Whistling Woodzs

Shobhan Bantwal: Stars of Belgaum


Author of The Forbidden Daughter & THE DOWRY BRIDE, Shobhan Bantwal was born and brought up in Belgaum until she married and settled in the USA.

She was born on July 2 and raised at BELGAUM along with her four sisters. Her father was a doctor and her mother worked as his office manager. She resided in Camp area and she did her schooling from St. Josephs Convent Camp( LKG to SSLC) and then went to Lingraj College followed by Karnataka University in Dharward for a master’s degree in sociology. She got a second master’s degree in Public Administration in the U.S. she rarely visits India, so her visits to Belgaum are very few and far between.


She came to the United States in an arranged marriage in the mid-1970’s. Her husband had been working and living in the U.S. for three years before they met. They have been happily married for 34 years and almost all those years they have been living in New Jersey.

Shobhan-BantwalShe now works for a government agency in the U.S. She took up freelance journalism and fiction writing as a hobby only a few years ago.

Kensington Publishing, an American publisher, released her first fiction book, THE DOWRY BRIDE, in September 2007 and her second book, THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER, was released last week, September 2008. Both novels are based in India and deal with contemporary social issues that have created a great deal of interest amongst American and Canadian readers who are fascinated with the subjects of dowry and gender-selective abortions.

Although her books are not published in India, they are available through

Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Flipkart.com, and a number of other on-line

booksellers and larger bookstores in Mumbai, Delhi, and most major cities.

She created a fictitious setting in her novels: a small town in southwestern India called Palgaum. She believed it would make an interesting and exotic backdrop for her book. However, it is loosely based on the town she grew up in. Whenever she was writing about the streets and the scenery, she had an image of her own town of Belgaum, except for the river. She felt a picturesque river scene would give the story more texture and romance, so she threw in a river, which my town doesn’t have.

She writes articles and short stories for a number of Indian-American and Indian publications including India Abroad, India Currents, Sulekha.com, DesiJournal.com, Little India, Kanara Saraswat, and New Woman India and Leaves magazines.

Some Praises for her book:

THE DOWRY BRIDEis “Remarkable…imaginative, packed with detail. Adroitly depicting passion, brutality, culture in conflict. This novel is as engrossing as it is unusual.” says Dorothy Garlock, Bestselling author

Bantwal takes a brave look at an old topic and delivers a piece of work that may just make an impact. Wonderful, Vivid, and Worth Reading!

—- BookIdeas

Links to her books






  1. Hello Uday,

    Your first comment comes from Shobhan Bantwal herself. When I became a writer and my books, THE DOWRY BRIDE and THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER were published, I never thought I would be featured as a Star on a blog that is solely dedicated to Belgaum. I’m honored by your kind gesture

    This is a great blog by the way. You have done a commendable job of gathering a vast amount of detail about Belgaum and putting it on the Internet map. When I was growing up in Belgaum in the 1950s and 60s, it was a rural town with a small population and limited resources. Today it is a thriving metropolis teeming with life and commerce.

    Keep up the good work. And thank you.

    Mrs. Shobhan Bantwal

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