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Kalidasa’s Heroines

- May 11, 2020

His life remains a secret to many but his poems and plays are a muse to millions. Revered as one of the great Sanskrit writers of all times, Kalidasa gave Indian literature some of its finest masterpieces. Kalidasa’s plays were inspired by a variety of mythological sources. These plays are told and re-told to this day, adapted into stories, plays, and films. Here are three female characters created by Kalidasa, who will forever be etched in our memories. 


Kalidasa's Heroines
Illustration: Sundara Moorthy

The story of Malavika is taken from Kalidasa’s earliest play, Malavikagnimitram. It recounts the deep love King Agnimitra had for our heroine. Agnimitra was a king of the Sunga dynasty and ruled over Vidisha, near Bhopal in present-day Madhya Pradesh. Agnimitra was completely smitten by Malavika, his queen’s handmaiden. His queen, naturally, was furious when she learned of it, and decided to imprison Malavika. 


Illustration: Sundara Moorthy

Urvashi is a re-telling of Vikramorvashiyam, meaning ‘Urvashi Won By Valour’. Urvashi was an apsara or celestial dancer who fell in love......

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Comic of The Month


Dasharatha, the prince of Ayodhya, was out hunting when he heard the sound of an elephant drinking water. Aiming his bow, the prince shot in the direction of the sound. Tragically, the arrow killed a youth who was filling water in a pitcher for his old and blind parents. The anguished father cursed Dasharatha that one day he would die grieving for his son. Dasharatha's son was the valiant and unparalleled, Rama.

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