We have all grown up to Tenali Raman stories as kids.

On reading his stories, we are always awed by his extraordinary intelligence and wisdom, along with his humorous tricks.

For those who don’t know, Tenali Raman was a poet, scholar, thinker, and court advisor to King Krishnadevaraya in the Vijayanagara Empire, who ruled from C.E. 1509 to 1529.


Tenali rama krishna

Tenali Raman was a Telugu poet who hails from what is now the Andhra Pradesh region. He is well known for folk tales that focus on his wit.

All stories about Tenali Raman are funny and exciting and will make you think twice. He is known for his relationship with the great King and his world-famous problem-solving skills.

Kids always love his stories that are simple to understand, have a moral, and will pique their curiosity.

Who was Tenali Raman?

Tenali Raman is an Indian poet, scholar, thinker, and advisor at the court of Sri Krishnadevaraya. He was born in what is now known as Andhra Pradesh and is famous for his witty and sharp folk tales.

Tenali Raman was one of the eight poets or Ashtadiggajas in Krishnadevaraya court.

He knew several languages, including Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi.


We have heard of the famous “The Thieves and the Well” story by Tenali Raman and how he fooled the thieves. Kids always laugh at the end of his stories. It teaches them a great moral that they remember throughout their lifetime.

So, let us look at the best of Tenali Raman stories you can read to kids at bedtime. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Let us look at some of the Tenali Raman stories

1. The Greedy Brahmins – Tenali Raman stories

tenali raman stories english short stories
Source: TopYaps

This has to be one of the funniest Tenali Raman stories that will have your kids cracking up in no time.

The story is about King Krishnadevaraya’s mother, a very religious and pious lady. She wanted to present Brahmins with ripe mangoes as a gesture of respect towards them. Sadly, the King’s mother died that night. The King was sorrowful, yet he remembered that he had to fulfill his mother’s wish.

After he had performed all her religious rights, he called some of the Brahmins and told them of his mother’s wish and how he wished to achieve it.

However, the Brahmins suggested that his mother’s soul would only rest in peace if the king gave them golden mangoes instead of regular ones!

The King obliged, and the next day, he invited the Brahmins to the court to provide them with mangoes made of gold.

Tenali Raman was present when they came to the court and immediately understood the greed of the Brahmins.

Tenali Raman steps in

He invited them to his house the next day to teach them a lesson. The Brahmins were very happy they got the golden mangoes from the King. They were also overjoyed that Tenali Raman had invited them to his house.

The Brahmins thought that maybe Tenali Raman also wanted to donate to them.

But when they got to his house, they saw Tenali Raman standing with a hot iron bar!

This astonished the Brahmins.

Then Tenali Raman told them that his mother had died of rheumatism, and she would have wished to burn her legs with the hot rod so that the pain would subside. Therefore, he wanted to burn the legs of the Brahmins so that his mother’s soul would rest in peace.

They immediately understood that they had been tricked!

They quickly returned the golden mangoes to Tenali Raman and ran off. The brilliant Tenali Raman gave all the golden mangoes to the King and told him how the Brahmins had fooled him.

The Greedy Brahmins, a classic Tenali Raman story, is hilarious and carries a tremendous moral for kids. It is one of the best Tenali Ramakrishna stories in English.

Moral of the story: One should not be greedy and should find happiness in whatever one has or gets!

2. The Thieves and The Well – Tenali Ramakrishna stories

tenali ramalinga stories
Source: KathaKids

The Thieves and The Well is another of Tenali Raman’s brilliant stories. It teaches kids a valuable lesson. Tenali Raman’s wit and way of teaching lessons are evident in the story. One day, the King Krishnadevaraya was surveying his prison. There, he found two prisoners who begged for his mercy. The prisoners told him they were expert burglars and could help the King catch other burglars. Krishnadevaraya was a kind and understanding King. He told them he would release and make them his spies on one condition. First, they had to break into the Tenali Raman house and steal all his valuables. The expert thieves agreed to this readily.

Tenali Raman intervenes

That night, the thieves went to Tenali Raman’s house and hid behind bushes. Tenali Raman was strolling through his garden and heard a rustling in the bushes. He knew that there were thieves in his garden. He went inside and loudly told his wife to be careful about all valuables as two thieves were on the run. Tenali Raman told her to put all her jewelry and valuables in a box. The thieves who were hiding in the bushes overheard this conversation. After some time, Tenali Raman took the trunk and carried it to his backyard. He threw it into the well.

When Tenali Rama went to his house, the thieves went to the well and started drawing water. They fetched the water for the whole night only to discover the trunk in the water by morning. They happily open the trunk only to find stones in it. Tenali Raman came out and thanked the thieves for giving him a good night’s sleep and watering his garden plants. The thieves knew that Tenali Raman had played the game on them and apologized to him.

Moral of the story: It reminds us that we should never listen to false claims.

3. Tenali Raman and the Cursed Man – Tenali Ramakrishna stories in English

tenali ramakrishna stories english
Source: MomJunction

In the land of Vijayanagara, people considered a man named Ramaya to be inauspicious. They believe that seeing him in the morning would destroy their whole day, and they would be unable to eat anything throughout the day. When the King learned about this, he invited Ramaya to his court and asked him to stay in the next room. The next day, the King was ready for lunch, and a fly was on his plate. A fresh lunch was ordered to be made. By the time it was made, his appetite had been lost.

The King believed that he had lost his appetite because of Ramaya. Therefore, he sentenced the man to death. Hearing this, Ramaya’s wife rushed to Tenali Raman with a lot of grief and sadness. The soldiers were taking Ramaya to be hanged the following day. Tenali Raman met them on the way, whispered something in Ramaya’s ear, and fled. Before turning him in, the guards asked Ramaya for his last wish. He replied that he wanted to send a note to the King.

When the King read the note, it said: “By seeing my face, somebody lost his appetite all day, but by seeing the King’s face, somebody lost his life. Then, who among us is the most cursed man? Me or the King?” The King realized his mistake and set Ramaya free.

Moral of the story: Do not believe in superstitions.

4. A handful of grain or a thousand gold coins – Tenali Raman short stories

thenali raman
Source: MeriSaheli

Searching for Tenali Raman short stories in English? Here’s one that we love. This is the story of Vidyulatha of Vijayanagara Kingdom. She was intelligent and had a vast knowledge of ancient books and fine arts. But she was also arrogant. In the story, she was put to shame by a wood seller who wanted her to pay for a handful of grain. He said she would have to pay him 1000 gold coins if she didn’t produce a handful. The heated argument was taken to court, and the firewood seller’s intelligence impressed the judge. Vidyulatha had to pay him 1000 gold coins and remove her intelligence board from outside her house.

Moral of the story: One should always be humble and grateful for his achievements and intelligence.

5. The Biggest Fool – Tenali Raman stories in English

thenali raman stories
Source: MomJunction

This is the story of King Krishnadevaraya and how he bought some horses(or how he tried to buy some horses). When an Arabian horse trader came to him with his horses, Krishnadevaraya was impressed by them and wanted to buy all of his horses. He straightaway gave the money for all the horses to the trader who promised to bring him the horses in 2 days, but he never showed up. This pushed the King to the top of Tenali Raman’s biggest fools’ which he was making. The King, who saw this, asked him what would happen if the horse trader brought the horses. He replied that the horse trader would be at the top of his list.

Moral of the story: Do not believe in things blindly.

6. Tenali Raman and the Great Pandit – Tenali Raman short stories in English

Here’s another witty number from the Tenali Raman’s stories for kids.

This is a story of a great Pandit who came to Vijayanagar. He claimed that he could defeat anyone with his knowledge. The King’s minister debated with him and lost. Then, it was Tenali Raman’s turn. He told the Pandit they would discuss ‘Thilakstha Mahisha Bandhanam,’ a book he had never heard of. The pundit asked for time to prepare, but he was sure he would lose, so he packed his bag and left the same night. The following day, the King was impressed, and he called Tenali Raman and asked him about this rare book that had scared the Pandit away. Tenali Raman said there was no book like that, and the King was impressed with his cleverness.

Moral of the story: Never be arrogant, however knowledgeable or wise you are.

7. The King’s Dream – Tenali Raman stories for kids

The story is about Krishnadevaraya again. One day, he wakes up after dreaming of a beautiful floating palace in the clouds. He wanted to make it a reality, and one of his ministers agreed. The King followed up after a few weeks, but the minister lazed away. Then, after a few weeks, an older adult claimed he was a merchant looted. In his dream, the man said he had seen his house and family being robbed by the King and his ministers. The King was angry and asked how that could happen. This was when he realized that Tenali Raman was dressed as an older man so that he could teach the King a lesson.

The story’s moral: It is always best not to chase after impossible dreams.

8. The reward and punishment – Tenali Raman’s funny stories

tenali raman funny stories
Source: KathaKids

When Tenali Raman first came to Hampi, he wanted to meet the King. This is the story of how he did this quickly. He went to the palace gate, and when the guards asked him why they should let him, Tenali Raman said that he knew the King was kind and generous and would shower him with gifts as he had come from far away. Tenali Raman promised half of the gifts to the guard. He made the next guard the same promise to get in. When he got to the King, he ran and hugged him. Furious, the King ordered 50 lashes to Tenali Raman. He told the King that he had promised the guard half of his gift, so they should get half the lashes, too. The impressed King gave Tenali Raman expensive clothes, making him his Court Jester.

Moral of the story: Greediness will get you in trouble.

Here are some of the best Tenali stories that you have to read. They are:

  • Happiness Now
  • Saluting the Donkeys
  • Tenali Rama and the Brinjal Curry 

Tenali Raman stories are classics, and you must have read or heard them at some point. You can find Tenali Raman’s stories in English online and in today’s print books.

We hope you enjoyed this exciting and thought-provoking kid’s story. These stories make for great bedtime reads. It will teach your kids a moral and have them laughing their way to sleep. For more interesting stories for kids and thought of the day quotes, follow Fabulously. in.

Tenali Rama Short Stories To Tell At Bedtime

tenali raman moral stories

1. The Tale of the Greedy Brahmins

Once, in the kingdom of Vijayanagara, a group of greedy Brahmins approached King Krishnadevaraya, claiming they could visit Heaven and return. Intrigued, the King asked Tenali Rama for his opinion. Tenali, sensing their deceit, devised a plan. He suggested the Brahmins be tied up in sacks and left overnight, claiming they would reach Heaven by morning. The next day, the sacks were opened, and the Brahmins were still inside, embarrassed and exposed. The King laughed heartily at their folly, thanks to Tenali’s cleverness.

2. Tenali Raman and the Cat

King Krishnadevaraya, troubled by mice in his palace, got a cat. However, the cat grew fat and lazy, failing to catch mice. Tenali Rama noticed this and tied a bell around the cat’s neck. Now, wherever the cat went, the bell rang, alerting the mice. Tenali explained to the King that having resources (like the cat) is not enough but that one must ensure they are used effectively, puzzling the King. The King appreciated Tenali’s wisdom, and they brought a more active cat to the palace. This is one of the clever Tenali Ramakrishna story in English.

3. The Secret of the Seeds

The King once gave seeds to all his courtiers, including Tenali Rama, and asked them to grow plants. Months later, the courtiers presented lush plants, but Tenali brought an empty pot. The King was displeased until Tenali explained that he had received boiled seeds, which couldn’t sprout. Realizing that the other courtiers had replaced the seeds to deceive him, the King praised Tenali’s honesty and punished the others for their dishonesty.

4. Tenali Raman and the Three Dolls

King Krishnadevaraya presented them with three identical dolls to test his courtiers and asked which was the best. After careful examination, many gave various answers, but Tenali Rama fed grains to each doll. Grains came out of the ears of two dolls but stayed in the third. Tenali explained that the best doll was the one that retained the grains, symbolizing that a wise person listens and has good advice. Impressed, the King rewarded Tenali for his insightful judgment. This is one of the popular moral stories of Tenali Raman in English.

5. The Lesson to the Greedy

A wealthy merchant known for his greed once lost a bag of gold coins. He promised a reward for its return. When a poor man found and returned the bag, the merchant refused the reward. Tenali Rama, hearing this, took the merchant to the King. He cleverly tricked the merchant into admitting his greed and dishonesty. Ashamed, the merchant gave the promised reward and donated generously to people experiencing poverty. The King and the subjects praised Tenali for his clever way of teaching a lesson in honesty and generosity.

These stories, perfect for bedtime, entertain and impart valuable life lessons, showcasing Tenali Rama’s wit and wisdom.

Who Was Tenali Raman, And Why Was He Famous?

Tenali Raman, also known as Tenali Ramakrishna, was a historical figure from the early 16th century, renowned for his extraordinary wit, intelligence, and humor. At the court of King Krishnadevaraya, who ruled the Vijayanagara Empire in South India, he was one of the eight poets known as the Ashtadiggajas. There are several tales on the adventures of Tenali Raman.

Early Life

Tenali Raman’s early life is shrouded in folklore and legends. According to popular stories, he was initially named Garlapati Ramakrishna. People often attribute his transformation from a simple boy to a legendary figure to his encounter with the goddess Kali, who bestowed him wit and wisdom.

Role in King Krishnadevaraya’s Court

In the court of King Krishnadevaraya, Tenali Raman served not just as a poet and jester but also as an advisor. His role was unique as he often used humor and wit to solve complex problems, ease tensions, and bring issues that others might hesitate to discuss.

Fame Through Tales and Folklore

Tenali Raman became famous for his clever solutions and witty responses to challenging situations. Many stories depict him outsmarting fellow courtiers, solving tricky problems, and sometimes even teaching moral lessons to the king himself. His stories mix humor, wit, and wisdom, often ending with a thought-provoking and enlightening moral.

The tales of Tenali Raman have become an integral part of Indian folklore and culture. Generations have passed them down, capturing the imagination of both children and adults. His stories are entertaining and serve as educational tools, teaching values such as honesty, intelligence, and resourcefulness.

Tenali Raman in Literature and Media

Various languages and formats, including books, television shows, and films, have adapted Tenali Raman’s stories. These adaptations have cemented his status as a cultural icon in Indian folklore.

Tenali Raman’s legacy lies in his ability to blend humor with wisdom. His stories continue to be relevant, teaching lessons enjoyably and memorably. He remains a symbol of wit and intelligence, and his tales are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India.

In summary, Tenali Raman was famous not only for his role as a court poet and jester but also for his cleverness, quick thinking, and ability to address serious matters with humor and wit. His legacy continues through the stories that bear his name, making him a timeless figure in Indian folklore and literature.

Tenali Ramakrishna’s Short Stories for Children

Tenali Ramakrishna’s stories are a delightful blend of humor, wit, and moral lessons, making them perfect for children. Take a look at some full Tenali Raman stories in English –

1. The Cat That Served as a Judge

In this story, Tenali Ramakrishna solves a dispute between two women claiming to be the same child’s mother. He places a cat and the child in a circle and declares that the birth mother would be able to call the child out without stepping into the circle. The fake mother, in her haste, steps in, revealing her deceit. This story teaches children about clever problem-solving and the importance of truth.

2. The Horse Trainer

King Krishnadevaraya once received a horse as a gift, which needed to be trained. Tenali Ramakrishna, claiming he was a skilled horse trainer, asked for a year to teach it. In reality, he did nothing. When someone questioned him a year later, he humorously remarked that the horse had been trained not to run, jump, or do anything an average horse would do. This story, filled with humor, teaches children about wit and the art of thinking on one’s feet.

3. The Golden Mangoes

A story where Tenali Ramakrishna teaches a greedy man a lesson. The man boasts about his tree, which produces golden mangoes. Tenali, suspecting deceit, exposes the man by inviting the king to see this miraculous tree. The man, caught in his lie, learns the value of honesty. This story imparts a moral lesson on the consequences of greed and dishonesty.

4. The Special Meal

In this tale, Tenali Ramakrishna is invited by a miserly man for a meal. The man, wanting to spend little, offers Tenali a meager meal. Tenali, in return, invites the man for a meal and serves him empty plates, pretending to eat from them. When questioned, Tenali points out that if imagination was good enough for him at the miser’s house, it should be good enough for the miser too. This story humorously teaches the importance of generosity and treating others with kindness.

5. The King’s Dream

King Krishnadevaraya dreamed that he lost all his teeth except one. He asked his courtiers for its meaning. While others gave ominous interpretations, Tenali Ramakrishna humorously suggested that the dream meant the King would outlive all his relatives. This pleased the King and showcased Tenali’s ability to turn a situation positive, teaching children the power of positive thinking and humor.

6. The Reward for Bravery

When the King decided to reward bravery, Tenali Ramakrishna brought a cat with a burnt tail. He narrated a fictional tale of the cat fighting a group of wild dogs to save her kitten. Amused and impressed by Tenali’s creativity, the King rewarded him, showing children the value of storytelling and creativity.

These stories entertain and impart valuable lessons, making them timeless treasures in children’s literature. They encourage young minds to think creatively, act wisely, and appreciate the power of humor in life.

Tenali Ramakrishna’s Short Stories for Children

Tenali Raman and the Vessels of Gold

Once, King Krishnadevaraya gifted 100 gold vessels to each courtier except Tenali Raman. Feeling left out, Tenali devised a plan. He started singing loudly in the middle of the night about receiving 150 gold vessels from the King. The King, hearing this, summoned Tenali to explain. Tenali cleverly replied that since he hadn’t received any gold vessels, he thought singing about it might make it come true. Amused by his wit, the King rewarded Tenali with 200 gold ships. This story teaches children about the power of wit and intelligence.

Tenali Raman Small Story in English

Here are some Tenali Raman stories in English with moral values –

The Lesson to the Greedy

Tenali Raman once encountered a greedy man who hoarded cucumbers to sell them at a higher price during a shortage. Tenali bought one cucumber but paid with a gold coin, insisting on no change. The next day, he paid two gold coins for another cucumber but still didn’t take change. The greedy man, expecting this to continue, stopped selling cucumbers to others, waiting for Tenali. However, Tenali never returned, teaching the man a lesson about greed. This story imparts a moral lesson on the consequences of greed.

Tenali Raman Humorous Stories in English

The Red Peacock

Someone told King Krishnadevaraya that a peacock would dance upon seeing the color red, and he received it as a gift. When the peacock didn’t dance, the King was furious. Tenali Raman whispered something in the bird’s ear, after which the peacock danced beautifully. When asked what he said, Tenali humorously replied, “I told the peacock that if it didn’t dance, the King would paint it red!” The court burst into laughter, and the King’s mood lightened. This story showcases Tenali’s humor and ability to diffuse tense situations.

Tenali Raman and the Three Thieves

Tenali Raman once outsmarted three thieves who stole the royal jewels. He announced in the marketplace that he could see the thieves with his magical powers. The thieves returned the jewels, fearing exposure, hoping to escape Tenali’s magic. Tenali’s clever bluff saved the day, teaching children the importance of smart thinking and strategy. There are several funny full Tenali raman stories in English.

These stories of Tenali Raman are entertaining and serve as a medium to teach children valuable life lessons through humor and wit.


1. How do you write Tenali Raman’s story in English?

To write a Tenali Raman story in English, follow these steps:
Choose a Theme: Decide on your story’s moral or lesson.
Create a Plot: Develop a simple yet engaging plot around a problem or a situation.
Incorporate Wit and Humor: Tenali Raman’s stories are known for their wit and humor. Ensure your story has elements of cleverness and fun.
Characterization: Portray Tenali Raman as a clever, witty, and sometimes naughty character who often outsmarts others.
Cultural Setting: Set your story in the historical context of the Vijayanagara Empire, adding authentic details to make it more interesting.
Moral of the Story: Conclude with a moral or a lesson, as Tenali Raman’s stories often humorously impart wisdom.
Language and Style: Use simple, straightforward language with a touch of old-world charm to keep the story engaging and accessible to all age groups.

2. What is the exciting story of Tenali Rama?

One interesting story is when Tenali Rama outwitted a group of thieves who had stolen the royal jewels. He announced in the marketplace that he had a magical ability to identify the thieves. The thieves were caused to fear being caught by the supposed magic, which led them to return the jewels anonymously. This story showcases Tenali Rama’s cleverness and unique problem-solving method.

3. How many Tenali Raman stories are there?

People have yet to discover the exact number of Tenali Raman stories, as they have been passed down through generations and vary across regions. However, books, TV shows, and other media widely share and know dozens of popular tales.

4. What is the history of Tenali Raman?

Tenali Raman, also known as Tenali Ramakrishna, was a poet and advisor in the court of King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th century. His real name was Garlapati Ramakrishna. People remember him for his remarkable wit, intelligence, and ability to solve complex problems with humor and cleverness. His stories have become integral to Indian folklore, known for their mix of humor, wit, and moral lessons. People often debate the historical accuracy of these stories, but they continue to be famous for their entertainment and educational value.

Besides wealth and health, learning, teaching, and cooking are my interests in life. I have a bachelors in engineering and an unbeatable streak of optimism, come what may! I love to learn new things! Hope you do too.

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