‘Kathasaritsagara’, meaning Ocean of the Streams of Stories, is an 11th century collection of Indian legends, fairy tales, and folk tales, retold in Sanskrit by a scholar named Somadeva.
Nothing is known about the author other than that his father’s name was Ramadevabatta.
The work was compiled for the entertainment of the queen Suryamati, wife of king Anantadeva of Kashmir.
Unlike most familiar classics, this work contains no hidden moral lessons. Instead, it is an easy celebration of earthly life. It consists of 18 books of 124 chapters, and has more than 21,000 verses, in addition to prose sections.
The book contains a major tale, which is about the adventures of Naravahanadatta, son of the legendary king Udayana.
Most of the other tales are interestingly connected to this central story.
The work was translated into English by Charles Henry Tawney. The translation was published in two volumes in 1880 and 1884.
Picture credit: google