Byomkesh Bakshi



A legendary Bengali detective with legions of fans across India. Byomkesh Bakshi was created by Saradindu Bandopadhyay, although the story Satyanweshi(The Inquisitor), in which Byomkesh and Ajit meet for the first time, is often the first story in most Byomkesh anthologies, the first Byomkesh story ever written was Pother Kanta( The Gramophone Pin Mystery) in 1932.  Saradindu wrote 33 stories about Byomkesh but one was left incomplete due to his death. These 33 stories are an amalgam of both long and short stories and are classic "Whodunit?"

Saradindu was greatly influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and in turn Byomkesh is greatly influenced by Sherlock Holmes. Ajit who is Byomkesh's friend and lives with him is also a writer and acts as the quintessential Watson in Byomkesh mysteries. Byomkesh lives with Ajit in a flat in Calcutta in the early stories, in the later ones Byomkesh gets married and even has a son, which is quite a contrast to the life long bachelor Holmes who stays away from anything conjugal. Byomkesh in many cases cogitates on the armchair trying to decrypt an obscure puzzle and in other cases is quite in the thick of action. Byomkesh is not pretentious and this can be seen in many stories where he is often underestimated and even ridiculed by the police. Byomkesh uses both deductive and intuitive methods to solve the sensational crimes in which he becomes embroiled.



Byomkesh calls himself  the inquisitor and not a detective, but in reality he is a brilliant detective who often gets very well paid for doing his job. Saradindu provides Byomkesh with intriguing and sensational cases which are very well written and capture the essence of Pre and Post colonial Bengal.

Byomkesh Bakshi stories were immortalized on the small screen by Rajat Kaput in the Hindi television serial "Byomkesh Bakshi"  in 1994. The Oscar winning director and perhaps the most famous Bengali after Rabindranath Tagore Satyajit Ray was a big fan of Byomkesh Bakshi and made a movie on the 1953 published story The Menagerie aka 'Chiriakhana'.

These stories were written originally in Bengali but for the benefit of readers like me, erudite scholars like Sreejata Guha have translated these books in English, and they have done a fine job of it.

My Intention is to use this page as a repository of all my reading/reviews/thoughts on Byomkesh Bakshi stories. Click on a link to read a short summary and review, unfortunately the ones which I haven't read are not linked.

The Inquisitor aka Satyanweshi (সত্যান্বেষী)
Pother Kanta aka The Gramophone Pin Mystery (পথের কাঁটা)
Seemonto-Heera aka The Hidden Heirloom (সীমন্ত হীরা)
The Venom of the Tarantula  aka Makorshar Ros (মাকড়সার রস)
Where There's a Will aka Arthonamortham (অর্থমনর্থম)
Chorabali aka Quicksand(চোরাবালি)
Calamity Strikes aka Agniban (অগ্নিবাণ)
An Encore for Byomkesh aka Uposonghar (উপসংহার)
Raktomukhi Neela aka The Deadly Diamond (রক্তমুখী নীলা)
Byomkesh O Boroda aka Byomkesh and Barada ব্যোমকেস ও বরদা)
Picture Imperfect aka Chitrochor (চিত্রচোর)
Durgo Rahosyo aka Mystery of the Fortress (দুর্গরহস্য)
The Menagerie aka Chiriyakhana (চিড়িয়াখানা)
Adim Ripu (আদিম রিপু)
Banhi-Patanga (বহ্নি-পতঙ্গ)
Rokter Dag (রক্তের দাগ)
The Jewel Case aka Monimondon (মণিমণ্ডন)
Amriter Mrityu aka The Death of Amrito (অমৃতের মৃত্যু)
Shailo Rahosyo aka Phantom Client (শৈল রহস্য)
Achin Pakhi aka The Avenger (অচিন পাখি)
Kohen Kobi Kalidas aka Thus spoke Kavi Kalidasa (কহেন কবি কালিদাস)
Adrishyo Trikon aka The Invisible Triangle (অদৃশ্য ত্রিকোণ)
The Will that Vanished Khunji Khunji Nari (খুঁজি খুঁজি নারি)
Adwitiya (অদ্বিতীয়া)
Mognomoinak (মগ্নমৈনাক)
Dushtochokro aka The Crooked Circle (দুষ্টচক্র)
Hneyalir Chhondo aka The Rhythm of Riddles হেঁয়ালির ছন্দ)
Room Nombor 2 aka Room Number 2 (রুম নম্বর ২)
Chholonar Chhondo aka Man in a Red Coat (ছলনার ছন্দ)
The Quills of the Porcupine aka Shojarur Kanata (শজারুর কাঁটা)
Benishonghar (বেণীসংহার)
Lohar Biscuit aka Iron Biscuits লোহার বিসকুট)
Bishupal Bodh (বিশুপাল বধ)

2 comments:

  1. Evergreen stories, evergreen tv serial,, rajat kapoor & raina becomes immortal as byomkesh & ajit forever,, great work by bandhopadyaya & basu chatterji,, overall brilliant work

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    Replies
    1. hi bobby,

      you are absolutely right though you will be surprised to hear that I have never watched Byomkesh on the tube. I currently got hold of a copy of another Byomkesh mysteries translated in English. hopefully will be reviewing them soon.

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