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Janmashtami 2017: A glimpse into the life of Lord Krishna through graphic novels

If you plan to go ahead with your daily dose of reading on Janmasthami, get hold of these illustrated books to know Krishna’s life better.

books Updated: Aug 14, 2017 12:12 IST
Aditya Dogra
Aditya Dogra
Hindustan Times
Janmashtami,Krishna,Graphic Novels
An illustration from the graphic book, Krishna: A Journey Within.

Janmashtami is a holiday, and there’s no better time to read up all the lores that surround Lord Krishna, his adventures and his triumph over evil. While mythological texts and books about his philosophies exist in abundance, what adds to his already epic tales are great illustrated visuals. True bibliophiles can’t be stopped by festivities. So, here’s a list of graphic novels, on Krishna, which you must add to your library this year. Happy reading!


We all know the god, his epics and all the glory that surrounds him, but not many know the human side of this avatar of Lord Vishnu. That is exactly what A Journey Within deals with, and that too beautifully. The mesmerising visuals take one on a journey that culminates in a confrontation between the fire of man’s consuming greed to conquer all, and the supreme power of the divine spirit.


A classic tale of good vs evil, Krishna: Defender of Dharma revolves around the return of evil rakshasa Kalanemi, who returns to Earth as Kansa — the tyrant king of Mathura. Seeing the new rise of evil, Lord Vishnu decides to descend to Earth as Lord Krishna — his eight avatar— to vanquish Kansa, and his horde of evil monsters. The story deals with all of Krishna’s adventures till the point where he becomes a councillor of the race of Yadavas, where he observes that the real struggle is not with magical monsters but with evil kings and warriors. This book is an easy read with some extremely aesthetic visuals.


If you’ve read All Star Superman, Batman and Robin, and The Invisibles by creator Grant Morrison, this one will definitely become your favourite! Re-imagining Mahabharata, the book 18 days follows the course of the climactic war, Kurukshetra. With Grant Morrison’s creative-style and original illustrations by Mukesh Singh (the man behind the Devi series), this book dives into the epic scale of the war, Krishna’s role in it and also provides a read that’s worth adding to your collection.


This one is primarily for the kids and thus is mostly heavy with visuals. A series around Lord Krishna, the first part deals with his birth, the greater purpose behind it, his magical escape from prison and arrival to the home of Nand and Yashodha. The book uses cartoon like figures, unlike other books, on this list, which will make you read it no matter what your age is.


A book that is much like the Krishna animated series, this one uses a mix of colourful visuals and simple language to tell the tale of Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar, Krishna. Starting from his birth in Mathura, growing up in Gokul and then moving to Vrindavan, the journey traces Krishna’s growing years. Courageous, mischievous and lovable, Krishna’s adventures with friends Balaram, Udho and Madho make this book worth cherishing. Krishna’s love for Radha is another plot that’s praiseworthy.

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First Published: Aug 14, 2017 12:01 IST