The Magic of the Lost Temple
Sudha Murty
Priyankar Gupta
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
stepwells rural India Karnataka
fiction, adventure


It was indeed a pleasure to have read a children’s book after so long. I treasured every single moment of it as fond memories of childhood and the era of a carefree countenance wafted through my mind. While reading, I became a part of the story; it became a part of me.

The book has everything an Indian child craves for and relates to. The book offers episodes of friendship, vacations, magic, loving grandparents, village folklore, late night storytelling, picnicking, the humdrum of daily chores in the village, life with cousins, and so on. It’s hard not to enjoy learning about plants, medicinal herbs, village marriages, traditions and customs as the author beautifully weaves the story into the minds and hearts of her young readers.

“The Magic of the Lost Temple” is a story of Nooni, a young girl, who gets enchanted and fascinated by the story of an old stepwell told to her by her grandparents. This stepwell, which was apparently created by a “celestial architect” was used by “celestial maidens”, and now is lost to the village forever. Whatever happened to it and how it went missing in the old forest are all there for the reader to discover. The book holds the readers interest by acquainting them with the old ways of oiling and shampooing one’s hair, papad making, and so on.

The reader will enjoy how the adventurous and tomboyish, Nooni helps a pregnant cow. While journeying through Nooni’s world, the reader discovers the simple joys of living in the village and learns to connect with nature. We get to live a story that will stay with us for a long time.

"The lucid language and the amazing illustrations make this brilliant book come alive." The illustrations, in particular, facilitate a better understanding of the text. The book being the perfect combination of humour, adventure, mystery, and entertainment is thus a must read for any age.

Reviewed by Anushree Goyal