Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh
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
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 .
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. . 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,  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.
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
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. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rani_Padmini)