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Temple tales come alive

Amar Chitra Katha is launching a series on the temples of India



FOCUS ON MYTHOLOGY A different take

The magic of Amar Chitra Katha never fades. With its colourful illustrations drawn from Indian mythology and folk tales, it has become an integral part of everyone's childhood and has a growing reader base among both children and parents. Evolving over the years, Amar Chitra Katha is now ready with its new series on the temples of India, starting with Tirupati.

“The book will focus on the mythology of the temple. We are not focussing on the history of the temple or its architecture, but on the various stories behind the temple and how it was built,” explains Reena Puri, editor of Amar Chitra Katha. Next in the series is the Vaishno Devi temple.

Easy to understand

“The stories are narrated in a simple format so that children can understand it,” she says. After multiple visits to the temple and its vicinity, and two months of scouting for mythology, the artist and writer finalised the content and illustrations.

“We are experimenting a lot with our designs, making it more contemporary. We have not drifted much from our old style, but drawings are different as young artists are adding their touch along with our traditional styles. It is a merge between the traditional and the contemporary,” says the editor.

Hidden stories

Also in the offing is a series on the historical places in India. Reena explains that Amar Chitra Katha has so far focussed only on a few cities, but with the new series, it will highlight the mythological stories associated with the country's popular historical places. “For example Hampi is also identified as Kishkindha, and we have narrated the mythology of the place,” she says. Biographies of contemporary historical figures and books with short stories are also on the anvil.

While the Amar Chitra Katha Media is keeping the interest alive with several new series, the editor maintains that the online media is not a threat. “We have a website where a few of our comic series can be read online. But the reading habit has not decreased. Parents are still encouraging their children to buy books and read,” she says. She states that the parents are nostalgic about their Amar Chitra Katha books, and it is their loyalty that makes their children pick up the books. “There are families who have kept the books as heirlooms,” she says.

SOHINI CHAKRAVORTY

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