Devaki Nandan Khatri, also known as Babu Devakinandan Khatri was one of the most popular Hindi novelists belonging to the first generation of popular novelists in the modern Hindi language. He is most known for his masterpiece work, Chandrakanta, which is always regarded as one among the most popular Hindi novels all time. It is said that, to read this novel only, many people have learnt Hindi. That shows the popularity of this fantasy novel with a good love story. It was one of such attempts that have never done before! He was the first author of mystery novels in Hindi. He was living in Musakhand while he was writing Chandrakanta.
Apart from Chandrakanta, other published novels are Chandrakanta Santati, Kajar ki Kothari, Narendra-Mohini, Kusum Kumari, Virendra Veer, Gupt Godna, Katora Bhar Khoon and incomplete Bhootnath, later completed by his son, another noted writer of 20th century of popular science fiction, Durga Prasad Khatri who was also very popular. Many of his unfinished works were later completed by Durga Prasad Khatri.
Devaki Nandan Khatri was born at Samastipur, Bihar on June 18, 1861. After his earlier education he moved to Tekari Estate in Gaya where he became an employee of the Raja of Benares. He started a printing press called "Lahari" and started a Hindi monthly, "Sudarshan", in 1898. Lahari has republished many of the works of both father and son during 2000’s. Khatri has made a powerful magical impact on people during late 19th century through his fantasy novels - Chandrakanta, Chandrakanta Santati and Bhootnath. Many people learnt Hindi just to read Devaki’s books. He used to write his works as chapetrs and people used to eagerly wait for the next.
Chandrakanta was later adapted as a television serial on Doordarshan during middle 1990’s and was the top rated program continuously for years. Later the television series was stopped following the open criticisms by many, that it has changed the whole story of the original and added new characters as well.
Updated: January 16, 2014