5 Akbar and Birbal Short Stories in English

by Mar 6, 2024


The Akbar-Birbal Stories hold a good place in the hearts of readers of India due to their enduring popularity. I also read a lot in my childhood. That is the sole reason I think you will also like this series.

Stories have Birbal and Badshah Akbar as the primary characters. Birbal was a minister and held a respected position in Navratna (Nine Gems) court of Akbar. Apart from that, he was the closest and most trusted friend of Akbar.

1. Three Questions

Birbal was a well-known figure throughout the state of Akbar. This caused great jealousy among the other court ministers.

He has been dreaming of becoming a personal consultant of Akbar for a long time. But this was not possible due to Birbal. He was a trusted personal advisor and served Akbar for a long time.

One day in the court, on some good thoughts again, Akbar praised the intellect of Birbal. The jealous ministers were all greatly upset.

Virat, a minister, whispered to his colleague, “Now I can’t bear it anymore.” next to him. Then, the colleague stood up. He requested permission from the king to speak.

Minister Virat said, “Sorry for being presumptuous, sir, but I have a little doubt about the ability of Birbal. If he has all the answers, I would like to give him a small test. I hope Birbalji will respond to the questions I ask.” Will have no objection.”

King Akbar asked Birbal, “Birbal, are you ready to clear the doubts of the great minister Viratji?”

“Yes King! I am ready,” Birbal exclaimed.

Minister Virat said, “Birbal sir, I will ask you only three questions in total in this competition. Now that the competition has been organized, I think there should be some prize also. So, may I give you some advice regarding what the prize should be.”

On this Akbar said, “Of course, Virat sir, you tell.”

Then Virat said, “The person who wins this competition will be declared by Bahshah as his new personal advisor tomorrow.”

Akbar said, “Because, at present, my personal advisor is Birbal. I would like to ask him first, whether you accept the condition of Viratji.”

Birbal said to the emperor, “Sir, I accept the condition of Sir Viratji.”

The minister said, “My first question is, how many stars are there in the sky altogether?”

Birbal asked one of his guards to bring a sheep to the court. After some time the sheep was presented in the court.

Birbal and Virat both Ministers in Court of Akbar

Birbal said, “Whatever number of hairs on this sheep is exactly the same as the number of stars in the sky. If you wish, my dear friend the minister, you can count the hairs on the sheep.”

Reply by Birbal made all the courtiers laugh out loud.

The minister then asked his second question, “Where is the center point of the Earth exactly located?”

Birbal silently picked up a stick and drew two lines on the ground intersecting each other. Then, he took a stick, and pointed it towards the point of intersection of the two lines saying, “This is the center of the Earth, Minister.” If the Minister wishes, he can measure it himself.”

Virat looked at Birbal and smiled and moved towards his next question.

The minister said, “Okay, answer my third question. “There were how many women and men are there on our earth?”

Birbal took his time before answering and said, “It is a little difficult right now to count the exact number. If all fools like you are removed from the earth, we will have an exact number.”

In this way, Birbal solved all the questions given by the minister. Emperor Akbar praised Birbal a lot and continued keeping him as his personal advisor.

Conclusion of the story:

Never make the mistake of underestimating your competitor. Doing it means you are either overconfident or you have no idea of the strength of your competitors.

2. Departure of Birbal to Heaven

Emperor Akbar liked Birbal very much because of his clever and witty personality. Due to which there was resentment among some people in the kingdom of Akbar. Due to jealousy of Birbal, they all wanted to get rid of him. But all his plans till now had failed.

Therefore, now those ministers planned to completely destroy Birbal by taking a fake monk with them. One of the ministers was Ustad Ali Khan. He said in the court, “May the Emperor’s Iqbal be exalted.”

“Sir, do you know that a miraculous Sufi Baba has come to our state? He can take anyone to heaven and bring him back.”

Because, envious ministers knew that the emperor himself could not leave the charge of the state and go anywhere. And even if he will be ready to go, as the court ministers, we would ask him to send someone else on his behalf. It was going to be someone else, Birbal, all the planners knew this very well.

Emperor Akbar said with a curious expression, “But how is this possible? God grants heaven to any person only after his death.”

Ustad Ali says in his reply, “Sir, people say that they have God-given achievements, due to which they send a person to heaven and also bring him back.”

The king felt that his grandfather and great-grandfather should meet in heaven and inquire about his condition.

Thinking this, the king called his personal advisor Birbal present in the court. And the court proceedings were dismissed.

The king said to Birbal, “Birbal, although I should go for this work, but because I have the responsibility of the kingdom, I am choosing you for this work because you are my most trusted person. Will you go on my behalf? After traveling to heaven, will you inquire about the condition of my father, father Humayun and great-grandfather Babar and check whether they are suffering from any kind of problem?”

Birbal thought for a while and said, “Yes Jahanpanah, but I have a small condition.”

The king immediately asked, “What is your condition? Do you want some gifts, land, diamonds and jewels, or an increase in salary?”

Birbal said, “No sir, I have everything by your grace. I just want to meet all my relatives and tell them about my journey to heaven. For which I need 15 days, after which I am ready to go to heaven.” “

The king said, “Of course, if you need anything else, please let me know.”

Birbal nodded and said, “Yes of course!”

After talking to Birbal, Akbar left from there.

Finally, that day came, Ustad Ali Khan also called the Baba made by him as per the plan. As told by all the ministers, the impostor Baba dug a pit at the designated place.

Birbal was made to lie down in it and that fake Sufi Baba started the false mantra ritual. After which they buried Birbal by pouring soil over him.

Birbal Passing Through Underground Subway Towards his House

Birbal had asked for 15 days time, only to prepare for going to heaven. During that time, he called five workmen and built a big tunnel from where the Ascension ceremony was going to take place to his house.

Birbal very cleverly dug this tunnel from beneath the pit where it was dug. It took about 13 days to build this tunnel. Birbal himself had traveled the route from that tunnel to the house. So, after they buried him with earth, he went through the tunnel to the house in a short time.

Apart from this, Birbal kept ration and food items worth six months at home. Birbal remained in the room of the house for six months from the day of this ceremony of sending him to heaven by the impostor Sufi Baba.

Six months later, when he returned to the court, Akbar asked him, “Are all my ancestors prosperous?”

Then Birbal said smilingly, “Your father was happy to see me. Everything else is fine, Maharaj, but he has no one to perform the religious rituals.”

“We had a good time. I served them well, they were very pleased and asked me to return to you.”

“He said, who can do better religious work than the Sufi Baba who sent you to heaven? That is why Turang should send him to heaven.”

Then Birbal told his entire plan along with the truth about the courtier and the impostor Baba. Then Akbar rewarded Birbal with gifts and promotion. Jailed some of his court ministers and pretended Sufi Baba for his devious plan to get rid of Birbal.

A jealous person neither knows how to move forward nor does he allow others to move forward. Therefore, stay alert and away from such persons as much as possible.

Conclusion of the story:

One should not trust anyone immediately without using your mind, without thorough investigation and research.

3. Birbal and the Dairy Merchant

Long ago, in the kingdom of Emperor Akbar, there lived two dairy traders. Both of them were good friends and neighbors.

One fateful day, a dairy trader found himself in desperate need of money. He went to his friend and asked him, “Can he lend 100 gold coins?” “I promise to return it in a week, he said to his friend.”

Dairy Merchant Giving Bag of Coins to Another Dairy Merchant

A week passed and then another. But the dairy businessman who borrowed the money did not keep his promise.

When the friend asked, he said, “What money did you say? I have never borrowed any money from you!” His friend, another dairy trader, became very upset and went to the court of Akbar to get justice.”

Akbar and Birbal heard from the dairy merchant who had borrowed money from his friend.

After the hearing of the case, both the dairy traders were also called to the court. Birbal gave five boxes of butter to both the dairy traders.

Birbal said, “All the cans weigh 100 grams each. Now go and taste the quality of the butter each week and report to me in a week.”

Birbal did not say anything about the gold coins which he had kept in the two boxes!

The dairy traders returned to their homes. During a butter quality check, another dairy farmer found a gold coin. He approached Birbal and gave back to him. Birbal was pleased and whispered something in his ear. Whereas, instead of hiding it, the first businessman gave it to his son.

After a week, both businessmen came back to court with five cartons given for testing. Birbal asked his men to reweigh the boxes. He knew that two boxes would weigh less than 100 grams. While one of the dairy traders returned the gold coin, the other did not.

“Two boxes are less than 100 grams. Why?” He asked the traders.

The second dairy merchant told him that the dairy merchant had returned the gold coin to Birbal. Due to which the weight of one of my boxes is less than 100 grams.

First, the dairy merchant knew that he had given the coin to his son instead of returning it to Birbal. But he claimed that there was no coin in his box.

But Birbal knew that he was lying.

Then Birbal said to the first merchant, “Sir, I myself put coins in both of your boxes with my own hands.”

Then Birbal first sent soldiers along with the son of a merchant to bring the gold coin to the court.

The soldiers returned to the court with the gold coin. Dairy businessman caught!

“You cheated me for one gold coin, how can you be honest about a hundred gold coins?”, Birbal asked angrily.

Then the first businessman, feeling embarrassed, admits his mistake.

Birbal punished the 1st dairy merchant and asked him to pay double the money he had lent to the 2nd dairy merchant and his friend. The dairy merchant gave 200 gold coins to his friend to cheat him. In this way Birbal did justice and closed this matter.

Conclusion of the story:

Never do such a thing due to which you have to feel embarrassed in front of everyone.

4. Birbal and the Blind Men

One day, the Emperor of the wife Akbar said to the king, “Jahapnah! I have a wish to gift a silver coin to all the blind people of the kingdom.”

The Emperor quickly ordered, “Make a list of all the blind men in our Empire and bring it to me.”

A week later, the list was presented to Akbar. For further checking and distribution of silver coins, Akbar gave the list to Birbal.

Birbal once saw the complete list. He went over the names and said, “My glory, I think the list is incomplete. As total blind people are far more than those mentioned in this list.”

“Are you sure, Birbal? I challenge you to prove that the list is incomplete.”

Birbal easily accepted the challenge of Akbar.

The next day, Birbal pitched a tent at the busy main market square. He sat there with an old cot and started repairing it. Soon people asked Birbal, “Sir, what are you doing here?”

Birbal Weaving the Cot at Marketplace

Despite Birbal being an intelligent man and a minister, everyone was surprised to see him weaving cots in the market. In a while, this news spread across the entire state. When the king got the news, he immediately called Birbal to the court.

On reaching the court, Emperor Akbar said, “Birbal, what were you doing there in the market?”

Throughout the day, Birbal was writing down the names of all the people who had asked him such a question. So, when the emperor himself also asked the same question. Then, Birbal also added his name to his list.

After that, he got up and showed Akbar the list of blind people which he had made that day. This was much larger than the list made by Akbar.

When Akbar checked, he also found his name on it and found it at the last place. Confused, he asked Birbal the reason.

Birbal silently replied, “Jahapnah! Today, you are the last one who asked me what I was doing on the roadside. I was weaving a cot. Everyone could see, yet they all asked.”

Birbal had won the challenge given by Akbar.

Accepting the victory of Birbal, the king said, “You are right, Birbal! I have to admit, the number of blind people in the kingdom is indeed high! You were right!”

Conclusion of the Story:

Sometimes we cannot see the truth even when it is right in front of us. Hence, it is important to always keep our eyes and ears open.

5. Which goes by a Drop, it doesn’t come by the Cistern

The boundaries of the empire of Emperor Akbar were spread far and wide. It was the day of the birthday of the emperor that year. The entire Rajmahal was decorated with flowers, all the streets of the capital Delhi were decorated, while sweets were distributed among the poor.

The Emperor himself used to visit the courtiers with perfume. A unique incident happened this time: while applying perfume to the king of a small kingdom, a drop of perfume from the emperor fell on the carpet.

Badshah immediately tried to capture that drop of perfume. But he got lost in the carpet without getting anything in his hand.

Birbal, who was sitting on a nearby seat, was the first to struggle for a single drop of perfume from such a great emperor.

The Emperor also immediately understood the thoughts of Birbal which made his face fall, and he felt ashamed of his behavior. He decided in his mind that tomorrow he will do something that will make Birbal forget about today forever.

People Getting Perfume from Royal Tank of Perfume

The very next day, Akbar opened a cistern full of perfume outside the palace for all to see. He proclaimed that all public places, outside the palace of the emperor, were open to all and anyone could carry as much perfume as they wanted.

Birbal, who left for the court, soon reached the palace to see what was going on in the royal palace after hearing Dawandi.

As soon as he reached there, Birbal first noticed that many people were praising the emperor by carrying perfumes in vessels outside the palace.

Badshah comes out as soon as he comes to know that Birbal has come to Rajwar. Calling Birbal near, they say to him, “How are you Birbal? How are you feeling, Are you enjoying or not?”

Birbal replied in one line, “Badshah, which goes by a drop, it does not come by the cistern!”

Hearing his reply, the emperor was completely softened and left for the court in a state of shame.

Conclusion of the Story:

Honor lost by a single drop cannot be returned even by a tank of perfume.


I hope that Akbar and Birbal Short Stories in English resonate with your preferences. If you want to have a new series on Akbar-Birbal Stories, then please share this article on any one of the social channels. We aimed only 50 shares, once it hit 50 we will come with new series.

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