Amar Chitra Katha are launching a series on the temples of India, reports Sohini Chakravorty
The magic of Amar Chitra Katha never fades away. With its colourful illustrations drawn from Indian mythology and folk tales, this comic book series has become an integral part of childhood and has a growing reader base to become a favourite among both children and parents. Evolving over the years, Amar Chitra Katha is now ready with their new series on the temples of India, starting with Tirupati.
“The book will focus of the mythology of the temple. We are not focusing 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.
She adds that, “The stories are narrated in a simple format so that children can understand it. We have not gone into much detail in describing the temple.” After multiple visits to the temple and its vicinity by the artist and writer and two months of scouting at the location for mythologies, they 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 traditional and contemporary,” says the editor.
Also in the offing is a series on the historical places in India. The editor Reena Puri explains that so far Amar Chitra Katha focused only on few cities but with the new series, they will highlight the various mythological stories associated with the popular historical places in the country.
“For example Hampi is also identified as Kishkindha and we have narrated the mythology of the place,” she explains.
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 some 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 explains. She states that the parents are nostalgic about their Amar Chitra Katha books and it is their loyalty that is making their children pick up the comic books.
“There are families who have kept the books as heirlooms. We have a large number of loyal readers,” she says.