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The Mālavikāgnimitram (Sanskrit, meaning Mālavikā and Agnimitra) is a Sanskrit play by Kālidāsa. It is his first play.(Kalidasa's malavikagnimitram is based on some events of the reign of Pushyamitra Shunga.)

The play tells the story of the love of Agnimitra, the Shunga Emperor at Vidisha,[1] for the beautiful lun-maiden of his chief queen. He falls in love with the picture of an exiled servant girl named Mālavikā. He must resort to the help of his jester and play a game of subterfuge merely to look at the new girl. When the queen discovers her husband's passion for this girl, she becomes infuriated and has Mālavikā imprisoned, but as fate would have it, in the end she is discovered to be of royal birth and is accepted as one of his queens.

The play contains an account of the Rajasuya sacrifice performed by Pushyamitra Shunga and an elaborate exposition of a theory on music and acting.


Similarities with the story of Abraham and HagarEdit

It has been observed by some researchers that the storyline in Mālavikāgnimitram shows some similarities with the story of Abraham and Hagar in the Book of Genesis.[2]

Further readingEdit

  • Kalidasa (1891). The Malavikágnimitra: A Sanskrit play by Kalidasa. Charles Henry Tawney (trans.). Thacker, Spink and Company, Calcutta.
  • Kalidasa (2009). Málavika and Agni mitra. Translated by Dániel Balogh & Eszter Somogyi. New York University Press and JJC Foundation.


  1. ^ Kalidas, Encyclopedia Americana
  2. ^ E. W. Marasinghe (1 June 1989). The Sanskrit theatre and stagecraft. Sri Satguru Publications. pp. 287–288.

See alsoEdit