Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rana Kumbha

Maharana Kumbhakarna (Rana Kumbha) was the ruler of Mewar, the state in the western India, between the AD 1433 and 1468. Rana Kumbha was the Rajput belonging to the Sisodiya clan. Kumbha was the son of Rana Mokal of Mewar by his wife Sobhagya Devi, the daughter of Jaitmal Sankhla, the Parmara fief-holder of Runkot in the state of Mewar.

Maharana Kumbha was vanguard of the fifteenth century Hindu resurgence in the north-western India. A very tall and powerful man, he held the Mewar flag flying high in an age when several Indian Kings like Kapilendradeva of east India, Deva Raya II of the south India and Man Singh Tomar of the central India defeated the Turkic invaders in different parts of India.

After being overrun by the armies of Alauddin Khilji at the turn of 13th century, Mewar had become relatively insignificant. Rana Hammira is credited with the casting off Muslim yoke and establishing the second Guhila dynasty of Chittor in 1335.

Rana Hammira’s grandson, Maharana Mokal was assassinated by the 2 brothers Chacha and Mera in 1433. Lack of support, however, caused Chacha and Meera to flee and Rana Kumbha ascended the throne of Mewar. Initially, the Rana Kumbha was ably assisted by the Ranmal (Ranmalla) Rathore of Mandore. In November 1442, Mahmud Khilji, Sultan of Malwa, commenced a series of attacks on Mewar.

On April 26, 1443, Maharana Kumbha attacked the Sultan’s encampment, following an indecisive battle the Sultan returned to Mandu. The Sultan again attacked in November 1443, capturing Gagraun and adjoining forts but the capture of Chittor eluded him. The next attack was on Mandalgarh in October 1446 and was also unsuccessful. The sultan did not attack Mewar for another ten Years. In order to commemorate his resounding victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440 AD, Rana Kumbha got the famed 37 meter, 9 storeys high ‘Vijay Sthambha’ erected at Chittorgarh which was completed in 1448 AD.

In a patricide, Rana Kumbha was killed by his son Udaysimha (Udai Singh I). His achievement, however still continues to inspire successive generations of Indians.

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