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4-Padminee-Raanee of Chittaud Garh

Raanee Padminee was the queen of Raaval Ratan Singh, the King of Chittaud Garh, during the 12th and 13th centuries. She was the princess of Ceylon (present Sri Lanka) and was very beautiful. In those days Alaauddeen Khilajee was ruling in Dehlee. Raaval Ratan Singh was n ot only a great warrior, he was a great lover of art also. There was a great talented musician in Ratansen's court - Raaghav Chetan, but he was not only a good musician, he was also a good sorcerer too. Once he was caught in this act, so Ratansen punished him by blackening his face and riding on a donkey. This embarrassed Raaghav and he went towards Dehlee and settled down in a forest where Aaauddeen Khilajee used to come for hunting.

Once when Alaauddeen came for hunting in that forest, he played such a melodious tune on his flute that Alaauddeen called him and asked him to come to his court. He cunningly asked him as why did he wan him to be in his court when other beautiful things were in the world. On asking what he meant by his statement, he describe the beauty of Padminee to him. Alaauddeen immediately decided to attack Chittaud Garh. It was in 1303. But as he reached there, he found the fort heavily secured. He was desperate to see Padminee, so he found a way to see her. He sent a message to the King that Padminee was like his sister and he wanted to see her personally. When Ratansen gave this message to Padminee, Padminee clearly refused it - she was very worldly-wise. But Ratansen persuaded her and she got ready on the condition that Alaauddeen could see her in the mirror only.

Alaauddeen got very happy to hear this, so he made his way to the fort with his best warriors examining the security carefully. After seeing Padminee in the mirror, he thought to take her for himself. When he was coming back to his camp, the King came to see him off for some distance. He cheated on him, and he arrested him and sent a message that he would free the King only upon getting Padminee. Hearing this, the King's Generals also decided to beat the Sultaan at his own game.

They sent the message that "Padminee will be sent to you next morning." The following morning, at the dawn 150 palanquins left the fort and headed towards Alaauddeen's camp. Baadal, the brother of Padminee who was as beautiful as his sister, led those palanquins. He was barely 18 years old at that time. The palanquins made a halt in front of the tent where Ratansen was imprisoned. Seeing those palanquins in front of him, and thinking that his queen has been brought to this Muslim King, he became very furious. But to his surprise, from those palanquins came out not the queen and her maid servants but full-fledged armed soldiers, freed him and took him to their fort on the horse taken from the Sultaan's stables.

Sultaan ordered his soldiers to attack the fort, but as hard they tried they could not break into the fort. So they surrounded the fort and the King's people could not get supplies. King Ratansen ordered to open the gates of the fort and fight with the Sultaan. Now there were two alternatives for the women of the Chittaud Garh - either to commit suicide by Jauhar (self immolation) or to be dishonored by the Sultaan's hand. They chose the first one. A big pyre was prepared and all women jumped into it, the Queen being the last.

The men did not have anything to live for, so they also opened the gates of the fort and fought bravely till all of them died there. Over 50,000 men were killed in that battle. Although the Sultaan got victory, but when he entered the fort, he found nothing except bones and ashes of those beautiful women for whom they sought this victory. This Jauhar of Padminee is very famous in Indian history.

A Muslim poet Malik Muhammad Jaayasee has recorded this beautiful event in his famous long poem entitled "Padmaavat", written in Avadhee language in 1540, with a little different version. After Ratansen had been kidnapped by Alaauddeen, a neighboring state Kambhalner's king makes a indecent proposal to Padminee or Padmaavatee. Fortunately Ratansen escapes and kills the king of Kambhalner, but he himself gets fatally wounded. His two queens, Padmaavatee and Naagmatee, perform Jauhar before Alaauddeen come to look for Ratansen. He finds the queens' ashes only in the fort.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/05/13