Vikramaditya (IAST: Vikramāditya), was a legendary emperor of ancient India. Often characterized as an ideal king, he is known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars. Vikramaditya is featured in hundreds of traditional Indian legends, including those in Baital Pachisi and Singhasan Battisi. Many describe him as a universal ruler, with his capital at Ujjain (Pataliputra or Pratishthana in a few stories).
According to popular tradition, Vikramaditya began the Vikrama Samvat era in 57 BCE after defeating the Shakas, and those who believe that he is based on a historical figure place him around the first century BCE. However, this era is identified as "Vikrama Samvat" after the ninth century CE. Other scholars believe that Vikramaditya is a mythical character, since several legends about him are fantastic in nature.
"Vikramaditya" was a common title adopted by several Indian kings, and the Vikramaditya legends may be embellished accounts of different kings (particularly Chandragupta II).
Vikramaditya means "the sun of valour" (vikrama means "valour" and aditya means "sun"). He is also known as Vikrama, Bikramjit and Vikramarka (arka also means "sun"). Some legends describe him as a liberator of India from mlechchha invaders; the invaders are identified as Shakas in most, and the king is known by the epithetShakari (IAST: Śakāri; "enemy of the Shakas").