Author: Babu Devkinandan Khatri
Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan
Publishing Date: 1888
Format: Paperback, Kindle edition (3311 KB)
Cost: Rs. 53 (Kindle edition)
The novel is about a pair of lovers belonging to separate kingdoms which have a history of rivalry. Princess Chandrakanta belongs to the kingdom of Vijaygarh and Prince Virendra Singh belongs to Naugarh. As it happens, a member of the Vijaygarh court, Krur Singh, wants to marry the princess and become the king of Vijaygarh.
After a failed attempt at marrying the princess, Krur Singh absconds from the kingdom and befriends the powerful King Shivdutt of Chunargarh. Krur Singh hopes to marry Chandrakanta with the help of his new friend and Shivdutt keeps his promise by capturing the princess. Chandrakanta is taken as a prisoner and only her beau Virendra Singh can save her.
The novel comprises a series of seven books. which are together called the Chandrakanta Sanati. The other novels in the series deal with the escapades of Chandrakanta and Vijendra Singh's children, who are shown to fight off trouble in a similar manner as their father.
While everybody still remember the hugely popular television serial Chandrakanta, not many of its devoted viewers would be familiar with the name and contribution of Devaki Nandan Khatri, the man who created the character of Chandrakanta and blazed a new trail in the field of novel writing in Hindi.
The history of initiating this work goes long back. It has been registered that way back, he used to travel to dense and difficult forests and hills and visited many old historical buildings and forts. However, on account of the killing of a lion, he fell from grace of the local ruler and lost all his contracts. Feeling dejected, he embarked upon a literary project to fill the void in his life and began to write a novel titled Chandrakanta.
Published in four parts, its first part came out in 1888 and created a sensation because it introduced the reader to a whole new world of royal love affairs, miracles, magic and incredibly bold acts of spies of rival rulers. The main characters of this novel was Raja Virendra Singh and Rani Chandrakanta.
Khatri first wrote Chandrakanta then seeing his popularity and success, he carried forward the story and composed 'Chandrakanta Santi'. This novel is a milestone in the planet of Hindi literature. It is said that millions of people learnt Hindi only to read Chandrakanta. With a background of event-oriented, magic, mystery, ayyari, this Hindi novel is still at the top of popularity.
The fictional writer Rajendra Yadav puts his views of the book:
“How symbolic seems the ruins of the monastery-temple of 'Chandrakanta' and the deserted, dark, creepy night, quiet, deserted and desolate, but everything is full of terrible fraudulent antics ... every moment the black and white snarl, Hide and seek. All these miraculous miracles of Khatri ji, these idealistic supreme policy-makers, just and honest monarchs and princes, fairy-like fairies and unabashed women, or lightning-strewn airs, are all the projection of a beautiful dream. 'Chandrakanta' can also be considered an interesting example of the transition from an era of faith and belief to an era of logic and reason.”
There is so much to learn about the 19th century, the life that used to be different than today, the then- politics. This is not only an excellent art of fiction but a jewel of those times.
- The novel has been adapted into a Hindi serial by the title Kahani Chandrakanta Ki in the year 2011.
- A film adaptation of the novel is also under way.
- The film Taalismaan is being produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Ram Madhvani. It has Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan among the cast of the film.
About the Author:
Devaki Nandan Khatri was born in Muzaffarpur, Bengal Presidency in the year 1861. He is popularly called Babu Devaki Nandan Khatri and belongs to the first set of Hindi writers in India. He is renowned for his mystery novels and Chandrakanta is his most famous work. His other works include Chandrakanta, Kajar Ki Kothari, Narendra-Mohini, Kusum Kumari, Virendra Veer, Gupt Godna and Katora Bhar Khoon. His unfinished novel Bhootnath was finished by his son Durga Prasad Khatri. His novels gained so much popularity that people began to learn the Hindi language so as to enable them to read his works. Devaki Nandan Khatri worked for the Raja of Benares.