Birbal (born Mahesh Das; 1553–1586), or Raja Birbal, was a Hindu advisor in the court of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Birbal was appointed by Akbar as a poet and singer in around 1556–1562. He was one of the navaratnas (nine jewels of Akbar).
Sidhi, Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh, India
|Died||1586 (aged 32–33)|
Swat valley, present-day Pakistan
|Occupation||Courtier and advisor in the Mughal court of Emperor Akbar|
He is mostly known in the Indian subcontinent for the folk tales which focus on his wit. In the local folk tales he is presented as a very clever person. These tales are popular in India. These tales involve him being smarter then or making fool of other courtiers and sometimes even Akbar, using only his intelligence and cunning. From the twentieth century onwards, plays, movies and books based on these folk tales were made. Some of these folk tales are in children's comics and school textbooks.
- Vicki K. Janik, Editor. (1 January 1998). Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 91–96. ISBN 978-0-313-29785-4. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Beatrice K. Otto (1 April 2001). Fools Are Everywhere: The Court Jester Around the World. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-64091-4. Retrieved 29 June 2013.