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Mookajjiya Kanasugalu: A Kannada Epic Novel by K. Shivaram Karanth

Mookajjiya Kanasugalu (English: Dreams of Mookajji) is a 1968 Kannada epic novel written by K. Shivaram Karanth, one of the most influential and prolific writers in Kannada literature. The novel won the Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour in India, in 1977. It is considered as one of the masterpieces of Karanth, who was also a social activist, environmentalist, Yakshagana artist, film maker and thinker.

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Plot Summary

The novel is set in a village called Mooduru, where the main characters are Mookajji, an old widow who has the ability to see the past and future in her dreams, and her grandson Subbraya, who represents the modern and rational mind. Subbraya is fascinated by the stories told by his grandmother, which reveal the secrets of the origin of traditions, beliefs, culture and history. He questions everything that he sees and hears, and seeks the truth from Mookajji, who guides him with her wisdom and insight. The novel explores various themes such as superstition, religion, caste, gender, education, science, evolution and human nature through the dialogues between Mookajji and Subbraya.


Karanth was inspired to write this novel after he met a real-life Mookajji in a village near Udupi. He was impressed by her knowledge and memory, and decided to create a fictional character based on her. He also drew from his own experiences of living in rural Karnataka, where he witnessed the changes brought by modernization and urbanization. He wrote the novel in a span of six months, using a simple and lucid language that could appeal to the common readers. He also incorporated elements of folklore, mythology and history in his narration.

Translations and Adaptations

The novel has been translated into many languages such as English, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Oriya and Malayalam. In Malayalam, the novel is known as Mookambikayude Swapnangal. The novel has also been adapted into a film in Kannada language with the same name, directed by P. Sheshadri and starring Lakshmi Gopalaswamy as Mookajji and Yashwanth Shetty as Subbraya.[1][2] The film was released in 2018 and received critical acclaim.


  • [1] Suresh, Sunayana. "Mookajjiya Kanasugalu to come alive onscreen - Times of India". The Times of India.

  • [2] "Mookajjiya Kanasugalu (novel) - Wikipedia". Wikipedia.

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