Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmini – A Tale of Valor, Sacrifice and Tragedy

Our Indian history has so many legendary stories, which will take us centuries back to study about our fabulous and remarkable culture. We will be fascinated by our own cultural richness and customs that were being followed before many generations. The tale about Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmini, also known as Padmavati, is a kind of epic that tells us more about our Indian women, their skills and their tactical knowledge in handling the problems.

Alauddin Khilji and Rani PadminiDirector Sanjay Leela Bhansali, most renowned for his interest in making films about history drama has shown interest in the tale of Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati. His upcoming movie ‘Padmavati‘ is also a history -drama based on the love of Alauddin Khilji for Rani Padmavati. This film will be an adaption from an epic poem ‘Padmavat’ written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. This film is also drawing attention from all kind of audiences and also will be more interesting film for people from history journals.

About Rani Padmavati:

Rani Padmini, also known as Padmavati is an legendary Indian Queen from 13th-14th century.Padmavati was an exceptionally beautiful and brilliant princess from Singhal Kingdom(Sri Lanka). She is a daughter of King Gandharv Sen and Queen Champavati from Singhal Clan. Ratan Sen, the Rajput ruler from Chittor heard her legendary beauty from a talking parrot named Hiraman, went on an adventurous quest with his men to attack the Singhal Kingdom. However, in that attack, the Rajput warrior lost and he his men were taken prisoner by Singhal King. A moment before execution, his men revealed that he is Rajput Ruler and King of Chittor. Knowing this King Gandharv married his beautiful daughter to King Ratan Sen.  He then returned with his beautiful second wife to Chittor.

Raghav Chetan:

Ratan Sen was a valiant warrior, a just ruler and a loving husband. Apart from these, he showed immense interest in arts. All the artists, dancers, Musicians, Poet were welcome in the court by the King and they were treated as honourable guests. One among the talented courtiers was a musician named Raghav Chetan.  However, he was not only a musician, but also a sorcerer who used his evil power to run down his opponents. One time, he was caught red-handed by King Ratan Sen and was banished from Chittor.

He did not take this insult lightly, he seeked revenge on his King Ratan Sen, who now became an enemy. He went to the court of Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi and told him about the exceptionally beautiful wife of his previous King Ratan Sen. Alauddin Khilji was captivated by the narration and developed an intention to procure Rani Padmavati.

A glimpse of Rani Padmavati:

Alauddin Khilji besieged Chittor fort, seeing the fort heavily guarded, he restrained from attacking. He requested the audience of Rani Padmavati, which was accepted only on the condition that he will be allowed to view her reflection from a mirror. However, Rani Padmavati tactically planned the meeting, that when he sees her reflection in a mirror she will not be directly behind the mirror.

Alauddin agreed to this and when the day of meeting came, Rani Padmavati did not reveal herself, instead made one of her beautiful maid to stand in her stead. Not knowing he was fooled by Rani Padmavati, at the same time being smitten by the beauty of the maid thinking her as Rani Padmavati, he feigned a peace treaty with King Ratan Sen. Not knowing the trap for King Ratan Sen, he accompanied Alauddin Khilji to Delhi, where he was held hostage by Alauddin Khilji.

Rescue of King Ratan Sen:

Knowing the capture of her beloved husband, she seeked help from her two brave general Gora and Badal. Since the condition from Alauddin Khilji was to surrender Rani Padmavati, the generals made their followers to disguise as Rani Padmavati and her female companions. The followers fought bravely alongside their generals and rescued their King. Knowing that he has been tricked, Alauddin Khilji became furious and ordered his army to break the impregnable walls of Chittor fort.

War at Chittor:

Having fought a battle most recently, King Ratan Sen sensed that defeat is inevitable and he wanted to fight and die with valor, so he ordered his men to open the gates of Chittor fort. Rani Padmavati heard the King’s decision to fight Alauddin Khilji men and knowing that their small army has no chance to withstand a huge Alauddin Khilji’s men, she decided to sacrifice herself.

Alauddin Khilji and Rani PadminiSacrifice at Chittor:

Rani Padmavati and her entourage of women decided to sacrifice themselves instead of being captured by Alauddin Khilji men. They sent their children to hide in with their loyal servants and they built a huge pyre. All the women dressed themselves up in their wedding attire and sang a holy song to endure their pain from the fire engulfing them. Rani Padmavati sacrificed herself first and then rest of the women followed her into the pyre.

The men of Chittor witnessed this incident and they smeared the ashes of their wives in their forehead and opened the great gates of Chittor. They fought to death with Alauddin Khilji men since they had nothing to lose. Finally, the Chittor army perished in the war. However, Alauddin Khilji was not able to attain what he had come for. All he could witness was tall flames of fire, feasting on the fort of Chittor.

This legendary story was disputed among many scholars, that this is just a figment from an imaginative story that glorifies the Rajput clan. However there are other scholars who believe it otherwise. Till now it is told as an interesting historical story.