Pather Panchali (novel)

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Pather Panchali
AuthorBibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
Original titleপথের পাঁচালী
GenreBildungsroman, tragedy, family drama
PublisherRanjan Prakashalay, BY 1336,
Publication date
BY 1336, CE 1929
Followed byAparajito

Pather Panchali (Bengali: পথের পাঁচালী, Pôther Pãchali, translated as Song of the Road[1]) is a novel written by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay and was later adapted into a film of the same name by Satyajit Ray. Pather Panchali deals with the life of the Roy family, both in their ancestral village in rural Bengal and later when they move to Varanasi in search of a better life, as well as the anguish and loss they face during their travels.

It first appeared as a serial in a Calcutta periodical in 1928[2] and was published as a book the next year;[3] it was the first published novel written by the author.[4] It was followed in 1932 by a sequel Aparajito, which was later also adapted into a film of the same name by Satyajit Ray.


Pather Panchali was translated first to Telugu under the same name by Maddipatla Suri in 1960 and published. It was translated to Sinhalese under the name Mawathe Geethaya (Sinhala) by Chintha Lakshmi Sinhaarachchi and published in 1986.[5] This was immensely popular in Sri Lanka and was followed by the translations of the other two books of the Apu trilogy by the same translator.

'Pather Panchali' was translated into Malayalam under the name, 'Pather Panchali - Paathayuday Sangeetham' by Mr. M. K. N. Potty, which was first published in April 2009 by Green Books Pvt Ltd., Trichur, Kerala.

An English translation by T.W. Clark and Tarapada Mukherji was published in 1968[6] by Indiana University Press as part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, and an abridged translation by K. Roy and Margaret Chatterjee followed in 1976.[7]

An adaptation for radio by Tanika Gupta was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 24 February & 3 March 2013 as a "Classic Serial".[8]


  1. ^ Pather Panchali, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-565709-8
  2. ^ Robinson, Andrew (1989). Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye. University of California Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-520-06946-6.
  3. ^ Sekhar, Saumitra (2012). "Pather Panchali". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian literature. 1. Sahitya Akademi. 1987. p. 365. ISBN 81-260-1803-8. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
  5. ^ Mawathe Geethaya. Chintha Lakshmi Sinhaarachchi (trans.). Wijesooriya Grantha Kendraya. 2003. ISBN 978-955-652-027-9.
  6. ^ "Pather Panchali. Song of the Road". Allen & Unwin - UNESCO (and Indiana University Press, Bloomington and London). Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  7. ^ "Pather Panchali. A Bengali Novel". Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  8. ^ "Pather Panchali--Song of the Road". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2013.