The Kathasaritsagara, which was compiled by the Brahmin Somadeva in Sanskrit in 11th century Kashmir, remains one of the great compendia of the world’s stories, drawing as it does from several lost and fragmentary extant texts from earlier centuries. Scholars believe that stories and the form of the text itself (the framed narrative of a story within a story within another story) travelled from this marvellous collection into the Arabian Nights in the Middle East and then onwards into Decameron in Europe. The Sagara contains within itself the Panchatantra which forms the basis of the Kalila and Dimna, so well-known and so beloved in Arab cultures. The Sagara’s stories are filled with magic and wonder, there are shipwrecks and merchants, there are scholars and semi-divine beings, there are dancing girls and gamblers, there are talking animals and terrifying monsters of more than one sort. And, every now and then, we meet characters that we know from other stories: Indra and Ahalya, Sita and Valmiki, for example.