Prof. Somnath Dhar
Born in Srinagar, in 1917, Somnath Dhar. M.A., LL.B., B.T.,
M.I.P.R. (London), served there on the staff of S.P. College, in mid-forties. After a stint as sub-editor of the Hindustan Times, he joined the Ministry of External Affairs, and served in New Delhi and, abroad, in Indian Missions as First Secretary, Consul, Consul General, etc. During this period of 20 years, he maintained his interest in the folklore of Jammu and Kashmir State, particularly folk-tales. The Stag Government published his Kashmir Folklore in 1959, when he was serving in the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. After retiring as Officer on Special Duty in the Ministry in 1973, he has been lecturing on folklore, tourism, etc. A freelance journalist and a travel writer, he has been broadcasting from All India Radio on a number of topic, including the national Spotlight. He has been interviewed on TV a number of time, wherein (October 1991 and March 1972) he referred to this work as his magnum opus.
Prof. Somnath Dhar has authored a number of books, including Kautilya and the
Arthsastra, (Marwah Publications), Folk Tales of Turkey (Sterling Publishers, 3rd edition. 1989), Jammu and Kashmir (National Book Trust, 3rd edition, 1992) and Kalhana :the last published by the Sahitya
Akademi, has also been issued in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Malayalam, Kannadese, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali, other language editions due to be printed. His book on Nepal, other coauthor with his wife, Asha
Dhar, was entitle, "Nepal : Land of Gods, Goddesses and Demons" (Marwah Publications, New Delhi. 1985).
As a historian and folklorist, Prof. Dhar has presented papers in London, Ankara
Kathmandu, Mysore, New Delhi, and addressed meetings at the India International Centre and
Y.M.C.A., New Delhi. Some of the tales, including historical tales, presented in this volume, have appeared in ct number of journals in India and abroad. Particularly Hong Kong, London, etc.