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Kalidasa (Devanāgarī: कालिदास "servant of Kali") was a renowned 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 4th Century AD.

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

Life

Nothing apart from his works is known with certainty about the life of Kālidāsa, such as his period or where he lived. Little is known about Kālidāsa's life. According to legend, he was known for his beauty, which brought him to the attention of Princess Vidyottama and she married him. However, as legend has it, Kālidāsa had grown up without much education, and the princess was ashamed of his ignorance and coarseness. A devoted worshipper of Kali (by other accounts of Saraswati), Kālidāsa is said to have called upon his goddess for help when he was going to commit suicide in a well after he was humiliated by his wife, and was rewarded with a sudden and extraordinary gift of wit. He is then said to have become the most brilliant of the "nine gems" at the court of the king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Legend also has it that he was murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lanka during the reign of Kumaradasa.

Date

A terminus ante quem is given by the Aihole Prashasti of 634 AD, which has a reference to his skills; and a terminus post quem can be presumed from his play Mālavikāgnimitra in as much as the hero, King Agnimitra of th..
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