Nalanda: History’s Best Kept Secret by Shivani Singh [BOOK REVIEW]

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In medieval India, Siddhartha is a young Buddhist monk studying in one of the most renowned and ancient universities of the world – Nalanda. He is catapulted to the brink of history by the University senior teachers. They command him to aid the royal investigation of a suspicious death on campus. Mahipala, the king of Magadha, believes the death is actually a murder. Mahipala’s royal Officer in charge of the investigation is none other than siddhartha’s brother Aditya Raj. The brothers are forced into an uneasy alliance. Between them are played off the unforetold forces that wiped off Nalanda from the historical map of India. As the fate of Nalanda is sealed, strange deaths occur in quick succession. Plagued by misery and doubt, Siddhartha unwittingly stumbles upon a secret. It makes him question his faith, his rationality and, finally, his own existence. In the end, Nalanda is razed to the ground. This is fact. However, the narrative is a climactic context of many other elements of alternative history and speculative spirituality. It’s a shocking Disclosure of esoteric practices, involving the divine feminine, never divulged to the masses for reasons unknown. Venturing into historically virgin territory and, in many ways, picking up from where Dan Brown left, Nalanda exposes a reality that is devastating, mind-altering and yet, somehow, liberating.


The story of Nalanda is set in Medieval India. We follow our narrator, Sidhartha who is a young buddhist monk studying in one of the most renowned and ancient universities of the world – Nalanda. During those times, Nalanda was considered to be one of the world-renowned centres for education in India. Nobody knows the actual reason behind the sudden destruction at Nalanda University.

I am currently reading three books at the same time but to be honest, from the first page till the last page, I kept reading without switching to any other book. For me it was definitely a thought proving novel. I got to learn a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of. I haven’t read any book set in medieval India but after reading this book, I am definitely going to pick some more. As far as the writing style is censored, it was eloquent. It can be seen both in the writing style as well as the narrator’s tone. As a reader, I could feel that the author as well as the character is able to express themselves clearly. I would commend this book for those who are looking forward to reading more on this subject.

Thank you so much @amaryllispublishing for the review copy.

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