Kālidāsa (Devanāgarī: कालिदास "servant of Kali") was a renowned Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language.

Nothing apart from his works is known with certainty about the life of Kālidāsa, such as where he lived or the dates of his birth and death. According to legend, he was known for his beauty, which brought him to the attention of Princess Vidyottama and she married him. However, as legend has it, Kālidāsa had grown up without much education, and the princess was ashamed of his ignorance and coarseness. A devoted worshipper of Kali (by other accounts of Saraswati), Kālidāsa is said to have called upon his goddess for help when he was going to commit suicide in a well after he was humiliated by his wife, and was rewarded with a sudden and extraordinary gift of wit. He is then said to have become the most brilliant of the "nine gems" at the court of the king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Legend also has it that he was murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lanka during the reign of Kumaradasa.

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