In a land of glorious kings, bloodthirsty demons and talking spirits was born the lore of Vikram and the vetal. A mysterious sadhu asks the noble King Vikramaditya for a favour. He must carry a corpse on a long journey through the ghastly cremation ground so that the sadhu may perform an important ritual.
This corpse is possessed by a spirit, the vetal, who narrates the most fascinating stories to the king. Each story ends with a riddle which the king must answer or die.
An ascetic who brings his beloved back from the dead, a giant bird who journeys to the underworld to fetch the elixir of life, a servant who sacrifices his life for his ruler and a woman too beautiful to marry a king...these are some characters in these extraordinary tales.
And with each story the king makes a new discovery.
Deepa Agarwal's retelling brings age-old wisdom alive for a contemporary reader and beautifully retains the spirit of the old Sanskrit work by Sivadasa.