Rani Durgavati was the only child of King Kirtisingh Chandel of Mahoba. Chandel is a part of the branch of Lodhi Rajput dynasty. She was named Durgavati because of her birth on Durgashtami on October 5, 1524 AD in Kalinjar fort of Banda district. As per the name, she became famous due to her brilliance, courage, valor and beauty. Durgavati had good practice in shooting arrows and guns. He had a special interest in cheetah hunting.
Battle of Kalinjar
It is about 1545 AD. After defeating Babur's son Humayun, the Muslim ruler of Bihar, Sher Shah Suri, who had become the emperor of Delhi, attacked the Kalinjar fort of Mahoba. Mahoba Naresh Maharaj Kirtisingh Chandel suffered very deep wounds while fighting a fierce battle with the forces of Sher Shah Suri. The Chandela soldiers put them in a palanquin in unconscious state and somehow brought them to the fort.
Sher Shah's soldiers were trying to break the strong gates of the fort. Under the wall behind the fort, which was relatively low, the soldiers of Suri started laying thick layers of gunpowder. Seeing no response from the fort against him, his courage was increasing. It seemed that this Kalinjar fort, built by India's oldest, strongest and most unique god, would soon collapse.
To protect the honor of women inside the fort, piles of wood were started. To protect their pride from Muslims, women started gathering there with girls of every age. The men dressed up in saffron slurry kept at each crossroads dressed in saffron and started preparing for the final battle. At any moment a fierce gunpowder could break through the wall of the citadel, providing an entry for Sher Shah's Muslim soldiers.
Only then people saw that Maharaj Kumari Durgavati, with her five-seven adult friends, is growing at the speed of Singhwahini Bhavani, having done her full makeup. She spoke in a prescriptive tone,
“Let no one explode in these mountainous piles of wood, and let no one think of coming out by opening the gates of the citadel. We are going to the fort peak. Although the Maharaja has suffered severe wounds, he is alive."
Saying this, Princess Durgavati moved towards the main peak of the invincible fort. Saw that the work of laying gunpowder is being done with electric speed under the supervision of Sher Shah Suri himself. She clapped and laughed to attract Suri's attention and from there spoke out loud,
“The Maharaja of Kalinjar is only a momentary guest. The throne of Kalinjar is in our possession. say what do you want? I am ready to worship you. Apart from this, write down any other condition that you may have, or we are hanging a doll from here, put it in it. If Kalinjar is ready to accept you as his ruler along with his ruler, then from unnecessary bloodshed It would be better to avoid. Ask your vizier to prepare a treaty letter."
Sher Shah was killed
Hearing the words of Durgavati, Sher Shah began to consult his viziers. The treaty began to be prepared, but the work of laying their gunpowder with Princess Durgavati could not be hidden, being done secretly. The soldiers of Kalinjar also started soaking the gunpowder slowly but at a rapid pace in the same secret manner. The soldiers of Kalinjar started boiling oil and water by putting thick kanatas above the main gate. Big rocks started collecting. On each turret, the archers were made to sit with lots of arrows and arrows.
After preparing the treaty, Sher Shah proceeded to enter the fort along with his soldiers like a conqueror. The doors of the fort were opened to welcome Sher Shah. But the situation changed even before reaching the fort. The doors of the fort were closed. And arrows started raining from the top of the fort. Big rocks, boiling water and hot oil started raining. Sher Shah said as soon as the landmine started coming off the platform, fire arrows started falling behind him, blazing from the bows of Princess Durga and her friends. With the gunpowder laid by him, skyscraper flames with a hundred blazing tongues started waving and in the same fire of gunpowder, the evil Sher Shah along with his bodyguards scorched to death.
Then Chandel opened the door of Kalinjar fort and broke like a hawk on Sher Shah's soldiers. Sher Shah was killed on 22 May 1545 and his soldiers were cut like carrots and radishes. Such a heroine was possible only because of Durgavati. Rani Durgavati had always set an example by answering the Muslims who won by deceit and fraud in her own language.
Queen of Gondwana Veerangana Durgavati
In 1542, at the age of 18, Durgavati was married to Dalpat Shah, the eldest son of King Sangram Shah of the Gond dynasty. The Gond descendants living in the Gondwana region of Madhya Pradesh ruled over 4 states – Garh-Mandla, Deogarh, Chanda and Kherla. Durgavati's husband Dalpat Shah had authority over Garh-Mandla.
This happy and prosperous kingdom of Rani Durgavati was attacked many times by the Muslim ruler of Malwa, Baj Bahadur, but every time he was defeated. In 1556, Baz Bahadur again attacked Gondwana but was badly defeated in front of the courage of Queen Durgavati. But the evil eye of the dissolute Akbar Badshah was on Baj Bahadur's wife Roopmati. Therefore he attacked Malwa and took Malwa under his control in 1562. Obviously, the next target of the lustful and wicked Akbar was Rani Durgavati and her kingdom Garhmandala.
Mughal invasion of Gondwana
The dissolute Mughal Akbar wanted to conquer the Garhmandala kingdom and put the queen in his harem. To start the dispute, he asked to send the queen's favorite white elephant (Sarman) and her trusted Wazir Aadhar Singh as a gift to him. The queen turned down this demand. On this, Akbar attacked the Gondwana kingdom under the leadership of one of his relatives Asaf Khan. Asaf Khan was astonished when he saw Rani Durgavati dressed as soldiers on the battlefield. The war was terrible. The queen's sword cut off the Mughal army, with great difficulty Asaf Khan reached Akbar after saving his life.
The next time he attacked with double the army and preparation. Durgavati had very few soldiers at that time. He put up a front on the banks of Narai Nala near Jabalpur and himself led the war in a male disguise. 3000 Mughal soldiers were killed in this war but the queen also suffered immense loss.
The Mughal army last attacked Gondwana in 1564 under the leadership of Asaf Khan. This time the Mughal army came with guns. Today the queen's side was weak. When the queen's son Narayan was very injured, the queen sent him to a safe place. The soldiers engaged in the protection of Narayan sent a message to Rani Durgavati that her son is now a guest for a few moments. Have a last glimpse of him once. But Queen Durgavati said, "I will meet my son in Devlok only, now pay off the debt of my motherland." And after saying this, the queen's sword increased its speed, due to which the heads of the Mughlia soldiers started falling like leaves.
Departure of Queen Durgavati
Then an arrow hit his arm, the queen threw it away. The second arrow pierced his eye, the queen also pulled it out, but its tip remained in the eye. Then the third arrow hit his neck.
Knowing the end time was near, the queen requested Wazir Aadhar Singh to slit his neck with his sword, but he was not ready for it. Therefore, the queen herself went on the path of self-sacrifice by piecing her dagger into her own chest.
Queen Durgavati Chandel ruled for fifteen years before losing her life fighting Akbar's general Asaf Khan. Near Jabalpur where this historical battle took place, the name of that place is Barela, which is situated on Mandla Road. At the same time, the tomb of Rani Durgavati has been built, where the people of Gond tribe go and pay their respects. On 24 June 1564, the queen breathed her last. After his death his son continued the war, but soon he too died.
There is a lot of salute at the feet of this great heroine of India!!