Rani Padmini

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This article is about the queen of chittor. For the Indian actress, see Ranipadmini. For the Malayalam-language film, see Rani Padmini (film).
Rani Padmini
22Princess Padmavati ca. 1765 Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.jpg
Queen Padmini of Chittor

Rani Padmini (or Padmavati) is a legendary queen mentioned in Padmavat, an epic poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 CE.[1] According to the poem, she was the wife of King Ratansen of Chittor;[2] and the daughter of the contemporary Sinhala king[citation needed]. Rani Padmini was renowned across Indian land for her beauty.[citation needed]

There is no historical evidence that Rani Padmini actually existed.[3] Padmavat is the first written reference to Rani Padmini, occurring approximately 240 years after the events described in it.

Early life[edit]

Padmini or Padmavati spent her life in Sinhala under the care of her father Gandharvsena and mother Champavati[citation needed]. Padmini had a talking parrot named "Hiramani".[4] Her father arranged a swayamvara and invited all the Hindu kings and Rajputs to ask for her hand (request to marry her by showing their eligibility). Malkhan Singh, a king from a small state came to her swayamvara to marry her[citation needed]. King Rawal Ratan Singh of Chittor who had many other queens, also went to Singhal, defeated Malkhan Singh and married Padmini as the winner of the swayamvara[citation needed]. He returned to Chittor with his beautiful Fifteenth queen Padmini[citation needed].

[बोलहु सुआ पियारे-नाहाँ । मोरे रूप कोइ जग माहाँ ?]
सुमिरि रूप पदमावति केरा । हँसा सुआ, रानी मुख हेरा ॥
[Queen Nagamati asks her new parrot: say beloved parrot, Is anyone in the world as beautiful as me?]
The parrot recalled the beauty of Padmavati. It laughed and looked at the queen.[5] An illustrated manuscript of Padmavat, ca. 1750

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Sultanate of Delhi - the kingdom set up by invaders - was growing in power. The Sultans made repeated attack on Mewar.[citation needed]. The reason for one of attacks on Chittor by Alauddin Khilji was to obtain beautiful Rani Padmini by force. The story is based on the book written by the Alauddin's historian to justify their attacks on Rajput kingdoms and much to frustrate the bravery and heroism which was present in the males and females of Rajputs warlords. [[[Category:All articles with unsourced statements]][citation needed] Some historians do not agree with the story which is based on Muslim sources to inflame the Rajput chivalry. The story uses all such tactics and tricks which are required to make it seem true. It goes as follows.[citation needed]

In those days Chittor was under the rule of Rajput King Rawal Ratan Singh, a brave and noble warrior. Apart from being a loving husband and a just ruler, Rawal Ratan Singh was also a patron of the arts[citation needed]. In his court were many talented people, one of whom was a musician named Raghav Chetan[citation needed]. But unknown to anybody, Raghav Chetan was also a sorcerer. He used his evil talents to run down his rivals and, unfortunately for him, was caught red-handed in his dirty act of arousing evil spirits.[citation needed] Some other sources quote that Raghav Chetan was actually called in by Ratan Singh for some dirty work.[citation needed]

On hearing this, King Rawal Ratan Singh was furious and he banished Raghav Chetan from his kingdom after blackening his face and making him ride a donkey.[citation needed] This harsh punishment earned Ratan Singh an uncompromising enemy. Sulking after his humiliation, Raghav Chetan made his way towards Delhi with the aim of trying to incite the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji, to attack Chittor.[citation needed]

The women who performed jauhar perished but their memory has been kept alive till today by bards and songs which glorify their act, which was right in those days and circumstances. A halo of honour is given to their sacrifice.[6]


Main article: Padmavat

Malik Muhammad Jayasi's poem records yet another account of the events.

When Ratan Singh refuses Alauddin Khilji's demand for Padmavati for his harem, war ensues and the king is taken prisoner. Meanwhile, the king of neighbouring Kambhalner makes an indecent proposal to the queen. Ratan Singh escapes and kills the king of Kambhalner, but is himself fatally wounded. His two queens, Padmavati and Nagmati perform Jauhar, and Alauddin's army arrives when their ashes are still warm. Chittor falls to the emperor.[1]


It is believed Maharani Padmini performed Jauhar in 1303[citation needed]. Jauhar (also spelled jowhar) is the self-immolation of queens and female royals of the Rajput kingdoms, when facing defeat at the hands of an enemy.

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. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 83. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  3. ^ https://www.indiacurrents.com/articles/2009/07/28/mystery-woman-of-mewar
  4. ^ Ramananda Chatterjee. The Modern review , Volume 80. Prabasi Press Private, Ltd., 1946. p. 300. 
  5. ^ नागमती-सुवा-संवाद-खंड / मलिक मोहम्मद जायसी
  6. ^ "History of chittorgarh | Rani padmini". http://www.chittorgarh.com. Retrieved 7 March 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]