Birbal Stories are very famous and popular in India among all ages of people. They are also called by another name Akbar-Birbal Stories.
There was a Mogul Emperor in India, Akbar The Great (1542-1605). His full name was Jalaludden Mohammed Akbar Padshah Ghazi and he ruled India from 1560 to 1605. He himself was illiterate, but he invited several learned people in his court. Among these people, nine were very famous and were called Nav Ratna (nine jewels of the Mogul Crown) of his court. Among these nine jewels, five people were more famous - Tansen, Todarmal, Abul Fazal, Maan Singh and Birbal.
1. Tansen ... A Great Singer
2. Dasvant ... A Great Painter
3. King Todarmal ... A Financial Wizard
4. Abdu us-Samad ... A Brilliant Calligrapher and Designer of Imperil Coins
5. Abul Fazal ... A Great Historian ( whose brother was Faizi )
6. Faizi ... A Great Poet
7. Mir Fareh-ullah Shirazi ... Financier,Philosopher,Physician & Astronomer
8. King Maan Singh ... A Great Man known for His Chivalry
9. Birbal ... A Great Man known for His Valuable Advice
Akbar's son Prince Sultan Salim, later known as Jehangir wrote that nobody could make out that Akbar was an illiterate. Akbar was a very hard-working King. It is also said about him that he slept only three hours a night.
Birbal (1528-1583) is surely one of the most popular figures in Indian history equally regarded by adults and children. Birbal's duties in Akbar's court were mostly administrative and military but he was a very close friend of Akbar too, because Akbar loved his wisdom, wit and subtle humor. He was a minister in the administration of Mogul Emperor Akbar and one of the members of inner council of nine advisors. He was a poet and an author too.
It is believed that he was a son of poor Braahman of Trivikrampur on the banks of River Yamuna. According to a popular legend, he died on an expedition to Afghanistan at the head of a large military force due to treachery. It is also said that when Birbal died, Akbar mourned him for several months.
The exchanges between Akbar and Birbal have been recorded in many volumes. Many of these have become folk stories in Indian tradition. Birbal's collection of poetry published under the pen name Brahm are preserved in Bharatpur Museum, Rajsthan, India.
Many courtiers were jealous with Birbal and often plotted for his downfall. There are many stories found on this issue too. There are a couple of other stories too which are of the same time and type and are as interesting as Birbal's ones.
There are many books published about Birbal Stories.