Historical Figures

16. History-Story of Queen Padmavati of Emperor Prithviraj Chauhan!

A story called 'Padmavati Samay' has also been given in the poem named Prithviraj Raso. According to this, a king named Vijaypal Yadav used to rule the region called Samudra Shikh in the east. His wife's name was Padmasen and daughter's name was Padmavati. One day Prince Padmavati was walking in the garden of the Raj Bhavan. At that time a shuk i.e. parrot proceeded to eat Padmavati's red lips as bimbafal. At the same time Padmavati caught Shuka.

That Shuka spoke the language of humans. He told a story to entertain Padmavati. On this, the princess Padmavati asked - O Shukraj! where do you reside? Who is the king of your kingdom?

On this, Shuk said- 'There is a beautiful city called Delhi in Hindustan, the best state of Hindus. Its ruler is King Prithviraj Chauhan. He is sixteen years old and his strength is similar to that of Devraj Indra. All his commoners are also very mighty. Prithviraj's arm has the same strength as Bhimsen. Prithviraj has defeated a king named Shahabuddin Ghori three times. The sound of the string of his bow is terrible. He is capable of wielding words. King Prithviraj is equal to the demon king Bali in the observance, Angraj Karna in charity, Emperor Vikramaditya in good deeds and the truthful king Harishchandra in conduct. He was born in Kaliyuga to destroy the wicked. She is endowed with fourteen arts and as beautiful as Cupid.'

On hearing the praise of King Prithviraj from Shuka's mouth, the mind of Yadav Kumari Padmavati became attached to Prithviraj, but Padmavati's father Vijaypal had arranged the marriage of Padmavati with King Kumudamani of Kumaon region. Therefore the princess said to Shuka- 'O Kir! You soon go to Delhi and call my dear Prithviraj.'

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Princess Padmavati also gave a letter to Shuka in which she wrote that O Kshatriya Kulbhushan! I love you wholeheartedly. You save my life by accepting me. Just as Shri Krishna abducted Rukmini, in the same way you should do me a favor by kidnapping me.

Shuka reached Delhi by air and gave the letter of Princess Padmavati to King Prithviraj. Prithviraj took his army and feudatories with him and left for a city called Samudra Shikhar. On the other hand, King Kumudamani also took a procession from Kumaon.

When Muhammad Ghori got the news of the departure of these two kings towards the sea, he too started moving towards the sea with an army. Princess Padmavati got the news of King Kumudamani's arrival but there was no news of King Prithviraj. Due to this Padmavati became very distraught.

One day suddenly Shuka came again and said to the princess- 'O beautiful woman! Your beloved is in the nearby Shiva temple. Go there soon. King Prithviraj took Padmavati's hand and made her sit on his horse and left for his capital Delhi.

Seeing this scene, Padmavati's friends were astonished. He did not know anything about the love of Princess Padmavati and King Prithviraj.

When King Vijayapala and King Kumudamani got the news of the abduction of the princess, they ran after Prithviraj with their armies. On this, Prithviraj continued to move towards Delhi, but his feudatories stopped the path of Vijaypal and Kumudamani. The feudatories of Prithviraj defeated both these kings and they also moved towards Delhi.

On the way, Muhammad Ghori attacked Prithviraj with his soldiers. There was a fierce battle between both the sides in which the deserted of Muhammad Ghori was defeated. Prithviraj took Muhammad Ghori as a prisoner. On reaching Delhi, King Prithviraj married Princess Padmavati in Durga Mandir.

Historians have considered the story of Rani Padmavati to be concocted because there is no mention of a fort named Samudra Shikhar in history. In this war, it is written to be used from both sides, but in the twelfth century AD, there was no artillery in India, nor did any Turkic ruler have artillery in that period.

In fact, the name of a queen of King Prithviraj was Padmavati, who was the daughter of Palhan Parmar, the king of the desert. The name of Padmavati's brother was Katiya who was Mandaleshwar of the desert. An inscription dated AD 1180 has been found from Pokaran town of Jaisalmer district, in which it is said that on the orders of Emperor Prithviraj, Mandaleshwar, named Katia, donated a village named Pihilpaul to Lokeshwar temple in Vijaypur. Along with the village, Tadag and huge forest blocks were also donated.

Dr. Dashrath Sharma has identified Rani Padmavati, the queen of Prithviraj, as mentioned in the Kanhadde Prabandha and described her as the daughter of King Palhan, who was the lord of the vicinity of Kiradu.

Using these historical facts, a writer created an allegory of the love story of Rani Padmavati and added it to Prithviraj Raso. Still, it can be said that the narrative of Rani Padmavati may not have historical significance, but it certainly has literary significance.

In this story, mystery-adventure, verse-decoration, separation-meeting, war and makeup etc., all those elements are available which are necessary for a great literary creation, but history is not available in it. It is possible that the ancient legend on the basis of which the story of Rani Padvati given in Prithviraj Raso may have been coined, possibly the same ancient story may also have formed the basis of Padmavat composed by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in the sixteenth century AD.

Watch in the next episode- If Chauhan harassed the citizens of the state, then I will get you sewn in the stomach of a donkey!

-Doctor. Mohanlal Gupta