Rani Padmini

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Rani Padmini

Padmini, also known as Padmavati, was a legendary 13th–14th century Rani (queen) of the Mewar kingdom of present-day India. Several 16th-century texts mention her, of which the earliest source is Padmavat, a poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 CE.


  • Temples were desecrated, palaces and 'havelis' denuded of their wealth and works of art, vandalised. Hardly anything survived the holocaust in the fort, except the undying spirit of Mewar that left an indelible message behind-'I will be back'. Padmini perished in the flames of jahuar, but left a legacy that still lingers in our consciousness. In fact, it is the likes of her who have enabled us to survive the slavery of a thousand years with almost everything intact - our 'Vedas' and values, our festivals and fairs, our 'Ragas' and rituals, our arts and culture and above all, our pride in the past.
    • B.K. Karkra, Rani Padmini, The Heroine of Chittor. (2009) Rupa.
  • Tod’s account of the fall of Chitor, one of the Rajput capitals, is as romantic as any legend of Arthur or Charlemagne; and indeed (since it is based solely upon native historians too faithful to their fatherland to be in love with truth) these marvelous Annals of Rajasthan may be as legendary as Le Morte d’Arthur or Le Chanson de Roland. In this version the Mohammedan invader, Alau-d-din, wanted not Chitor but the princess Pudmini—“a title bestowed only on the superlatively fair.” The Moslem chieftain proposed to raise the siege if the regent of Chitor would surrender the princess. Being refused, Alau-d-din agreed to withdraw if he were allowed to see Pudmini. Finally he consented to depart if he might see Pudmini in à mirror; but this too was denied him. Instead, the women of Chitor joined in defending their city; and when the Rajputs saw their wives and daughters dying beside them they fought until every man of them was dead. When Alau-d-din entered the capital he found no sign of human life within its gates; all the males had died in battle, and their wives, in the awful rite known as the Johur, had burned themselves to death.
  • Before the final surrender of the citadel the Rajput ladies of the fortress lighted the fire of Jauhar in a subterranean cavern which still exists, and perished into the devouring flames to save themselves from enslavement or dishonour. Col. Tod gives a picturesque description of the heart rending scene in which a procession of chivalrous Rajput women, head- ed by the fair Padmini, queen of Ratan Singh, threw them- selves into the fire of Jauhar. ‘‘ The fair Padmini closed the throng.” writes the author of the Annals, ‘‘ which was aug- mented by whatever of female beauty or youth could be tainted by Tatar lust. They were conveyed to the cavern and the opening closed upon them, leaving them to find security from dishonour in the devouring element.’’
    • K.S. Lal, History of the Khaljis (1950) p 119
  • Setting aside the traditional narratives of the story the true facts are that Sultan Alauddin invaded Chittor in the year 1303 and after a hard fight of about eight months captured it. The brave Rajput warriors died fighting the invaders; thé brave Rajput women perished in the flames of Jauhar. Among those who perished was perhaps a queen of Ratan Singh whose name was Padmini. Except these bare facts all else is a literary concoction and lacks historical support.
    • K.S. Lal, History of the Khaljis (1950) p 129-30

Quotes about the Padmini (type of woman)[edit]

  • A Padmini is used to eating very little, Chitarini consumes twice that quantity, Hastini three times and Sankhini eats an enormous amount of food.
    • Labdhodaya in his Padmini Charitra Choupai. quoted from B.K. Karkra, Rani Padmini, The Heroine of Chittor. (2009) Rupa.
  • A Padmini procreates once in four years, Chitarini once in three, Hastini once in two and Sankhini every year.
    • Labdhodaya in his Padmini Charitra Choupai. quoted from B.K. Karkra, Rani Padmini, The Heroine of Chittor. (2009) Rupa.

External links[edit]

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