The Immortals of Meluha is the first novel of the Shiva trilogy series by Amish Tripathi. The story is set in the land of Meluha and starts with the arrival of the Shiva.
The Meluhans believe that Shiva is their fabled saviour Neelkanth. Shiva decides to help the Meluhans in their war against the Chandravanshis, who had joined forces with a cursed Nagas; however, during his journey and the fight that ensues, Shiva learns how his choices actually reflect who he aspires to be and how they lead to dire consequences.
Tripathi had initially decided to write a book on the philosophy of evil, but was dissuaded by his family members, so he decided to write a book on Shiva, one of the Hindu Gods.
He decided to base his story on a radical idea that all Gods were once human beings; it was their deeds in the human life that made them famous as Gods. After finishing writing The Immortals of Meluha, Tripathi faced rejection from many publication houses.
Ultimately when his agent decided to publish the book himself, Tripathi embarked on a promotional campaign. It included posting a live-action video on YouTube, and making the first chapter of the book available as a free digital download, to entice readers.
Ultimately, when the book was published in February 2010, it went on to become a huge commercial success. It had to be reprinted a number of times to keep up with the demand.
Tripathi even changed his publisher and hosted a big launch for the book in Delhi.
It was critically appreciated by some Indian reviewers, others noted that Tripathi’s writing tended to lose focus at some parts of the story.
With the launch of the third installment, titled The Oath of the Vayuputras, in February 2013, the Shiva Trilogy has become the fastest selling book series in the history of Indian publishing, with 2.5 million copies in print and over ₹60 crore (US$8.4 million) in sales.