TENALI Raman decided to visit his village for a holiday after a very long time. He however was somewhat worried whether King Krishnadeva Raya would allow him to go or not. To his relief, the king willingly granted him permission to go.
Back in his village, Tenali Raman found the ambience so enticing that he decided to extend his holidays. When he joined court after a month, King Krishnadeva Raya looked at him angrily and asked, “Tenali, what took you so long? Here I had been waiting for you to return so that I could ask you to do something for me. I find that the treasury is getting empty and I do not know where my wealth is disappearing so fast.”
Tenali Raman replied that he had gone to the village to take some lessons in performing magic from a magician who lived in his village. The king’s curiosity was aroused and so he asked, “What magic have you learnt? Show me.”
Tenali Raman replied, “The magic that I have learnt is stupendous. I can make wells disappear, rivers fly high in the sky, elephants hang on trees. You name it, I can do it. As Your Majesty may recall, the court minister, Vishnudutt, had said that he had dug a thousand wells and canals in my village but when I reached there, I did not see any more than a 20 or 30 wells.”
The king decided to visit the village and check with his own eyes. He took Tenali Raman and a few others along with him on the inspection trip. King Krishnadeva Raya found nothing more than 25 wells and canals. He talked to the villagers and they confirmed that there was lack of water as there were very few wells and canals to provide water. The king turned to Tenali Raman to ask for a solution. Tenali Raman replied, “Your Majesty, if this is not magic then what is? Vishnudutt claimed that he had got a thousand wells and canals dug, but now only 25 are left and the rest have disappeared.”
The king and his team returned to Vijayanagar. The king summoned Vishnudutt for an explanation. Vishnudutt had no excuse to offer as he could not justify his claim. In fact, Vishnudutt and the treasurer had embezzled all the money the king had given for relief work. The king got very angry at both and exiled them from the kingdom.
The king was very pleased with Tenali Raman.