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Vikram and the Vampire

Richard F. Burton


Baital Pachisi, also known as Vikram-Betaal, is a collection of Hindu tales featuring King Vikramaditya as the hero. Eleven of these tales were adapted from Sanskrit to English by Richard F. Burton as Vikram and the Vampire.

A tantric yogi is after King Vikram’s life because of the wrongdoings of his father. He fools the brave king into bringing him Baital (a vampire) hanging from a siras tree. Baital, in turn, traps the king in an endless loop of stories. If King Vikram answers any question posed by the vampire during his storytelling, the vampire will escape back to the tree, and the king will have to start again. Will King Vikram be able to escape Baital’s trap? What doom awaits the king when finally meets his nemesis?

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