- Who was Birbal?
- Why did Akbar like Birbal?
- How did Birbal die?
Birbal whose real name was Maheshdas Bhat was the grand Vizier of the Mughal court during the rule of Emperor Akbar. He was originally a poet and author whose wisdom inspired Emperor Akbar to bestow on him the new name Birbal which originates from ‘Bir’ which means brain and ‘bar which means strong. He was part of Akbar’s inner council of nine advisors, known as ‘navratna’ meaning nine jewels.
Besides being the military and administrative head in Emperor Akbar’s court, Birbal was also a very close friend of Emperor Akbar. Emperor Akbar enjoyed Birbal’s company because of his ready wit, his inborn wisdom and his subtle humour. They frequently shared witty and humorous exchanges and it is these exchanges that are now famous as the ‘The tales of Akbar and Birbal’.
Many courtiers were jealous of Akbar’s closeness to Birbal. They often plotted against him but he managed to outsmart them every time. However, legend has it that Birbal lost his life due to treachery. When Birbal died, Emperor Akbar mourned him for several months.