Rani Padmini saga of love hate and death!!!
Chittorgarh is a fort where the air screams HISTORY. A place which was graced not only by the Rajput but by Meera Bai and Rani Padmini. When I think of love romance I cannot not think of Rani Padmini and Aladdin Khilji….. well its not romantic in the traditional way…… in fact some people will even chastise me for joining the two names together….. but me….. I find it really romantic.
For people who don’t know the story…… here it goes in short….. the rest refer to links in Wikipedia. Rani Padmini was a very very beautiful princess of SriLanka and second queen of Rana Ratan Singh. She was so beautiful that when she drank water you could see it passing in her throat. Same with betel leaves. There are lots of poems written about her beauty. For poetry lovers refer to poems by Malik Mohammed Jaysi in Padmavat.
Aladdin Khilji, a Turkish ruler had heard about her beauty and was intrigued. He wanted to see her so befriended the king and requested to see his wife, which was a shameful and dishonorable act….. as women especially queens always lived behind purdah. But the king to avoid the wrath of the Khilji agreed. The queen was asked to come to window in her palace and her reflection in the water was reflected in a mirror and shown to Khilji. He was immediately smitten by her and fell in love with her. What followed was years of drama, war, bloodshed and siege of the fort of Chittorgarh and when he finally won the battle after killing more than 8000 Rajputs and marched in…….. Rani Padmini along with all the women folk and children, 30,000 in all, committed Jauhar……. burning alive in the pyre. All that Khilji got after besieging Chittorgarh was bloodshed and stench of burning flesh and bones of the beautiful Padmini.
I had heard this story when I was little….. it was dreamy and beautiful but when I actually saw the fort for myself……. I realised how much Allauddin must have loved Padmini……. because the fort is impregnable and huge. It took us one full day from morning to evening in a car to see 35 to 50% of the fort. If you go back 10 centuries you can imagine how big it was and still is. It also reminds me that love is not only BLIND but also ruthless at times.