Punyakatha – Pune’s Story Of A Million Years

punyakatha book
Share this News:

Mubarak Ansari 

Pune, 11th October 2021: A city is more than just a human settlement of a certain vintage. It is a microcosm of human progress, a barometer of civilization.

To that end, Heritage India has published “Punyakatha—Pune’s Story of a Million Years” an illustrated children’s book cum family encyclopedia that tells the story of how Pune, a city that ranks amongst India’s most liveable cities apart from being a premier educational-cultural-business hub came to be,” says Manjiri Khandekar, CEO Heritage India. 

“In today’s volatile world there is an immense need to connect people to their roots, to impart a sense of stability, belonging, identity and pride. Our book is an endeavour to inculcate all of these. It is a book of hope, of a city and region that has not only endured but grown by leaps and bounds and enriched thousands through its long course of existence,” she says.

“At Heritage India, we are ever committed to our belief that history is for everyone. Especially our young audiences-after all, they are both our present and our future,” she says. 

“Thus, any retelling of the past has got to be and relatable. It has to be a narration that goes beyond a telling of events and dates; a narration that brings alive the men and the moments that have brought us to the point we stand; a narration that is fun, colourful and accessible.“

Noted archaeologist Dr G B Deglurkar says, “You cannot create history unless you know the history. Many people are not aware of the rich past. Punyakatha is a step to help them in an easy way.”

Dr. G. B. Deglurkar and Manjiri Khandekar a
Dr GB Deglurkar and Manjiri Khandekar at BORI while sharing the details of Punyakatha.

The writer of the book, author and journalist Kalyani Sardesai says, “The last thing we wanted to do was write yet another history textbook. What better way to do so than in the form of a story? Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy a story well-told! Unto that end, fiction has been used as a route to non-fiction. A throbbing, pulsating narration of vignettes that that attempts to connect the dots despite the blind spots of history in a largely linear and readable sequence for our young readers.”

The creative direction of the book has been carried out by noted illustrator and artist Tejas Modak.

Through 240 actions packed pages full of facts, rarely seen photographs, maps, quizzes, puzzles and activity sheets, take a look at how Pune metamorphoses from primitive man and the Stone Age to a small basti to a jagir to an important bastion of power on a national and international level over the centuries.

After all, a city that has been coveted throughout written history by rulers of every hue for its weather, location, water and culture, deserves such an effort. Plus, Pune’s importance continues to go from strength to strength.

A holistic representation of the city with the storytelling backed by authentic, well-researched data, the book is slated to be a memorable and unputdownable read for adult audiences as well.

Though the primary target audience is children, the book is a family encyclopedia to be explored by multiple generations.

In its existence of 14 years, Heritage India has published its magazines Heritage India and Maharashtra Unlimited apart from conducting heritage walks and tours all over Maharashtra and existence to educate people on the vast and varied heritage of India including its traditions, festivals, arts and handicrafts, monuments and foods.

In the making for over 4 years, Punyakatha is veritable labour of love put together by a team of experts and creatives under the banner of Heritage India.

Punyakatha Team

Core team

Concept: Manjiri Khandekar, CEO Heritage India

Writer: Kalyani Sardesai

Creative direction: Tejas Modak 

Artwork by: Rahul Deshpande, Devadatta Phule, Anant Dere, Bhaskar Sagar, Tejas Modak 

The Research Team: Dr G B Deglurkar, Prof P K Ghanekar, Dr Ajit Vaman Apte, and Dr Manjiri Bhalerao. 

Activities by Namrata Khandekar-Boileau 

Layout and Design: Sunil Gokarn

You can buy Punyakatha book through Heritage India on this link