Kālidāsa was a Sanskrit poet and dramatist, his title Kavikulaguru (Preceptor of All Poets) bearing testimony to his stature. Known to be an ardent worshipper of Shiva, he wrote his plays and poetry largely based around Hindu mythology and philosophy. His name means, literally, "Kali's servant".

Not much is known about Kalidasa's personal life and background, but there are several myths and legends about it. He was from the Shree-Gaud Brahman community and from his works he comes across as a very educated scholar.

Three famous plays written by Kalidasa are Mālavikāgnimitram (Mālavikā and Agnimitra), Vikramorvaśīya (Pertaining to Vikrama and Urvashi) and Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The Recognition of Sakuntala). The last is the most famous, and was the first to be translated into English and German.

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