Friday, October 13, 2017

1109. Rani Padmavati...!

Before the trailer release of the movie Padmavati our group was lucky enough to step foot on the famous Chittorgarh Fort.

This fort was originally called Chitrakut and was buit by Chitrangada Mori of a Rajput clan which claim descent from Solar dynasty. It is believed that Bhimasena of Mahabharatha had stuck the ground which resulted in water springing out to form a large reservoir (The one in the photo). We were told by our guide that this water body which is called Bhimlat Kund was the place where Padmavati took bath after pass through an underground tunnel which connected her royal harem to the kund. After bath she would offer prayer at a temple near the kund.

The history of the fort states that the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire ruled what is marked as Iron Age of Indian Sub-continent between 7th and 11th centrury C.E. Guhilas of Mewar were Vassals to this dynasty which later on split into Rawal and Sisodia. While Rawal under Bappa Rawal ruled from Chittorgarh, the Sisodias under Rana Kumbha ruled from Kumbalgarh.

In the year 1303 Rawal King Ratan Singh was ruling from Chittorgarh fort. He heard about the beauty of Padmavati who was exceptionally beautiful princess from Singhal Kingdom (do not know if it is a Srilankan Kingdom as many insist). After an adventurous quest he married her and brought her to Chittorgarh.

The Turkic ruler of Delhi Allauddin Khilji who was a womeniser also heard about her beauty was obsessed with the desire to obtain her. He attacked Chittorgarh but could not enter the fort and hence made a peace pact with Ratan Sen. He invited the King to his tent. Thereafter Allauddin cunningly detained the King and sought barter with Padmavati.

Gora and Badal Sonegra, the uncles of Padmavati spun a plan and agreed to send Padmavati to Allauddin as an exchange to their King, but along with her maids. Palanquins which were supposed to carry women ferried 700 brave soilders in them. The army attacked the tents and released the King and took him back to the fort.

Engraged Allauddin attacked the fort again and after fighting for more two months the Rajput army could not resist the invasion. The valiant Rajput men shouting “Jai Eklingji” faught bravely till death outside the fort while the women thousands in number led by Padmavati performed Jauhar (Self-Immolation on a pyre). They jumped into the fire so that they are not forced upon by Allauddin and his army.

Do not know if a few would agree with the decision Padmavati had taken at that time. When I read an article in "The Quint" authored by Ms.Urmi Bhattacheryya, I could sense the change in the mindset from those times and now. In the write up the author urges not to glorify Padmavati for choosing honor over life. So some feel that she should have submitted herself to Allauddin and save the King and the Kingdom. Maybe for her as they say in Kannada “Pranakkinta maana doddadu” (Honour is greater than life). 

When she was approached by Rathan Singh she submitted herself to him but she could not do so to Allauddin, she very clearly knew the difference between Love and Lust. 

Let us see what version our SLB will serve us.....!

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