17 Best Telugu Books You Should Read

If you are a fan of Telugu literature or interested in exploring the rich literary heritage of the Telugu language, this guide is for you. We will explore the best Telugu novels in this blog.

Telugu, one of the major languages of India, boasts a vibrant literary tradition that spans centuries. From classic works to contemporary gems, Telugu literature offers a diverse range of genres, themes, and storytelling styles.

In this curated list, we present some of the best Telugu books to read. Whether you seek historical epics, thought-provoking novels, captivating short stories, or soul-stirring poetry, these books will transport you into the captivating world of Telugu literature, showcasing its depth, beauty, and cultural significance. Embark on a literary journey and discover the best of Telugu storytelling.

Let’s take a look at the best Telugu novels.

1. Barrister Parvateesam

One of the most famous novels in Telugu, Barrister Parvateesam written in 1924 is a humorous novel written by Mokkapati Narasimha Sastry. 

It is widely recognized as one of the finest literary works in India. This novel was published in three parts. 

In the first part, the protagonist, Parvateesam, leaves his hometown to become a barrister in England due to taunting from his teacher and friends.

The second part follows his journey and experiences in Scotland, including studying at the University of Edinburgh. 

In the third part, he returns to India, faces cultural clashes, gets married, and becomes involved in the freedom movement. The novel portrays his struggles, growth, and encounters with different cultures and ideologies.

More Details:

  • Author: Mokkapati Narasimha Sastry
  • Year of publication: 1924
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.27
  • Genre: Fiction, Comedy

2. Maha Prasthanam

“Maha Prasthanam” is a celebrated Telugu anthology of poems by Srirangam Srinivasarao, recognized as a monumental work in modern Indian poetry. 

It comprises poems written from 1930 to 1940 and revolutionized Telugu literature upon its publication in 1950. 

The book’s profound impact led to its adaptation into an Indian film of the same title. 

 It continues to be influential and has seen numerous reprints, including its 31st edition in 2010. This is one of the best books in Telugu.

More Details:

  • Author: Srirangam Srinivasarao
  • Year of publication: 1950
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.44
  • Genre: Poetry

3. Vennello Aadapilla

Vennello Aadapilla written by Yandamoori Veerendranath is a novel in the Telugu language. 

This novel has also been adapted into a TV show of the same name. 

Additionally, the novel was made into two films, namely “Hello I Love You” in Telugu and “Beladingala Baale” in Kannada. 

“Vennello Aadapilla” tells the story of Revanth, a talented chess player who becomes the World Chess Champion. 

His life takes an intriguing turn when he receives a call from an anonymous female fan, challenging him to identify her.

Determined to solve the mystery, Revanth embarks on a mission to find her. The novel captivates readers with its puzzles and riddles, while exploring themes of dedication and determination through the protagonist’s journey.

More Details:

  • Author: Yandamoori Veerendranath
  • Year of publication: 1950
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.11

4. Amaravati Kathalu

Amaravati Kathalu is a Telugu novel written by Satyam Sankaramanchi.

The heartwarming stories in the collection, published in the AandhraJoyti newspaper and later as a book with illustrations by Bapu, depict the lives of the people in Amaravati village. 

The Chekhovian-style tales, totaling 101, draw inspiration from incidents and folk stories associated with Amaravathi.

Considered one of the finest Telugu short story collections of the 20th century, the book won the Andhra Sahitya Academy award in 1979.

The stories were dictated by Sankaramanchi to Prayaga Ramakrishna, a popular news reader, who transcribed them, making it a collaborative literary work.

More Details:

  • Author: Satyam Sankaramanchi
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.3

5. Maidanam

Published in 1927, “Maidan” is a novel penned by Venkata Chalam that primarily delves into the subject of women’s freedom. 

The novel focuses on a woman’s past life, exploring her pursuit of physical comfort, challenges in marriage, and societal influences. 

It is narrated from a female perspective and features three main characters: Rajeshwari, the primary character, Amir, and Mir. 

The book lacks a foreword, introduction, or overarching theme.

It delves into the complex dynamics of relationships, dreams, and societal expectations.

This novel was published in 1944 and is considered Basheer’s best work.

More Details:

  • Author: Venkata Chalam
  • Goodreads Rating: 3.98

6. Kanyasulkam

Kanyasulkam was written by Gurajada Apparao in 1892. 

It is an early and influential work in the Indian language, specifically the first Telugu play addressing social issues. 

The play depicts the prevalent custom of Kanya-sulkam (bride price) among Brahmin priests in Telugu-speaking regions of southern India. 

Despite its controversial nature, the play remains highly popular and features several enduring phrases in modern Telugu.

More Details:

  • Author: Gurajada Apparao
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.27

7. Veyi Padagalu

Veyi Padagalu is an epic Telugu novel written by Viswanatha Satyanarayana. 

The novel has been translated into several other Indian languages. 

In 1934, this novel was written for a competition held by Andhra University. 

It won the prize alongside Adivi Baapiraju’s Narayana Rao. 

The author, Viswanatha, dictated the novel to his brother, Venkateswarlu, who transcribed it. 

The writing process took 29 days and filled 999 broadsheets. 

According to those close to the author, the book was influenced by his own life. Later, it was serialized in Andhra Patrika in 1937-38 and reprinted in the same newspaper’s golden jubilee edition in 1987-88.

More Details:

  • Author: Viswanatha Satyanarayana
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.15

8. Chivaraku Migiledi

One of the best books in Telugu, Chivaraku Migiledi is a Telugu psychological novel by Indian writer Sivaraju Venkata Subbarao in 1952. 

The story revolves around Dayanidhi, a doctor who is deeply attached to his mother. 

After her passing, he faces numerous challenges while searching for love and a life partner. 

Amidst societal conflicts, Dayanidhi reevaluates his life, reconnects with a woman he once pursued, and establishes a new independent life with her.

More Details:

  • Author: Viswanatha Satyanarayana
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.15

9. Budugu

“Budugu” is a fictional book written by Mullapudi Venkata Ramana. 

The story revolves around a young child, also called Budugu, growing up in Andhra Pradesh. 

Budugu has a unique perspective on life and dreams of becoming a railway engineer or a horse-cart driver. 

The book explores various topics such as the 13th table, child-rearing methods, and Telugu culture. 

It introduces other characters, including the girl he admires, a detective, his uncle, his tutor, and neighbours he dislikes.

More Details:

  • Author: Mullapudi Venkata Ramana
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.52

10. Andhra Prashasti

Andhra Prashasti” is a Telugu poem composed by Viswanatha Satyanarayana. 

The poem is rich in the Telugu language and was dedicated by the author to Mallampally Somasekharasharma. 

Addressing Mallampalli, the author expressed, “In this Andhra country, where even the grasshoppers fought with swords and overcame the enemy’s attacks, our bond as comrades in arms is a friendship we forged long ago.

More Details:

  • Author: Viswanatha Satyanarayana
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.31
  • Genre: Poem

11. Kasi Majili Kathalu

“Kashi Majili Kathalu” is a collection of twelve stories authored by Madhira Subbanna Dikshitakavi. 

The second volume of the collection, published in 1950 by the poet’s son Kondaiyashastri, was originally printed in 1934. 

“Kashimajili” is a renowned book among Telugu people. 

It follows the journey of Yati, a Manisidhu, and Gopakumaru as they travel on foot from the southeast to Kashi, a holy Hindu site.

The book comprises a collection of chain stories that unfold during their journey and are shared with each worn majili (a type of sacred thread).

More Details:

  • Author: Madhira Subbanna Dikshitakavi
  • Goodreads Rating: 3.94

12. Asamardhuni Jeevayatra

Asamardhuni Jivayatra written in 1947 by Tripuraneni Gopichand is a psychological novel. 

The novel revolves around Sitaramrao, a man from a prestigious family who is entrusted with upholding their honor by his dying father. 

However, inspired by lofty ideals, Sitaramrao disregards the village elder’s advice and spends extravagantly on his father’s funeral, forgiving large debts owed to his family. 

As a result, he falls into financial ruin and fails to maintain steady employment.

Sitaramrao’s behavior becomes erratic, involving violence towards his family and delusions. 

Eventually, he reaches a state of despair and ends up taking his own life. The story explores themes of societal expectations, the consequences of reckless actions, and the complexities of human existence.

More Details:

  • Author: Tripuraneni Gopichand
  • Year of publication: 1947
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.15
  • Genre: Psychological novel

13. Chalam Aatma Katha

“Chalam Aatmakatha” is a captivating autobiographical masterpiece by the renowned Telugu writer, Chalam. 

This thought-provoking piece explores the author’s own experiences, ideas, and challenges, providing an uncensored look into his path as a nonconformist, trailblazer, and groundbreaking writer. 

Through poignant anecdotes and raw emotions, Chalam fearlessly explores societal norms, relationships, and the human psyche.

With an intimate narrative style, he challenges traditional conventions, leaving readers pondering the essence of life and individuality. 

“Chalam Aatmakatha” remains a timeless classic, inspiring generations to embrace their authentic selves and reflect on the complexities of the human experience.

More Details:

  • Author: Chalam
  • Year of publication: 2008
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.05
  • Pages: 224
  • Genre: Psychological novel

14. Paakudu Raallu

Ravuri Bhardwaj’s groundbreaking novel was the pioneer in Telugu literature, as it explored the world of the film industry as its central focus.

In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Jnanipith Award for Literature due to the success of this novel. 

The novel delves into the hidden and negative aspects of the Telugu film industry.

Additionally, this book focuses on the protagonist, Manjari, and her journey from being a destitute performer called Mangamma in the theater to achieving fame as a well-known actress in Telugu cinema.

More Details:

  • Author: Ravuri Bhardwaj
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.04
  • Genre: Fiction

15. Antarmukham

In 1992, Yandamuri Virendra Nath wrote the Telugu adaptation of Albert Camus’s “The Outsider”. 

This novel delves into the emotions of an elderly man who is prepared to pass away in his bed. 

Additionally, the book delves into the man’s external actions, the internal struggle he faces, the relationships that tie him, and the power of love. 

Additionally, it depicts the emotions and ideas of the senior citizens.

More Details:

  • Author: Antarmukham
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.1
  • Genre: Fiction

16. Amuktha Malyada

During the 16th century, Krishnadevaraya, the ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire, composed a significant Telugu epic poem known as Amuktha Malyada. 

The title of this work translates to “one who offered the garland after donning it.” 

In this literary masterpiece, Krishnadevaraya depicts the union of Lord Ranganayaka, recognized as an embodiment of Lord Vishnu, and Goda Devi, a renowned Tamil Alvar poet and the daughter of Periyalvar.

Goda Devi is believed to be a manifestation of Goddess Laxmi. Additionally, this verse portrays the sorrow experienced by Andal due to being separated.

17. Siprali

Siprali, also known as Ciprali, is a renowned epic novel penned by the well-known poet Sri Sri in 1981 while visiting Sri Wanguri Chitten King Garinta in Swadasturi. 

These poems were composed in the years 1945 to 1950 and were originally printed in different journals. 

As for its publication, Sri Sri Gary’s handwritten book was first released in 1981 with only 50 copies, thanks to the Wanguri Foundation of America.

In the United States, this book marks the debut of Telugu literature being published.


We hope you liked our list of famous novels in Telugu. Immerse yourself in the world of Telugu literature through these exceptional books. From timeless classics to contemporary masterpieces, they offer a glimpse into the richness and depth of Telugu storytelling. Discover captivating narratives, profound themes, and the beauty of the Telugu language.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Books to Read in Telugu

  • Barrister Parvateesam
  • Vennello Aadapilla
  • Maha Prasthanam
  • Amaravati Kathalu
  • Maidanam
  • Kanyasulkam
  • Chivaraku Migiledi
  • Koti Kommachi

Famous Novels In Telugu

  • Barrister Parvateesam
  • Vennello Aadapilla
  • Maha Prasthanam
  • Kasi Majili Kathalu
  • Andhra Prashasti
  • Amaravati Kathalu
  • Maidanam
  • Kanyasulkam
  • Chivaraku Migiledi
  • Koti Kommachi
  • Asamardhuni Jeevayatra

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