Indian writings hold onto the fabric of our rich culture and traditional history. These stories talk about 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. Here you can also check best mythology books & list of top biography Books in India that are a must read.
List of 10 Best Indian Novels
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
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.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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.
Three Thousand Stitches by Sudha Murty
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.
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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.
In addition to this, you can also check here for some of the top self help books & finance books in India.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
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.
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
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.
Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik
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.
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
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.
Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan
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.
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
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 Novels||Price in INR*|
|The White Tiger||199|
|The God of Small Things||288|
|Three Thousand Stitches||181|
|The Palace of Illusions||307|
|Train to Pakistan||200|
|A Suitable Boy||947|