The Panji Story

Prince Panji is distressed over the mysterious disappearance of his bride Candra Kirana on the eve of their wedding. A princess claiming to be Candra Kirana arrives at his palace, but she does not look at all like her. She is, in fact, a female demon who has fallen in love with Panji. The false bride says she is Candra Kirana and had to change her appearance when she fell into the hands of the goddess of death, and marrying Panji will restore her former looks.

Panji orders preparations to be made for the marriage, and he eagerly waits to see his beloved again in her familiar shape. Meanwhile, the real Candra Kirana has been taken away to a forest, where she complains of her fate until the gods mercifully tell her that she must return to the palace disguised as a man. She follows these orders, but is not able to contact Prince Panji. However, she sends him a message revealing the true character of the false bride. Then she must flee the palace.

The horrified Panji has the demon-bride executed and rushes off to find his beloved. The lovers must, however, experience many adventures before being reunited. Panji lives for a while among ascetics and as a servant in palaces, and meets with many joys and dangers. Candra Kirana, disguised as a man, has her own adventures, and finally becomes the king of Bali.

The climax is a battle scene, where Panji and Candra Kirana find themselves both on the same battlefield, but do not recognize each other. When the gods told the maiden to dress as a man, they also told her that she would not meet her lover before she has shed his blood in a duel. Now, the maiden, in the guise of the king of Bali, and Prince Panji engage in combat, but they are so even that neither is wounded. Candra Kirana resorts to feminine means and uses her hairpin, and only then is Panji wounded. They recognise each other, and the long labyrinth-like story has a happy ending.