Monday, March 16, 2009

ACK-092: Padmini

Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh

ACK Description:

In the history of India, Padmini of Chittor holds a very prominent position. She was a perfect model of ideal Indian womanhood. When the values cherished by her were threatened by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the mighty Afghan king of Delhi, she faced her problems with exceptional courage. A lesser woman would not have been able to face Ala-ud-din, but Padmini was no ordinary woman. She was a living example of virtuous womanhood.

It was this that inspired many a legend about her. This story of Padmini is based on Padmavat by the famous Sufi poet Malik Muhammed Jayasi and Gora-Badal by the poet Jaymal.

(34 pages, 1200 px wide, 8.45 MB)
Author: Yagya Sharma
Illustrator: Ram Waeerkar
Cover: Ram Waeerkar

More information on Rani Padmini

Rani Padmini was the queen of Chittor and the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh.
The Indian Helen, as she is also known, Padmini is considered to be the epitome of Indian woman-hood and a personification of sacrifice and valour. Her story has been immortalized in Padmavat, an epic poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in the Awadhi language in the year 1540 [1].
In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Delhi Sultanate dominated the political milieu of Northern India. The Delhi Sultans made repeated attacks against their Rajput opponents, especially the Sisodias of Mewar, on one pretext or the other. The first sack of Chittor by Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1303 AD is traditionally considered to have been the result of his infatuation with, and lust for, Ratan Singh's wife, Padmini. [1]. Ala-ud-Din Khilji received support for his annexation attempts from two of Ratan Singh's own courtiers, namely the brothers, Raghav and Chetan. The duo had initially enjoyed Ratan Singh's highest confidence and had been privy to many State secrets which they then threatened to betray if they were not paid well for their silence. Ratan Singh had recently married the beautiful Padmini, the daughter of King Gandharvasen (also known as Hamir Sank) of Sinhala Dvipa (present-day Sri Lanka) and his wife, Queen Champavati, [2] and had received a handsome and generous dowry from her parents. The brothers demanded a large portion of this dowry as payment for their silence. Furious at their exhortation, Ratan Singh had them banished from Chittor, with the understanding that they would be killed if they were ever found on his territory again. In revenge, the brothers went to Delhi and instigated Ala-ud-din Khilji to attack Chittor by inflaming both the Sultan's lust for beautiful women and his uncompromising greed for land and more territory.
Since Ala-ud-din found that he and his opponent were evenly matched in military capabilities, he decided to resort to treachery and diplomacy to conquer Chittor. He sent word to Ratan Singh that he was willing to offer friendship if he could only behold Padmini's face just once, further claiming that he considered Padmini to be his sister. The unsuspecting Ratan Singh asked Padmini to meet her newfound 'brother', but the Queen, suspecting a trap, refused. Instead, she insisted that her husband only permit the Sultan to look at her reflection in a mirror. Ratan Singh agreed and sent for Ala-ud-din, who arrived to meet the Queen, accompanied by his most trusted generals and soldiers. While Ala-ud-din waited impatiently to meet Padmini, his generals carefully examined the fort's defenses to help them plan their attack of Chittor. Padmini stood by a lotus pool as Ala-ud-din gazed at her reflection in a mirror, stunned by her beauty. When he was further informed that he would not be able to personally meet Padmini, despite his claims of new-found kinship with the couple, the Sultan felt both humiliated and cheated. As Ratan Singh accompanied him out of the fort, as a good host should, his men fell upon the King and took him prisoner to the Sultan's camp.
Ala-ud-din then sent a note to Padmini that if she wished her husband to be released unharmed, that she should forthwith become his mistress. The Rani responded that she would meet the Sultan the next morning. At the crack of dawn the following day, one hundred and fifty palanquins (covered carriages in which royal ladies were carried about in medieval times) left the fort and made their way towards Ala-ud-din's camps. 150 able-bodied soldiers, led by Padmini's brother, Badal, emerged from these carriages and fell upon the Sultan's unsuspecting men in a sudden and unexpected attack. The Rajputs then returned to the fort, having rescued their King, and temporarily scoring a major victory over the Sultan of Delhi.
Ala-ud-din responded by laying siege to the fort of Chittor. After a long drawn out campaign, supplies within the fort gradually dwindled. Ratan Singh gave orders for the fort's gates to be flung open and an all-out attack be launched on the would-be invaders as they could not hold out any more. Padmini was aware that her her husband's troops were hopelessly outnumbered and that they would be defeated and dishonored. Rather than be raped and witness the Sultan's army pillaging Chittor, Padmini and her retinue of women decided to commit suicide. The children of the nobility were smuggled out of the fort with trusted aides and attendants in order to save them from the invaders.

Jauhar (Self Immolation)

The Jauhar place of Rani Padmini
At dawn on August 26, 1303, a huge pyre was lit in a room with a single door. The Queen and the noblewomen of her court, the wives, sisters and daughters of ministers and courtiers, bid their young children and menfolk farewell, dressed up in their wedding finery, went into the room with the pyre, locked the door behind them and jumped into the flames en masse. The men donned saffron robes, and threw open the gates of the fort. Almost all of the Rajputs perished in battle that day. The Sultan and his troops entered the fort, eager to rape and pillage, and were sorely disappointed when confronted with the evidence of the mass suicide.

Rani Padmini's life and death has the subject of many legends, ballads and even movies in recent years. Unfortunately, no images of her have been preserved although her courage and sacrifice continue to impress one today as they did during her lifetime more than seven centuries ago.

The above information has been taken from wikipedia source. (



Dhaval said...

First again!

Great post and info gathered once again (or should I say "Great" as usual!! )

I am sure we all will wonder if someone like Padmini ever walked on the face of earth! Reason: we can not really understand that level of dedication and courage in today’s era anywhere.. are we really decedents of these great people?

Was it the british education that ruined it all? Was it in our blood to allow invaders to rob our neighbors and watch silently, just because we had differences with them? or it's the "not my problem and bounce shoulders" attitude that still run in our veins?

If we just browse the pages of the Indian history, people with this attitude are everywhere and that's the route cause why invaders like Mahmud of Ghazni to Britishers succeeded in their intensions..

TPH said...

@Dhaval: Welcome Dhaval and thanks a lot.

That's very true what you have said. The tales of valour from our ancestors are enough to feel proud about.

Yes, Britishers may have their share of blame but ultimately, I feel, it is a long state of being at the receiving end and suffering the oppression in the hands of barbaric invaders that has breeded submissive nature among us.

India's medieval history is full of sorry tales. Why all that was allowed to take place? So much can be said. We can go on lamenting about their follies. But historically, the world over, all prosperous and civilized cultures have always been the target of savages and barbarians. It's not only with us. In fact India is one of those rare countries which have salvaged its culture and traditions from total destruction even after passing through a long period of foreign control and subjugation. Yes, we have witnessed difficult times, but have survived. This can not be ignored easily.

So many European and African countries, in the medieval times, submitted to the Islamic or Christian invaders by not being able to controvert the brutal attacks by these expansionist forces on them.

There must be something in us which has saved us.

Comic World said...

Its a very fine comic if considered by illustrations,inking and story telling.Dialogues are chosen very carefully which expresses the feelings of characters in optimal way supported by eye pleasing inking and illustrations by Raam Waeerkar,who is the sole artist who excelled both in serious and comic type of illustrations,which is very difficult to gain otherwise.

TPH said...

@CW: True. Ram Waeerkar was a superb artist, a veteran who drew the very first ACK based on Indian theme (Krishna). He also made some single page comic strips for Indrajal Comics as we have seen in some very early indrajals.

You have a wealth of information about almost all ACK artists. Please share with us all here as we continue our journey. That would be very interesting.


Comic World said...

TPH:Thanks for the praiseworthy words.Well,i too search an opportunity to initiate these healthy and meaningful discussions among our comic lovers.
Comic enthusiast must be surprised to know that Ram Waeerkar was initially rejected by Anant Pai,somewhere around 1968,when he first met him,on the ground of Waeerkar being a cartoonist whereas Pai was in search of someone who can draw 'serious' characters.But when Waeerkar on the moment drew some serious sketches,Pai was quick enough to recognize the talent in him and offered him job for ACK.
Waeerkar son,Sanjiv Waeerkar,now carries his father legacy and is working as a animator for various TV projects.

Anonymous said...

Sigh! What a tragedy:(.

In fact India is one of those rare countries which have salvaged its culture and traditions from total destruction even after passing through a long period of foreign control and subjugation. Yes, we have witnessed difficult times, but have survived. This can not be ignored easily.

@ TPH: You're exactly right. You could even say that the Indian (Hindu) religion has survived during the toughest times.

Great comic by the way!

Demonoid Fan

adibud34 said...

Hello TPH, excellent post and article again as usual! Thanks so much for it!

You're so right - I wish we could reclaim our lost glory again! Look at the condition today, all the corrupt idiots want to be prime minister, not based on any qualification, but rather on the base of caste, religion, and regional identity! I say if someone is regionally identifiable, they should not be allowed on to the national stage at all!

Similarly, it's been 6 months since the Mumbai attacks, what have we done besides begging the whole world? A strong country wouldn't have begged, but gone right ahead and done what was required! I suppose our respectful leaders are waiting for something bigger to happen (like that ass minister who said "Yeh chotti si baat hain!")

Gosh! I'm feeling so furious now, but alas, no point feeling furious! At least, by reading these ACK's we can feel proud of our illustrious past; when the rest of the world was steeped in darkness, our great country was advanced! If only we can reclaim that soon!

Unknown said...

amazing info. thanks comic world and TPH. adibud, i can understand your sentiments and i feel the same. too bad, the Indian government wants to please everyone. Frankly speaking, terrorists and these pseudo communists in our country are causing lot of trouble.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. A great comic again. Thanks for your efforts. I think these ACK comics should be included in school curriculum so that young generation could know what kind of people our ancestors were.

Samik said...

I remember I read it first when I was some 9 years old and used to HATE Allaudin Khilji after reading this :)

I agree it would be a great idea if ACK were part of the school syllabus... Kids would love it, they would all pass their history lessons too, for a change !!

Anonymous said...

"Great" is a very small word for describing the work you people are doing. Comics plus inputs - superb. Please tell me the source/artist/history of painting of Padamini posted by you along-with inputs. Can you please throw some light on earlier IJC comics by Ram Waiker and if possible can post some of them on your IJC blog.

Anonymous said...

"Great" is a very small word for describing the work you people are doing. Comics plus inputs - superb. Please tell me the source/artist/history of painting of Padamini posted by you along-with inputs. Can you please throw some light on earlier IJC comics by Ram Waiker and if possible can post some of them on your IJC blog.

TPH said...

@CW: Thanks dear. I really didn't know this much. For such interesting and informative details we know where to look for. :-)

Keep shooting such fine pieces, we are all looking for them.

TPH said...

@Demonoid Fan: Thanks and welcome.

Yes, the same sentiments can be extended to religious matters too. You are right.

TPH said...

@aditya: Thanks a lot. We can only hope that the mistakes of past are not repeated.

The present scenario too looks gloomy with so many corrupt politicians holding the center stage. Pseudo seculars have filled the ranks of polity, press and educational institutions. Mumbai attacks shown the worst face of our politicians (you must be remembering the remark made by that ugly comment by kerala's commy CM about the martyr Sandeep Unnikrishnan's father.)

The past had some lapses, but a lot more to cherish about. The memories of those wonderful personalities have to be kept refreshing and ACKs has been doing a nice job there.

Thanks again and always welcome.

Vineet said...

Thanks a ton

TPH said...

@Apoorva Chandar: Thanks and welcome.

"pseudo communists"??? I think they are only doing what they are best at. These criminal propagandists are holding key positions in educational and media institutions since we gained freedom. Too much inclination of early leaders of independent India (like Pt. Nehru) towards marxism had caused much harm to the nation than any good.

TPH said...

@Vijay: Welcome. ACK comic series was prepared from various sources, some of them literary works of greats like 'Bhasa' (see previous comic post, vasavadatta) and 'Kalidas' to "Malik Muhammad Jayasi" (the current post, Padmini, is based on his renowned work called "padmavat"). Some times it is difficult for some people to accept these as ideal history source. So including them in the school curriculum seems difficult. But yes, your idea is correct and apprehensive. Teaching history to school kids through this technique may prove to be wonderful as most of them find the history lessons boring otherwise.


TPH said...

@Samik: That's the usual feeling that is generated automatically for this Sultan by knowing his deeds and I am sure it is not limited to a 9 years old boy only.

Apart from making history lessons enjoyable for kids, the ACKs can also be expected to reignite the reading habits in young children who have almost gave it up for television and computer games.

TPH said...

@Silly boy: Thanks a lot.

Sorry dear, but don't you feel the things are stretching a bit too far now? Initially I thought it to be a small joke only. But now I request you to stop it and comment through your original identity only. Be assured we all know who you really are :-).

And you don't need to resort to such silly/boyish/childish tactics, believe me.

And for the Padmini painting, I lifted it from some blog after a google image search. Don't really know the artist. Sorry about it.

TPH said...

@Vineet: You are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

The tinkle collections (from the Tinkle Label) are not reachable. :-(
Personally I always prefered Tinkle. :) Would you re-up them?


TPH said...

@Anonymous: Which tinkle comic you are facing trouble downloading? Please specify and I'll re upload it.

jaihind1989 said...

Thanks a lot for such a fabulous comic.
It was quite a relief after watching that crap on Sony.

Roshmi Sinha said...

I am a big fan of comics and a regular at your blog/site.

This blog had helped me relive my childhood... and get myself reacquainted with the "Amar Chitra Katha" all over again!

Thanks a bunch! Keep going!!!

P.S. You have received an award. Please check out my latest post, "I know I'm late, but... the award goes to..." to know more about it.

Neil said...

Thanx 4 all your uploads ... bringing back all the childhood memories ....

i had almost all of those ACK books bt giving these books 2 frds & loosing them is a very painful memory 4 me ....

bt thanx 2 u i will have them slowly in my box again ....

i luv history & special thanx 2 those uploaders ... waiting 2 c Shivaji, Rana Pratap etc ...

Anil said...

can any1 plz upload these also "rani durgavati, chand bibi, tanaji, bajirao, tipu sultan, shivaji, tales of shivaji" ???

wanna read ACK of tipu sultan, coz recently his armour & things were in news ... plz plz plz

am a person interested in HISTORY, so just cant resist .... thanx in advance .....

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vikki said...

History teaches us us many things we should learn it and never repeat the same mistakes :)