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The story of shakuntala originally appeared in the first book of the Mahabharata where the lineage of the chief characters is detailed. It was later adapted with minor changes into a play by kalidasa, the great Sanskrit poet and dramatist.
Shakuntala was the daughter of Sage Vishvamitra and Menaka, a celestail maiden. When shakuntala was born, Menaka abandoned her near Sage Kanva's hermitage where he found her and made her his foster daughter. One day King Dushyanta of Hastinapura met her while he was hunting in the forest. Enamoured by her beauty, he married her and returned to his palace, promising to send for her at the soonest. Later, Shakuntala went to his court,Dushyanta did not recognise her, owing to a curse placed on her by sage Durvasa.
In the end, however, the truth of her claims was proved, and Shakuntala and Dushyanta were reunited. Their son Bharat, a direct ancestor of the Pandava and Kaurava princes, is the one who gave our country its name - 'Bharat' .
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