List of Panchatantra stories

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The Panchatantra is an ancient Sanskrit collection of stories, probably first composed around 300 CE (give or take a century or two),[1] though some of its component stories may be much older. The original text is not extant, but the work has been widely revised and translated such that there exist "over 200 versions in more than 50 languages."[2] The actual content of these versions sometimes differs greatly.

The lists of stories in a few notable versions are compared below.


  • A-TAarne–Thompson tale type index number.
  • EdgeFranklin Edgerton's 1924 reconstruction of the Sanskrit text of the original Panchatantra. Though scholars debate details of his text, its list of stories can be considered definitive.[3] It is the basis of English translations by Edgerton himself (1924) and Patrick Olivelle (1997 & 2006). The content of 2 other important versions, the "Southern" Panchatantra and the Tantrākhyāyika are very similar to that of Edgerton's reconstruction.
  • DurgDurgasimha's Kannada translation of c. 1031 CE is one of the earliest extant translations into an Indian vernacular.
  • Soma — Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara ("Ocean of Streams of Story") of 1070 is a massive collection of stories and legends, to which a version of the Panchatantra contributes roughly half of Book 10. The numbers given are those of N. M. Penzer, which situate the Panchatantra passages within the Kathasaritsagara as a whole. At the end of each of the Panchatantra's books, Somadeva (or his source) adds a number of unrelated stories, "usually of the 'noodle' variety."[4]
  • PurnPurnabhadra's recension of 1199 CE is one of the longest Sanskrit versions, and is the basis of both Arthur W. Ryder's English translation of 1925, and Chandra Rajan's of 1993.
  • NaraHitopadesha by Narayana is probably the most popular version in India, and was the second work ever translated from Sanskrit into English (by Charles Wilkins in 1787). The Hitopadesha itself exists in several versions, without an extant original. However, in this case the differences are comparatively trivial.[5] Narayana split, combined, and reordered his source stories more extensively than most other revisers of the Panchatantra, so while cells in other columns generally have a one-to-one relationship, this does not hold true for the Hitopadesha.


In addition to the stories listed below, many versions begin with a prelude in which a king bewails the stupidity of his sons, and the wise Vishnu Sharma[6] (the Panchatantra's reputed author) bets that he can teach them statecraft in a mere 6 months; the tales constitute his lesson. (Of the versions tabulated below, only Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara lacks this "master frame" — an unsurprising omission, since the Panchatantra section is placed within the "master frame" of the Kathasaritsagara itself.)

Story A-T Edge[7] Durg[8] Soma[9] Purn[10] Nara[11]
On causing dissension among allies: The jackals Karataka and Damanaka I.Frame I.Frame 84 I.Frame II.1; II.3; II.7; II.9; II.10
The story of the evil King Kachadruma I.1
The monkey that pulled the wedge I.1 I.2 84A I.1 II.2
The jackal that tried to eat a drum I.2 I.4 84B I.2
Merchant and sweeper I.3
The adventures of an ascetic I.3a I.4a
The ascetic and the rogue I.3a I.5 I.4a
How the battling rams killed the greedy jackal I.3b I.5.1 I.4b
The unfaithful wife Tantuvayika I.5.2
A weaver cuts the nose of a bawd I.3c I.4c II.6
The crow that killed a snake I.4 I.6 I.5 II.8; II.9
The crab cuts off the heron's head I.5 I.7 84C I.6 IV.7
The hare that outwitted the lion I.6 I.8 84D I.7 II.9
Weaver as Vișṇu I.8
The monkey who died by giving shelter to a hunter I.9
Grateful beasts and thankless man I.9.1 I.9
How the louse got killed trying to be nice to a bug I.7 I.11 84E I.10
The watersnakes and a cobra I.11.1
The swan that died due to a screech-owl I.11.2
The Blue Jackal I.11 III.8
Goose and owl I.12
How the lion's servants killed the camel I.8 I.12 84F I.13 IV.11
Lion and carpenter I.14
The sandpiper that defeated the ocean I.9 I.14 84G I.15 II.10
The turtle and the geese I.10 I.14.1 84GG I.16 IV.2; IV.4
The Brahmin Devadatta, the story teller, and the ogre I.14.1.1
The lady who didn't listen to her daughter-in-law I.14.1.2
The fate of three fish: Far-sighted, Quick-witted, and Inevitable I.11 I.14.2 84GGG I.17 IV.3; IV.4
Sparrow and elephant I.18
Goose and fowler I.19
Lion and ram I.20
Jackal outwits lion I.21
King and ascetic I.22
Girl who married a snake 433[12] I.23
Indra's parrot and the god of death I.24
The bird that tried to advise a monkey I.12 III.3 84H I.25 III.2
Two friends and betrayed trust 613[12] I.13 I.15 84I I.26
How the mongoose ate the heron's chicks I.14 I.15.1 84J I.27 IV.5
The iron-eating mice 1592[12] I.15 84K I.28
Twin parrots I.10 I.29
Noble robber saves the lives of his victims I.30a
Faithful but foolish monkey kills the king 1586[12] I.31b
The monkeys that died due to a ram I.16
(12 additional stories) 85-96
On securing allies: The crow, rat, tortoise, and deer that became friends II.Frame V.Frame 97 II.Frame I.1; I.2; I.4; I.7; I.9
How mouse cut the net that imprisoned the pigeons (II.Frame) V.1 (II.Frame)
The bird with two necks and one stomach II.1
How pigeons escaped the net by pretending to be dead V.1.1
How a mouse freed an elephant V.2
How a dead Brahmin became alive again by his pet crab V.3
The ascetic and the mouse II.1 V.4 97A II.2 I.5; I.6
The woman who traded sesame for sesame II.2 97AA II.3
How the greedy jackal died eating a bowstring II.3 V.4.1 97AAA II.4 I.7
The man who got what was coming to him II.5
The weaver's options: to be generous or stingy II.6
The jackal waits for the bull's testicles to fall 115[12] II.7
The mice who rescued the elephant II.8
How the deer Chitranga got caught in a trap II.4 V.5 II.9
(23 additional stories) 98-120
On war and peace: The enmity between crows and owls III.Frame III.Frame 121 III.Frame IV.1
How owls started to hate crows III.1
The owl is elected king of the birds III.2 III.3 121B III.1
The hare that fooled an elephant III.3 121BB III.2 III.4
Partridge and hare take their case to the cat III.4 III.1.1 121BBB III.3 I.4
The ascetic and the bad world III.1.1.1
How Shishupala died in the hands of Krishna III.2
Three rogues who fooled a Brahmin III.5 I.13 121C III.4 IV.10; IV.11
How ants killed the snake III.5
The snake that gave gold 285D[12] III.6
The inhospitable golden geese III.7
The dove that sacrificed itself III.4 III.8
The old merchant and his young wife III.6 121D III.9 I.6
The thief, the ogre, and a Brahmin III.7 III.5 121E III.10
The snake in the prince's belly III.11
How the unfaithful wife tricked her foolish husband III.8 121F III.12 III.7
The marriage of a mouse that turned into a girl 2031C III.9 III.7 121G III.13
The sage who changed his pet dog into different animals III.7.1
The bird who dropped golden turds III.14
The talking cave I.3 III.15
The frogs that went for a ride on the back of a snake III.10 III.8 121H III.16 IV.12
The Brahmin catches his wife's lover III.8.1 III.17
(13 additional stories) 122-132
On losing what you have gained: The friendship between a crocodile and a monkey 91[13] IV.Frame IV.Frame 133 IV.Frame
The foolish frog invites a snake to his well IV.1
The ass without ears or a heart 52 IV.1 IV.1 133A IV.2
The potter is mistaken for a warrior IV.3
The jackal that was raised by a lion IV.4
The Brahmin and his ungrateful wife IV.5
Henpecked husbands IV.6
The ass in a leopard's skin III.1 121A IV.7 III.3
The adulterous wife is tricked by her lover IV.8
The monkey and the pesky sparrow IV.9 III.2
The smart jackal gets elephant meat IV.10
The dog that went abroad 112[12] IV.11
(6 additional stories) 134-139
The barber who killed the monks V.2 II.2 V.Frame III.10; IV.13
The three proverbs which stopped king from killing his own wives II.2.1
On hasty actions: Killing a mongoose in haste 178A[12] V.Frame II.Frame 140 V.1
The four treasure-seekers V.2
The foolish scholars bring a lion back to life III.6 V.3
Thousandwit, hundredwit, and singlewit; or two fish and a frog 105[12] V.4
The singing ass V.5
The weaver gets two extra hands and a head 750A[12] V.6
The dreamy beggar; or building castles in the air 1430[12] V.1 II.1 V.7 IV.8
The ape with foresight V.8
The credulous ogre V.9
The three-breasted princess V.10
The Brahmin and the ogre V.11
The old pious lady Gautami II.3
(6 additional stories) 141-146
The deer, the crow, and the jackal I.3
The merchant's bride I.8
The cat who became superfluous II.4
The canny procuress II.5
War (frame) III.1
The swan and the crow III.5
The crow and the quail III.6
The faithful servant III.9
The hermit and the mouse IV.6
The two ogres IV.9


  1. ^ Olivelle 1997, p xii.
  2. ^ Olivelle 1997, p ix.
  3. ^ "Most scholars would concede at least the following: (1) the reconstructed text contains every story that was found in the original, and the original contained no stories other than those included in the reconstructed text ... (3) The narrative sequence of the original was the same as it is in the reconstructed version." (Olivelle 1997, pp xliv-xlv) Beyond these 2 points, the list is not concerned.
  4. ^ Penzer 1926, p 213.
  5. ^ "[C]ontrary as is the case with the Pañcatantra, we can hardly speak of different versions of the Hitopadeśa and ... the additions or omissions of certain stanzas as well as some of the textual differences between the various editions of the Hitopadeśa are of little importance." (Sternbach 1960, p 1)
  6. ^ In some textual traditions, including Durgasimha's, the name is Vasubhaga Bhatta.
  7. ^ Olivelle 1997, pp vii-viii, 160-61.
  8. ^ Chandrashekhara 2009.
  9. ^ Penzer 1926, pp xxxv-xliii & 214-215.
  10. ^ Olivelle 1997, pp vii-viii, 160-63.
  11. ^ Sternbach 1960, pp 27-29.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ashliman, D. L. "The Panchatantra". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  13. ^ Ashliman, D. L. "The Monkey's Heart". Retrieved 7 March 2016.


  • Olivelle, Patrick (translator) (1997), The Pañcatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-955575-8
  • Sternbach, Ludwik (1960), The Hitopadeśa and Its Sources, American Oriental Series, 44, New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society