Books by Mohan Narayanan

The Payyoli Nine: Planets in a Square

In the Indian Vedic system of planetary worship of the nine major planets – the Navagrahas – most important are Saturn (Shani), Mars (Mangal) and Jupiter (Guru). The planets’ periodical celestial transitions affect human lives. Of these three planets, the first two are considered extremely malevolent.

This fascinating adventure story handles the two planets in rather extreme ways: Mars for its futuristic space technology ventures, and Saturn as described in Hindu/Mayan mythological scriptures.

Seven idols from the Navagraha square-shaped constellation of the famous Thiruvalla Temple have been missing for almost 2,000 years. The Temple priests seek the help of Harani and Manikkam (the two tech-savvy teenagers from the Payyoli Trilogy series) to find them. The duo is also involved with the SpaceX project for human colonization of Mars. Two scientists from SpaceX on their visit to India mysteriously vanish in their helicopter while exploring the effects of Saturn at the temple of Thirunallar.

How the search for the missing Hindu idols leads Harani and Manikkam to the Yucatan caves where the two missing SpaceX scientists are held captive offering prayers to the missing idols, forms the gripping finale of the novel.

“An amazing and fast-paced ride with our favourite techno-savvy duo of Harani and Manikkam. A must read for all those who believe God is one. This book gives strength to my belief that all religions originated from one single almighty power!”

– Sriram Srinivasan, Editor

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Austin Colors

Nathan, a professor at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, is a happily married father of two. He has a wide range of interests, including Western classical music, foreign languages, water sports and he is a connoisseur of wines. In all, he is a person living his life to the fullest.

Shortly after he loses his wife and children in an accident, Nathan unexpectedly connects to his past, with two women who had conceived through his sperm donation while he was still a financially struggling student.

Nathan undertakes to bring up the two teenagers, making up for the tragic loss of his own.

Meanwhile, Brenda, his former favorite student at UT, steps into Nathan’s life as his lover.

The sudden entry of multi-racial, multi-religious characters into the environment of this aspiring Nobel Laureate is of course not devoid of far-reaching consequences. Karma turns Nathan’s life upside down and Austin Colors, quite contrary to the pleasant feelings the title evokes, becomes somewhat of a Greek tragedy.

Mohan Narayanan’s latest novel in a way reflects the consequences of “globalization” at the smallest unit or organization level – the family.

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The Payyoli Pendant: A Tantric-Techno Tale

Set against the stunning backdrop of Kerala on the southwest coast of India and the magnificence of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, The Payyoli Pendant merges modern-day technology with ancient, tantric practices.

A precious diamond pendant adoring the brass idol of the Goddess Devi of the Payyoli Temple is the object of  possession for the head priest, Varadaraja Bhattar and his nemesis, the Prasnam Namboodiri.  The large-sized diamond and the idol, both now with a young girl, Harani, and her cousin, Manikkam, are the embodiments of none less than God Shiva and his consort Devi. Together, they form the all powerful Shiva-Shakti combination which regulates the Universe and must be safeguarded at all costs.

The two young protagonists are helped by no one less than the Goddess Devi herself, whose divine energy and manifestations of intervention, work side by side with  the 21st century technologies to ensure that the prized pendant, which possesses enormous spiritual powers, is protected.

The clash between good and evil, ancient and the present, results in a dramatic climax.

The Payyoli Pendant gives a thrilling portrayal of how ageless, supernatural powers parallel the information highway and modern-day science.


This is an amazing manuscript!” – Cynthia Sherman, Book Reviewer (USA)

A profound story – thoughtfully and carefully crafted. Written so beautifully about the mystical journey of mankind. The ending is deeply moving as the Author speaks to the questions of the body without the soul. This book will appeal to a large audience as it deals with morality and choices and technological advances. The message transcends time and place.” – Joanne M, Review Manager (USA)

Highly spiritual in concept, cleverly and unsuspectingly woven around the basic Hindu dogma of “Atma (soul) & Paramatma (body)”, the book conveys plenty of the positive aspects of the Hindu culture – the values of Family & Religion – side-by-side with today’s high technological skills of the Indian younger generation. It also amply brings about the centuries’ old tolerance of the Hindu religion towards fellow human beings of other Faiths – in this book, the Moslems.

In today’s turbulent economic times, we need two anchors – Family & Religion – to steady our rocking boats. Unfortunaley we have let the anchors to rust and break and are not able to use them when they are needed most.

At a time when a movie like “Slumdog Millionnaire” rakes in 150 Million Dollars portraying the poverty of India showing the slums of Mumbai and its children, THE PAYYOLI PENDANT has for its heroes two techno-savvy Indian children (not street urchins) and is set amongst the temples of Kerala (and not the filthy slums). The novel comes as a refreshingly welcome change and shows India in another light.

An adventure/thriller novel as gripping as the Harry Potter series, this is a book with a definitive Indian message.

A must for all children – especially Indian kids living in the UK, USA and elsewhere abroad.” Dr K Chandra, Critique (UK)

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The Payyoli Draupnir: An Asgard-Kailash Expedition

In this second book in the Payyoli trilogy series, The Payyoli Draupnir: An Asgard-Kailash Expedition, author/playwright Mohan Narayanan weaves an exciting bond between the Norse and Hindu Gods.

Draupnir, the magical golden arm ring of Odin, is carried away by Garudan, the mystical Hindu bird-God. The ring is cursed by Devi, the Goddess of Payyoli, making it lose its magical powers. Even worse, the ring lands at the bottom of an icy lake in the Himalayas. The recovery of the stolen ring involves the two key characters, Harani and Manikkam, from the author’s first book, The Payyoli Pendant, as well as the modern and futuristic technologies employed by the Norse Gods. The next novel in the Payyoli trilogy will link the Hindu and Greek Gods.

The author brings the forgotten art of using Gods as characters – and their interaction with human beings – into storytelling, creating fantasies that keep readers spellbound.

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The Payyoli τρίαινα (TRIAINA): A Trident–Trishul Tryst

The Payyoli τρίαινα (Triaina) is the third adventure thriller for young adult readers, coming as the concluding novel in noted Indian author Mohan Narayanan’s Payyoli series trilogy.

The trident is featured in all the mythologies around the world as a prominent weapon in the hands of their leading gods. The Greeks had Poseidon (who was Neptune in Roman mythology), the Hindus have Shiva and Kali with the Trishul, and the Japanese mountain god Koya-No-Myoin was depicted with Kongo, having the forks of his trident shining like flames of fire.

Alexander the Great’s men took away Kali’s golden trident from a dilapidated Harrappan temple in the Indus Valley for the Poseidon statue in the new city of Bucephalus, built by the emperor about 2,300 years ago. Later they took the same trident to their Greek homeland to adorn the statue of Poseidon in the Sounion temple near Athens.

The task of retrieving Kali’s trident falls on Harani and Manikkam – by now well-known characters to series readers – the two tech-savvy teenagers from Southern India whose exploits are depicted in the two previous books of the Payyoli Trilogy. On the trail of the triton, the two young adventurers travel from Pakistan to Rome, Florence, Venice, Corfu, Santorini and Athens. The trail leads them to the Sounion temple, now lying in ruins. How will the trilogy end? Will the Payyoli temple be rebuilt?

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Author Biography

Mohan Narayanan’s first book in this series, The Payyoli Pendant, was published in 2009. This is his sixth novel in eight years. Popular with American, European, and Japanese readers, all his books have been rated 4.5/5 stars and above, with each having been downloaded over 100,000 times. He teaches Business Management (MBA studies) at two of India’s top universities and is also a noted playwright. He was inspired to write this book after visiting Mexico and taking a West Caribbean cruise to Honduras, Belize, and Yucatan.