Shamal Bhatt

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Shamal Bhatt (Gujarati: શામળ ભટ્ટ) was a Gujarati narrative poet of the medieval Gujarati literature. He is known for his "padya-vaarta" (narrative poetry).[1]


The dates of his birth differs according to sources. He was born either in 1694 or in 1718. His father's name was Vireshwar and mother's name was Anandibai. Nana Bhatt was his teacher. He was born in Veganpur (Now Gomtipur in Ahmedabad). He had difficulty in earning due to competition of traditional story-teller Puranis and Bhavaiyas who performed Bhavai. Thus he drawn stories from his predecessors and reinterpreted them in popular form to captivate his audience. He later moved to Sinhuj (near Mahemdavad now) on request and help of Rakhidas, a land lord. He died either in 1769 or in 1765.[1][2][3]


Shamal has composed 26 works. His narrative poetry was based on many Sanskrit works of his predecessors and folk tales. He adapted them in narrative poetry and added his imagination. Some of those Sanskrit works are Simhasana Dvatrinshika, Vetalpanchvinshanti, Shukasaptati, Bhojaprabandha. His prominent works are Simhasana Battisi, Vetal Pachchisi, Suda Bahoteri. These all three works had format of tales within tales. They have many magical and imaginative things like transportation of souls, flying shoes and speaking animals. Vikram was the lead character in them. They also contained riddles and aphorisms. His other works include Nand-Batrisi, Shukadevakhyan, Rakhidas Charitra, Vanechar ni Varta, Panch-danda, Bhadra-Bhamini, Rewa-Khand, Chandra-Chandraawati, Madan-Mohana, Padmavati, Baras Kasturi. Chhappas (six stanza epigrams) are incorporated in these tales which describes wisdom and wit.[1][3][4]

Angada-vishti, Ravana-Mandodari Samvad, Draupadi-Vastraharan, Shivpuran are akhyanas based on Hindu mythology and epics. Other works are Patai Raval no Garbo, Ranchhodji na Shloko, Bodana-akhyan, Udyam-Karma-Samvad.[1][3][4]

One of his poems inspired Mahatma Gandhi the philosophy of satyagraha, the resistance to authority through mass civil disobedience.[2][5][6]


  1. ^ a b c d Mohan Lal (1992). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: sasay to zorgot. Sahitya Akademi. p. 3967. ISBN 978-81-260-1221-3. 
  2. ^ a b Jan Peter Schouten (2008). Jesus as Guru: The Image of Christ Among Hindus and Christians in India. Rodopi. p. 134. ISBN 90-420-2443-7. 
  3. ^ a b c "પહેલો ગુજરાતી વાર્તાકાર શામળ ગોમતીપુરનો રહેવાસી હતો (English: The first Gujarati story teller Samal was from Gomtipur)". Navgujarat Samay (in Gujarati). 2 March 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Umedbhai M. Maniar (1969). The Influence of English on Gujarati Poetry. Faculty of Arts, M. S. University of Baroda. pp. 26–27. 
  5. ^ Ghose, Sankar (January 1991). Mahatma Gandhi. 
  6. ^ Rajmohan Gandhi (9 October 2007). Mohandas: True Story of a Man, His People. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-81-8475-317-2. 

External links[edit]

Nandabatrisi by Shamal Bhatt on Gujlit