Simply enter your keyword and we will help you find what you need.

What are you looking for?

Chandrabati’s Ramayan

Longlisted | Book Awards 2021 | Translated into English

Chandrabati’s Ramayan (Chandrabati Ramayana)

Chandrabati, the first woman poet in Bangla, lived in the sixteenth century in Mymensingh district in present day Bangladesh. She was also the first poet in the Bangla language to present a retelling of the Ram story from the point of view of Sita. Idolised as a model of marital obedience and chastity in Valmiki’s Ramayan, Chandrabati’s lyrical retelling of Sita’s story offers us a fresh perspective. Written in order to be sung before a non-courtly audience, mainly of womenfolk of rural Bengal, Chandrabati’s Ramayan adds new characters and situations to the story to provide new interpretations of already known events drawing richly on elements of existing genres. Its location in the tales of everyday life has ensured that Chandrabati’s Ramayan lives on in the hearts of village women of modern-day India.

Full Title: Chandrabati's Ramayan

Author: Chandrabati
Publisher: Zubaan
Translator: Nabaneeta Dev Sen
Original Language: Bangla

Award Category: Translated into English
About the Book: 

Chandrabati, the first woman poet in Bangla, lived in the sixteenth century in Mymensingh district in present day Bangladesh. She was also the first poet in the Bangla language to present a retelling of the Ram story from the point of view of Sita. Idolised as a model of marital obedience and chastity in Valmiki’s Ramayan, Chandrabati’s lyrical retelling of Sita’s story offers us a fresh perspective. Written in order to be sung before a non-courtly audience, mainly of womenfolk of rural Bengal, Chandrabati’s Ramayan adds new characters and situations to the story to provide new interpretations of already known events drawing richly on elements of existing genres. Its location in the tales of everyday life has ensured that Chandrabati’s Ramayan lives on in the hearts of village women of modern-day India.


About the Author: 

Nabaneeta Dev Sen was one of Bengal’s best-known writers. Equally adept at poetry (her most favoured genre) she also wrote novels, plays, travelogues, critical and academic pieces. She was for many years a teacher of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata and remained involved at the level of activism and support in women’s causes. Chandrabati’s Ramayan was a work that was very close to her heart and this manuscript was completed on her 80th birthday, just under a year before she passed away. Its publication is our tribute to her.


Excerpt: 

A terrible tormentor, Ravan, he feared no god
Only two enemies he had, man and monkey
With Brahma’s blessings that rascal had gained immortality
All the gods, even Indra, dreaded Ravan deeply.
One fine morning in his court in Lanka
Ravan held a meeting with his courtiers and ministers
He decided to win over the heavens, the divine kingdom of
the gods.
So he went with his troops of demons
And besieged the gates of heaven.
They were a terrible lot, those troops of Ravan.


Write a Review

Review Chandrabati’s Ramayan.

Your email address will not be published.