Natraj: The Green Bookshop is one of India’s oldest independent bookstores. Over the years, we have developed cherished relations with customers from across India and the world. A visit to the local bookstore in a town or city for a tourist can be an enlightening experience – apart from spotting local and national authors, you often chance upon informative local trivia or merchandise; many a time an enquiry about directions or maps, and conversations with staff can lead to learning something new, making your stay memorable, and of course if you’re fortunate, it may be the start of a friendship that one takes back home.
We first opened our doors as a tiny bookstore in 1963. Natraj was founded by Sohan Lall Arora. There was the famous Odeon Cinema next door that screened Hollywood films and people would stop by to browse before and after the shows. When Sohan Lall’s son Upendra joined the business, Natraj expanded its space – there was a photographer’s studio next door that closed down and Natraj extended the store to stock more academic titles by independent publishers. The store also built an emphasis on environment books, on books on military and defence issues and also on books by women writers. Often we have customers who are visiting from another city, who walk in, and say, “I’m in a rush, but just had to drop in, because I cant go back home without doing so.” Or heart-warmingly, we hear “Its so great that the bookstore feels like it used to when I was in school here in Dehra Dun!”, or “Ah, the smell of books in this bookstore – its like nothing else in the world.”
Natraj works with schools to organise book fairs and literary events. The store hosts discussions and book launches. Natraj runs a mail order system for direct customers, libraries and institutions. Our local authors are special to us as they keep the literary landscape alive. We offer a wide variety of subjects to browse from, and ship books to anywhere on the globe.