Kavi Kalidas imageKālidāsa (“servant of Kali” Sanskrit: कालिदास) was a Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language. His floruit cannot be dated with precision, but most likely falls within the 5th century AD.

His plays and poetry are primarily based on the Hindu Puranas and Hindu philosophy.

Scholars have speculated that Kālidāsa may have lived either near the Himalayas, or in the vicinity of Ujjain, or in Kalinga. The three speculations are based respectively on Kālidāsa’s detailed description of the Himalayas in his Kumārasambhava, the display of his love for Ujjain in Meghadūta, and his highly eulogistic descriptions of Kalingan emperor Hemāngada in Raghuvaṃśa (sixth sarga).

But some scholars tend to describe him as a Kashmiri since the pioneering research done by Lakshmi Dhar Kalla (1891-1953) in his continuously re-edited book The birth-place of Kalidasa, with notes, references and appendices (1926), saying that, far from being contradictory, these facts just show that he was born in Kashmir (based on topographic descriptions, rural folklore, the region’s fauna and flora, … only local populations could know) but moved for diverse reasons souther and sought the patronage of local rulers to prosper.

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It is believed that he was from humble origin, married to princess and challenged by his wife, studied poetry to become great poet. Some believe that he visited Kumaradasa, the king of Ceylon and, because of some treachery, Kalidasa was murdered there. His wife’s name was Vidyotama.

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