TENALI Raman’s fame for his sharp wit had spread not only in Vijayanagar kingdom but in the neighbouring states and countries too. When the King of Nepal too heard about Tenali Raman, he sent a messenger to King Krishnadeva Raya to ask him to spare Tenali Raman for a few days and allow him to spend some time in Nepal.
The king, pleased to hear of his courtier’s popularity, readily agreed to let Tenali Raman visit Nepal. Next morning, Tenali Raman packed his bags and left for Nepal. On reaching Kathmandu, Tenali Raman was given a royal reception to which all the bigwigs of Nepal had been invited.
When Tenali Raman reached the palace hall, he was surprised to see four kings seated on separate thrones, all dressed in the same style. Since Tenali Raman had never seen the king of Nepal, he did not know whom to address. Anyhow, he bowed in respect to all of them and then kept on standing and staring at all of them for some time. Finally after some time, he went and presented the gifts and souvenirs that King Krishnadeva Raya had sent to be given to the king of Nepal to one of the kings.
It turned out to be the king of Nepal who was very surprised and asked, “How did you know that I was the king?”
Tenali Raman replied, “I observed all the four very closely for some time and then I saw three of the persons sitting on either side of Your Majesty turn to look at Your Majesty. I realised immediately that they were trying to check if they were behaving just as Your Majesty was doing when seated and that conveyed that neither of them was the king.”
The king of Nepal was very pleased with Tenali Raman and showered plenty of gifts upon him.