The Secret God In The Forest


Author: Anuradha Kumar
Illustrated by Piyush Verma

9789350468906 | Centre Stapled | pp. 28 | 2017 | Tulika Publishers

In The Secret God in the Forest, Puri is festive. It is the day of the temple Ratha Jatra. Pria wonders why the idols of the gods are unlike any other gods she has seen.

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Drums beating, cymbals clashing, trumpets blowing… the town of Puri by the sea is festive. It is the day of the temple Ratha Jatra and Pria wonders why the idols of Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balabhadra are unlike any other gods she has seen. Some say that’s how Jagannatha looked when he lived deep in the forest, her grandmother tells her. And so starts off a story within a story – of Nilamadhaba, the secret god of the Sabaras.

Central to this story is the dynamic nature of myths that often travel from the margins to the mainstream, carrying their own distinctive stamp. Stylized illustrations add a contemporary touch, while perfectly capturing the colour, drama and atmosphere of the traditional tale.


Anuradha Kumar
Illustrator: Piyush Verma




Tulika Publishers


Centre Stapled



Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

The author was born, and spent her early childhood years in Odisha. She has lived in various places in India before moving first to Singapore and then to the US, where she lives presently. She loves history and writing about it.

The illustrator is a freelance artist and filmmaker. With a masters in Animation and Film Design from IDC and IIT Bombay, he won the 2016 National Film Award for animating Hum Chitra Banate Hain. He is interested in ethnography, travelling and working with people in communities, always looking for the story in their lives.


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