Read another interesting piece from Pt. Rahul Sankrityayn. It’s not a travelogue. The concept of this book is very interesting. Through one story each set up in a different era starting from 6000 B.C. to 1942 A.D. he has tried to follow the history of Aryans since the time they stayed on the banks of Volga till they migrated to India (up to the plains of Ganges) and developed the peculiar culture and place that we know as India. The most impressive thing about the book is the way deep research in the evolution of this civilization has been conveyed through interesting and simple stories. I, personally, felt the bias in interpretation which was leaning towards how communists would want to see the history, but that does not take away the joy of the book and appreciation of the amount of knowledge this person has about the history and the literature. If after reading all the Vedic books, all the Buddhist literature, all the historians, all the evidences from almost everything on the earth, he makes fun of all the religions, portrays all the philosophy and religion as a propagandas of those hungry for power, makes all the “great” poets and saints the history has produced a mere yes-men of the kings in power, proves that all these Vishnu-avatars (the several forms in which Lord Vishnu is supposed to have come to the earth) were essentially created for building an aura around the personalities of then existing kings and princes, and makes just a marketing-man even out of Lord Buddha (for whose religion he himself had left Hinduism), then even if years of conditioning in you revolts, even if the anti-extremism in you disagrees, something else in you starts giving in. Biases recognized, too strong an opinion about a world not seen by anyone acknowledged, it’s still a nice to read book, which adds a lot to your knowledge and perspective on history. Some of the later stories, closer to us in the history, seem laden with facts and figures, but you can get on with them. Trace your genesis – its interesting.

Even if you do not know Hindi or are not comfortable with it I recommend trying to locate a translation. His books have been translated in several languages, that I know for sure. Availability today is something I am not sure of. However, from the information given on this page it might still be possible to locate a copy somewhere in some library –

Sankrtyayana, Rahula, 1893-1963. [Volga se Ganga]
From Volga to Ganga: a picture in nineteen stories of the historical, economic and political evolution of the human society from 6000 B.C. to 1922 A.D. Trans. by Victor Kiernan. Bombay: People’s Publication House, 1947. 253 p.; 2nd ed. Mussoorie, India: Rahula Publications, 1953. 256 p.

Well do not know if there was an addition later, but the edition I have has 20 stories, the last one being setup in 1942.

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

43 thoughts on “

  1. Hi,
    Could you share with me the publisher address and phone number of the book “From Volga to Ganga” – I am looking for English translated version.

    Sripada Srinivas

  2. hi
    I want information on travelogues by Rahul Sankrityayan and the name of the publisher of the books in hindi and in english translation if any

  3. Hi,

    I am also searching for the English translation of Mahapundits book. However, I have read almost all the books of Mahapundit in Hindi version. If you know Hindi, you can ask at Kitab Mahal, Allahbad.Sankrtyayana, you can also try at below address.

    Rahula, 1893-1963.
    [Volga se Ganga]
    From Volga to Ganga: a picture in nineteen stories of the
    historical, economic and political evolution of the human society from
    6000 B.C. to 1922 A.D. Trans. by Victor Kiernan. Bombay: People’s
    Publication House, 1947. 253 p.; 2nd ed. Mussoorie, India: Rahula
    Publications, 1953. 256 p.

  4. does this peoples publication house bombay still exists?
    if yes does it have the same name even now??
    what is the new name if the name has changed ?

    can you please tell me where I can get an english version of the book

  5. Dear Sir/Madam:

    I would like to buy a cpoy of Mr. Sankrtyana’s book “Volga to Ganga” or “Ganges” in English and/or Hindi. I looked on this web site to find a source but did not succeed. Could ypu let me know where I can get a copy and at what price when possible bot soon if you can?

    I live in Canada. My email address appears above I would appreciate a reply from you.

    Thank you.

    M. Vadekar

  6. Hi!

    I want to buy the book written by Mr.Rahul Sankrityayan
    ” Volga to Ganges.” Please let me know from which publisher I can get the book.


  7. I am looking for any reference made by Rahul Sankrityayan in his book Volga to Ganga or in the book Char Dham to Laat Subedar Balbhadra Singh Negi, IOM, OBI( ADC to Lord Roberts of Kandahar). I shall be grateful for any assistance rendered in this regard by anyone

  8. Hi friends

    i have read Tamil version of the book during my school days -20 years ago. I found the book in a public library.

    Such wonderful book. I an searching the book in all the book stores.

    If anyone succeeded pls mail me

  9. Hi friends

    the tamil version of the book is in my hands. Its an old book, few pages are missing from front and back. I found the book from my grandpa ‘s personal library. I have borrowed the book. I am very happy to read the book again.

    Here is publisher details for you guys

    Tamil Puthakalayam
    393, Pycrofts Road
    Chennai – 14 , Tamil Nadu.

    First Edition 1949
    Fifth Edition 1963

    Good luck.


  10. Hi friends,

    I’ve recently completed the Bengali version of the same.
    The only thing I can say that – there might be some partiality to some community in this book – but still it has changed my mind set.
    Specially i want to mention at the time of explaining ‘Harshavardhana’ – the writer had shown ‘Harsha’ like a king who was not liking the surroundings’.

    Although – rest of the part is very exciting and also having very powerful knowledge. At the time of 1947 Rahul’ji was able to write such a strong words is very appreciable.

    Anyways – I’ll reecommend this book as a “Must Readable” for all the Indians.


  11. Hi All,

    Most of all the books of Rahul Sankrityayan are re-published by Kitaab Mahal during 2005-07, and are in stock in all the major cities with Kitaab Mahal Distributors.

    I have recently purchased “Volga se Ganga” from Vidya Mandir on Avenue Road,Bangalore. (Phone: +91-80-22262553).


    (1829 – 1893)
    (Translated from Mr Bhakta Darshan’s book on outstanding personalities of Garhwal – “Garhwal Ki Dewangat Vibhutian”)

    1. “A nation which can produce men like Balbhadra Singh Negi, must have a Battalion of their own” (Ek jaati jo Balbhadra Singh Negi sarikhe purushon ko paida karti hai, use apni ek battalion awashya milni chahiye)

    2. The words of India’s Jangi Laat Lord Roberts are attributed to that man who was born in 1829 in Pauri Garhwal, Patti Aswalsyun, village Haida Kholi. His father Dhan Singh was a common man. Balbhadra was the middle one of the three sons. He was barely 17 years old when his father expired. He was thus compelled to face the harsh realities of life by leaving his home.

    3. Those days there was no battalion of Garhwalis. They had to enroll in the Gurkha Battalions. 5 Gorkha Battalion was located at Abbotabad in the NWFP. At that time railways were nonexistent. After many days of walking & facing several difficulties, he arrived at Abbotabad in 1847 & was enrolled.

    Progress in Military Career

    4. He made speedy progress in the Army. It was a place & life far from his home. Those days there was a stigma on serving with the Gurkhas in the backdrop of the infamous “Gurkhyani” (the brutal atrocity ridden rule of the Gurkhas over Garhwal & Kumaon). In this environment it was not easy for a non-Gorkha to progress in his career. However Balbhadra served with enthusiasm & courage. He was a recruit, under training, for one year. After 13 months he became a Lance Naik. Shortly after he was a Havildar. During the 1857 mutiny he was a Havildar Major.

    5. During the Afghan War he astonished all with his valor & intelligence. At that time the war veteran, Lord Roberts was appointed as Commander. The latter faced many difficulties initially. Afghans remained hidden in the rugged mountains. Whenever the British Army advanced, the Afghans surprised them by directing deadly volley of fire causing several casualties. No one knew which was the best & safest way to advance against the Afghans & which place was the most appropriate to concentrate maximum force to vanquish the enemy. The British High Command was deeply concerned about this.

    6. Finally Balbhadra was summoned for this difficult task to surreptitiously find the secret to the Afghan tactics. He set out as a Pathan ascetic. (He was well versed with the local dialect- my comment from his manuscript biography). He lay amongst dead bodies for 7 days! Pathan warriors came & taking Balbhadra too to be dead, talked about their country, army, & military plans which the latter noted. At the end of 7 days he finally obtained the vital intelligence needed & safely made his way back to his camp. On the basis of this intelligence Lord Roberts made his plan & gained success. Lord Roberts remained forever enamored with Balbhadra’s intelligence & capability. On returning to England after retirement, he personally wrote about the aforementioned episode in his memoirs.

    7. During the Afghan War, Balbhadra gave a befitting account of the valor of his kin. In 1879, in Afghanistan, his valor earned him the honor of “Order of Merit”. Next year near Kabul he again earned fame. The British Army was facing reverses in this vicinity. Despite this he took his Company into enemy lines, & after inflicting heavy casualties on them, returned to his camp safe & sound. In this encounter, an enemy bullet grazed his head thus wounding him. He was unaware of this till his colleague queried him about his blood stained uniform. Only then he was administered first aid. Next day he was again in the battlefield!

    8. During the battle for Kandahar he was a Subedar. After the defensive battle for Kabul he was promoted to Subedar Major, the highest rank any Indian could aspire for. After this he was again decorated with “Order of Merit”. The C-in-C had proclaimed an award for “Sarvottam Sainik” (Outstanding Soldier?) which Balbhadra was honored with. Following this he was granted the “Order of British India” as a consequence of which he became “Sardar Bahadur”.

    9. Later, Lord Roberts introduced a new appointment, i.e. Aide de Camp to the Jangi Laat (Lord Roberts), for Balbhadra which the latter held. Balbhadra was now referred to as “Laat Subedar”. This job entailed hardly any work. Yes, great respect & fame accompanied it. After five years as ADC, he proceeded on pension. For his immensely meritorious service he was gifted 1600 acres of land free of cost in village Ghosi Khatta of Kotdwara-Bhabhar.

    Raising Of Garhwal Regiment

    10. When the Gurkhas were defeated in 1815, & Garhwal came under British rule, the inherent valor of Garhwalis was unknown to the world. The British had never contemplated raising a separate Regiment of the Garhwalis. After some time they raised a “khichri paltan” comprising of Gorkhas, Garhwalis & Kumaonis –“Nasiri Sirmoor Kumaon Battalion”. The same was later named Gorkha Rifles. Garhwalis could only enroll in its five battalions. Thus the number of Garhwalis was low, & it was very difficult to achieve career progression.

    11. Balbhadra had himself experienced the slim chances to progress in the Gurkha battalions for any Garhwali. Thus he often pondered over the possibilities of a separate Garhwal Battalion so that Garhwalis could earn a name for themselves, apart from providing employment for several youth. Fortunately he found an opportunity to realize his cherished wishes.

    12. Balbhadra’s valor & soldierly qualities had found a permanent place in Lord Robert’s heart. Finding an opportune moment, in 1880, the former expressed his desire to Lord Roberts and the latter assured him of sympathetic consideration.

    13. Regarding this matter, Lord Roberts initiated correspondence with Viceroy Lord Dufferin, & in one meeting, uttered the historical & memorable sentence which has been quoted at the beginning of this chapter. While Balbhadra was ADC, he remained obsessed with his vision. His efforts continued even after retirement. Even the Viceroy was skeptical about a small place like Garhwal’s capability to provide men for a battalion. Then, Balbhadra gave the assurance that if a military cantonment was established within Garhwal, the requisite men can be provided. On this note, the proposal was accepted.

    14. Eventually, in 1887, some Sardars & soldiers of the Gorkha Regiment laid the foundation of The Garhwal Rifles at Lansdowne, under the command of Major Mainwaring on 4 Nov 1887, after the name of Viceroy Lord Lansdowne. Since then it has grown into a beautiful cantonment.

    15. The battalion that was raised as a consequence of his efforts earned a great name in the Indian Army. (Briefly I translate) 1889- Niti; 1891- 39 Garhwal Regiment; 1904 – Lhasa Tibet; 1922 – Malabar Moplah Rebellion & later RGR.
    1914-18. ——– ( I World War)
    1935-45. ———- (lists awards & decorations)
    1925————— (Raising of bns, Brahmins & later Shilpkars too enrolled. Opened avenues for the entire cross-section of society of Garhwal for employment)
    1939————— (Peshawar episode, 1942-45 INA)
    Post Independence—-(J&K, NEFA, Indo Pak Wars, Bangla Desh etc)
    (Now back to BBN)

    16. His retired life was very peaceful. He kept company with saadhus/ saints & spent time in service to others, prayers, fasting & meditation. Despite his age he bathed daily with cold water, applied sandalwood paste & prayed. He never consumed liquor, nor smoked. He drank tea rarely; only when it was bitterly cold. He was a stickler for time. He is a role model for the current day soldiers who claim that they cannot survive without meat & liquor! A man of exceptionally strong character he was.

    17. What can one say about this brave man? When the Garhwal paltan was being raised, his eldest son Amar Singh Negi was given the first direct Viceroy Commission into the Regiment. The uniform of a Jemadar & a sword was handed over to him at his home with orders to assume the rank at the Centre, Lansdowne! He is the same Amar Singh who sustained a bullet wound in the thigh in the Burma War. A telegram was received by his father Balbhadra Singh Negi, “Your son wounded by bullet in thigh”. Promptly this veteran soldier replied,” If of any service to the Government, keep him, else shoot him”. At the same time he telegraphed to his son, “Don’t worry. If you come out alive you will earn fame. If you die, you will still earn fame!”

    18. One day, in 1893, near Gumkhal, in a place called Badru, he was in deep in meditation when a boulder fell on him. His thigh suffered serious injury. In this state he was evacuated to MH Lansdowne for treatment. During treatment, he peacefully passed away at the age of 64 years. The entire Garhwal paltan was in mourning. He was given a military funeral.

    19. He left behind four sons –
    (a) Amar Singh, direct commission to Jamadar, attended King George V coronation ceremony at England as Sub Maj. He died on 4 Sep 1912 at Lansdowne at the age of 47. His eldest son Chandra Singh Negi rose to the rank of Capt in Garhwal Rifles. During 1942-45 he joined INA & as a Lt Col, was the Comdt of its Officers Training School.
    (b) Bhagwan Singh served for some years in the army, after which he spent his life as a landlord.
    (c) Shib Singh Negi also served for a short time in the army. He engaged in his private enterprise. He died in1942. His eldest son Gopal Singh was a successful businessman of Lansdowne & was a member as well as the Vice President of the Cantonment Board.
    (d) Girdhari Singh Negi retired as Sub Maj.

    20. Thus, today, the clan of Balbhadra Singh Negi is leading a peaceful & prosperous life. But his extended family is the populace of Garhwal who have been, are & will be benefiting from the employment created by the mere creation of The Garhwal Rifles in 1887. Garhwal battalions & Lansdowne are indeed a fitting tribute to Balbhadra Singh Negi (whether the present generation acknowledges it or not).
    (End of translation)

    3. May I request you to help my Regiment to locate these from any Archives
    that will help us to verify all the above mentioned. If all the
    above is indeed true, we would like to give the rightful honor due to this
    gallant soldier.

    4. I went to his estate at Kotdwar during March 1988, & met his grandchildren who were in possession of an exhaustive biography, as well as the following medals
    (These I tried to replicate with my pen in my diary which I still possess):-
    (a) OBI mark IIII.
    (b) Indian General Service Medal (1854-1895) – with…. Queen Regina embossed on Obverse side & an Angel blessing a man on the Reverse. Clasps of LUSHAI 1889 – 82, & BURMA 1889-92.
    (c) India Medal 1895-1902) Medal with embossed VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPRATRIX Clasps PUNJAB
    FRONTIER1897-98, & TIRAH 1897-98. (Same clasps were earned by Sgt David Mac Adie of the 72nd Duke of Albany’s Own Highlanders)
    (d) OBI 2nd Class with a maroon ribbon.
    (e) AFGHANISTAN MEDAL (elephant embossed) with Clasps PEIWAR KOTAL,
    CHARASIA, KABUL, KANDAHAR, with a ribbon light green on the sides & navy
    blue band in the centre.
    (f) Three more medals, belonging to Balbhadra?
    (i) Crown with GR & 22 June 1911 on reverse & Queen & King( Bearded) on
    (ii) Brown maroon & green ribbon with a medal embossed with Persian?
    script embellished with leaves.
    (iii) DELHI DURBAR 1903, Edward VII

    With the assistance rendered by friends in UK, I have been able to identify the above mentioned medals. However, I have been informed that Lord Roberts’ personal records are lying at Kew, enclosed in 48 boxes, last opened in 1859 by Countess Roberts in 1952
    “The National Archives
    WO – Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, JAG, & related bodies.
    Record Summary
    Title – War office. Lord Roberts, C-in-c (South Africa & England) & President of National Service League:- Papers
    Legal Status – Public Record
    Language – English
    Creator Name – Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Ist Earl Roberts 1832-1914
    Dates – 1835-1913
    Physical Description- 48 boxes & files
    Custodial History – Ada Roberts, 1875-1955
    Countess Roberts in 1952
    Held By – The National Archives, Kew”

    I am seeking the help of anyone who can access these boxes to corroborate Lord Roberts’ fondness for Balbhadra Singh Negi. I shall be indeed grateful.

  13. The book “Volga to Ganga” is available in the library of the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India. You will have to seek prior permission from the aouthorities before gaining access to the Academy premises & library.
    Good luck

  14. Hello:

    I have tamil version of all the Pundit’s book.

    I am searching for English versions. If any exists. I am willing to work with someone to translate it in English.

    Contact me if interested.

    Lux Gurusamy

    lg87@ Drexel. edu

  15. I have the book in Telugu language version titled “Volga nunchi Gangaku”. I have read about 7 books of Rahulji published in Telugu by M/s Vishalandhra Publishing House. The copies are still available in all their book stores.

    I find his perception of history more realistic than other historians who wrote about history of ancient India.

    • Hi Chandra,
      Am looking for this book, but couldn’t find a trace to buy it online.
      Am in US. Can you please let me know if you have any idea on where I can buy/order this book?


  16. jaya ji,
    i agree with your viewb about VOLGA SE GANGA.
    i have read it in is not only a great history book but also contains graet stories.
    rahulji was really MAHAPUNDIT

  17. jaya ji, read – Meri jeevan yatra by Rahul ji and u come to know a whole world, it is published by Radha krishna prakashan, new delhi

  18. it’s published by kitabghar, allhabad, delhi, please purchase it from them and they will send its copy to you bby post.

    i think all of it will cost something around less than 4$ or 100 rs. in india.

  19. Hi friends

    I Want volga se ganges
    english version any body have pls inform me Or sales copy available
    my number 09789864555

  20. hi, i got the web page of the publishers and sellers of Tamil translation of the book valga to ganges
    hope this info will be of some help

  21. There was a novel from Rahulji, in which the characters are stranded in jungles of Africa, and there were some encounters with Dinosaurs and witch doctors.. It was an out and out adventure book which gives deep insight of African tribes and landscape, much like Allen Quartermain.. but with Indian touch..

    I remember reading that book some 15-18 years ago.. but the name of that book is slipped out of my mind..
    Does anyone know about this novel? Name please.. I will try to search for it in the libraries and with Kitab Mahal..
    Thanks in advance to all!

  22. Hi all,
    I have read Tamil version, it is must read book for all live in India, clearly shows the cultural transformation periodically happend in this land. And I am also searching for the english version of the same.


  23. dear freinds,

    I want to buy the book written by Mr.Rahul Sankrityayan
    ” Volga to Ganges.” Please let me know from which publisher I can get the book.


  24. dear friends,
    i want to gift my mother the book “volga to ganga”, on her b’day.
    Please let me know from where i can get the book in Bangalore or by net!!!.


  25. One of the best historical fiction book in Indian literature.It explores the evolution of civilization starting from BC 6000 to pre independent era 1942.Aryan migration is conspiracy theory it is like two sided coin all Indians are Aryans or Brahmin tribe came from volga or central Asia entered through Khyber pass and started a new concept on Vedic culture.This book also give knowledge dimensions of Rahulji about history,religion and philosophy.He was a great traveller brought many Buddhist books in mules from Tibet and Nepal.He was a multifaceted personality .

  26. Dear Jaya and other commentators !

    The original book is in 20 stories as you mentioned. All Hindi and other Indian languages contain the same 20 chapters. The myth about it being in “19 Stories” is being spread by some Pilgrim publishers. who even may not have rights to publish the English translation. By the way I am the translator of the same book into Punjabi. It was first published in 2013.

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