Alankaravati, Alaṅkāravatī: 2 definitions


Alankaravati means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Alankaravati in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

1) Alaṅkāravatī (अलङ्कारवती) is the name of the ninth book of the Kathāsaritsāgara, written by Somadeva in the 11th-century.

2) Alaṅkāravatī (अलङ्कारवती) is the daughter of Vidyādhara king Alaṅkāraśīla and Kāñcanaprabhā, according to in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 51. Accordingly as the Vidyādharī Kāñcanaprabhā said to Naravāhanadatta while in a Svayambhū temple of Śiva: “... then the Queen Kāñcanaprabhā, the consort of King Alaṅkāraśīla, became pregnant again, and gave birth to a daughter. Then a heavenly voice proclaimed: ‘This daughter shall be the wife of the Emperor Naravāhanadatta’. Then her father gave her the name of Alaṅkāravatī, and the girl gradually grew like a digit of the moon. And in course of time she attained mature youth, and learned the sciences from her own father, and through devotion to the god Śiva began to roam from temple to temple of his”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Alaṅkāravatī, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Alankaravati in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Alaṅkāravatī (अलङ्कारवती).—Wife of King Naravāhanadatta. It is seen in the Kathāsaritsāgara where a Vidyādhara woman tells the story of Alaṅkāravatī to the King.

Once a vidyādhara named Alaṅkāraśīla ruled over a city called Śrī Sundarapura in the Himālayas. His wife was called Kāñcanaprabhā. A son was born to them. They named him Dharmaśīla because Devī Kātyāyanī told them in a dream that the son would become Dharmapara (who performs duties well). To the prince, knowledge in every branch of studies was imparted and then he was anointed heir to the throne. He executed regal functions to perfection and ruled his subjects better than his father. Kāñcanaprabhā, wife of Alaṅkāraśīla, gave birth to a daughter. At the time of her birth a heavenly voice said that she would become the wife of Naravāhanadatta the emperor of the Vidyādharas. They named her Alaṅkāravatī. She grew into a very beautiful maiden. She learned arts and sciences from her father. She went on a pilgrimage to the Śiva temples far and wide. One day she heard a celestial voice: "Go to the Svayambhu temple in Kaśmīra and worship there and you will get as your husband Naravāhanadatta." Finally Naravāhanadatta the emperor of Vidyādharas married her. (Kathāsaritsāgara, Lambaka 9, Taraṅga 1).

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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