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Asthana Kavi
Pritikuta, Pushyabhuti Empire (present-day Bihar, India)
Occupation(s)Poet, writer, author.
ChildrenBhūṣaṇabhaṭṭa (son)
  • Chitrabhānu (father)
  • Rājadevi (mother)
RelativesMayūrabhaṭṭa (brother-in-law)

Bāṇabhaṭṭa (Sanskrit: बाणभट्ट) was a 7th-century Sanskrit prose writer and poet from India. He was the Asthana Kavi in the court of the Emperor Harsha, who reigned c. 606–647 CE in northern India, first from Sthanvishvara, and later Kanyakubja. Bāna's principal works include a biography of Harsha, the Harshacharita (The Life of Harsha),[1] and one of the world's earliest novels, Kadambari. Bāṇa died before finishing the novel and it was completed by his son Bhūṣaṇabhaṭṭa. Both these works are noted texts of Sanskrit literature.[2] The other works attributed to him are the Caṇḍikāśataka and a drama, the Pārvatīpariṇaya. Banabhatta gets an applause as "Banochhistam Jagatsarvam" meaning Bana has described everything in this world and nothing is left.


A detailed account regarding his ancestry and early life can be reconstructed from the introductory verses attached to the Kadambari and the first two ucchāvasas of the Harṣacarita, while the circumstances behind the composition of the Harṣacarita are described in the third ucchāvasa of the text. Harsacarita is considered as the first Indian work which may be regarded as a historical biography. It gives a vivid picture of life in the Indian countryside.[3]

Bāna was born to Chitrabhānu and Rājadevi in the village of Pritikuta in a Brahmin family from Kanyakubja.[4] His mother died early leaving him in the loving care of his father. His father married again and had two more sons. After the death of his father when he was 14, Bāṇa led a colourful and wandering life with his half-brothers for a period but later came back to his native village. Here, on a summer day, on receiving a letter from Krishna, a cousin of Emperor Harsha, he met the emperor while he was camping near the town of Manitara. After receiving Bāna with mock signs of anger, the emperor showed him much favor.


  • Bana (1898). The Parvati Parinaya of Banabhatta, with Sanskrit Commentary, English Notes and Tr., by T.R. Ratnam Aiyar. Madras.
  • Bana (tr. G. Layne), Bāṇabhaṭṭa Kādambarī. A Classic Sanskrit Story of Magical Transformations (New York: Garland, 1991).
  • Harshacharita :The Harshacharita (Sanskrit: हर्षचरित, Harṣacarita) (The deeds of Harsha), is the biography of Indian emperor Harsha by Banabhatta, also known as Bana, who was a Sanskrit writer of seventh-century CE India. He was the Asthana Kavi, meaning Court Poet, of Harsha. The Harshacharita was the first composition of Bana and is considered to be the beginning of the writing of historical poetic works in the Sanskrit language.


  1. ^ "Sthanvishvara (historical region, India)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ Amaresh Datta (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: devraj to jyoti. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 1339–. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0.
  3. ^ Sreedharan, E, "A Manual of Historical Research Methodology." Trivandrum, Centre for South Indian Studies, 2007, ISBN 978-81-905928-0-2 [1]
  4. ^ Singh, Upinder. History Of Ancient And Early Medieval India From The Stone Age To The 12th Century. Penguin Books Limited. p. 110.


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