The story is set in Ayemenem, now part of Kottayam district in Kerala, India. The temporal setting shifts back and forth between 1969, when fraternal twins Rahel (girl) and Esthappen (boy) are seven years old, and 1993, when the twins are reunited.
Dalrymple's seventh book is about the lives of nine Indians, a Buddhist monk, a Jain nun, a lady from a middle-class family in Calcutta, a prison warden from Kerala, an illiterate goat herd from Rajasthan, and a devadasi among others, as seen during his Indian travels.
The Saga of Muziris is a fascinating tale of the glory and decline of a major port, a hub of maritime trade in Kerala, in South India, which had mysteriously disappeared from the face of earth during the fourteenth century.
Writings About Kerala. The southernmost part of India was born, it is said, when the mighty Parasurama - sixth avatar of Vishnu - threw his battle axe to carve out the territory that would henceforth be his.