Who wrote Harshavardhana's Biography?

By Devyani Singh|Updated : July 8th, 2022

Harshvardhana’s Biography was written by a 7th-century Sanskrit scholar and writer called Banabhatta, also called Bana. The biography is called Harshacharita. Banabhatta was Harshavardhana’s ‘Asthana Kav’, which translates to ‘Court Poet’. The work of Harshacharita was Bana’s first composition. It is also considered to be the inception of historical poetic works being written in the Sanskrit language.

Who wrote the Biography of Harshavardhana?

Harshvardhana’s biography is called the Harshacharita which was composed by Banabhatta, also called Bana, who served as the Asthana Kavi in Harshavardhan’s court. 

The Harshacharita marked the dawn of historical biographies in Sanskrit Literature. Written in a fanciful, ornate and florid style, Banabhatta details India's environment, society and industry in greatly stylised descriptions. It truly emanates the life and style of that time; its prosperity, skill and success. 

The work was produced under the patronage of emperor Harsha of the Vardhana dynasty and hence, cannot be treated as a political work that is free of bias or favouritism. It presents the emperor's decisions and actions in an extremely favourable manner. The Harshacharita has been written using an ornate style of poetic prose that narrates the life of the emperor and has been divided into eight ucchvasas (chapters). Bana starts off with an account of Harsha’s ancestry and his early life. 

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FAQs about Who wrote Harshavardhana's Biography?

  • The book of Harshacharita has been written by Banabhatta.

  • Harshacharita is considered to be the inception point of historical biographies in the language of Sanskrit. It explains in vivid detail the life and society of India under the rule of emperor Harsha of the Vardhana dynasty. 

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