The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library

Folktales from India

Publisher: Pantheon
An enchanting collection of 110 tales, translated from twenty-two different languages, that are by turns harrowing and comic, sardonic and allegorical, mysterious and romantic. Gods disguised as beggars and beasts, animals enacting Machiavellian intrigues, sagacious jesters and magical storytellers, wise counselors and foolish kings—all inhabit a fabular world, yet one that is also firmly grounded in everyday life. Here is an indispensable guide to India's ageless folklore tradition.

With black-and-white illustrations throughout
Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library


A number of young girls were drawing water at the village well and telling each other their fantasies of when and whom and how they would marry.
One of them said, “My uncle will come loaded with wedding presents and dress me in brocade, and I...
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“A truly remarkable collection...from the introduction to the explanatory notes, the entire book outstandingly demonstrates the enduring strength of Indian folklore tradition.”
—Library Journal

“The variety of subjects contributes to the richness of this fascinating book.”
—The Washington Times

“A major addition to the corpus of folktales of the world.”
— Edward C. Dimock, Jr., Chairman, American Institute of Indian Studies

“This collection of Indian folktales is unparalleled-in its scope of sources . . . a rich and fascinating tapestry of stories . . . infused with the author’s unique sense of humor and sense of beauty.”
— Wendy Doniger, author of Other People’s Myths and Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts