Hitopadesha Tales – Indian Folktales
Hitopadesha is a collection of Sanskrit fables in prose and verse meant as an exposition on statecraft in a format easily digestible for young princes. It is an independent treatment of the Panchatantra, which it resembles in form.
The only clue to the identity of the author of Hitopadesha is found in the concluding verses of the work, which supply the name Narayana and mention the patronage of a king called Dhavalachandra.
As no other work by this author is known, and since the ruler mentioned has not been traced in other sources, we know almost nothing of either of them. Dating the work is therefore problematic.
There are quotations within it from 8th century works, but the earliest manuscript dates from 1373. Internal evidence may point to an East Indian origin during the later Pala Empire.