Padmavati, also known as Padmini, was a legendary Chitrakot (Chittor) queen who was married to Rajput King Rawal Ratan Singh aka Ratan Sen. The queen was said to be extremely attractive. Despite the fact that some historians deny her presence and legends, she is still respected by the people of Rajasthan.
Padmavati was a prominent Chitor queen who was famous for her beauty in India during the 13th–14th centuries. There are numerous scriptures and manuscripts that describe her intelligence and beauty. Her beauty attracted her future husband, Rawal Ratan Singh, the King of Chittor, to cross seven oceans and conquer numerous obstacles to marry her. Her beauty is said to have inspired Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, to conquer the Chittor Fort (1303). Many scholars, however, reject such stories.
In Rajasthan, the dignified queen of Chittor is revered for the sacrifice she made in Chittor’s honour. She is both a historical figure and a symbol of patriotism for Indians.
Family, Caste & Husband
During the late 13th century, Rani Padmini was born to Gandharvsen, the king of Singhal kingdom (now Sri Lanka), and queen Champavati (according to Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi). She was also skilled in martial arts and knew the Vedas, as she was born into a Hindu Kshatriya family. Rawal Ratan Singh aka Ratan Sen, the Rajput King of Chittor (Rajasthan), was her husband. The numerous scripts discussing her legends make no mention of her having any children. Her husband was already married to queen Nagmati before marrying her.
The Legend Of Rani Padmavati
While historical notes from the period do not say much about Rani Padmavati, her beauty and courage are mentioned in many scriptures and texts from the 16th century and later. The earliest is a poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 CE based on the mention of Rani Padmini’s beauty. Several other scriptures and texts, including Persian and Urdu translations of Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s “Padmavat,” Rajput ballad “Gora Badal Padmini Chaupai,” James Tod’s “Annals and Antiquities of Rajas’han,” and various oral legends and literary accounts, have extensive references to Rani Padmavati’s life.
All of the manuscripts listed above, as well as others, have described her stunning beauty. Rani Padmavati was born in the late 13th century to King Gandharvsen and queen Champavati in the island kingdom Singhal, according to Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem. Her exceptional beauty made her popular in neighbouring countries.
Rani Padmavati had a pet parrot called Hiraman. Padmavati used to learn the Vedas with the parrot, which could talk. Her father, King Gandharvsen, couldn’t stand his daughter’s closeness to the parrot, so he had the parrot killed by his soldiers. The parrot managed to flee the Singhal kingdom and make his way to Chittor. In Chittor, he identified Padmavati’s beauty to Rawal Ratan Singh, the King of Chittor, who agreed to marry her and travelled to Singhal with his 16,000 followers. After overcoming a variety of hurdles, he was able to win Princess Padmavati’s hand and marry her.
According to sources, a Brahmin musician named ‘Raghav Chetan’ was expelled from Rawal Ratan’s court for defrauding him. Raghav Chetan, enraged, travelled to Delhi and was successful in entering the court of Alauddin Khilji (Sultan of Delhi at that time; second ruler of Khalji Dynasty). He gained Khilji’s confidence and told him of Rani Padmavati’s exquisite beauty. With the definition of Padmavati, Alauddin Khilji, a cruel and lusty man, was taken away. To catch Chittor, he surrounded her with armed forces. Except for giving Rani Padmavati to Khilji, King Rawal Ratan Singh agreed to grant all of his wishes.Khilji was also unable to conquer Chittor’s fort and offered King Ratan Sen a peace treaty, but it was all part of his plan to capture the King.
Rawal Ratan Singh was taken to Delhi by Alauddin Khilji and imprisoned. In return for their King, he demanded that the Rajputs hand over Rani Padmavati. No Rajput was prepared for this deal, so they devised a strategy and marched to Delhi with 800 soldiers dressed as Padmavati and her female companions, led by Rajput Commanders Gora and Badal, who were successful in freeing their King. Gora, like many other Rajput soldiers, was killed.
This incident depressed Alauddin, who assaulted Chittor. At the same time, another Kumbhalner Rajput Ruler, Devpal, attacked the fort in an effort to capture Rani Padmavati. Both kings battled one another and died in the battle. Meanwhile, Alauddin conquered the fort, but as soon as the two queens of Rawal Ratan Singh learned of their husband’s death, they joined other Rajput women of Chittor in mass self-immolation (Jauhar). And all of the Rajput men died in battle with Alauddin’s army. Alauddin didn’t even get a glimpse of her beauty in this way. The people of Rajasthan have worshipped Rani Padmavati as a goddess since then.
Other legends mention her beauty and the above-mentioned battle, but with slight differences. Some historians dispute the reality of the event, although others support it.
Cause Of Death
Rani Padmavati died in mass self-immolation (Jauhar) after her husband was killed in battle, according to manuscripts and a poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. The first wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh, as well as all the women of Chittor, took part in the mass self-immolation. To avoid Alauddin Khilji’s evil plans, Rani Padmavati had no choice but to commit suicide.
- The epic poem ‘Padmavat’ by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, written in the Awadhi language in 1540 CE, is the first mention of Rani Padmavati. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, there were many Urdu and Persian translations of the poem.
- Rawal Ratan Singh renounced his kingdom and travelled to Singhal to marry the Princess of Singhal after hearing about the mesmerising beauty of Rani Padmavati, the King of Chittor. He was escorted by 16,000 soldiers by the parrot who had told him about Padmavati.
- King Rawal Ratan Singh returned to his kingdom after marrying Padmavati and reclaimed his status as King.
- There was a competition between the King’s two wives since the King was already married to Queen Nagmati.
- One of the courtiers, Raghav Chetan, was expelled for theft, according to Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poetry; however, other texts say that he was caught watching the Queen and the King make love.
- Raghav Chetan was enraged by the King’s actions and sought shelter in the court of Alauddin Khilji Alauddin Khilji, where he portrayed Padmavati’s majestic beauty.
- Allaudin, the Sultan of Delhi, wanted to see Padmavati’s beauty. So he besieged Chittor in order to apprehend her.
- While Amir Khusrau, a court poet and panegyrist, wrote about the Chittor siege in 1303 CE in his Khaza’in ul-Futuh, it makes no mention of ‘Padmavati.’ It says that Alauddin was acquiring all of the neighbouring Hindu kingdoms, including Chittor.
- After winning the battle of Chittor, Amir Khusrau mentioned accompanying Alauddin into the fort, but there is no reason why he went inside.
- For local legends, Rani Padmavati is a historical figure who has been worshipped ever since.
- Rani Padmavati was a sign of Indian patriotism for the Swadeshi movement in the 19th century during the Indian Independence Movement.
- Rani Padmavati and Khilji have also been listed in the works of popular modern Indian writers. The Jauhar of Padmavati and the attack of Khilji on Chittor are mentioned in Abanindranath Tagore’s Rajkahini, Jawaharlal Nehru’s The Discovery of India (1946), and Yagneshwar Bandyopadhyay’s Mewar (1884). Their interpretation, on the other hand, may have been influenced by the poem.
- The various versions of different texts about Rani Padmini’s past vary from one another. She was the daughter of King Ratan Singh in some scriptures, and the wife of Rajput warrior Bhimsinha, the uncle of Chittor’s ruler Lakshmansinha, in others. However, she is mentioned in every scripture as the most beautiful lady of her day.
- Rani Padmini was a historical figure, and several texts and plays have been written about her life.
- Padmini is a play written and performed by Kshirode Prasad Vidyavinode (1906).
- The first film about Rani Padmavati’s life was a silent film called “Kamonar Agun” or “Flesh of Flesh,” which was released in 1930. Later, in 1963, popular actress Vyjayanthimala played Rani Padmini in the Tamil film Chittoor Rani Padmini, directed by Chitrapu Narayana Rao and starring Sivaji Ganesan.
- Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur, a TV series based on the storey of Rani Padmini, aired on Sony TV in 2009.
- Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film “Padmavati,” later renamed “Padmavat,” was released in 2017 and starred Deepika Padukone Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh. When the Karni Sena of Rajasthan came forward to protest the film, it sparked controversy. They said that they respected Rani Padmavati as a Goddess, and that the film was hurting their feelings.
- The life storey of Rani Padmavati has a meaning according to ancient Hindu, Sufi, and Jain manuscripts. The Chittor fort represents the human body, the Chittor King represents the human spirit, the Singhal Kingdom represents the human heart, Rani Padmavati represents the human mind, and Sultan Alauddin represents worldly illusion, while the parrot represents the guide.