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Which of the following books is not written by Harshavardhana?

Last updated date: 23rd Apr 2024
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Hint: Harshavardhana was an emperor of the Vardhana dynasty who ruled from Kannauj. At its height, his empire covered large swathes of territory in north and north westren India. Harsha who was recognised for his military powers, is also famous for his literary powers and is known to have composed three different Sanskrit plays.

Complete Step by Step answer: Harsha, or Harshavardhana, son of Prabhakara Vardhana was an Indian Emperor of the Vardhana Dynasty, He made Kannauj his capital and the end of his reign is marked as the end of Ancient period of Indian History. He was successful in creating a strong and vast empire in the north but was defeated by Pulakesin II of the Chalukya Dynasty when he tried to expand his power in the south. His biography. Harshacharita (Deeds of Harsha) was composed by the Sanskrit poet Banabhata, who was the Asthana Kavi or Court Poet during Harsha's reign. According to historical sources Harsha himself took much interest in writing and composed three different Sanskrit plays namely Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadarshika.
OPTION A- Harshacharita is the correct answer since this was a biographical work composed by Harsha court poet Bna, and not Harsha himself. The book talks about the King and his greatness, the construction projects undertaken by him, his relations with the Kingdom of Thanesar etc.
OPTION B - Nagananda, written in Sanskrit is one of the most acclaimed stories of ancient India. In a sequence of five acts, it tells the story of a person named Jimutavahana and his selfless sacrifice to protect the Nagas. This composition is attributed to Harsha.
OPTION C - Ratnavali is a Natika or a play divided into four acts. It tells the story of a beautiful princess Ratnavli and a King named Udayana. It is written by Emperor Harsha.
OPTION D - Priyadarshika is a gripping Sanskrit drama revolving around Kings, wars and love. It is written by Harsha and is centred around the life of princess Aranyaka.

Hence, The correct answer is Option A.

Note: Harshavardhana was also a writer, having composed three sanskrit plays, namely Ratnavali, Mahananda and Priyadarshika. He had also commissioned the writing of his biography, which was written by the court poet Banabhata and was titled Harshacharita. Don't confuse between his biography and plays written by him.