The legend of Kuldhara by Malathi Ramchandran review

This book is about the village of Kuldhara which was mysteriously abandoned in one night.

Kuldhara was home to the Paliwal Brahmins, some 200 years ago. The Diwan (minister) of Jaisalmer, Saalim Singh, known for his perversion, loucheness and immoral tax revenue methods, set his eyes on Pari, the 15 year old daughter of the village chief, and was desperate to add her to his harem. He threatened the villagers to give him the girl’s hand in marriage to him or pay heavy taxes.

Fearing Saalim Singh and his wrath, the entire village abandoned their homes and fled Kuldhara. No one knew where they settled and no one saw them leave.

Saalim, who wasn’t used to defeat, took this as a personal insult and is determined to find the villagers by hook or by crook. Saalim Singh, however is unaware about the horrible damage he has caused in his own home. Singh has more crooked plans up his sleeves.

Life is not going good for the Paliwal’s either. Their misfortunes are never ending. Everyone is cursing Pari for their misery. Pari, in the sway of her youth, gets carried away and that incident changes her life forever.

Hell bent and blind with revenge, Saalim Singh, Colonel Tod, the British agent, and Parvati, his favorite wife, have different plans of their own. Saalim is blind with revenge from the Maharawal of Jaisalmer, due to a childhood incident which damaged him deeply.

What happens to Pari? Will the Paliwal’s return home? Will Saalim Singh be successful in finding the Paliwal’s?

This book very well traces the journey of the Paliwal’s and retells the legend in a unique way. A book which would make a perfect read for cozy afternoons.

A key character in this book is the ravanhatha singer, who with the folk songs, adds a beautiful rustic touch to the book.

Another key character in the book is of Pratap Singh Yadav, Kuldhara’s trusted prabandhak (manager). He has an important part in the later part of the book.

The writing is engaging and the story progresses quickly and nothing beats around the bush.

Rating 4/5

This was my first novel set in Rajasthan.

Thank you Niyogi Books for sending me the review copy.

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