Can anyone tell a good book of Mahabharata in English version?

The one I know is The Mahabharata: Complete and Unabridged (10 volumes) by Bibek Debroy (www.exoticindiaart.com)

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Are there any other versions available?

I know this is a meta question but don't have enough reputation to ask in meta.

  • Why don't you try this sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/index.htm, author is kisari mohan ganguly – Yogi May 22 '16 at 11:55
  • This is a valid for the main site. If you click on the translation-request tag you will find many such questions. – sv. May 30 '16 at 3:59

A good English version translation is by Kisari Mohan Ganguli. It is complete scannable and full translation.

You can download it here.


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    I wouldn't necessarily call the Ganguli translation the best; the Debroy translation is often better. But the Debroy translation is under copyright. – Keshav Srinivasan May 22 '16 at 12:44
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    @KeshavSrinivasan oh! you are right... there cannot be best translation...english language can't match beauty of Sanskrit verses.... the best is just to understand directly from Sanskrit... so I edited answer and write 'A good translation" – Tejaswee May 22 '16 at 13:07
  • Haha I'm not saying anything that profound. Obviously some translations of a Sanskrit work will be better than other translations, so there will be a best translation. I'm just saying that arguably the Debroy translation is the best. – Keshav Srinivasan May 22 '16 at 13:09

Here are some book recommendations by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh from his YouTube video How do I get into the world of Mahabharata? Where do I start?

  1. Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari
  2. Mahabharata by Kamala Subramaniam
  3. The Mahabharata by Dr. N.V.R. Krishnamacharya

A couple of free online translations:

  1. Kisari Mohan Ganguli's translation at sacred-texts.com

    • Unabridged, but this is from 1896 so uses archaic English ('thou art', 'thou hast' etc.)
    • A couple of translations could be missing here and there, e.g., in the opening chapter Vyasa compares the Pandavas and Kauravas with two trees, but this one only mentions one of them:

      Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

  2. indianscriptures.com

    • Unabridged, verse by verse translation. Not sure who the author or publisher is - the website ingeniously removed all those details!
    • This mentions both those trees, so better compared to the above tr.

      Duryodhana is like a great tree created out of anger, Karna is its trunk; Shakuni is its branches; Dushasana its fruit and flowers and weak Dhritarashtra is its root.

      Yudhishthira is a great tree, created out of virtue and religion; Arjuna is its trunk; Bhima is its branches; two sons of Madri are its flowers and fruits; and Krishna, Brahma and Brahmanas are its roots.

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