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Interesting legends and anecdotes relating to Hyderabad were presented to the audience at an impressive function to launch Niyogi Books’ publication Legendotes of Hyderabad’ here today.  The book authored by a former top civil servant, Shri Narendra Luther was released by Dr. Aloka Parasher Sen, Professor in the Department of History and Dean, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad. The Little Theatre group regaled the guests by reading out interesting anecdotes from the book.

Welcoming the guests, Prof. Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee, Director, Niyogi Books remarked that the author, Shri Narendra Luther had for close to half a century written extensively on the history and culture of Hyderabad and was regarded as an eminent authority on the subject. Among those present on the occasion were the leading lights of the city and Shri Bikash D Niyogi, Managing Director, Niyogi Books.

Niyogi books Press release

The author has written extensively on the history and culture of Hyderabad. Here he presents a selection of some interesting legends and anecdotes relating to Hyderabad which, despite their traditional spice and flavour, are rooted in facts. The ‘legendotes’, as he calls them, form a chain of gripping ‘snippets’ from the history of Hyderabad.

The speakers pointed out that legends and anecdotes are generally considered as the ‘gossip’ of history. However, in some cases they are also the stuff of history. It was not easy always to separate chaff from the grain. It was not very long ago that ‘oral history’ was acknowledged as a source of history.

Presenting the book Shri Luther remarked that the ‘legendotes’ form a chain of gripping ‘snippets’ from the history of Hyderabad.

“The birth of Hyderabad is rooted in two legends”, he said and added “one is the early-teen love affair of Prince Mohammad Quli with Bhagmati, a beautiful singer and dancer. The other is the decree issued by him as the sultan of Golkonda that a new city should be constructed which should be a replica of heaven. When the city was ready, he named it Bhagnagar after his beloved Bhagmati. Over the five centuries following its founding in 1591, numerous new legends have come to be associated with the city, its rulers, and people.” The book focuses on some of these legends.

The liberally illustrated volume provides an absorbing glimpse of the history of a city much celebrated for its romantic origin and composite culture.

Shri Narendra Luther has published a number of books on Hyderabad and the Nizams. He occupied the high table of humour for a long time and organized the World Humour Conference in 1985. His four books and numerous articles in Urdu won him seven awards.

He is also contributing author of a number of books and has written columns for The Hindu, The Times of India, and the Deccan Chronicle. Some of his books and numerous other writings have been translated into some other languages.

The publisher, Niyogi Books has over 250 books on its active list. It is recognized for its high-quality illustrated books on a range of subjects from art and photography to heritage, culture and history of South Asia.

These books have won several awards and prizes, including those from the Federation of Indian Publishers. Its three titles won ‘Excellence in Book Printing Awards’ recently. The first prize in Art Book Category has also been claimed by Niyogi Books. Two of its travel books ‘The Alluring North’ and ‘The Vibrant West’ received the prestigious National Tourism Award from the President of India in March last year.

Its title, Secrets from the Kitchen, compiled by Bhicoo Manekshaw and Vijay Thukral has been selected as the ‘Best Easy Recipes Book’, 2013 published in the country. The book has also qualified for the next ”Gourmand Best in the World” competition.