If winning numerous battles to form one of the largest empires in the world was a big challenge then, bigger challenge was to manage the huge wealth acquired during the process. One of the most celebrated emperors of the world, Alexander the Great faced the same problem during his conquest of Indian subcontinent. K N Ganeshaiah's novel Chitadanta begins with this dilemma of the emperor. If Karisiriyana, Ganeshaiah's earlier novel focused on the history of south India, canvas here is bigger. It spans from the present Afghanistan to modern day Patna. The story even revolves around several kingdoms - Mauryas, Nandas, Kingdoms of Kalinga, Burma and Sri Lanka.
Decoding the treasure map by making use of Buddhist, Mauryan and Greek symbols and riddles makes this book a fascinating read. In the process, the author busts few historical myths. You would definitely find the answers to the following questions in the book - Who are Ajivikas and Theravadis? What is the significance of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic at Kandy in Sri Lanka? Why did Buddhism almost vanish from the country of its origin, India? Though Buddha was against idol worship, how did his idol become the most recognizable symbol of Buddhism all over the world? Who are the people of Kalash community living in the present day Pakistan? Why did Chanakya make Amatya Rakshasa, a Nanda loyalist who was dead against the Mauryan empire, the minister of Chandragupta Maurya? What is the significance of the solar eclipse which occurred during Emperor Ashoka's reign? Why did the famed king Ashoka build a hell(naraka) in his kingdom? What was the reason behind Alexander building the city of Alexandria Bucephalous? What more, you have real life characters like Osama Bin Laden and Dalai Lama. I think these teasers are enough for the history enthusiast to venture into the amazing world of Chitadanta.
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