From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
बोलहु सुआ पियारे-नाहाँ । मोरे रूप कोइ जग माहाँ ?
सुमिरि रूप पदमावति केरा । हँसा सुआ, रानी मुख हेरा ॥
"Who is more beautiful, I or Padmavati?,
Queen Nagamati asks to her new parrot, and it gives a displeasing reply…";
An illustrated manuscript of Padmavat, c. 1750

Padmavat or Padmawat (Hindi: पद्मावत) is an epic poem written in 1540 by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in the Awadhi language. It is the first important work in Awadhi.[1]


This epic poem is a fictionalized version of the historic siege of Chittor by Alauddin Khilji in 1303 AD, who attacks Chittor after hearing of the beauty of Queen Rani Padmini, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh.[1]

The two parts of the poem form a tale of mystical love that in terms of Sufi symbolism represents the voyage of the soul to God, the ideal state of unison and the return to living in a transient world, full of conflict and deceit. The juxtaposition of the ideal of the spiritual development of a worldly king and the difficulty to maintain moral integrity in the real world marks the structure and the thematic message of Padmavat. It emphasizes the Rajput king's seva- his sacred dedication- to love, expressed in the idiom of Sufi mysticism, as moral ideal and an example for the various religious and cultural sensibilities amongst the poet's audience.[2]

According to Jayasi, Chitor stood for body, Raja for mind, Ceylon for heart, Padmini for wisdom, Alauddin for lust, and Ashraf Jahangir Semnani as an ideal spiritual guide.

Jayasi imagined Padmavat as the world and the ruler as desire. The whole story was built around this figment of imagination.

Some part of the work is dedicated to Sher Shah (1486–1545).

Cultural influence[edit]

The poem is the ultimate source of Albert Roussel's opera Padmâvatî (1923).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meyer, William Stevenson; Burn, Richard; Cotton, James Sutherland; Risley, Herbert Hope (1909). "Vernacular Literature". The Imperial Gazetteer of India 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 430–431. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  2. ^ The Ruby in the Dust: Poetry and History of the Indian Padmavat by Sufi Poet Muhammad Jayasi by Thomas de Bruijn, AUP - Leiden University Press, 2012