Birbal, the famous historical character, was born as Mahesh Das, in 1528, in a very poor Brahman family, in a place called Trivikrampur, situated on the banks of river Yamuna. He was a prime member of the group of nine members, known as the ‘Nava Ratnas’, the inner council of advisors, for the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Birbal was mostly entitled to the administrative and military duties but was very close to Akbar who loved his wisdom, sense of humour and subtle wit. Birbal was moreover a poet and an author. Equally loved by children and the adults, generations have grown up listening to the folklores of Birbal and Akbar.
Akbar was illiterate himself but he had respect for the talented, and thus, he used to invite in experts from various fields. There are many stories that are based on the conversations and the exchanges between Birbal and Akbar, both inside and outside the court which have been published in volumes. It is said that the other courtiers at Akbar’s court were jealous of Birbal and they continuously plotted for his downfall, without success. Even these incidents are recorded in the books.
Birbal wrote under the pen name ‘Brahm’. The collection of his writings can be found in the Bharatpur Museum, Rajasthan.
It is believed that Birbal died during an expedition to Afghanistan, heading a large military troupe. It’s said that Akbar mourned his death for several months.