Devangiri was a Kingdom ruled by King Sukumaran and Queen Sujatha. They had a daughter named Dhannia, a beautiful maiden with long black tresses that flowed down to her knees. King Sukumaran wanted to get his daughter married to a prince but Princess Dhannia was not interested in any of the suitors that came in seek of her hand in marriage. Princess Dhannia loved music, birds and animals. One day while the Princess was travelling through the forest in a horse driven carriage admiring the beautiful scenery of the hills and river the horses pulling the carriage suddenly stop due to a fallen tree in their path. The carriage driver alights from the carriage and tries to remove the fallen tree but fails. Along the way comes a young man carrying on his head a bundle of wood and an axe. On seeing that the carriage was unable to pass, the young man volunteers to cut the tree that blocked the carriage’s path. He sets out to hack away the tree to make way for the carriage. While cutting sweat flowed from his body and glistened in the sun. Princess Dhannia was anxious and curious to know what was happening and she parted the curtains of her carriage to see a handsome young man cutting the fallen tree. She then alights from her carriage with her maid following to watch the young man hard at work.
The carriage driver tries to persuade the Princess to return to the carriage but the Princess refuses. She approaches the young man and asks him his name, to which the young man remained silent and continued with his work. The carriage driver annoyed at the young man’s silence orders him to answer the princess. He stops work and without looking at the Princess replies “Lukesh” and continues cutting the tree. Once the path had been cleared the Princess stepped into the carriage and was driven away.
Back in the palace Princess Dhannia kept thinking about the handsome young man in the forest. She summons her aide and orders him to seek the identity of the young man and his whereabouts. The next day the aide returns and reports that the young man is Lukesh the son of a chieftain named Saharan and they lived in a house by the river. She also learns that Lukesh was away for some time with an old man in the hills who had taught him to write poetry and the art of healing various ailments.
Princess Dhannia seeks an audience with her parents and requests that a poetry competition be held in the Kingdom. The participants are required to write about Princess Dhannia. The person whose poetry is chosen by Princess Dhannia as the best will have her hand in marriage. The King was happy that his daughter had finally agreed to marriage by way of the poetry competition and orders that it be announced throughout the Kingdom. Lukesh’s father Saharan on hearing of the competition returns home hurriedly and persuades his son Lukesh to take part. Lukesh refuses as he was reluctant to leave his parents and live as a prince in the palace if he won in the competition. Saharan and his wife Umadevi kept on urging his son and Lukesh finally agrees. Since Lukesh had seen the princess from the corner of his eyes while cutting the tree in the forest he started to write a poem.
On the final day poems from all over the Kingdom came and Princess Dhannia had an ardous task of going through them. Finally she found the poem that she was looking for. She takes it to her garden and starts to read:-
A Princess you are from this land of milk and honey.
Your beauty grace and charm are known to one and many.
Hearts of many are captivated by your sparkling bright eyes.
Twinkling like two large bright stars in the open dark skies.
Like an angel from heaven you walk with charm, style and grace.
You went away from the forest that day at such a hurried pace.
Your soft and sweet voice was a treat indeed to me that day.
I am Lukesh and am only a Chieftain’s son I am afraid to say.
A Princess you are but with a heart of gold and looks of a fairy.
For not the riches in your Kingdom but you that I would want to marry.
The Princess was overjoyed reading Lukesh’s poem and immediately rushes to her parents and tells them her choice. Lukesh and his parents are summoned to the palace where they were greeted by the King, Queen and Princess Dhannia. Though King Sukumaran and Queen Sujatha wanted their daughter to marry a prince, they were more concerned about their daughter’s happiness.
Lukesh marries princess Dhannia and they lived happily ever after.