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The fabled monarch Vikramaditya is considered to be a model of kingly virtues, and his reign a golden age of peace and prosperity. Narrated by the thirty-two statuettes of nymphs supporting his magic throne, the Tales describe his exploits and extol his extraordinary courage, compassion and kindness. Against an exotic setting of adventures and miracles, they depict such fantastical elements as fights with ogres, occult rituals and travels to other world, as well as very human situations of betrayal and rivalry. Dating from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, these colourful Tales are an intriguing mix of marvellous happenings, proverbial wisdom and sage precepts that entertain even as they instruct.
The original author of the Simhasana Dvatrimsika is unknown. The present text is dated to the thirteenth century AD. It exists in four main recensions, from which extracts have been compiled together for the first time, in this lively and faithful translation of this celebrated classic by a renowned Sanskritist.