Maheshdas Brahmbhatt was the real name of Birbal. He was a Hindu advisor in the court of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. He is mostly known in the Indian subcontinent for the folk tales which focus on his wit. Birbal was appointed by Akbar as a poet and singer in around 1556–1562. He had a close association with the Emperor and was a member of his group of most important courtiers called the navaratnas (nine jewels).