(Last Updated on : 21-05-2011)
Vasavadatta is an example of a literary work that belonged to the period of Classical Sanskrit literature. Vasavadatta is the heroine of this story. King Chintamani has a son called Kandarpaketu. He dreamt of a supposed a girl who is more beautiful than him. He with his friend Makaranda ventures out forth to seek the unknown. In the Vindhya Mountains he overhears the curtain-lecture of a resentful Maina bird speaking to her husband. He defends himself for late hours by telling the dream of daughter of the monarch Shringarashekhara of Kusumapura, Vasavadatta.
The bird reveals that the princess in her dreams had a vision of a charming prince who had infatuated her. The princess described the young man to her companion Tamalika and wanted to meet him in real life. The bird overheard this conversation and resolved to locate the young man and bring him to the princess.
The bird leads Kandarpaketu to Tamalika who arranges for his meeting with Vasavadatta. They meet. Kandarpaketu learns that Vasavadatta's father, king Shringarshekhara has planned that his daughter would marry Pushpaketu, son of Vijayaketu, chief of the Vidyadharas. Kandarpaketu and Vasavadatta escape to the Vindhya mountains.
They fall asleep after reaching there. When Kandarpaketu wakes up, he finds his maiden missing. He searches but in vain. He then hears of a voice from the sky rings that promises him that he will be re-united with Vasavadatta. Kandarpaketu wanders for several months. Ultimately he chances upon a stone image of Vasavadatta. He touches it and the stone turns into a living and breathing Vasavadatta.
Vasavadatta narrates to him the series of events that occurred in her life. She awoke hungry and went in search of food. She was caught between two groups of soldiers. The chieftain of each group fell in love with her at first sight and wished to possess her. She however managed to escape. While wandering through the forest she accidentally encroached into the hermitage of an ascetic thereby disturbing his penance. The hermit curses her that her beauty be turned to stone and she would return to life only when she would be receiving the touch of a man who is destined to be her husband.
Her father, King Sringarasekhara, recognizes this and marries her off to Kandarpaketu. The couple proceeds to kusumapara and live happily thereafter. The two main critical works of Vasavadatta are The Kanchanadarpana of Sivarama Tripathin (18th century) and the Tattvadipini of Jagaddhara.