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Alka Tyagi

Nationality: Indian

Gender: female

Present Position: Associate Professor, University of Delhi

Academic & Professional Qualifications:


B.Sc. in Botany

B.Sc. General

Delhi University

Meerut University




M.A. in English Literature

M.Phil. (Eng. Literature)

Jamia Millia Islamia

Jamia Millia Islamia



Ph.D Thesis on Intersemiotic Transformations: A Study of works of two Medieval Indian Bhakti Poets. Jawaharlal Nehru University 2009


Position(s) Held:

  Teaching English Literature    
1 Maitreyi College, Delhi University 1996  
2 Shyam Lal College, Delhi University 1997 1998
3 Shyam Lal College (Evening) Delhi University on Temp. Basis 1998 1999
4 Dyal Singh (Eve.) College, Delhi University in ad-hoc basis 1999 since November  
5 Dyal Singh (Eve.) College, Delhi University on Permanent basis 2002 since January  


About the Author

Dr Alka Tyagi, a poet, translator and critic, teaches English at Dyal Singh (evening) College, University of Delhi. Her doctoral thesis is on medieval Bhakti poets Andal and Akka Mahadevi. She writes poetry in Hindi and English and her Hindi collection Sun ri Sakhi has been published recently. Dr Tyagi has co-edited, Gendered Space, an anthology of short stories translated from Indian languages into English. She has edited English translation of Kalidasa's Abhijnanasakuntalam. She has also collected and rewritten a collection of oral and folk tales of wisdom published as Healing Tales. Her areas of interest are Bhakti, Yoga and Tantra Darshan.

Details of Books/Monographs

1 Gendered Space Shrishti Publishers 2004
2 Kalidasa’s Abhijnanashakuntalam Doaba House 2004
3 Sun ri Sakhi Surya Prakashan Mandir 2009
4 Healing Tales Yash Publications 2010


Details of Articles

1. Review of All India Directory of Art Culture and Allied Centers by Ashok Choudhary and Bishwajit Sinha in The Book Review in Vol. XX, No. 6.
2. Poem “Ravana” published in Indian Literature May-June 1996, No. 170.
3. Article on Flautist G.S. Rajan, “Flautist Par Excellence” in the Hindustan Times on July 13, 1996.
4. Review of the book A Witch Hunt by F.G. Baily in The Pioneer on March 8, 1997.
5. Review of The Endangered Sex by Barbara Miller in the The Pioneer on April 12, 1997.
6. Review of Nativism by Makrand Pranajape in The Pioneer on May 17, 1997.
7. Review of Faith and Fire by Madhu Tandan in The Hindu on July 6, 1997.
8. Review of Exploring Media Culture by Michael R. Real in The Hindu on July 29, 1997.
9. Review of Woman Reborn by Renuka Singh in The Pioneer on July 26, 1997.
10. Review of Mantram Handbook by Eknaath Eswaran in The Pioneer on Dec. 27, 1997.
11. Review of The Book on Trial by Girija Kumar in The Hindu on January 4, 1998.
12. Published Poems like “I am a Woman”, “The Morning Kiss”, “Journey of Life”, “Deconstruction”, “Dying Fire” in The Asian Age on various dates.
13. Review of two books on Raja Rao, The Best of Raja Rao by Makarand Paranjape and Words - as - Mantra, The Art of Raja Rao, Ed. Robert L. Hardgrave Jr. in The Asian Age on September 5, 1999.
14. Review of The Servant’s Shirt by Vinod Kumar Shukla in The Asian Age on Sept. 5, 1999.
15. Review of Collected Plays of Mahesh Dattani in the Indian Literature, literary journal Published by Sahitya Akademi.
16. Review of Is Gharus Ghar by Mukta in the Indian Literature, published by Sahitya Academi, New Delhi, 1998.
17. Review of Murmer in the Woods by Sunil Gangopadhaya in the Indian Literature No. 200.
18. Review of A Storehouse in the Tales by Jehanara Wasi and Malashri Lal, Shrishti: New Delhi in The Tribune on January 6, 2001.
19. Translation of an article “Relevance of Bhakti” by Manager Pande and an interview of the author in the journal Indian Literature No. 206.
20. Translation of preface to first edition of Don Quixote by Cervante’s as “Cervantees” in Samkaleen Bhartiya Sahitya, Hindi bimonthly of Sahitya Akademi, in No. 123, Jan-Feb. 2006
21. Translation of an article from Hindi “Staging of Poetry” by Alakh Nandan in Theatre Business and Management of Men:Indian Theatre in 2000. Ed. H.S. Shivaprakash Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2011.
22. Review article on Making Indian Work written by William Namda Bissel published in March 20, 2010 issue of political weekly, the Mainstream.
23. Article, “At Home with Peace” on Zen practices at Sogenji Zen Monastery, Okayama Japan, in the daily, The Hindu on Oct. 19, 2009
24. Article, “Revisiting Tagore” on Three Novellas: Nashtanir, Dui Bon, Malancha, published in Sahitya Akademi Bi-Monthly Journal, Indian Literature, Nov./Dec. 2010, No. 260.
25. Poems, “The Connection”, “This Moonlit Night”, “Sisters on the Path-I”, “Sisters on the Path-II”, “Ardhaanaarishwara” published in Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi journal no. 270, July-Aug. 2012. 

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Andal and Akka Mahadevi

Bhakti poetry is an amazing amalgamation of art, music, literature, philosophy, politics, soteriology and mysticism. Andal and Akka Mahadevi: Feminity to Divinity reflects this amalgamation in letter and spirit. Two medieval women, Andal, a ninth-century A’lvar saint-poetess from Tamil Srivaishnavite tradition, and Akka Mahadevi, a twelfth-century Kannada saint-poetess from Virashaivite tradition, with their poetic renderings and life, got elevated to a stature beyond that of saints.
This book deals with three major aspects. One, understanding of bhakti in its historical, philosophical and social perspectives. It thus delves on the idea and phenomenon of bhakti, the ancient religions and the evolution of bhakti tradition in south India. Two, it portrays the life of poet-saints Andal and Akka Mahadevi and their chosen path of bhakti. Their poetic renderings — Tiruppavai and Nachiar Tirumo’li of Andal, and vacanas of Akka Mahadevi — have found merit in rituals, theatre, cinema, dance, painting and other arts. The textual analysis of their poetry is done from religious, literary and socio-political angles. Three, it reflects on how the works of these saints have percolated down to the living patterns in modern India; rather it is a dedication to the living traditions in bhakti.
This volume also helps to extricate bhakti experience from its mystical aura and make it more accessible to our perceptive faculties. Thus it enthuses the spirit of anyone, be an artist, a poet, a philosopher, or a scholar.