Friday, April 29, 2016

Durga Das Rathore

Durgadas Rathore (Durga Das Rathore) (13 August 1638 – 22 November 1718) is credited with having preserved the rule of the Rathore dynasty over Marwar, India, following the death of Jaswant Singh in the 17th century. In doing so he had to defy Aurangzeb, a Mughal emperor.

Durgadas was the son of Askaran Rathore, a Rajput minister of Jaswant Singh, the ruler of Marwar.
When Jaswant Singh Rathore died he had no son and this gave Aurangzeb a chance to appoint a Muslim as the ruler of Marwar. This upset Rathore Rajputs a lot. Two of Jaswant Singh's queens were pregnant when he died. One queen gave birth to Ajit Singh and other to Dalathamban. After Ajit's birth, Rathore generals, chief among them was Durga Das Rathore (a Karnot Rathore) went to Delhi along with the queens and the infants, and asked Aurangzeb that crown of Marwar should be given to Ajit Singh. Aurangzeb was very cunning and he had no intention of handing over the throne of Marwar.

He suggested that Ajit should grow up in his harem but internally he wanted to kill them all. Durga Das sensed this and they smuggled Ajit Singh out of Delhi to the outskirts of the city. When Mughal army came to capture them in Delhi, Durga Das and his men attacked the Mughals and started riding out of Delhi. Raghunandan Bhati and others soaked the streets of Delhi in crimson by flowing the blood of Mughal pursuers. There were about three hundred Rajputs with Durga Das and there were thousands of pursuing Mughals. Every so often 15 - 20 Rajputs would fall behind attack the Mughal pursuers and in the process get themselves killed but it allowed the forward party to create some distance between Ajit and the Mughals.

This continued till the evening by which time the Mughals had given up and Durga Das was left with just seven men out of three hundred he started with and reached Jaipur along with Ajit Singh. Thereby started the 30 year Rajput rebellion against Aurangzeb. Mewar and Marwar forces combined together and almost killed Aurangzeb when he was trapped in the mountains of Rajasthan but the Mewar king out of magnanimity allowed Aurangzeb to escape. All the trade routes were plundered by Rajputs and they started looting various treasuries of Rajasthan and Gujarat. To crush them Aurangzeb sent many expeditions but no success. These expeditions and drying up of revenue from trade routes running through Rajasthan had severe effect on his resources. In addition the lion of Maharashtra, Shivaji, had freed almost all of Maharashtra and was at constant war with Aurangzeb. Shivaji had some Rajput ancestry. Finally, on his death-bed Aurangzeb complained that his life had been a complete failure.

No comments:

Post a Comment