Siege of Chittor: 1303 – First Jauhar of Chittor – Rani Padmini
In 1303, Alauddin Khilji laid siege of Chittor. In the following battle, Rana Ratan Singh of Chittor died fighting & Rani Padmini committed Jauhar. The event is remembered as First Jauhar of Chittor. Years later in 1540, Malik Mohd. Jayasi wrote Padmavat on this jauhar.
Background of Siege of Chittor:
Rawal Ratan Singh, ruled Chittorgarh during start of 14th Century. Raghav-Chetan, a musician in Ratan Singh’s court was fired from his post for his evil deeds. He turned against and reached Alauddin Court in Delhi, where he incite Allauddin against Chittor using description of Rani Padmini’s beauty.
Alauddin marched to Chittor.
The Saka of Gora-Badal
Desperate to have a look at the legendary beauty of Padmini, he sent word of positive relation to King Rawal Ratan Singh. The Rana, out of politeness, allowed the Khilji to view Padmini through a set of mirrors. But this viewing of Padmini further fired Khilji’s desire to possess her. After the viewing, as a gesture of courtesy, when the Rana accompanied the Sultan to the outer gate, he was treacherously captured. Khilji conveyed to the queen that the Rana would be released only if she agreed to join his harem.
Rani Padmini, informed about this fatal situation to Uncle Gorah (Gora) & his newphew Badal, who devised a scheme for liberation of their prince without hazarding her life or fame. A word was sent to Khilji camp that Rani Padmini would be sent, but, only in a manner befitting that of Queen which was surrounded by her females and handmaids and litters (containers with some material). Seven hundred covered litters proceeded to the camp and each of these litters was borne by six-armed soldiers disguised as litter-potter.
Half and hour meeting was granted between Prince and departing Rani Padmini. When Rani Padmini’s Palki, occupied by Gora, reached Ratan Singh, he informed him of the arrangement to make him escape. Immediately, Gora & Badal, along with the rajput warriors started havoc in the camp. Alauddin was save beacuse of the tight security, Ratan Singh was safely returned to fort.
Rani Padmini’s Jauhar:
Sultan Alauddin was furious and ordered his army to storm Chittor. But his army could not break into the fort. Then, Ala-ud-din decided to laid siege to the fort. The siege was a long drawn one and gradually supplied within the fort were depleted. Finally King Ratan Singh, gave orders that the Rajputs would open the gates and fight to finish with the besieging troops.
With their men-folk going into the unequal struggle with the Sultan’s army in which they were sure to perish, Rani Padmini along with other womenfolk women of Chittor commited Jauhar. Khilji won the battle of August 26, 1303.
Result of Battle:
Alauddin remained in chittor for few days, after which, he delivered the charge of fort and city to Maldeo, the chief of Jalore, whom he had conquered and enrolled among his vassals.
The survivor of Chettore, Rana Ajeysi was transferred to security at kailwara.