The Mudrarakshasa मुद्राराक्षस(IAST: Mudrārākṣasa, The Signet of the Minister) is a Sanskrit-language play by Vishakhadatta that narrates the ascent of the king Chandragupta Maurya (r c. 324 – c. 297 BCE) to power in India. The play is an example of creative writing, but not entirely fictional.[1] It is dated variously from the late 4th century[2] to the 8th century CE.[3]

Written byVishakhadatta
Original languageSanskrit
GenreIndian classical drama
SettingPataliputra, 3rd century BCE



There is a Tamil version based on the Sanskrit play[4] and Keshavlal Dhruv translated the original into Gujarati as Mel ni Mudrika (1889).

The later episodes of the TV series Chanakya were based mostly on the Mudrarakshasa.

Feature film

A film in Sanskrit was made in 2006 by Dr Manish Mokshagundam, using the same plot as the play but in a modern setting.[5]




  1. ^ Romila Thapar (2013). The Past Before Us. Harvard University Press. p. 403. ISBN 978-0-674-72652-9.
  2. ^ Manohar Laxman Varadpande (1 September 2005). History Of Indian Theatre. Abhinav Publications. pp. 223–. ISBN 978-81-7017-430-1. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  3. ^ Upinder Singh (1 September 2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  4. ^ Viśākhadatta; S. M. Natesa Sastri (1885), Mudrarakshasam: A tale in Tamil founded on the Sanskrit drama, Madras School Book and Vernacular Literature Society
  5. ^ Film promo