Bengali Classic Fiction Novel Kapalkundala by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was published in 1866. It is the tale of Kapalkundala, a forest-dwelling girl who loved with and married Nabakumar, a young guy from Saptagram, but later discovered that she was unable to adjust to city life. After the popularity of Chattopadhyay’s first novel, Durgeshnandini, he chose to create a tale about a girl who is raised by a Kapalika (Tantrik sage) in a distant forest and never sees anyone save her foster-father. Chattopadhyay served as a Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector in Dariapur, Contai, in modern-day Purba Medinipur district, Paschimbanga (West Bengal).
Kapalkundala is widely regarded as one of Chattopadhyay’s best and most popular works. It has been translated into several languages, including English, German, Hindi, Gujrati, Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit. The novel was dramatized separately by Girish Chandra Ghosh, a pioneer of Bengali drama, and Atul Krishna Mitra.
Nabakumar, a young man from Saptagram, got stuck in a forest on his way back from Gangasagar pilgrimage. He met a Tantric sage who imprisoned him with the intention of sacrificing him to goddess Shamshaan Kali; however, he was subsequently secretly liberated by Kapalkundala, the sage’s foster-daughter. She fell in love with Nabakumar right away and married him the next day with the help of a village priest. The priest urged Nabakumar to take Kapalkundala away from her evil foster father, as well as showing him how to get to Saptagram. Nabakumar and his newlywed wife Kapalkundala, who had been renamed Mrinmoyee, came home. On the other side, the sage became enraged by Kapalkundala’s betrayal and began plotting his vengeance.
Meanwhile, Nabakumar saw Padmabati, his first wife, who had been converted to Islam by his father, prompting Nabakumar to abandon her. Padmabati, now Motibibi, revealed her feelings for Nabakumar, but he turned her down. The sage thereafter returned to Saptagram and met Motibibi. The sage desired to murder Kapalkundala, but Motibibi was just interested in separating her from Nabkumar. They devised a scheme to establish Kapalkundala’s infidelity. Padmabati summoned Kapalkundala to meet her in a neighboring forest, and she disguised herself as a male. Kapalkundala stepped out at night to meet a’man whom she loves,’ according to the sage. The sage then became enraged. Nabakumar brought Kapalkundala to the sacrificial field, where he learned the truth from Kapalkundala. Nabakumar regained his composure and invited Kapalkundala to accompany him to his home, but she declined and jumped into the river. Nabakumar jumped into the river to help her as well, but they both drowned.