|Died Nadia, present-day India|
Occupation Courtier and jester in the court of Raja Krishnachandra
Gopal Bhar or Gopal Bhand (Bengali: গোপাল ভাঁড়) was a court jester in medieval Bengal. He was in the court of Raja Krishnachandra (1710-1783), the-then king of Nadia in the 18th century. Gopal used to give joy to others by laughter and ridicule.The king considered Gopal as a Navaratna of his court. His statue can still be seen in the palace of Krishnachandra and in Ghurni, Krishnagar town. Gopal was very intelligent and very keen of his idea.
Stories about his exploits are narrated in West Bengal and Bangladesh to this day in numerous short stories. The stories are short, beautiful, humorous and have a specific social message. His stories are comparable with those of Birbal and Molla Nasiruddin.
In early nineteenth century Gopal Bhar's name was first mentioned in Bengali literature. It is often said that Gopal Bhar is a legendary personality. But a reference has found that there was a bodyguard of the king of Nadia, Raja Krishnachandra named Shankar Taranga who was given special status by the king for his courage and knowledge and probably gave rise to the legend of Gopal Bhar. There are many contradictory views regarding Gopal Bhar, whether he exist or not. Acharya Sukumar Sen (linguist) opined that Gopal is purely fictitious.