A fascinating glimpse into the Harappan Civilization.
The author’s vast knowledge of Hindu history and literature makes this enthralling novel set in the third millennium BCE fascinating reading. Indeed although a work of fiction, the story is based around real life characters and events which took place in the Near East, and Middle East at that time.
The Harappan (or Indus Valley) Civilization was the biggest empire of the time. Its lands stretched from the river Indus and Hindu Kush Mountains in the west, to the Ganges Yamuna doab in the east, the Himalayas in the north and the Arabian Sea in the south.
The story is told by the main character Upashantha (Upaas), who is a trainee physician and the son of Angirasa, the chief architect who designed the beautiful city of Harappa, known as the City of Gold.
Through Upaas’s eyes, and the author’s wonderfully descriptive writing, we find ourselves transported back through time to this golden era in Harappan history.
The Harappans live well, are prosperous, safe, protected, and welcome visitors and merchants keen to trade with them. However, for others life is not so fortunate, in Ariana the nine rivers have dried up, the people are suffering, and the crops are failing. Matriya, has had to watch his family and those around him struggle and is angry, and so after failing to persuade the Elders of Sistan to use their magical powers to change the course of the river Sindu (Indus), a resentful and unhappy Matriya decides to take fate into his own hands.
Eventually, after much studying under a yogi who knows how to control nature, Matriya learns the necessary powers himself, however, although he wants to move the course of the mighty Sindu river so his people’s lands are fertile again, he also has an ulterior motive, he is doing it for selfish reasons, he seeks glory for himself.
As this story unfolds Upaas finds himself called upon to help the Elders of the Council and Sages of Harappa, and is sent down perilous paths to save the City of Gold from war, and the spell of the rogue Magus.
I was fascinated by the magical Soma plant which was revered as a God by the Harappan civilization, and grown in a secret location known only to a few. Its magical powers are as vital to the Magus, and the Harappa people in this story, as they were at the time.
This is a great action packed adventure which is laced with magic and sorcery, and am looking forward to reading the second in this trilogy, Harappa 2: Fall of Shuruppak.
About the Author:
Shankar N Kashyap is a consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon working in Gateshead, UK. Some of his colleagues jealous of his popularity, success and talent, decided to cook up spurious charges against him and reported to the regulatory body, the GMC. He faced an three year ordeal of trial by incompetent individuals who were not only corrupt but completely devoid of any knowledge of the work he did in the hospital. He has written his experiences in his book “A Kangaroo Court” on Createspace. The book is an invaluable guide to all doctors not only in the UK, but across the world.
He is extensively read with wide knowledge of history of near east and middle east. He is presently writing a series of books based in Indus Valley and Mesopotamia around third millennium BCE. First book Harappa: The Lure of Soma has been released through Palimpsest India and available on amazon as well as on Alibris websites. It was released in Delhi in October 2013 and has excellent reviews by renowned authors such as Graham Hancock and David Frawley. The second book of the series – Harappa: The fall of Shuruppak is due for release in the spring of 2014.
He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with his wife and three children.