A numerous number of people who are familiar with the Hindi literature have known and read the poem Padvamat but only a handful of people actually know about the person who was the inspiration behind the poem. Rani Padmavati was the Queen of Chittor who was married to King Ratansen. Padmavati was a very sought after princess and was one of the most beautiful and alluring princess of her kingdom. She was the daughter of the King of Sinhala.
People tend to judge her existence as a mere piece of fiction and imagination but there are a number of proofs that give evidence about her possible existence back in the days. The poem Padmavat was released after around 240 years of her alleged “existence” and it was written by Malik Muhammad.
Excerpts about her early life
There are little no excerpts or citations about the childhood or adolescent phase of Rani Padmavati. She spent her entire childhood under the strict eye and guidance of her parents, Gandharvsena who was her father and Champavati who was her mother. Anyone who has read the poem is very well aware of the talking parrot that was in Padmavati’s possession whose name was Hiramani.
Due to lack of information, there are little to nothing that we can indulge in that count as a part of her early life except for marriage. Back in those days, the princesses were married off to the best suitor who was eligible for marriage. Rani Padmavati’s swayamvar was a matter of great hype and kings from all over the country came to participate in the event and prove their capabilities.
The final countdown and face-off came down to two people who came to the ceremony, Malkan Singh and King Rawal Ratan Singh who was the king of Chittor. Rawal Ratan Singh who wanted a good amount of dowry for the marriage was set on winning both the dowry and the princess and so he did. Ratan Singh’s first wife who stayed back in Chittor was Nagmati.
Alauddin Khilji and Padmavati – Story
The story of Padmavati is based on the Awadhi poem written by poet Malik Muhammed Jayasi. The story describes Padmavati as a flawless beauty, the one whose elegance and charm is unmatched for years to come. The story is based on the times of early 14th century AD. King Rawal Ratan Singh from the Sisodiya clan wins her hand in marriage at a Swayamvar. Padmavati becomes his second wife.
Meanwhile, one of king Rawal Ratan Singh’s subjects, the musician Raghav Chaitanya is banished from the court because he is found initiating illegal activities like sorcerism. Outraged by the insult, Chaitanya decides to avenge his insult against the king. He goes to Alauddin Khilji’s court and recounts the beauty of Padmavati, so much that the emperor is hooked and decides to go to Chitoor to bring her to his kingdom as his mistress.
Alauddin goes to Chittorgarh with his army and sets his army outside the court. He visits Rawal Ratan Singh and wishes his desire to meet him and also meet his queen, on the pretext that he considers her, his sister. King Rawal Ratan Singh tells the Khilji that since it is against the Rajput customs, he cannot make his wife meet Khilji directly, but he can show him her reflection. When Khilji sees Padmavati’s reflection through mirrors, he is overcome by passion and desire to possess her, no matter what the consequences.
Khilji decides that he will not leave without the queen. So, while going back, he has the king kidnapped. Khilji sends a message to the place that if they want their king alive, they should hand over the queen Padmavati to him. The two loyal generals of the king, Badal and Gora hatch a plan and inform Khilji that he can take Padmavati to Delhi, as she has agreed to do so.
The next day, more than a hundred palanquins make their way to the camp of Khilji. Alauddin is excited at the prospect of the queen Padmavati coming to meet him with hundreds of maids. He comes to know much later that the palanquins contain soldies who put on a valiant fight and free their king. In the bargain, Gora and Badal lay down their lives.
Khilji is enraged to know that he has been tricked. Not to let things down, he orders his arms to lay a siege on the Chittor fort. But the Chittorgarh fort is impregnable. So, the sultan tells the army to cut off all supplies. Rawal Ratan Singh’s palace is made devoid of food, water and other essential supplies. Unwilling to take more humilation and suffering, Rawal Ratan Singh decide to face the mighty army, even though it is a suicidal move. The valiant Rajput soldiers lay down their lives along with the king.
With Chittorgarh and its men falling, it is evident that the Sultan has emerged victors. It is a matter of time before the widowed Padmavati and the other women in the palace are reduced to concubines of Khilji and his men. But the ladies decide otherwise, instead of facing humilation at the hands of Sultan, they decide it is best to lay down their lives. Padmavati and the other women dress like brides, sing songs for the glory of Chittor and light a huge pyre. Rani Padmavati jumps in first and other ladies follow, ensuring that the pride of Chittogarh remains lit forever.
Is the Padmavati story true or fake?
The historical account of Padmavati is debatable, as it is based on a poem emerging into a fable. But then, it is true that Khilji annexed Chittor as a part of his dominance. Many historians believe that Khilji’s interest in Chittorgarh was based on his interest to annexe his kingdom rather than Padmavati. Whie some look at Padmavati as exagerrated fiction, many Rajput groups accounts for its valdity and look at ‘jauhar’ (ultimate sacrifice) as a significant historical moment and a testimony to the bravery of Rajput ladies.
Rani Padmavati – Pictures
Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati (Pictures)