venkatacharys. He has written a lengthy Preface in English to his tranlation of Dugesh Nandini.. which talks about the ‘value-content’ of Bankim’s novels..as also the importance of translating valuable literature into one’s own mastered language.

  7. Forgot to mention that Shri B Venkatacharya is my Father;s Mother;s Father.
    [seeking your pardon for the mis-spellings.in my earlier entry]
    Vedapushpa – Bangalore

  8. @Vedapushpa: Thats an interesting piece of information. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing this!

  9. I first read this story on amar chitra katha and totally hooked on it.that time I didn’t even know that it’s a full fledged book.it is a wonderful book and all the charecters seems so enchanting, specially tilottama and vimla.

  10. For those interested in reading Durgesh Nandini in Telugu, here is good news. It was translated by late Dandamudi Mahidhar garu into Telugu and was first published in the year 1966. The reprint was made in October 2011 by Sahiti Publications of Vijayawada. The cost of the book is Rs. 70/- This book also contains translation of the novel Sitaram by Bankimchandra which is tranlated by D.Venkatramayya garu. The reader thus gets two novels of Bankim for Rs.70/- The quality of printing and the cover page are good. It is now available with leading book sellers of Andhra Pradesh.

  11. @cbrao: Wow! Thanks for sharing the news!
    For the Non-resident Indians, you can buy the above mentioned Telugu translation here: http://www.avkf.org/BookLink/display_titled_book.php?book_id=12735

  12. Thanks for the post. I want more like this.

  13. Sri S. V. Venkataramaiah of Srirangapatna / Bangalore, was a great admirer of Journalism along with saahitya. In the field of literature he admired the great scholar and writer Bankim Chandra Chatterjee of Bengal. He translated many of his novels into Kannada like “Anandamatha” and others.

    Do you have any knowledge of these books by Sri S. V. Venkataramaiah translated books into KANNADA ?? Please let me know.

  14. “Durgesanandini,by bankima chandra , i want to ead , pl tell me where it is avilable or pl send i will pay by cash.
    Dr Puttalingamma


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