10 Best Panchatantra Stories for Kids

Panchatantra is a short story collection written in Sanskrit by renowned author Vishnu Sharma and a few other scholars. Here are the 10 best Panchatantra stories for kids – timeless tales of wisdom and morality that entertain and impart valuable life lessons through engaging animal fables. The word Panchatantra is a combination of two words Pancha and Tantra. Pancha means five and Tantra means principles. That means Panchtantra stories for kids are based on five principles which are ‘Mitra Bhedha’ (Losing Friends), ‘Mitra Laabha’ (Gaining Friends), ‘Suhrudbheda’ (Causing conflict between Friends), ‘Sandhi’ (Union), ‘Vigraha’ (Separation).

Tales of Panchatantra were written in ancient times but are still very popular. Most of the stories of Panchatantra are animal-based and have a strong message included to implant moral values among kids. These stories are very interesting to read and are even loved by people of all age groups.

Panchatantra is a great book where animals and plants speak with human beings. It is said that King Amarshakti, the ruler of Mahilaropya in South India, had three foolish sons. So he appointed Vishnu Sharma as their teacher. But soon Vishnu Sharma realized that conventional techniques won’t work for his students. That is when he wrote 50 tales with a strong message in it. The collection is divided into five volumes.

  1. Mitra LabhaHow to gain friends.
  2. Mitra bheda – How you can lose your friends
  3. Labdhapranásam  – Losing Gains
  4. Aparïksitakárakam – Action without thinking
  5. Kákolùkïyam – Rules and strategies of peace and war.

The Panchatantra is now translated into multiple Indian languages and also into English, Hebrew, Persian, Spanish, etc.

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10 Best Panchatantra Stories for Kids

Panchatantra Stories – Mitralabha (How to gain friends)

1. A Hunter and Four Friends

A turtle, a deer, a rat, and a crow were very good friends and used to live happily in a forest. One fine day unfortunately the hunter put a trap and deer fell prey to it. So the rest of his friends decided to help him out. The deer started its drama by simply struggling in terrible pain. After some time he lay motionless as if dead to trick the hunter. The crow then called his other bird friends and they started to poke the deer like the way they poke any dead animals.

Simultaneously, the tortoise distracted the hunter’s attention by crossing his path. Naturally, the hunter assumed that the deer is not alive and started going after the tortoise. Meanwhile, the crow quickly picked up the tortoise and flew with it, and the rat opened the deer by chewing the net. Scared because of all these happenings, the hunter ran away from the forest as fast as he could.

Moral: This Panchatantra story tells us that Teamwork is dream work and can achieve great results.

You can check for 10 Good Habits For Children-Parent Should Teach

2. Hermit and Mouse

Once there was a hermit who was the caretaker of a temple and did his job religiously. He used to receive food etc from the villagers and shared it with the poor workers who cleaned and decorated the temple in return. There also lived a mouse that used to steal hermit’s food thereby troubling him. One day hermit found out and tried all the possible ways to stop the mouse from stealing the food. He hung the food in a pot as high as he could and also tried to beat the mouse but the mouse would find some way to reach the bowl and steal some food.

Disturbed by this hermit discussed this with a friend, who concluded that the mouse must have accumulated a lot of food in his hole. This is the reason that the mouse feels exalted and has the energy to jump so high. Thus they decided to destroy the mouse’s house. After a lot of searches, the hermit found the food stock and destroyed it. Mouse lost its confidence to jump high for food. So it became very weak and was caught by a hermit. Hermit threw it away. The mouse learned a lesson and decided to never return.

Moral: This Panchtantra story tells us that attacked the source of enemies power to defeat him.

Panchatantra Stories from Mitrabedha (How you can lose your friends)

3. Crows and Cobra

There was a big banyan tree, where a crow husband and a crow wife, had prepared a nice nest and made it their home. In the hollow of the same tree, lived a black cobra. This cobra was a bad soul and survived on the crow’s eggs. The crow couple could not do anything to save their babies.

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So one fine day they went to a smart jackal for advice. Jackal listened to them and gave them a brilliant idea. As per the plan, one of the crows went near the lake where the queen was swimming. She had left gold and pearl ornaments on the banks of the lake which were guarded by her servants.

The female crow stole the queen’s favorite necklace. When the guards noticed this, they started running behind the crow with sticks and stones. The crow was flying slowly, so the guards will be able to follow him. Crow dropped it after reaching the hollow where the cobra lived. When the queen’s servants arrived, the black cobra came out of the hollow to see what the noise was all about. Guards noticed the cobra, killed it and the necklace was retrieved. Crows were very happy to see their enemy dead and lived happily after that.

Moral: This tale of Panchatantra teaches us that with intelligence you can destroy your powerful enemies also.

4. Right and the Wrong-Mind

Once upon a time, there were two good friends, Dayabuddhi (right mind) and Dushtabuddhi (wrong mind). Dushtabuddhi decided to take Dayabuddhi to another kingdom and use his skills to make a lot of money. Dayabuddhi agreed to his plan and started traveling to a distant kingdom. When enough money was earned, they came back to their hometown. On the way, Papabuddhi convinced Dayabuddhi for hiding all of the cash under a tree for safety. Without doubting his intentions, Dayabuddhi agreed. They buried most of the money and returned home with much less money. After a few days, Papabuddhi took all the money from the hidden spot and came back.

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One fine day they decided to get the cash from the forest but Dayabuddhi was shocked to see that the money was not there. As per his plan, Dushtabuddhi blamed Dayabuddhi for stealing all the cash and asked for justice from the elders of the village, who decided that the tree spirit from the forest will make justice.

Dushtabuddhi immediately went to his father; he told him everything and asked him to hide behind the tree of spirit. They planned to take Dayabuddhi’s name as guilty. When villagers asked for justice Dushtabuddhi’s father gave justice that it was Dayabuddhi who was guilty and had stolen all the cash. Dayabuddhi was shocked. But he got doubts that something is wrong. He observed the hollow of the tree and decided to set fire inside. Once the fire started, Dushtabuddhi’s father got suffocated due to smoke and heat and came out running. He confessed that his son was the culprit and all the villagers punished Dushtabuddhi.

Moral: This tale of Panchatantra teaches us that you must never trust wrong-minded people or else you may have to pay for their mistakes.

5. The Monkey and the Wedge

Near a banyan tree, a new temple was getting constructed and many carpenters were working on it. There were a few monkeys on the banyan tree who used to observe the carpenters working and used to fancy their tools. One day they got a chance to play around when carpenters went to the nearby house for lunch. One of those carpenters had left a log half-sawed and inserted a wedge in between to prevent the crack from closing. When monkeys came to play around, one of them was curious to remove the wedge. It sat down on the crack and started to remove the wedge. After trying numerous times, the wedge came out and the crack was closed rapidly. The monkey got severely injured.

Moral: This is one of the Panchatantra stories that tell us you must not interfere in other’s job especially when you do not know of it.

6. Beetle and Over smart Bug

There was a beetle that used to live in the sheets of a prince’s bed. When the king was in deep sleep it used to live on the king’s blood and lived happily there. One fine day an over-smart bug noticed the beetle there. He thought her life is so good and even he should try to occupy the same place. He requested the beetle to let him stay there just for a day. The beetle was not happy to let him stay there because she knew that his sting can hurt the king.

But the bug started pleading to the beetle and eventually, the beetle accepted his plead. The beetle took a promise from him that he will taste the king’s blood only when he is fast asleep. But the bug couldn’t control and bit the king just after he was off to sleep. The king got furious and asked his servants to check the sheets of the bed. Seeing this the bug immediately flew away and the poor beetle was killed by the royal servants.

Moral: This Panchatantra story tells us that Never trust any strangers; because you will be in trouble for believing their fake promise.

7. Foolish Monkey and the King

Once upon a time, there was a very famous king. He had a favorite pet monkey who was dearly loved by him. The monkey was over-smart and a fool but since he was the king’s favorite pet, he was treated very well by the servants.

One afternoon, King was taking a nap in his royal palace after a very heavy meal. The monkey was also sitting in one corner of the bed. Suddenly monkey noticed a mosquito on King’s nose. He tried to scare the mosquito but it didn’t budge from the king’s nose. Monkey was getting angry. In his foolishness, he picked up the king’s sword and attacked the mosquito. Mosquito quickly flew away but the king’s nose was cut and he died on the spot.

Moral: This Panchatantra story tells us that you must be aware of your dumb friends or you may have to pay heavily for their deeds. 

Aparïksitakárakam stories (Action without thinking )

8. Musical Donkey

Once upon a time, there was a donkey who loved singing. He used to work as a washerman and carry loads of clothes on his back for the entire day. After a full day’s hard work, the donkey was set free to feed on the nearby farms. One fine day the donkey met a jackal on the farm and both of them became very good friends.

Now every night, donkeys would eat the fresh vegetables from the farm and jackals would relish the poultry from a nearby poultry farm. One night after eating vegetables the donkey was in a happy mood and wanted to sing. He started singing loudly. The jackal was scared that the farmers will catch them. He tried to explain the same to the donkey but the donkey was in his world. Jackal understood that there is no point in convincing the foolish donkey and ran away from there. After some time the farmers heard the donkey singing loudly in the middle of the night while eating their farm vegetables. They got furious and beat the donkey very badly.

Moral: This Panchatantra story tells us that do things at the right place and time.

9. A Bird having two heads

Once upon a time, there was a bird that had two heads. It was a very strange and rare bird. Both hands had their mind. One mind was always positive and the other one was wicked and thought negatively. One fine day the bird found a very attractive fruit. Both heads started a big fight for eating the fruit. The bird tried to interfere and said that they should give the fruit to his wife instead of fighting. All agreed. But the head with a negative mind decided to teach a lesson to the positive head. The next day it searched for a poisonous fruit and gifted it to the positive head to kill him. After eating the fruit, the bird was poisoned and died on the spot thereby killing both his heads.

Moral: Never have a state of mind which is conflicting. Every body part is important and losing even one can prove fatal.

10. The Story of Two Fishes and a Frog

In a pond, there lived two fishes and a frog. All three of them were good friends. The fishes were stubborn and belittled the frog at times. The frog was very positive and always helped them. One day two fishermen were talking about spotting good fish in the pond. Frog heard this conversation and warned the fish to live the pond. Fishes were stubborn and said they would trick the fisherman with their quick movements. However, the frog decided to live the place and moved to another pond. Fishes due to their overconfidence were caught by the fisherman and died.

Moral: This Panchatantra story tells us Never to be Overconfident about any problem. Safety comes first.

The Panchatantra stories have stood the test of time, captivating young readers and imparting valuable lessons for generations. Through these 10 best Panchatantra stories, children learn about important virtues such as kindness, friendship, honesty, intelligence, unity, and more. These timeless tales serve as a powerful tool to shape young minds, teaching them moral values and life skills in an engaging and imaginative way. By introducing children to these cherished stories, parents and educators can help cultivate their character and foster a sense of morality and wisdom that will guide them throughout their lives.


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