Stories Of India Retold

Indian Mythology Simplified One Story at a Time. A retelling of stories—and the stories behind the stories—from Indian epics, puranas, folklore and Indian history; through the eyes of a book-loving, history buff. Find stories about fantastical creatures; mortals and immortals; or just ordinary men and women achieving extraordinary feats.

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16 hours ago

It is ridiculous how many times I say the word "sons" on this episode! (Insert- sheepish smile emoji) Niyoga is an ancient Indian practice that was followed to make sure the continuation of a lineage through male progeny.  Listen to the episode to know more about: - What it is and how it worked.  - The reasons for the practice - Importance of sons in the society - Different ways to obtain sons - Rights of sons born through niyoga   Email your questions to: Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold   References: The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010) Sahgal, S. (2011). GENDERED INQUIRY INTO NIYOGA: APPRAISING THE INSTITUTION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF FEMALE ACTORS. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 72, 179–192.   Mishra, V. B. (1977). THE PRACTICE OF NIYOGA IN ANCIENT LITERATURE OF INDIA : A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 58/59, 773–776.   Music: At Depth- Lish Grooves

Thursday Nov 17, 2022

Pandu was cursed by rishi Kimdama because of a hunting accident. This story is about Pandu and his wife, Madri's death as a result of the curse and the events that followed. Listen to the story to know more about: - The cause and manner of Pandu's death  - Why Madri chose to accompany Pandu to his afterlife rather than Kunti - The final rites of Pandu and Madri–where, what and how. - What happened to the five sons of Pandu–the Pandavas, and Kunti after Pandu's death. Music: Jesse Gallagher Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)

Monday Nov 07, 2022

Part 2 of the story of the birth of Pandavas and Kauravas–the lead characters of the Mahabharata. (Part 1 - Episode 13) Both Dhritarashtra and Pandu are married, and the responsibility of continuing the royal line is theirs. Dhritarashtra is denied the throne because of his blindness and Pandu was made king. Listen to the story of: - Pandu's curse–a King who could not procreate  - How Gandhari had 100 sons, the Kauravas. (With some help from Veda Vyasa!) - How and why Pandu convinced Kunti to have sons through niyoga - How Kunti and Madri conceived their sons, the Pandavas   Music: Jesse Gallagher Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)  

Friday Oct 14, 2022

Part 1 of the story of birth of the Pandavas and Kauravas. After the birth of the Kuru princes Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidhura, Bhishma took up the responsibility of both the thriving kingdom and also the growing princes. The members of the family were keen to see the princes marry well, have sons and continue the dynasty.  Listen to the story of: - Who the princes married - How and why the girls were selected - How Gandhari and Kunti received boons to have sons.   Music: Jesse Gallagher Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold  

Saturday Sep 24, 2022

Daughter of the great King Uparichara; mother to the author of the Mahabharata and the divider of the vedas; mother to 2 princes who became king; and the wife of King Shantanu, Satyavati was an intelligent and beautiful woman. Born to a Puru King and a fisherwoman mother, Satyavati was destined for great things and her adoptive father made sure to give her the best he could.  Listen to: -the origin and stories of her ancestors -the circumstances of her birth -her affair and the time she fell in love -how she received the boon -her son–Veda Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana -what she did to save the Puru lineage from extinction.

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Souti Vaishampayana tells the story of the births of Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, who are seen as the saviors of the Kuru lineage. Listen to the story to learn more about: -How and why the Kuru lineage was in danger of going extinct -The princes' parents and how their births were planned in order to guarantee the continuation of the Kuru lineage -How the kidnapped princess Amba convinced Bhishma to let her go -How the author of Mahabharata, Krishna Dwaipayana, is connected to the Kuru lineage.  Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold

Sunday Sep 11, 2022

Vasus are children of Manu, who is the son of Brahma, and are collectively called the Ashta Vasu or Eight Vasus. They are deities who represent the eight elements—earth, water, fire, wind, sun, sky, moon and the stars; in the Mahabharata, they are named Dhara, Aha, Anala, Anila, Pratyusha, Prabhasa, Soma and Dhruva, respectively. Vasus lived a privileged life in the heavens. But, one day, they got in trouble with the great sage Vasishta and were cursed very harshly.  Listen to: -the events that led to the Vasus being cursed by Vasishta -the details of the curse and how the Vasus managed it -Goddess Ganga's role in their forced entry into earth as mortals -Prabhasa's identity as a mortal on earth.   Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold  

Sunday Sep 04, 2022

As commander of the Kuru army and the grand-uncle to both the Kauravas and Pandavas, Bhishma is one of the main protagonists of the story. The son of King Shantanu and goddess Ganga, he was named Devavrata at birth. In Indian culture, Bhishma is widely loved and admired because of his dedication to dharma and his selflessness. Listen to how: -Shantanu and Ganga were married and then separated -Bhishma was born -Shantanu was heartbroken because he couldn't marry the woman he loved, Satyavati. -Bhishma gave up his claim to the throne and took up a vow of brahmacharya  -Shantanu granted his son the boon to choose the time of his death Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold  

Saturday Aug 13, 2022

Govina Haadu,or Song of the cow (also called, Punyakotiya Kathe or Punyakoti's story) is a story about a cow named Punyakoti, who inadvertently crosses path with a very hungry and fierce tiger named Arbhuta. Based on a story in Mahabharata, this beautiful, soul stirring song has been part of Kannada folklore for thousands of years. Listen to know how: -Punyakoti convinces Arbhuta to let her see her young calf one more time before he makes a meal of her. -Arbhuta is influenced by Punyakoti's beliefs and actions.    Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold

Thursday May 19, 2022

Puru, son of Yayati, belonged to the Lunar dynasty. He was the founder of the Puru or Kuru lineage-key players in the Mahabharata.  Blog: Podcast website:  Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold



“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

Sue Monk Kidd, author.


For the people of India, stories from ancient Indian literature is a window into who we are as a people. These stories may be thousands of years old, but they have survived in the hearts and minds of millions of people over generations.

   The Epics (Mahabharata, Ramayana), Vedas, Puranas and the folklore of India are not only entertaining, but also tell us about the history of our people and their values. The stories are often times highly exaggerated and layered with fantastical elements—but that is what makes it for a fun reading, and is probably the reason why they have survived, and are beloved still after all these years.

   I have been a lifelong lover and reader of books and stories. I am also a parent to two young kids and I wish to share with them the same stories I grew up listening to; the same stories our ancestors, going back thousands of years, grew up listening to. And that is how I started reading books, collecting the stories, and—most important of all—sharing the stories with my two kids, who love to hear all about the superheroes of ancient India.

   The stories I publish in this blog is my humble effort at retelling these beautiful stories. The goal is to remain true to the original story (that we know of) as much as possible, but presenting it in a way that is more relatable to children (and adults) today.I read books and research papers and whatever materials I can get my hands on to give you the most authentic stories.

   Please join me to explore the world of men, women and gods; mortals and immortals; flying chariots; otherworldly, shapeshifting dragon-like serpents; or just ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats.

   Peace and Love.


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