Saturday, April 9, 2016

Rani Padmini

Rani Padmini (died 1303 CE), was the queen of Chittor, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh  and the daughter of the contemporary Sinhala king.

Padmini or Padmavati spent her life in Singhal under the care of her father Gandharvsen and mother Champavati. Padmini had a talking parrot named "Hiramani". Her father arranged a swayamvara and invited all the Hindu kings and Rajputs to ask for her hand (request to marry her by showing their eligibility). Malkhan Singh, a king from a small state came to her swayamvara to marry her. King Rawal Ratan Singh of  Chittor who had another queen Nagmati, also went to Singhal, defeated Malkhan Singh and married Padmini as the winner of the swayamvara. He returned to Chittor with his beautiful second queen Padmini.

The Sultanate of Delhi- In the 12th and 13th centuries, the kingdom set up the invaders were nevertheless grow in power. The Sultans made the repeated attack on the Mewad on one pretext or other. Here you can recollect the story of Rani Padmini who was the pre text for the Allah-ud-din-khilji’s attack on the chittod.

During those days chittod was under the Rule of king Ratansen, the brave and the dignified warrior king. Apart from being the loving husband and the the just the ruler, Ratansen was also the patron of the arts. In his court were many talented people one of was the musician named as the Raghav Chetan

On hearing this King Ratansen was very enraged and he banished Raghav Chetan from his kingdom after blackening his face with the face and making him to ride a donkey. This harsh Punishment earned king Ratansen the uncompromising enemy. After his humiliation, Raghav Chetan made his way towards the Delhi with the motive of trying to ignite the Sultan of Delhi Ala-ud-din Khilji to attack Chittor.

On reaching Delhi, Raghav Chetan settled down in one forests near to Delhi which the Sultan used to frequently come for hunting deer. One day on hearing the Sultan's hunt party entering the forest, Raghav-Chetan started playing the melodious tone on his flute. When the attracting notes of Raghav-Chetan flute reached the Sultan's party they were surprised as to who could be playing a flute in such a masterly way in a forest.

Sultan dispatched his soldiers to summon the person and when the Raghav-Chetan was brought before him, the Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji asked him to come to his court at Delhi. The wily Raghav-Chetan asked the king as why he wants to have the ordinary musician like himself when there were many other beautiful things to be had.

But to his dismay, on reaching the Chittor, Allah-ud-din found that the fort to be heavily defended. Desperate to have the look at the legendary beauty of Padmini, he sent word to King Ratansen that he looked upon Padmini as his sister and wanted to meet her. On hearing this, Ratansen asked Padmini to see 'brother'. But Padmini was more wordly-wise and she refused to meet the lewd Sultan personally.

Persuaded by her husband Rana Ratansen, Rani Padmini accepts to allow Ala-ud-din to see her only in the mirror. On the word sent to Ala-ud-din that Padmini would see he if came to the fort with his selected his best warriors who secretly made the careful examination of the fort's defenses’ on their way to the Palace.

On seeing Padmini, in the mirror, the lascivious 'brother', Allah-ud-din Khilji decided that he will save Padmini himself. While returning to his camp, Allah-ud-din was accompanied by King Ratansen.

The Rajput generals decided to beast the Sultan at his own game and sent back the word that Padmini would be given to Ala-ud-din the next morning.

On hearing that his designs had been frustrated, the Sultan was furious and orders his army to storm Chittor. But hard as they tried Sultans army could not able to break into the fort. Then the Ala-ud-din decided to lay blockade to the fort. The siege was the long drawn one and gradually supplied within the fort were depleted. Finally the King Ratnasen gave orders that Rajputs would open the gates and fight to finish with the besieging troops.

On hearing this decision, Rani 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 dishonor at the hands of the victorious enemy.

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