SARTHA: The Caravan
Nagabhatta, the scholar, is deputed by Amaruka, the king, to study the secrets of caravans of other lands in order to improve the economy of his kingdom. During his extensive travels, Nagabhatta becomes a witness to and comes under the influence of dozens of religious, social, and cultural modes. Unusual experiences and peoples are depicted in a historically changing time in the history of India. The novel is a result of a deep and extensive study of history and research conducted at actual locales, like Nalanda. It searches, creatively, the roots of conflicting religious beliefs which India is constantly facing.
Bhyrappa is well known for hisprofound study of philosophical questions. In Sartha, he goes back in time to recreate the atmosphere of a bygone era with an authenticity that is his hallmark. Through this gripping narrative, a vast panorama of the past unfolds before us. It is a novel that abounds in details of eighth-century India, creating an experience that isrich and strange― strange to readers uninitiated into the wealth and diversity of the India of more than a thousand years ago.
Sartha can be discussed at several levels. It is a historical novel par excellence, defying western criticsopinion that Indian fiction lacks historical sense. On another level, it is a Picaresque novel, in so far as it concerns itself with the escapades of the protagonist. On yet another plane it is a metaphysical novel, dealing with the philosophy of Advaitic thought. Finally, it is a romance, a very readable story about the true love of Nagabhatta and Chandrika.
Bhyrappa,S.L.Ramaswamy, S (Translator)
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