Updated: Jun 2
Indian Mythology is an incredibly rich and diverse tapestry of stories, legends, and beliefs that have been woven into the fabric of Indian Culture for centuries. It encompasses a vast array of gods and goddesses, demons, and magical and mythological creatures with their own unique stories and symbolism.
These stories, even though rooted in Hinduism, aren't religious in nature and offer themes of moral values, ethics, love, and integrity. They also provide insight into spiritual beliefs, practices, and philosophical concepts associated with India.
Mythological stories initially passed down through generations orally are now available in various forms from illustrations to modern adaptations. This article provides you with a list of ten such Top rated books for your children to read and learn about, Indian culture, its incredible mythological stories, Historical Stories, and sacred sites associated with the history, heritage, and culture of this land.
Age: 9 years and up
"The Gita for Children" by Roopa Pai is a unique and simplified interpretation of the complex subject of the Bhagavad Gita. With Sanskrit slokas and English meanings, the book is aimed at children but also appeals to adults with its contemporary language and humor.
Pai uses examples from various resources to help readers understand the salient points of Gita. Her approach has made understanding the deeper meanings of the conversations between Pandava Prince Arjuna and lord Krishna a thought-provoking, fun, and easy-to-understand experience.
The book explains important lessons such as the ten avatars of Vishnu, the benefits of "multi-thinking," and the idea that no action is good or evil, it's the intention behind the action that makes the difference.
Age: 11 years and up
Through this book, you'll discover a world of adventure and magic, brought to life by the captivating storytelling of Sudha Murty. With 23 epic tales divided into two sections about Rama and Krishna, this book is a treasure trove of Indian mythology.
Sudha Murty's engaging and accessible writing style makes it easy for readers of all ages to lose themselves in these tales. From Rama's sense of justice to Krishna's mischievousness, each story offers a unique perspective on these beloved figures, accompanied by beautiful illustrations.
Age: 13 years and up
“Namaha” is filled with diverse stories that take the readers right to the center of the conversation unraveling between the source and the seeker, giving a glimpse into Indian heritage, Hinduism, and beliefs.
Abhishek Singh's masterful storytelling, combined with his exceptional artistic ability, transcends stories from words to illustrations that leave a lasting impression on readers' minds.
From stories titled “Touching the Sun “ and “The Little Droplet” with each turn of the page, this illustrated book will draw you deeper into the world of Indian mythology, rituals, and the beautifully crafted legends around it
Age: 3 - 8 years
Ramayan for Kids is a bestselling book for parents looking to introduce their children to this Indian Epic, the values and moral lessons the story offers, and its relation to the festival, Diwali.
This simplified reiteration of the Ramayana follows Prince Rama's journey, who is exiled from his kingdom, and his battles with demons and a ten-headed monster named Ravana to rescue his beloved wife Sita.
This epic story teaches important values such as loyalty, bravery, righteousness, and the importance of family. With its engaging narrative and colorful illustrations, this book will capture children's imagination and help them connect with their cultural roots.
Age: 7- 11 years
This book is a collection of short stories that narrate the adventures and exploits of Hindu gods and goddesses, and other mythological figures. The book covers stories from the devotion of Savitri towards Satya Vachan, Hanuman crossing the sea to teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.
Each story is presented in a simple and easy-to-understand language with an adjoint illustration, making it suitable for developing children's curiosity and inculcating the values of Hinduism and Indian customs in them.
One story of 365 stories a day, throughout the year, forms the perfect family-friendly experience for children in their formative years.
Age: 3 years and up
This book is a heartwarming and engaging children's book that explores the theme of self-acceptance and the importance of education beyond being the topper in class through the eyes of a young boy.
Tanuj is a curious and imaginative child who is fascinated by the mythological anti-hero Ravana, the ten-headed demon king from the Hindu epic Ramayana.
Tanuj's fascination with Ravana leads him to believe Ravana is the best and makes his mother recite stories of Ravana repeatedly. The book becomes fascinating when one day Tanuj grows 9 heads. The everyday struggles of Tanuj with his 9 heads, and the importance of self-love, gratitude, and mindfulness form the remaining plot of this easy and fun mythological read.
7. Animals Tales From Panchatantra- Timeless Stories for Children From Ancient India: Wonder House Books
Age: 2 - 5 years
Animal Tales from Panchatantra is a revered collection of 6 folktales that originated in ancient India. The stories feature animal characters who possess human-like qualities, and their adventures Each tale teaches valuable life lessons such as the importance of loyalty, friendship, and honesty.
These tales' universal appeal lies in their ability to transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries, making them a timeless treasure of world literature. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations which makes it easier to grab the attention of children and make reading and learning an enjoyable experience for them.
Age: 11 years and up
"Tales and Legends from India" is a captivating collection of stories that celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of India. Ruskin Bond's narration of ancient mythology like “Shakuntala “ and regional tales like “The -Tiger King Gift “ provide a window into the country's rich traditions and values, while also showcasing its remarkable ethos.
The book's universal themes of love, courage, and compassion are woven into the fabric of each story, making it a compelling read for both children and adults. Bond's masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions bring the stories to life, transporting readers to the magical world of Indian folklore from different faiths.
Age: 6 - 8 years
This book by Devdutt Pattanaik is a delightful and informative journey into the rich world of Indian mythology. Through colorful illustrations and engaging storytelling, the book introduces readers to the 6 fascinating pantheons of Indian gods and goddesses.
Pattanaik's easy-to-read writing style combined with illustration make this book an excellent introduction for children to the science behind Hinduism. From why identity cards are important even for Krishna to the reason behind the mysterious disappearance of river Saraswati the book offers readers a glimpse into the diverse and captivating tropes in Indian mythologies.
Age: 5 -12 years
"Nava Durga: 9 Forms of Goddess " by Nalini Ramachandran is an enchanting children's book that offers a deep insight into the nine unique forms of the powerful warrior-goddess Durga.
Based on Shakta traditions, the book presents authentic facts and stories about the festival of Navaratri, which is celebrated for 9 days across India and globally in honor of the goddess.
With Ms. Ramchandran's meticulous research and Ms. Priyanka Pachpande's beautiful illustrations, this book is a wonderful way to introduce children to Indian tradition and heritage.
Throughout the book, the goddess herself makes an appearance to speak directly to readers, about the celebration of Navaratri, and the different customs and rituals associated with it.