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STORIES OF VIKRAMADITYA (Simhasana Dwatrimsika)

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  • Pages 378 ; ISBN : 978-81-7276-412-8

This is a collection of thirty two stories told about King Vikramaditya of Ujjain by the statuettes adorning the throne found by King Bhoja. Learned King Bhoja goes on a hunt where he comes across a shepherd who utters wise words when he is seated on a mound but changes when he comes down from it. King Bhoja arranges to excavate the area and finds a beautiful throne. On an auspicious day when he is about to ascend the throne to occupy it, each statuette holding a step of the throne asks him to halt and tells a story.

These are folk tales which have been told in almost all major languages of India though the authorship is unknown. Although the exact date of these stories is not known, they are generally believed to have originated during the 11th to 13th centuries. They illustrate the generous deeds of a model king(Vikramaditya) and emphasise moral lessons. They have ingenious plots, dramatic situations, portrayals of real life and human character. When the learned King Bhoja discovers the beautiful throne after the excavations, he is thrilled and wants it in his palace. The throne is cleaned, washed and decorated and on an auspicious day when he is about to ascend it, all the 32 statuettes burst out into laughter. They tell him a story each and ask him whether he feels he is worthy of the throne which was once occupied by King Vikramaditya. After all the stories are told King Bhoja ascends the throne and rules from there.

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