Friday, February 11, 2011

The heart touching story of Rani Padmini-"The Queen of Chittor"

Name: Rani Padmini

In 12th and 13th centuries, Rawal Ratan Singh was the King of Chittor. Rani Padmini, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh and Queen of Chittor and often a mythological figure for her womanhood and sacrifice.

During those days, the Sultanate of Delhi- the kingdom set up by the invaders was nevertheless growing in power. That time Allah-ud-din Khilji was the Sultan and who made repeated attack on Mewar on one reason and the other.

At the same time Chittor was under the Rule of Rawal Ratan Singh, a brave and noble warrior King. As well a patron of the arts. In his court were many talented people one of whom was a musician named Raghav Chetan. But unknown to everyone, he was also a sorcerer. He used his evil talent to run down his competitor but unluckily was caught red-handed. On hearing this King was angry and he punished Raghav Chetan to send away from his kingdom after blackening his face and making him ride on donkey.

Due to this, Raghav Chetan became an uncompromising enemy of the King. Raghav Chetan made his way towards Delhi with the aim of trying to incite the Sultan of Delhi Allah-ud-din Khilji to attack chittor.

When Raghav Chetan come near to Delhi, was settled down in one of the forests nearby Delhi which the Sultan used frequently for hunting deers. One day he saw the hunt party entering the forest, he started playing a melodious tone on his flute. Hunt party get surprised, and they found Raghav Chetan was playing a flute . Raghav Chetan was then brought before sultan, and the Sultan asked him to come to his court at Delhi.The cunning Raghav-Chetan asked the king as to why he wants to have a ordinary musician like himself when there were many other beautiful objects to be had. The Sultan wondering what Raghav Chetan meant, Sultan asked him to clarify. Then he told about Rani Padmini's beauty, Allah-ud-din's lust was aroused and immediately on returning to his capital he gave orders to his army to march on Chittor.

But he get disappointed, due to the fort to be heavily defended. Hopefull to have a look at the legendary beauty of Padimini, he send word to King Ratan Singh that he looked upon padmini as his sister and wanted to meet her. On hearing this, the unsuspecting Ratansen asked Padmini to see the 'brother'. But Padmini was more wordly-wise and she refused to meet the lustful Sultan personally.

Rani Padmini then convinced by her husband, She agreed to allow Allah-ud -din to see her only in a mirror.On the word being sent to Allah-ud-din that Padmini would see him, he came to the fort with his selected and best warriors who secretly made a careful examination of the fort's defences on their way to the Palace. On seeing Padmini, in a mirror, the lustful Sultan decided that he should secure Padmini for himself. While returing to his camp, Sultan was accompanied for some way by King Ratan Singh. Taking this opportunity, Sultan skillfully kidnapped Ratan Singh and took him as a prisoner into his camp and demanded that Padmini come and surrender herself before Sultan, if she wanted her husband king Ratan Singh alive again.

The Rajput generals decided to beat the Sultan at his own game and sent back a word that Padmini would be given to Sultan the next morning. On the following day at the crack of dawn, one hundred and fifity palaquins (covered cases in which royal ladies were carried in medieveal times) left the fort and made their way towards Sultan's camps. The palanquins stopped before the tent where king Ratan singh was being held prisoner. Seeing that the palanquins had come from Chittor, and thinking that they had brought along with them his queen, king Ratan Singh was mortified. But get surprised, because his queen is not there in the palanquins but her women servant and fully armed soldiers, who quickly freed Ratan Singh and galloped away towards Chittor on horses grabbed from Sultan's stables.

On hearing that, the lustful Sultan was furious and ordered his army to attack on Chittor. But hard as they tried the Sultans army could not break into the fort. Sultan decided to lay seige to the fort. The seige was the prolonged effort to gain the fort. Finally King Ratnasingh gave orders that the Rajputs would open the gates and fight to finish with the besieging troops. On hearing of this decision, Padmini decided that with their men-folk going into the unequal struggle with the Sultan's army in which they were sure to perish, the women of Chittor had either to commit suicides or face dishonour at the hands of the victorious enemy.

The choice was in favour of suicide through Jauhar. A huge pyre was lit and followed by their queen, all the women of Chittor jumped into the flames and deceived the lustful enemy waiting outside. With their womenfolk dead, the men of Chittor had nothing to live for. Their charged out of the fort and fought on furiously with the vastly Powerful array of the Sultan, till all of them perished. After this phyrrhic victory the Sultan's troops entered the fort only to be confronted with ashes and burnt bones of the women whose honour they were going to violate to satisfy their lust.

These women who committed Jauhar had to perish but their memory has been kept alive till today by bards and songs which glorify their act which was right in those days and circumstances. Thus a halo of honour is given to their supreme sacrifice.

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