Tenali Ramakrishna fondly remembered as Tenali Raman was a 16th-century court poet at the Vijayanagara Empire in India. He hailed from a town called Tenali. He is remembered even today for his extraordinary wit, brilliance, and wisdom. And the funny incidents that took place in his time were later known as Tenali Raman Stories.
We have compiled a list of Best and Funniest Tenali Raman Stories to read online right now.
1. Honest Opinion
A poet visited Tenali Raman hoping to impress him with some poems he had written.
Raman asked him to leave the poems with him and promised to read them later.
The man, however, insisted on reading out the poems to him.
As the poet droned on Raman fell asleep.
When he woke up, the poet asked: “Sir, shall I read the poems again?”
“Why? I’ve already given you my opinion, haven’t I?”
“No, Sir,” said the man. “You fell asleep.”
“That’s right,” replied Raman. “When I fell asleep I gave my opinion.”
2. Mooli and Recipe
“I’ve never eaten anything tastier in my life!” declared Raman, who had just returned from his friend’s house.
“What did you eat?” asked his wife.
“Mooli (radish) halwa,” Raman said, smacking his lips.
“Mooli! Whoever has heard of halwa being made from mooli! It must have been something else,” said his wife disbelievingly.
She just could not understand how anyone could make halwa out of Mooli. Nevertheless, her curiosity was aroused and the next day she asked him to get her the recipe from his friend and some Moolis from the market.
“Where are the moolis?” she asked when he returned.
“You see,” he explained, “while I was returning from the market, a goat snatched the moolis away.”
Annoyed at his carelessness, she said: “Have you brought the recipe?”
“Well, I thought,” said Raman with a shrug, “The recipe is of no use without moolis, so I let the starving animal eat that too.”
3. Peaches for Raman
The Emperor of China had sent some peaches to the king of Tondmandalam with a note stating that the fruit gave a long life to anyone who ate them.
As the fruits were being shown to the ruler, Raman, giving in to temptation, picked up one of the luscious peaches and bit into it.
The king was enraged. “You’ve bitten into a fruit meant for me!” he thundered. “For this, you must die!”
As Raman was being taken away by the royal guards he sighed dramatically and exclaimed,
“What a deceitful man the Emperor of China is. He says the fruit gives a long life. I took just one bite and I’m about to die. O, what fate awaits the one who eats an entire fruit!”
The king was greatly amused by Raman’s wit. He not only pardoned him but also gave him a dozen of the peaches he had risked his life for.
4. Raman Climbs Out of Trouble
Tenali Raman once incurred the displeasure of the king, and the monarch ordered him to quit his dominions.
Some days later as the king was riding through a forest, he saw a man, who on seeing the king, promptly climbed up a tree.
The king stopped under the tree and looking up saw that it was Tenali Raman.
“You are still here!” he thundered. “Did l not tell you to leave my kingdom?”
“You did, Your Majesty,” said Raman.
“Accordingly, I traveled all over the world, but wherever I went l learned that l was still in your dominions. Now the only thing left for me to do is to go to Heaven, and as you can see l have already made a start in that direction.”
The king laughed and forgave the jester.
5. Raman’s List of Fools
One day a horse trader, a foreigner, came to the court of Krishnadeva Raya and told him he had some fine horses for sale.
The emperor offered to buy them.
The man took an advance of 5000 gold coins and promising to return with the horses in two days, went away.
That evening Krishnadeva Raya saw Raman writing on a sheet of paper.
“What are you writing?” he asked.
“I’m making a list of the greatest fools in the empire,” said Raman.
The emperor was astonished to see his own name on the top of the list.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. “You think I am a fool!”
“Any man, who would give 5000 gold coins to a stranger and expect him to return, is a fool!” replied Raman.
“Oh, so that’s what is troubling you,” said the emperor. “You think the man won’t return. What if he does?”
“In that case,” said Raman with a twinkle in his eye, “I’ll scratch out your name and put his there.”
6. Raman Provides Justice
Two men stood before Maryada Raman, the law-giver. One was a farmer and the other was a village elder.
The farmer said he had given the other man a diamond for safe-keeping and that he was now refusing to give it back.
“Well, is that true?” Maryada Raman asked the old man.
The man paused a while, deep in thought. Then, he handed his walking stick to his accuser. After another pause, he raised his eyes up to the heavens and said, “As God is my witness, I swear, I have given the diamondback to this man.”
He then was at the point of taking back his stick, but Maryada Raman said, “Stop! The stick shall be awarded to the farmer.”
“Take it away,” he said to the farmer, “and break it when you are safely home.”
The man was a little disappointed. To be awarded a stick in place of his diamond!
But he followed Raman’s instructions. When he reached home he broke the stick – and out tumbled the diamond!
7. The Boy Wonder
When Raman was a boy, his neighbor once took him to the house of a rich and powerful landlord.
“He’s a prodigy,” the neighbor told the landlord.
“I’ve never seen a more intelligent boy. He has an answer for everything!”
The landlord was a proud and haughty man who thought himself the only intelligent person in the country. He was not at all pleased to hear his visitor praise Raman.
“He doesn’t look very intelligent,” he said, glancing at Raman. “In any case the more intelligent a boy is, the duller he becomes as a man!”
“Is that true?” asked Raman, with an air of innocence.
“Then, sir, as a boy you must have been even more intelligent than I am!”
8. The Dutiful Son
The King’s mother died before she could eat the mango she had asked for.
And some wily courtiers convinced the king that his mother’s soul would not rest in peace until a golden mango was given to each one of them.
Accordingly a long line of courtiers formed outside the palace.
Raman met them at the gate and told them that each man would get as many golden mangoes as burns he agreed to receive on his body with red hot irons.
The courtiers gritted their teeth and suffered three or four burns each but when they went in, each man got only one golden mango.
The courtiers were very angry and complained to the king. The king sent for Raman and asked for an explanation.
Raman said, “Your Majesty, your mother died before she could eat the mango and mine died before she could be cauterized and I wished to fulfill her last wish.”
The king realized that Raman was trying to show up the greedy courtiers and laughed and sent them away.
9. The Fool of the Year
Fool of the Year contest was open to all the courtiers of King Krishnadeva Raya.
All the people looked forward to the event as the winner stood to gain a handsome prize of 5000 gold coins.
The trouble was, Raman always won the contest.
One year the other courtiers decided that he must be kept out of it and bribed his servant to lock him in his room to prevent him from reaching the palace in time for the event.
Consequently, Raman reached the palace after the contest was over and just as the name of the winner was about to be announced.
Seeing Raman come in, the king asked him why he was so late.
Raman told him he was in need of a hundred gold coins and had been engaged in trying to raise the amount.
“If you had participated in the contest you might have won the prize money and your problem would have been solved,” said the king. “You’ve behaved very foolishly.”
“I am a fool,” said Raman.
“You’re the greatest fool I’ve ever seen!” said the king.
“That means I have won the contest!” said Raman. The king realized that he had made a slip but he was too proud to acknowledge it and to the chagrin of the other courtiers declared Raman the winner of Fool of the Year contest!
10. The Irreverent Devotee
Tenali Raman prayed fervently to Goddess Kali.
And one day the goddess sporting a thousand faces appeared before him.
Rama was awed and was about to prostrate himself when a silly thought entered his head.
He looked at the goddess again and burst out laughing.
“Why are you laughing?” asked the goddess.
“Mother,” replied Rama. “I have only one nose yet when I have a cold I suffer so much. I was wondering what would happen in case you caught a cold.”
The goddess, pleased with his audacity and sense of humor, held out two crucibles of nectar to him.
“One is the nectar of wealth, the other is the nectar of wisdom,” explained the goddess.
“Dip your finger in the crucible of your choice.”
Rama immediately dipped his fingers in both crucibles.
The goddess hastily blessed him and disappeared.
11. The Key to Heaven
The villagers were delighted. A sage who performed miracles had come to their village.
Every morning and evening they would gather at the temple with specially prepared delicacies as offerings to the sage.
When Tenali Raman heard of this, he smelt a rat. He went to the temple and sat near the holy man.
The sage began reciting shlokas. To Raman’s surprise, he went on repeating the same shloka over and over again.
Raman realized that he was a fraud. Suddenly, he leaned forward and plucked a strand of hair from the sage’s beard.
“I have the key to Heaven!” he shouted triumphantly.
The villagers looked startled.
“This sage is so great that if I keep the hair from his beard with me, I will be blessed forever!” said Raman.
Immediately there was a scramble as the villagers rushed to get hold of a hair from the sage’s beard.
The frightened sage ran for his life and was never heard of again.
12. Tricksters Humbled
Four travelers once asked an old woman to keep a little bundle for them and told her to give it back only when all four were present.
One of them, however, returned alone and tricked her into giving him the bundle.
Later the other three came to collect the bundle.
She explained she had given it to the man who had come earlier.
They were very angry and took her to court. Maryada Raman, the judge listened to their complaint.
“So, you see, Sir, she has to pay us compensation now!” the three cried.
“But she will give you the bundle itself,” said Maryada Raman, and pausing a little, he added, “provided all four of you are present.”
There was laughter in the court and the three men realized that they had lost the case.
13. Around The Campfire
Once while traveling, Raman found himself in the company of a group of soldiers.
They were all veterans of war and soon they got to talking about their experiences on the battlefield.
One old soldier told of the time he had single-handedly slain seven enemy soldiers.
Another gave a detailed description of the manner in which he had held an entire enemy battalion at bay.
When they had finished they looked condescendingly at Raman.
“I don’t suppose you have any adventure worth telling,” said one of the grizzled warriors.
“Oh, but I have,” said Rama
“You have?!” said the soldiers.
“Yes,” said Rama. “Once while traveling I chanced upon a large tent. I entered and there, lying on a mat was the largest man I had ever seen. I recognized him at once as a dreaded dacoit who had been terrorizing that part of the country for years!”
“What did you do?” asked the soldiers, their interest now fully aroused.
“I cut off his toe and ran for dear life,” said Rama.
“His toe?” said a soldier. “Why toe? You should have cut off his head while you had the chance!”
“Somebody had already done that,” said Rama, grinning.
Also, Read these funniest Tenali Raman Stories from below,
The above Tenali Raman stories, teach us the importance of living in the present moment while dealing with stress, being grateful for what we have instead of cribbing about what we lack and how we must accept situations as they are and nurturing the right intentions while accepting our imperfections.