Review Pen: Kanishka by Manoj Krishnan

Manoj krishnan

Author – Manoj Krishnan

Book-  Kanishka

Previous Works- Debut Novel


Number Of Pages– 242

Format- Paperback


It was a great surprise for Nilesh when Dr Sudarshan Rao chose him for surveying the long abandoned archaeological site in Mathura.

He and his colleague, Sushmita Banerjee in Indian Archeological Council, arrive in the city where they found that the place had hidden a dark secret which would change their life forever.

Manoj Krishnan’s debut novel is about the timeless journey that unravels the greatest mystery entwined in the game of love, lust, hatred and revenge like never before.


Kanishka by Manoj Krishnan is a historical fiction based on the era of the Kanishka, a highly significant kushan king.

When the age old secret is unearthed, the fallen is awakened.

A learned member of Indian Archeological Council, an excavation in the unknown, a body mangled, a few more deaths that follow, the secret of Manidhari, the book Kanishka by Manoj Krishnan, somewhat revolves around the above mentioned aspects.

The story of a woman, torn between duty, desire, revenge and salvation.  Her journey from a diseased husband to the pleasure walls of a king. The story of a woman’s betrayal to another and the sacrifice of a mother. An echo of the anklets tinkling down the path of innocence.

The narrator starts with Nilesh and his colleague Sushmita being asked to visit the excavation site for survey. Assumptions and observations lead to an unfortunate incident that surely does change their lives forever.
Manidhari’s story was a rather amusing and needed twist in the story. The book owes it to that single character for making the entire read worth all.

The author has done an exceptional work at taking his time in explaining history and grandeur of the monuments, at the places required, the explanations were precise and definitely not overdone.

Manoj Krishnan’s interest in history and archeology can be clearly estimated from the content, and that makes the book a sincere piece of work.

Also read– Review Pen: Coffee Days, Champagne Nights and other secrets by Kainaz Jussawalla


Cover- 3 stars

Title- 2 stars

Blurb- 3 stars

Plot- 3 stars

Writing and Presentation- 2.5 stars

Overall- 2.7 out of 5 stars

The book has been amateurly written, the way the author writes is expressive, but at times, the reader would love a better choice of words than the words used.

The book could use some editing, in order to add the punctuation at the places lacking, correct the tense violations etc.

The book has been titled Kanishka while the storyline​ revolves around the life of Manidhari’s, the period of living being Kanishka’s era .

The author had mentioned a good number of elements in the story but left them abruptly, e.g. the fragrance of the jasmines that appeared out of nowhere.

The methods of investigation, used by the sub-inspector were absolutely not convincing. For example, they find out about an eighteen year old, mentally disturbed girl travelling in the bus and they immediately assume her to be Kishan Lal’s sister, a bit more of exchange of thoughts to conclude that, would have been welcomed.

The cover is way too simple to have any relevance with the plot.

The blurb doesn’t do any sort of justice to the story, the book is a lot more than what the blurb says. A few words cleverly used would have done a perfect job.

The story could have been a lot more than what it is, had it been the story of Manidhari and entirely focused on her.
I have a hunch that Manoj Krishnan would do great as a writer of autobiographical historical fiction. A storyline with a character as Manidhari in the center would be something a seasoned reader would ask for.


Reviewed By- Banaja Prakashini


Indian Archaeological council was one of the rare organizations,where if you wanted to work, you could just go ahead and keep working and nobody would bother you, on the other hand, if you wanted to have rest, you could do it for a whole month on the pretext of attempting to decipher ancient inscriptions; and if you want to learn, then you would be like a thirsty passenger in an oasis of knowledge, gulping down as much as you possibly could; there were no restrictions.

We are newly westernized Indians who always crave for everything to be modeled on the ideologies of the west, ignoring our own ground reality.

Wise men opt for silence, though their minds keep thinking.

Love is a simmering passion; you never know when it starts, but once you realize it, it turns into a conflagration.

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