The Elephant Girl by Chitta Ranjan: Book Review

How do we imagine the pre-Independence era of India? Through the eyes of books and cinema. Agree?  While we might have seen slash read a few, how many of them cover the Eastern Part of the country. In the contemporary mystery “The Elephant Girl” Chitta Ranjan attempts to take readers to the mystical forests along with the story of a Maharajah.

Title: The Elephant Girl

Author: Chitta Ranjan

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd

Genre: Contemporary fiction | Fantasy | Thriller

Get your copy: Paperback | Kindle


The Crown Prince of Paschim Behar – a princely state in the border, Raj Narayan is inclined towards wildlife and its beauty. Accompanied by a new friend, Bert Jenkins, Divisional Forest Officer and fuelled by the longing to discovering wildlife he heads to forests of Assam. Meanwhile, he is concerned about the wellbeing of his wife who is in the advanced stage of pregnancy. Yet curiosity took best out of him. Further stories of a Pagli Sahan, a mythical maiden led him to jump into the adventure. As the story unfolds, the sudden death of his father Maharajah pulled him back home. Soon conspiracies and murder plots are exposed that led him to uncover the truth. Finally, there is a chain of stories and catalysts that led him to discover about Elephant girl (Palgi Sahan), the assassination of his father Maharajah, his favorite brother and the murder mystery.

Where would his obsession to find the Elephant girl take him? Will he betray his loving wife’s trust to be with the maiden? Will he find the murderer? Will he survive the savage mysterious forests and live to tell his tale?

The Elephant Girl by Chitta Ranjan Pathak
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My Take on The Elephant Girl by Chitta Ranjan

This is the debut novel of the author and his love for Indian jungles and history of princely states during the British era can be seen in his work. Appreciable. The research is well done to write about the geographic state of the jungle during the British rule.


Going by the title one could imagine the journey of a girl who is fond of elephants. It does spark an urge to pick the book from the shelf.


The cover depicting a happy girl wrapped by an elephant’s trunk. It is warm and does work with the storyline. The assumptions are tested in the story.

While the reader would be expecting mysterious tales of a girl, the elephant girl. The story revolves around the man in the plot, Raj Narayan. He faces the heat of situations, meets dead-ends while unveiling conspiracies and is obsessed with the existence of this girl. She acts as a catalyst as the plot develops.

The protagonist character, Raj, has flaws that made him more human and relatable to the audience. He is driven by curiosity and responsibilities.

Words used are easy for readers to grasp the storyline. The mystery in the air is foggy enough, if not dense. At times the descriptive scenes might feel tedious.

The author does have a story to tell and little polishing could have created a great one.  

Hold on tight as this one would take you to British India. Breeze through the politics – conflicts inside the princely states. Giving readers an ample glimpse of the life of royals during the pre-independence era. Bonus is the mystery in the plot.

The end would surprise you.

Rating 3/5

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11 thoughts on “The Elephant Girl by Chitta Ranjan: Book Review”

  1. Wow.. your review sounds like a real teaser and the book seems to be holding plenty of twists and surprises. The best i liked about the book is the setting of the storyline in the pre-independence. For me, that alone is a good pull factor for the readers


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