The Immortals of Meluha is the first novel of the Shiva trilogy series by Amish Tripathi. The story is set in the land of Meluha and starts with the arrival of the Tibetan tribal Shiva. The Meluhan belief that Shiva is their fabled saviour, Neelkanth, is confirmed when he consumes the Somras, a legendary healing potion, which turns his throat blue. Shiva decides to help the Meluhans in their war against the Chandravanshis, who had joined forces with a cursed group called Nagas; however, in his journey and the resulting fight that ensues, Shiva learns how his choices actually reflected who he aspires to be and how it led to dire consequences.
'The Immortals Of Meluha' is the first novel in the Shiva Triology by Amish Tripathi.
It is set in 1900 BC, in what the modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilisation. The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Meluha – a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived.
The once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe perils as its primary river, the revered Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction. They also face devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis.
To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracised and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.
The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend – ‘when evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears that your enemies have triumphed, a hero will emerge’.
Characters and locationsEdit
- Shiva – The main character in the story. He is a Tibetan immigrant to Meluha and the chief of the Guna tribe. On arriving in Meluha and consuming the Somras (a potion), his throat turns blue making him the Neelkanth of the Meluhan legend, which speaks of the appearance of Neelkanth as a destroyer of evil. The Meluhans end up believing that Shiva would be their saviour.
- Sati – A Meluhan princess, she is the daughter of King Daksha. Shiva falls in love with her but could not marry her initially because of a law that considers her to be a Vikarma, an untouchable; he later marries her going against the law. According to the Meluhans, Vikarmas are people who bear misfortunes in this life due to sins of their past births. Sati is a skilled swords-woman and is very brave since childhood.
- Nandi – A captain in the Meluhan army. A loyal devotee of Shiva, who is often considered for his opinion and suggestions by Shiva.
- Bhadra – A captain of Shiva's army and his close childhood friend. He was later renamed as Veer Bhadra, a title earned by once defeating a tiger single-handedly.
- Bŗihaspati – The chief Meluhan scientist who becomes Shiva's good friend. Though he does not believe the legend of the Neelkanth, he believes that Shiva is capable of taking Meluha to its new glory.
- Daksha – The King of the Meluhans, he is appreciative of every effort that Shiva does to save his country.
- Veerini – The Queen of the Meluhans, wife of Emperor Daksha.
- Bhagirath – The prince of Ayodhya, who is the target of an assassination plot.
- Anandamayi – The princess of Ayodhya. A strong-willed woman, Anandamayi courts Parvateshwar as her consort.
- Parvateshvar – Head of Meluhan Army and a Suryavanshi. Parvateshvar is critical of Shiva's ways with the Meluhans, and is a dedicated man to Daksha. He eventually becomes an avid follower of Shiva as he realizes that Shiva could actually lead them to victory and finish Lord Ram's Unfinished Task.
- Ayurvati – The Chief of Medical Staff, Ayurvati is another intelligent and revered woman, who is capable of curing any disease. She is the first one to realize that Shiva is the "Neelkanth", their savior.
- Kali –Sati's twin sister who was separated from her after birth, due to their father denouncing her. Kali was born with two extra functioning appendages, hence she was ostracized from society and declared a Naga.
- Ganesh – Sati's first child who was declared dead by her father, as he was born with physical deformities. Ganesh was raised later by Kali, and they created the formidable Naga army.
- Suryavanshis – The Suryavanshis are followers of Shri Ram and the Solar Calendar and try to lead a life that is as ideal as possible. The Suryavanshis believe in Satya, Dharma, Maan - truth, duty and honor.
- Chandravanshis – The Chandravanshis are followers of the Lunar Calendar. Traditionally the Chandravanshis and Suryavanshis are enemies.
- Naga – A cursed race of people who have physical deformities. They are extremely skilled warriors.
- Meluha – The empire of the Suryavanshis, also known as the land of pure life. Meluha is based in the areas of the modern Indian provinces of Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and the whole of Pakistan. It also includes parts of eastern Afghanistan.
- Swadweep – The empire of the Chandravanshis, also known as the island of the individual. Swadweep comprises the modern Indian provinces of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and all of the country of Bangladesh, besides most parts of Nepal and Bhutan.
- Brangaridai (Branga+hriday) – The heart of branga (literal meaning) or land of the Brangas, situated on the eastern part of India. Shiva travels there with his entourage in search of the recipe for a medicine and to know the truth about the Nagas.
- Dandak Forest – Located in the modern Indian province of Maharashtra and parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, Dandak is a dense and treacherous forest where the Nagas stay, at their capital Panchavati. Characters and locations adapted as per the books from the series and from the official website.