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Bāṇabhaṭṭa (Sanskrit: बाणभट्ट) was a 7th-century Sanskrit prose writer and poet of India. He was the Asthana Kavi in the court of King Harsha Vardhana, who reigned c. 606–647 CE in north India first from Sthanvishvara (Thanesar), and later Kannauj. Bāna's principal works include a biography of Harsha, the Harshacharita (Deeds of Harsha), and one of the world's earliest novels, Kadambari. Bāṇa died before finishing the novel and it was completed by his son Bhūṣaṇabhaţţa. Both these works are noted texts of Sanskrit literature. The other works attributed to him are the Caṇḍikāśataka and a drama, the Pārvatīpariṇaya.
A detailed account regarding his ancestry and early life can be reconstructed from the introductory verses attached to the कादम्बरी 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 historical. It gives a graphic picture of the life in the country side.
Bāna was born to Chitrabhānu and Rājadevi in the village of Pritikuta on the banks of the Hiraṇyavāhu in a Bhojaka family of Vātsyāyana gotra in the current district of Chhapra. After the death of his father, Bāṇa led a wandering life 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 King Harsha, he met the king while he was camping near the town of Manitara. After receiving Bāna with mock signs of anger, the king showed him much favour.
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