best Indian novels
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Indian writings hold onto the fabric of our rich culture and traditional history. These stories talk about the inherent traditions, social stigma, fantasy, and cultural norms all strung together with gripping plotlines based on our diverse land. Indian English literature boasts some critically acclaimed award-winning masterpieces that will keep you engrossed throughout the narrative. We have rounded up the best Indian novels to help you step ahead in your reading journey.

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A List of the Best Indian Novels

1. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

best selling Indian novels
The White Tiger

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, this is one of the best Indian novels that describe the social disparities entrenched in our system. Written as a first-person account by the protagonist Balram Halwai, this engaging story follows his journey from the darkness of rural India to riding on the success of entrepreneurship.

2. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

best Indian novels
The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy’s debut novel touches upon various stigmas that haunt Indian society. Set in Ayemenem, Kerala, the story revolves around the life of twins Rahel and Esthappen. At the tender age of seven, they are held responsible for violating the social laws. They reunite after nearly 24 years and realise that nobody could understand them better than each other.

Winner of the Booker Prize, this bestselling Indian novel book focuses on the relevance of little things in all relationships.

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3. Three Thousand Stitches by Sudha Murty

best selling Indian novels
Three Thousand Stitches

Next up on our list of best Indian novels is this warm-hearted and candid writing by Sudha Murty. Here she talks about her youth, family life and travel encounters through the course of her life. In addition, she writes about the daily struggles and victories that have led her to where she is today. All in all, this book sheds light on the beauty and horror of human nature through real-life stories.

4. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

best Indian authors books
The Palace of Illusions

This book is a retelling of the Mahabharata from the eyes of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandava brothers. This magically deep human tale delves into the complexities of her life, right from her childhood to all that unfolds later.

Chitra gives a voice to Draupadi’s character as she takes up different roles in her life. It depicts her reasons, choices, dreams, imaginations, and above all, her existence as a woman in a man’s world.

5. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

best Indian novels
The Namesake

Adapted into a major motion picture by Mira Nair, this bestselling Indian novel is profound storytelling at this best. The author wonderfully weaves the life of an Indian family settled in suburban America. It takes you through the journeys of Ashima, the Indian homemaker stuck in an American lifestyle, and Gogol, the son finding his identity, as he starts his life leaving his Bengali values behind.

6. Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

best Indian novels to read
Train to Pakistan

Our list of best Indian novels would be incomplete without this heart-wrenching account of the 1947 partition. Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh narrates the trauma and terror faced by people at the hands of political leaders during the partition.

This book, at every stage, questions the morality of the characters. They are shown to fight their own battle of what is wrong and what is right while making life-changing decisions.

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7. Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik

best Indian books to read
Jaya

Looking for an Indian novel that is written on the backdrop of mythology? This book by mythologist Devdatt Patnaik is an impressive retelling of the epic Mahabharata.

Jaya is an illustrated rendition of all the events and incidences in the Mahabharata. It narrates numerous intertexts, never-heard-before folklore, exciting tales, and more. Divided into 108 chapters, this book contains countless lesser-known and local stories while keeping the original form and tone untouched.

8. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

best Indian novels
A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy is a post-partition novel that has two parallel stories happening simultaneously. First, it shows how a difference in religion is a stigma for most social classes. Second, it narrates an unconventional love affair. One of the best Indian novels, this book traces the efforts of a woman to find the best match for her daughter.

This book is based on love and marriage affected by inter and intra-family discords, religious differences, and social norms.

9. Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan

best Indian books to read
Malgudi Days

This book by R.K. Narayan is a collection of 32 short stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi. Each story describes life in the town clearly and connects with the reader on a personal front. The stories have been adapted into two TV series as well.

What makes it one of the best Indian novels – is the realistic portrayal of people’s struggles living in a small town while being comfortable with their social status.

10. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

best Indian authors books
Midnight’s Children

This book by Salman Rushdie narrates both pre-and post-Independence events. Saleem Sinai was born at midnight on 15th August 1947, when India became independent. This book tells the story of Saleem, his telepathic powers, and young India in its nascent stage.

Winner of the Booker Prize, this book is an example of impeccable storytelling with elements of drama, fantasy, history, culture, religion, politics and adventure.

Best Indian Novels with Price Comparison (Paperback Editions)

Bestselling Indian NovelsPrice in INR*
The White Tiger199
The God of Small Things288
Three Thousand Stitches181
The Palace of Illusions307
The Namesake227
Train to Pakistan200
Jaya384
A Suitable Boy947
Malgudi Days187
Midnight’s Children297
*Price is subject to change

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Making sense of the urban rush while enjoying the essence of simplicity; she lives life, one yoga asana at a time. Juggling between biosciences and writing is a daily ritual for her. Nothing else brings more joy to her than the little things in life - trying new cuisines, discovering random Spotify playlists, exploring the less-trodden streets. When not writing, you can catch her revisiting The Office, eating cakes, or sleeping.

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