Rajashekhara (Sanskrit poet)

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Native name
OccupationPoet, dramatist and critic

Rajashekhara (IAST: Rājaśekhara; fl. 10th century[1]) was an eminent Sanskrit poet, dramatist and critic. He was the court poet of the Gurjara Pratiharas.[2]

Rajashekhara wrote the Kavyamimamsa between 880 and 920 CE. The work is essentially a practical guide for poets that explains the elements and composition of a good poem.[3] He is most noted for the Karpuramanjari, a play written in Sauraseni Prakrit. Rajashekhara wrote the play to please his wife, Avantisundari, a woman of taste and accomplishment. Rajashekhara is perhaps the only ancient Indian poet to acknowledge a woman for her contributions to his literary career.[1]


In his Bālarāmāyaṇa and Kāvyamimāṃsa, Rajashekhara referred himself by his family name Yāyāvara or Yāyāvarīya. In Bālarāmāyaṇa, he mentioned that his great grandfather Akalajalada belonged to Maharashtra. In the same work, he described his father Durduka as a Mahamantrin (minister) without providing any details. He mentioned in his works that his wife Avantisundari belonged to the Chahamana (Chauhan) family. In his works, he described himself as the teacher of the Gurjara-Pratihara king Mahendrapala I.[4]


The works attributed to poet Rajshekhara include:

  • Viddhaśālabhañjikā
  • Bālabhārata[5]
  • Karpūramañjarī
  • Bālarāmāyaṇa
  • Kavyamimamsa


  1. ^ a b Sisir Kumar Das, Sahitya Akademi (2006). A history of Indian literature, 500-1399: from courtly to the popular. Sahitya Akademi. p. 60. ISBN 9788126021710.
  2. ^ Chandra, Satish (1978). Medieval India: a textbook for classes XI-XII, Part 1. National Council of Educational Research and Training (India). p. 10.
  3. ^ "Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara". Retrieved 2007-01-21.
  4. ^ Warder, A. K. (1988). Indian Kāvya Literature. Vol. V. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 413–414. ISBN 81-208-0450-3.
  5. ^ Rama Shankar Tripathi (1989). History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 224. ISBN 978-81-208-0404-3. ISBN 812080404X, ISBN 978-81-208-0404-3.