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The Kathasaritsagara Of Somadeva

The Kathasaritsagara Of Somadeva

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One of India’s greatest epics, the Kathasaritsagara is thought to have been compiled around 1070 CE by Somadeva Bhatt, during the reign of Raja Ananta of the Lohara dynasty of Kashmir. Even though this extraordinary work is one of the longest creations in Indian and World literature, It is considered to be only a small part of an even longer work called Brihatkatha, composed by gunadhya in a lost language known as Paisachi. Somadeva collected and retold the stories of the Kathasaritsagara in Sanskrit to entertain Raja Ananta’s wife, Suryavati.

This masterpiece is foundational for many of India’s best-loved folk tale traditions, such as Vetala Pachisi and Panchatantra, and it has influenced many of the world’s best-known classics, including One Thousand and One Nights, the Decameron, and the Canterbury Tales. 

The central story of this epic revolves around the son of the famed Raja Udayana, Naravahanadatta, and his marital quests, in the course of which he acquires numerous wives, encounters a host of memorable characters, and wins supremacy over the mystical vidyadharas. Meena Arora Nayak’s brilliant new retelling of the kathasaritsagara, the first major rendition of the epic in a quarter century, closely follows the adventures of naravahanadatta and brings these ancient tales to new and enthralling life.

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indian / Meena Arora Nayak / mythology /