Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mewar: Geo-significance of 14-centuries of valor, sacrifice, & devotion

The Himalayas served as natural protector for the enemy attacks on India from the north; likewise, the Aravalli hill range also played a significant role in the history of people of this area (Mewar). The hill range was difficult to traverse with large army, horses, and supplies; additionally, the intruder was always vulnerable to “guerilla” attacks. Trend of north-northeast-south-southwest of the Aravalli hill range also made the Mewar area strategic for traders / armies moving from north India to south and more importantly for access to western sea ports.

The following RAPIDEX / QUICK-SCAN of history of this region is presented to have an idea of geo-significance of the region on its history.

>> Mewar was an independent Monarchy in western India founded in AD 566 by Guhil (Guhilot Dynasty) with the blessings and guidance of the sage Haarit Hrishi. Mewar was strategically located on trade route from north India to south and the all-important western seaports.

>> Kaalbhoj (reign AD 734-753) moves from Nagda to establish the Guhilot kingdom of Mewar from the then strategically located fort of Chittaurgarh and with the new power, successfully expelled the Arab invaders beyond west of Indus River. For this daring feat and for protecting the Hindu faith, the grateful public bestowed the title of Bappa Rawal on Kaalbhoj (cf. Gandhiji as Bapu, 12 centuries later for a similar feat). Bappa Rawal established a highly principled-cum-merit-based governance and dynasty-Maharana Pratap was 54th successor in the line that is still continuing with its 76th descendant. The onslaught of Arab invasion on Hindustan started in AD 636 and the Sindh was occupied in AD 712. Hindu rule in Afghanistan ended in AD 870. Islam had triumphant history elsewhere, but in India. But for the efforts of Mewar the Hindu India too would have succumbed before the onslaught of Islam as several countries of Asia, North Africa, and Europe did.

>> Haarit Hrishi was to Bappa Rawal what Chankya was to Chandragupta Maurya (321BC)…the sage guided and motivated Kaalbhoj to protect the faith that was being destroyed by waves of Arab invasions that witnessed destruction of temples and idols. Bappa Rawal’s mission was worthily carried forward by Rawals Khumaan (I, II, III-AD 753,828,878), this revered name has been immortalized in the common greeting of western India -KHAMMA GHANI-many salutations to Khumaan / may we be blessed with many a Khumaan! Rawal Khumaan-I (753-773) successfully repulsed numerous Arab attacks. The mission continued with Rawal Khumaan-II (828-85) who fought and won 24 major battles including …the (Abbasia) Caliph ….al Mamu…. Khumaan-II also commanded a combined force of 40 Hindu kingdoms. His exploits are narrate in the acclaimed KHUMAAN RASO-the poetic chronicles preserved in writing for posterity by the XVII-century Jain Muni Dalpati Vijay. Khumaan-III (878-942) continued the protection of the faith and the Rawals Khumaan between them served the DHARM for over a century and India witnessed a period of tranquility for next 500 years. Mewar not only saved Indian civilization but also those of China, Japan and the Far East and “…sank the Arab victory boat that vanquished Persia, Central Asia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, W China (Xinjiang) and Mongolia...”. …bemoaned the Islamic poet Haali “Dooba duhane Sindu mein aa kur”

>> In this context it is worth reproducing the words of the Australian writer Ian Austin “…had it not been for Bappa Rawal and Khumaan successfully repelling these Arab invasion, it is quite probable that India would have been the next nation to fall under the yoke of Islam and, today, would have been a Muslim country. Then having the strength of India behind it, Islam could have conceivably continued its conquest, eventually taking all of China and even Europe. From there, it would have been only a matter of time before the entire world might have been forcibly converted to Islam. Due to the dedicated resistance led by Bappa and Khumaan, however, this scenario never eventuated…”Thereafter in XII century the invasions restarted from northwest, but there was no Khumaan to repeat the history! The “Khumaanas”, however, admirably continued the tradition of…“JO DHRUD RAKHE DHARM KO…”

Chittaurgarh was the capital of Mewar from AD 734 till 1567 and during this period it displayed …the history of valor, romance, chivalry and strict death-before-dishonor code glorified in Rajput legends…a creed that had taken a very heavy toll…1st Saka, 1303 Alauddin Khilji, >63,000 people perished, 12 crowned heads defended the ‘Crimson Banner” to the death…Alauddin names Chittaurgarh KHIJRABAD after his son, but the people did NOT accept the new name.

2nd Saka, 1535 Bahadur Shah, Sultan of Gujarat, >32,000 Rajputs were slain

3rd Saka, 1568 Mughal Emperor Akbar, 74½-mun zenev is reported to have been collected from the slain (>30,000/-)! People again do NOT accept the new name AKBARABAD.

>> …Prince Hamir (1303) was now in security at (Shishoda) Kailwara, a town situated in the heart of the Aravalli mountains, the western boundary of Mewar, to which its princes had been indebted for thirteen centuries of dominion…Hamir regains Chittaurgarh (1326) and adopts the title of “Rana” and the Mewar dynasty was called Shishodya thereafter, (the title ‘Maharana” was adopted in 67th generation by Maharana Bhim Singh, reign: 1778-1828).

>> …of 84 fortresses for the defense of Mewar, 32 were erected by Kumbha
(Reign 1433-1468). Inferior only to Chittaurgarh is that stupendous work called Kumbhalmer (Kumbhalgarh)…the highest fort in Rajasthan (MRL 1075m)

>> Maharana Kumbha constructed the imposing 37-meter high, 9-story Vijay Sthambh-Victory Tower* constructed by Maharana Kumbha in 1458 at Chittaurgarh to commemorate his resounding victory over the combined armies of Malwa & Gujarat (1440). Referred to as Keerti Sthambh-Tower of Glory in Veer Vinod and as Vishnu Sthambh-Tower of Lord Vishnu in other texts. “…Kumbha met them on the Plains of Malwa bordering on his own State, and at the head of one hundred thousand horses & foot and fourteen hundred elephants, gave them an entire defeat, carrying captive to Chittaur Mahmud the sultan of Malwa…”…“such is the character of the Hindu: a mixture of arrogance, political blindness, pride, and generosity. To spare a prostrate foe is the creed of the Hindu cavalier, and he carries all such maxims to excess…”

>> A temple was built at Chittaurgarh for Meerabai (1498-1547) by her father-in-law, the great Maharana Sanga. “…another remarkable Mewar queen. A mystique and a poetess, she defied Rajput convention and devoted her life to the worship of Lord Krishna…”Meerabai is one of the most revered poet-saints of India, whose charisma still persists.

>> The word Rajasthan (Raj –Regal; sthan-dwelling) is first mentioned by James Tod in his“…chief English Classic upon India…” Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, 1829.

>> Panna Dhai, the foster mother, sacrificed her own son-Chandan (1536) - to save her 13-year old charge - the minor heir - Prince Udai Singh - from assassination by the Regent Banbir

>> Maharana Udai Singh shifted the capital of his beleaguered kingdom to Udaipur in response to the changing strategic realities of that period. …Maharana Udai Singh realized that in the wake of the changed situation a rational policy has to be adopted. It was under these circumstances that he also wisely changed the age-old tradition of: "PERISH BUT DO NOT SURRENDER” TO "NEITHER PERISH NOR SURRENDER” It should be realized that this strategy was essential to ensure the survival of his race and protection of the Indian culture. The Maharana was proved right when Chittaurgarh suffered the (Third) SAKA, JOHAR, and massacre that followed the capture of Chittaurgarh by the Mughal emperor Akbar (1568)… Moti Mahal atop Moti Magri was the modest “Palace” in which Maharana Udai Singh stayed with his family

>> PRATAHSMARNIYA Maharana Pratap, eldest of 25 brothers & 16 sisters, was born at Kumbhalgarh on May 09,1540 to Maharana Udai Singh and Maharani Jayanta Bai Songara (Chouhan).…to proclaim the birth of an infant destined to be the greatest monarch who ever swayed the scepter of Hindustan …Mai aiha poot jun jeha Raan Pratap - oh mother if you are to bear a child - it better be the like of Rana Pratap!

>> Hindupat - the Lord of all Hindus Veer-Shiromani Maharana Pratap’s Rajtilak was held on stone platform besides a step-well at Gogunda on (Holi) February, 1572.He was the unanimous choice of the Nobles and the people of Mewar to succeed Maharana Udai Singh and to lead Mewar against the Mughal Challenge

>> …Unfailing in courteous hospitality, yet not in the least inclined to abandon his unbending attitude for independence…-Korchi Jalal Khan’s report to Mughal Emperor Akbar after the envoy’s failed visit to Mewar in November 1572.

>> For the new capital, Maharana Udai Singh constructed a water reservoir – Udai Sagar in 1565. It was on its dam that in June 1573 Kunwar Man Singh of Amber, as the emissary of Mughal Emperor Akbar, arrogantly demanded that Maharana Pratap should give up protocol and be present at the feast in his honor. The Maharana did not oblige. This incident precipitated the Mughal-Mewar conflict

>> With Rajput princes of Amber, Marwar, Bikaner and even Bundi, late his firm ally, arrayed against him and taking part with Akbar-Pratap stood resolutely alone! Maharana Pratap was affectionately called-“KIKA” especially by the tribal, and PATTA to poets (cf. Bappa for Kaal Bhoj, Lakha for Lakshya Singh, Kumbha for Kumbha Karan, Sanga for Sangram Singh)

>> HINDUVA-SURYA Maharana Pratap- kept afloat the crimson banner of Mewar and steadfastly stood for the indomitable spirit of independence… the Shishodiya dynasty of Mewar is the only dynasty of these races which has outlived thirteen centuries of foreign dominations, in the same lands where conquest placed them…

>>…with only a small impoverished inheritance, he proved himself, in face of insurmountable difficulties, a great leader of men, a generous enemy, and above all a prince among men. His name will ever have a permanent and prominent niche in the halls of valor, patriotism, and heroism. - J. M. Shelat

>> Udaipur is a favorite destination, for the local and foreign tourists - for its natural scenic beauty, inspirational history, palaces, man-made lakes, festivals, mineral wealth, educational institutions, arts & craft…Udaipur valley is located on the eastern flank of the Aravalli Hill Range

>> Maharana Pratap Smarak (Memorial), Udaipur, India was founded in 1962 across 28.3 ha of strategically located Moti Magri (Pearl Hill) overlooking the Udaipur Valley, at the eastern flank of Aravalli Hill Range. “…the terrain that baffles pursuit…”. In the next four slides, note the ring of hills around Udaipur valley (GIRWA) that provided it a natural protective barrier

>> The vast expanse of Udaipur Valley in which the city is built as viewed facing east from Moti Magri that is 640 meters above Mean Sea Level (MRL). In the background is the Debari Hill Range, nearly 100 km east of which is the Mewar plain up to Chittaurgarh, from where the Vindhyan plateau starts,

The Northern View from Moti Magri overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake with Neemaj Mata Temple Hill in the background. MRL of Udaipur Railway Station is 579m. The Western View from Moti Magri, showing the eastern flank of the Aravalli Hill Range, Sajjangarh, in the background, is the highest point (MRL922m) of the Udaipur Valley. The Southern View from Moti Magri - Maharana Udai Singh realized the strategic importance of Girwa Valley located at the eastern margin of the thickly forested and inhospitable Aravalli range. The area he selected had a fairly flat basin surrounded on all sides by hills. This was the region from where the Maharana's founding ancestor Bappa Rawal had moved to a more strategic region of his times, during the 8th century, to Chitrakoot or Chittaurgarh to establish the still surviving Shishodya dynasty of Mewar. This valley had also supported a thriving civilization nearly 4000 years BP (Before Present) - the Ayad (Ahar) Valley Civilization is considered by archaeologists to be contemporary of Indus Valley Civilization.

>> The impressive bronze statue of Maharana Pratap astride his famous steed Chetak was donated by Maharana Bhupal Singh (the 74th Maharana, Reign: 1930-1955) and is a creation of the famous sculptor Shyam Rao Mahatre and was made in India in early 1950s.
>> Vishwa-Paalak Surya - the symbol of the House of Mewar. One of the six Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) Solar Observatories is also located near the Smarak
>> Chetak, the faithful and valiant charger of Maharana Pratap, succumbs to his battle wounds at Haldighati where innumerable admirers visit his CHATRI every year!
>> Haldighati-the Symbol of the Spirit of Independence - the Battle was fought on June 18, 1576. Loona and Ramprasad, the war elephants of Maharana also fought valiantly! Pratap preferred a proactive horse to safety of an elephant
>> To lead his fight, Pratap, in addition to Jhala Bida and Hakim Khan also had an array of other brave and loyal generals like Raja Ramshah of Gwalior, Krishnadass Chundawat of Salumber, Dodiya Bheem, Ramdas Rathore of Badnor, Rathore Shankerdass of Kelwa, Rawat Netsi of Kanod, Jhala Maan of Delwara, Sandoo Rama, Barhats Jaisa & Keshav…They all laid their lives in the Battle of Haldighati to keep the torch of independence alight!
>> The indomitable spirit of independence of Maharana Pratap and his handful loyal supporters was displayed on this ochreous terrain of the Aravalli Hills

>> Shakti Singh, who had defected to the Mughal court, offered his steed Ankara to Maharana Pratap as the Maharana’s charger was fatally wounded when he attacked the Mughal Commander Kr. Man Singh seated safely on a war elephant.

>> Veer Shresht Jhala Maan of Sadri, also known as Jhala Bida, not only sacrificed himself but his six generations also laid their lives for Mewar. Likewise, Raja Ramshah of Gwalior along with his three sons and forces fought very valiantly in the Haldighati battle and routed the Mughal army beyond river Banaas. “…No pen can describe their valor and sacrifice…” wrote the eyewitness Mughal court chronicler Badayuni. The Hero of Haldighati - Shaheed Jhala Maan. The statue was unveiled by H. E. Justice Anshuman Singh, Governor of Rajasthan on November 14, 2000. Abdul Qadir Badayuni, the court chronicler of Mughal Emperor Akbar has left an eye-witness account of the Battle of Haldighati in his account in Mintakhab-ul-Tawarikh

>> Hakim Khan Soor was a great Commander who died fighting for Pratap in the battle of Haldighati on June 18,1576. He was buried with his sword clutched in his hand, as was his desire. Hakeem Soor Afghan’s statue was unveiled on June 15, 1992, by Shri Madhav Rao Scindhia, Union Minister for Tourism

>> Swords, bows & arrows, spears were the weapons of war; firearms, just introduced in the XVI Century, were yet to gain popularity. In this historic battle, Maharana Pratap sustained seven wounds - Three of the swords, three by the lances, and a shot from musket.

>> The Great Patriot Bhamashah (Kavedia) was born on June 28, 1547 at Chittaurgarh. Bhamashah, the custodian of wealth of Mewar and its Prime Minister also displayed his valor by attacking Malwa and extracting penalty of Rs.2.5 million and 20,000 gold coins, which he offered to Maharana Pratap to continue his struggle against the Mughal might. The inspiring statue was unveiled by Hon’ble Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, on February 27, 1997. The wealth of Maharana Kumbha and Sanga was withdrawn from Chittaurgarh before the attacks of Bahadur Shah (1535) and Akbar (1567) and hidden in secret sites in Aravalli hills. This wealth was subsequently utilized by Pratap from his capitals in the Aravalli hills. Ancient underground mines in Aravalli hills that provided protection to men and treasure. Abdur Rahim Khankhana, the Subedar of Ajmer tried hard to win over Bhamashah for the Mughal Court with lucrative offers but the loyal son of Mewar preferred to share hardships with his Maharana.

>> Rana Poonja of Merpur was the tribal chief who with his band of Bhils assisted the Maharana in his guerilla warfare in the difficult terrains of the Aravalli hills. The Bhil Chieftain’s statue was unveiled on February 08, 1989 by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Bhils are accorded a place-of-pride on the crest of Mewar …the friendly Bhils of the west, to whom this house owes a large debt of gratitude…furnished bowmen, supplied them with provisions, or guarded the safety of their families when they had to oppose the foe in the field…

>> High moral character, boundless courage, unwavering self-confidence, firm patriotism, and inspirational hard life were indeed motivating qualities that rallied the people of Mewar behind the Maharana.
>> Founding of Udaipur had far reaching impact on the course of politics, history, culture, religion of the Indian sub-continent. Mughal Emperor Akbar also built (1571-1585) a capital for his empire at Fatehpur Sikri, but owing to faulty selection of the site the capital had to be abandoned after his death in 1605. Akbarabad - the name that Emperor Akbar had given to Chittaurgarh following his victory never gained acceptance and the name was soon forgotten. Mewar, Chittaurgarh and the Shishodya dynasty not only survived but also thrived and earned increased reverence following the founding of Udaipur.

>> Oadhi - the Shooting Box, frequent the Aravalli hills because it was rich in forest resources and wild life - which enjoyed state and social protection!
>> Maharana Pratap commanded his son Amar Singh (eldest of 17 sons and 5 daughters) to return with honor the womenfolk of Abdur Rahim Khankhana who were captured by Amar when the Mughal Subedar was camping at Sherpur on his way to campaign against Mewar ca. 1580. Khankhana was so charmed of Maharana’s character that he refused campaign against such a magnanimous monarch and therefore he was appointed guardian of the Mughal Prince Salim in 1581
>> Maharana Pratap inflicted a crushing defeat to Mughal forces at Dewair (1582), which proved turning point in Mewar-Mughal contest and Pratap moved to offensive from defensive and in short span of time he recaptured most of the lost territory. Dewair is a strategically located northern entry point of Mewar connecting Marwar, Malwa, Gujarat, and Ajmer. Its capture ensured Maharana Pratap supremacy in the Rajputana
>> Bahlol Khan was slashed vertically through his Armour by Maharana Pratap’s powerful blow in the Battle of ... Likewise, Pratap’s son Kr. Amar Singh demonstrated immense valor at Dewair and his slaying by spear of Sultan Khan with his horse must have greatly pleased Pratap and Mewar forces alike.
>> This was the region that had assisted Pirate's indomitable spirit to live in independent discomfort when most of his contemporary maharajas had chosen a life of subjugation and apostasy. In due course of time Maharana Pratap liberated most of the territory from the Mughal occupation. A great deal of credit for the success of Maharana Pratap should go to his father for wisely affecting the shift in policy as well as the capital.
>>…Maharanas - with a spirit of consistency and enduring courage, seized every opportunity to turn upon his oppressor. By his perseverance and valor he wore out entire dynasties of foes, alternately yielding ‘to his fate’ or resisting the circle of conquest…they steadfastly stood by the family motto “JO DHRAD RAKHEY DHARM KO, TIHI RAKHE KARTAR – Blessed are those who stand unwaveringly by the FAITH”
>> 9th May is celebrated as Maharana Pratap Jayanti (birth anniversary) with great enthusiasm by every section of the society to remember the history of valor, romance, chivalry and patriotism enacted in Mewar.

>> Besides bravery and sacrifices, the state of Mewar is also known for its rich mineral resources – it had the world’s oldest lead-zinc-silver smelting site and was known for its heft-dhaat (seven metals - silver, lead, zinc, copper, antimony, iron, gold). And also deco-stones, art, and architecture.

>> After the Haldighati Battle, Mughal Emperor Akbar made repeated attempts to capture or kill Maharana Pratap, but he did not succeed; in the year 1576 he captured Udaipur and named it Mohammadabad, earlier, after the fall of Chittaurgarh he had named it Akbarabad – both the name never gained acceptance. cf. Allahabad for the holy Triveni-Sangam-Kumbh city PRAYAAG and Ahmedabad for the historic and trading city KARNAWATI!

>> Maharana Pratap served (struggled) for 25 years and died a peaceful death on January 19, 1597 at Chawand, the capital founded by him in deep hills south of Udaipur. Pratap’s arch foe Mughal Emperor Akbar is believed to have shed tears at this end of a saga, because he was the only ruler who refused to compromise his honor for comfort & safety and, in the end, he died a proud and free king…

>> The Interstate Bus Terminus (ISBT) New Delhi is named after Maharana Pratap, so is the Udaipur Airport. Innumerable products and places are named after Pratap & Chetak !

>> Government of India issued Commemorative Stamps (1967, 1998) and Coins (2003) to honor this great son of India …history is replete with instances when people have followed a leader who is rich of material resources, but it’s rare to find followers of a leader like Maharana Pratap who had only hardship to offer…

Following India’s independence in 1947, Maharana Bhupal Singh (reign 1930-1955, Maharaj Pramukh of Rajasthan 1952-1955 – the only post in Republic of India specially created for Mewar!) was the first ruler to merge his state with independent India (18th April 1948). India’s first Union Home Minister (Loh Purush -the Iron Man) Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel reprimanded the reluctant Hyderabad and other states saying that …if any ruler in India had any right to claim of independence it was Mewar, which has gladly and readily merged with the Indian Union saying that it was fulfillment of 14 centuries of their mission…but for Mewar no other rulers has that right... Even in the post independent period, the Indian public, Indian Presidents, Prime Ministers and politicians irrespective of their political affiliation, continued their appreciation and reverence to the values of Mewar and Chittaurgarh… the noted Indian freedom fighter, Union Minister and founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, K. M. Munshi (1887-1971) has written,“ …the Maharanas of Mewar represented the best and noblest in Hindu culture and polity…they translated into practice the Puranic concept of Ram Rajya…

Maharana Pratap has always been held in great esteem in India and was projected as model of patriotism and freedom struggle against the British rule in India. The names Pratap and Chetak, his stallion, are very famous and the Government of Republic of India has issued commemorative Stamps (1967, 1998) and coins (2003) to honor this great Son of India. The grateful nation installed Pratap’s Chetak-mounted statue along with those of his morerenowned associates - Jhala Maan, Bhilu Raja (the tribal chief), Bhama Shah, Hakim Khan Soor and an attendant in front of the Parliament House in New Delhi on August 21, 2007.

We would like to end with what CHARLES DARWIN had said “…It is NOT the strongest of species that survives nor the most intelligent, but the one who is most responsive to change and challenge in life” …the same holds good for the survival of the value of Bappa for past thirteen centuries!

Mewar: History of tradition


As with nearly all ancient dynasties, the story of the Mewar kingdom is rooted in mythology. This historical dynasty was founded by Bappa Rawal in the later half of the 6th Century A.D. He was a descendant of the Guhilot Clan, originally from Anandpur Badanager in Gujarat.

The kingdom of Mewar lies in what is now Rajasthan in Northern India; it was bestowed on Bappa Rawal in 734 A.D. by the great devotee of Lord Shiva (Shri Eklingji), Sage Harit Rashi of the Lakulish Cult.

For the service to the state Harit Rashi declared four cardinal duties as guiding principles for Bappa Rawal and his successors :

1. To follow the eternal principles of 'Manav Dharma' (Religion of Man) and preserve and perpetuate "Vedic Culture".
2. As a service to God, the Creator of all life, to serve all his creations.
3. Constantly to endeavour to keep the human soul awakened and alive, in order that 'Dignity of Man' is held to be of supreme importance.
4. To help to recognise special status of the human being in the hierarchy of God's creations - the eternal principles underlying cosmic creation.

There shall be no distinction nor any discrimination in the service of the people and it shall not be limited by either space or time.

All things belong to God. The State of Mewar should be considered as belonging to Shri Eklingji. The Maharanas were to hold the State as a sacred Trust and the 'Diwan' (Representative) of Shri Eklingji perform all duties and obligations.

Thus came into existence in the 6th century:

1. the state of Mewar,
2. the Institution of Maharana,
3. the duties and obligations assigned to Maharana, and
4. the concept of 'Kingship' as a 'Trusteeship'.

Mewar History: The State of Mewar and concept of Kingship, Trusteeship

The State of Mewar and the family of the Maharana and the concept of 'Kingship' as a 'Trusteeship' are institutions that have survived the vicissitudes of time. By the blessings of Shri Eklingji, the Institutions of the 'Maharana ' have been successfully prepetuating the tradition and fulfilling the obligations to a lesser or greater degree, since the time of its founding.

Between the 10th and the 14th century A.D. members of the family established the following dynasties : in Rajasthan, in Kathiawar and Saurashtra (Modern Gujarat), in Central India and Maharashtra: Dungarpur, Banswara, Pratapgarh, Bhavnagar, Lathi, Rajpipla, Bharwani, Rampura, Sawantwadi, and Kolhapur (Family of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) and the Rana Dynasty of Nepal.

Mewar is the land from where the deities and men jointly spread 'Manav Dharma' and the principles of self reliance and self-respect to the people of India as a whole.

There exists in the sacred land of Mewar, the abodes of the four major deities belonging to the different sects of the Hindus, along with Mosques and Churches, because equal protection, assistance and respect of all religions, and their followers, has been their principle.

Mewar's great Scholar-Saint, Maharaj Chatur Singhji Bavji describes the sacredness of the land in the following memorable couplet.

Mewar History: Maharana

Maharana is not a title or position given by a central power or external agency. It is acquired by the Rulers of Mewar by service and sacrifices, recognised and respected all over the country.

The Maharana has many titles given to him by the people and the country for the preservation of independence and self-respect, the most honorific being "Sun of Hindus" (Hindua Surya - The life and light of the people).

So far, seventy-five successive generations of Maharanas have strictly adhered to the directions given by Harit Rashi to Bappa Rawal.

In the true concept of 'Rulership' as expounded by the ancient shastra (Manu), the Ruler, the Maharana, was both the temporal and spiritual leader of the people.

Mewar had a unique pattern of administative and feudal relationship with people, which bound the Ruler, the nobles and the people in a unique bond, uniting them without disinction of caste, creed or religion, as one family, even in times of war.

When repeated invasions and internal onslaughts threatended to destory the freedom and culture of Mewar and its Rulers and her proud people - who continuously and ceaselessly fought for the preservation of independence and self-respect.

All along, Mewar, remained the source of inspiration for the forces of resistance from all over the country. Great heroes like Maharana Sanga and Maharana Pratap are looked upon as protectors of Indian culture, heritage and independence.

There is a general impression that the battles and wars fought by the Maharanas were communal but in fact religious harmony transcended these considerations as is proven by these examples.

1. Emperor Humayun came to assist Maharani Karnavati at Chittor as a result of the sacred bond of 'Rakhi' (535 A.D.)
2. Hakim Khan Sur, General of Maharana Pratap's army, fought in the Battle of haldi Ghati against the forces of Emperor Akbar led by Raja Man Singh of Jaipur, (1576 A.D.)
3. The Begums of Khan Khana, captured during war, were safely escorted back to Delhi with all dignity, (1580 A.D.)
4. Sultan Mahmud Khilji II of Malwa, taken prisoner by Maharana Sanga, was restored back to the Sultanate with honour, (1518 - 19 A.D.)
5. Prince Khurram, later Emperor Shah Jehan, was given shelter by Maharana Karan Singh in 1623 A.D.
6. During the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the wives and children of British officers and soldiers were brought from Neemuch to Udaipur and were given full hospitality and protection during the entire period of disturbances.

Mewar History: The history of the Maharana dynasty

The history of the Maharana dynasty has been one of ceaseless efforts to preserve and protect independence, and to perpetuate "Manav Dharma", self-reliance and the dignity of man.

The Maharanas have never stooped before temptation for peace and personal gain, or in the time of danger of extinction.

When physical wars became obsolete for subjugation, even in the times of psychological war of nerves, they never gave up or deviated from their principles.

During the time of Maharana Sajjan Singhji, an occasion arose when he was expected to present himself as a feudatory at the Durbar of Prince Edward Albert (later King Emperor Edward VII). He tactfully managed to avoid the meeting.

Another such situation arose when Maharana Fateh Singhji, was expected to present himself :

1. On the occasion of the Delhi Durbar by the then Viceroy, Lord Curzon, in 1903 to celebrate the accession of King Edward VII.
2. On the occasion of Durbar in Delhi on the visit of King George V in 1911.

Mewar History: after 1947

When India become independent in 1947, His late Highness Maharana Bhupal Singhji pioneered the move for the consolidation and unification of the country, thereby avoiding the possibility of a third split, or even the total fragmentation of India. He merged his sacred State of Mewar with the Indian Union with these words: "Today is a day to be greatly proud of, India is independent. It brings to fulfillment the 1400 years' struggle and endeavor of my forefathers. It becomes my holy duty on behalf of my ancestors to hand over to the leaders of free India, this cherished and sacred Flame of Freedom to the country as a whole. May this flame give inspiration to maintain the dignity of man, and perpetuate throughout the country the principles of self-reliance and self-respect with the same spirit and in the same form in which my forefathers have preserved them for centuries with blood; with the blessings of Shri Eklingji; and with the devotion of the freedom-loving people of Mewar. Today with great pride, devotion and humility, I pass on this Sacred Flame to India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, as an offering at the altar of Bharat Mata."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tale of Padmini

Padmini, a queen of Mewar, was renowned for her incomparable beauty. Ala-ud-din, the notorious Afghan invader, determined to take Chitor and capture her. His initial charges proved unsuccessful, but lust spurred him on. Finally, frustrated, he submitted a compromise: he would withdraw his troops if he could be allowed but a glimpse of the fair lady's face. The Maharana consented but stipulated that to protect Padmini's modesty, the Muslim would only be able to see her face reflected in a mirror. The offer having been accepted, the queen was taken to a palace in the middle of a large tank. She stood next to a window with her back toward the outside. Ala-ud-din was placed in a building at the edge of the tank, from which considerable distance he was allowed to catch a fleeting glimpse of Padmini's reflection in a mirror, which was held up to the queen for a few seconds. Far from satisfying his desire, this vision inflamed it. He decided to double-cross the Maharana and make Padmini his own.
Because the Muslim had arrived in Chitor alone and thus demonstrated his faith in Rajput honor, the Maharana felt compelled to return the compliment by personally accompanying him back to his camp. When they arrived, however, Ala-ud-din took his escort hostage and demanded Padmini as ransom. The Rajput army could not contemplate such a trade. To ask the queen to compromise herself would contravene the Rajput code of honor, which protects women. Padmini herself ordered that the trade be executed but, having sized up Ala-ud-din as no man of honor, also plotted an ambush. She sent Ala-ud-din a message consenting to his terms provided that she be allowed to bring along her belongings and attendants. He agreed. Then the queen ordered many curtained palanquins, which were designed to transport ladies-in-waiting, to be filled instead with soldiers. Because the soldiers who were to be concealed in this way knew they would not be able to defeat Ala-ud-din's powerful army, they prepared themselves to die in a battle of honor, a saka .
When the palanquin procession reached its destination, Padmini asked Ala-ud-din that she be permitted to bid farewell to her husband before leaving him. Having agreed, the Muslim took his bride-to-be to the place where her husband was held captive. As soon as the Maharana's location was known, the Rajput soldiers sprang upon the Muslims and liberated the captive king. In the uproar, both Padmini and her husband managed to escape. Padmini was whisked back to the palace, while the Maharana fled for the hills. Because it was clear that his forces would lose the battle, he retreated so that he might plot an assault on Ala-ud-din at a later more promising moment. Back at Chitor, seeing that the Maharana's forces faced defeat, Padmini led hundreds (some say thousands) of women to the vaults under the palace, where they committed jauhar , mass immolation.[1]
In general, jauhar is understood to accomplish closely related purposes. To begin with, it preserves female virtue.[2] The noblewomen quoted at the very beginning of this chapter said, "Padmini had character and purity; she died by jauhar ." As noted previously, Rajputs have been keen to protect the purity of Rajput blood. Because conquest brought with it the likelihood of rape, they have seen conquest as a threat to family integrity and caste identity. Until now, another woman commented, the purity of Rajput blood has not been diluted. She said that with society changing, that might happen in the future, but said she was proud that "blood-mixing" really had not happened to any appreciable extent as yet.
Jauhar also promotes caste duty, which is symbolized ultimately by the saka , the "cutting down" that ensues. It inspires soldiers to fight unto death, for they have nothing left to lose.[3] Although jauhar often precedes the death of a husband (or a wife's knowledge of the death of her husband), women who so die are referred to as satis . Hence, as a heroic strategist, Padmini enables her husband to face his enemy in battle and then, as a sati , prompts his courage and promotes his honor.[4]
Two matters concerning the Padmini narrative merit immediate attention. First, although Padmini is a sati , she is not simply assimilated to the category of satimata . True, Padmini is a satimata to Sisodiyas. But when Sisodiyas speak of their satimata , they do not single out Pad-mini from other satis . Self-immolation is the basis for the worship she receives as one of the satis whose identities merge into the integrated satimata personage. What causes Padmini's name to be remembered and revered is not just the mode of her death but the manner in which she lived her life.[5] Two women thus summarized their sentiments: "I admire Padmini because she was very clever; she showed the Muslims that!" and "I like Padmini because she met danger when her husband wasn't around to protect her."[6]
This is not to downplay the importance of Padmini's death: it is the climax of the Padmini narrative. One Rajput woman noted that when Padmini leaves the palace to attack Ala-ud-din, "her body becomes hot with sat ," which clearly foreshadows her death as a sati . Acts that make her story something more than a sati scenario, however, are the rescue she plots and the ambush she directs. To execute her plan she abandons her household and takes to the battlefield. For these reasons she is revered even by Rajputs (and others) who do not worship her as a satimata .
Second, Padmini's heroic action contravenes a cardinal rule. Padmini leaves parda . The story builds toward this event and dwells on its significance. The mirror incident, in which Padmini shows her face to Ala-ud-din, portends this trangression. The stereotype of the lustful Muslim is well known to Rajasthani mythology. When the villainous Ala-ud-din sees the reflection of Padmini's face, it is a foregone conclusion that desire will defeat honor and he will conspire to ravish her. The bargain he strikes is thereby transformed from an end in itself to a means of conquest. Furthermore, while the belief that Padmini's body becomes hot when she exits the palace shows that Padmini does not thereby abandon her virtue, it also stresses that she deviates from custom. Her dramatic departure emphasizes that the state of affairs in Chitor has become so perilously chaotic that only Padmini, a woman, can save it. Chitor must suspend its own law to reestablish the order that the law is intended to preserve.
Thus Padmini's departure is richly symbolic and movingly dramatic. In going out to war (over and over, women specified that she went out [bahar ] to fight), she disregards female custom and performs male duty. Treading on male territory she assumes her husband's command. Hence Padmini is heroic not because she fulfills the codified role of the pativrata but because she departs from it to assume another, more urgent, role. When Padmini leaves the household and thereby inverts the relationship between her husband and herself, she abandons the behavior normally incumbent on a pativrata while pursuing a purpose in accord with pativrata duty. This inversion is verified by the story sequence. While Padmini's husband is concealed as a hostage in Ala-ud-din's camp, Padmini leaves her concealment to lead her husband's army. Once she has served in her husband's place to rescue her husband, she retreats to Chitor, which reinverts her inverted status.
Finally, self-immolation proves that her intentions have been pure. She has transgressed boundaries solely to protect her husband and not for self-aggrandizing purposes; she acts for her husband, not herself. The pativrata role encompasses and ultimately revalues violation as consistent with its purpose. It cannot, however, arbitrate the immediate contradiction. Women say that Padmini is a pativrata , but they also say that she is brave (bahadur ) enough to have defied pativrata convention by going out among men. Thus there exists both conjunction and disjunction between Padmini's heroic action and the role of the pativrata . Both are meaningful. They constitute the experience and the end (goal) of conflict. It seems that because Padmini substitutes for her husband, she exempts herself from the rule of support synonymous with the pativrata role, but because she dies as a sati , she shows that she also fulfills the support function she transgressed. In sum, when Padmini crosses back into the zanana , she is not mysteriously "absolved from the sin" of leaving the zanana . Her reentry symbolically, not logically, states both the opposition and consonance of her actions, which have a single intention. Intention is, as always, key.
The symbolism of conflict and conjunction is predominantly spatial. We have seen how protection is located within spheres. The protection offered by pativratas , be they divine (maternal kuldevis ), semidivine (satimatas ), or human, has its source within the boundaries of the zanana . We have also seen that integral to female protection is support of male duty, which is performed on the battlefield. While that support is a mode of protection that accompanies a husband outside the household, it is predicated on the partition of zanana and mardana . Women defend honor by remaining in the zanana. Parda , we have seen, not only builds among men the esprit de corps essential for army life; it preserves and enhances the modesty and purity of women.[7]
Parda , then, represents and cultivates the character of women and men. As their character flourishes so does their reputation, the stuff of which heroism is made. When women acquire sat through chastity, they build good reputations. The reputation of a wife protects and furthers the reputation, and so the honor, of her husband. Because reputation is understood to reflect honor and is thus inseparable from it, female chastity, symbolized by parda , strengthens the character of both women and men and reinforces their respective duties of protection.
Yet Padmini, like other military heroines, abandons parda . When she leaves the female sphere, she no longer functions as a supporter of male duty; she becomes a performer of male duty, which is the very foundation of her heroism. Thus it is not insignificant that in speaking of Padmini Rajput women often remark that they admire her not simply because she was a pativrata but because "she fought like a man." Padmini's stepping out of the zanana constitutes an inversion of feminine and masculine as well as a transformation from housewife to heroine.[8] Such an act is not good in itself. It is good in the context of a highly undesirable state of affairs in which a husband, through death or other incapacitation, cannot carry out his martial duty, a duty predicated on the royal-caste responsibility of protection. Only in such a case may a woman substitute for her husband in order to protect him and, if he is still alive, enable him to protect as his caste responsibility demands.
This point emerges from the "two elephants" variation on the Ruthi Rani story mentioned in the previous chapter. Well before the bard tells Ruthi Rani she must choose between pride and her husband's affection, she ponders whether to lead an army against her husband's enemy while her husband lives. Ashamed that her husband has not led an army to challenge his enemy sooner, she thinks of doing so herself. A bard warns her that if she fights, people will ridicule her husband and destroy his honor, so she chooses not to fight. She leads forces against the Muslims only after her husband's death.
Substituting for a husband is the basis for a woman's heroism. The act is not obligatory but supererogatory and presumably for this reason is deemed heroic. The transgression it entails can be recommended only indirectly by the rare examples of exceptionally courageous (bahadur ) women who face the horrors of battle in violation of their normal and normative code of behavior.
That this violation is conceived as such is clear from two attendant assumptions. First, a hero attains a status that ought to be permanent, and a heroine achieves a status assumed temporary. Individual heroes are worshiped at individual shrines constructed in their honor;[9] heroines, we have seen, are worshiped only as satimatas , in which case they lose their individual identities. Death both validates the inversion undergone by the heroine and confirms pativrata status. In sum, a heroine is admired for her violation but worshiped (if worshiped; the Rani of Jhansi, we shall see, is not) without reference to violation, or for that matter to any other distinguishing acts preceding sati immolation.
Second, female heroism is exceptional and personal. The heroine enters the battlefield unattended by other heroines; other women remain where they should, at home. Thus the heroine has sole charge of her destiny as she battles for the realm. Temporarily transcending the model of spatial support that the zanana offers the mardana , she works alone in a world turned chaotic. Her inversion is task-specific: she is to catalyze a restoration of order. Once she has set the process in motion, she will resume her proper place among other women in the zanana .
The threat of conflict looms large in the story despite the understanding that it is ultimately resolved. The conflict Padmini faces is symptomatic of a more general dilemma. The idea that only Padmini can accept the villain's terms and thus save the king, the protector of the realm, underscores the aforementioned conviction that where conflict has caused order to disintegrate, it may take a woman to restore it. Such is the case with the cosmic conflict described in the Devimahatmya . There, when demons have so demolished the world order that the gods are powerless, the Goddess steps in to set things straight. I never heard women explicitly liken the Padmini story to the Devimahatmya , but even without an implicit comparison the texts reveal a common understanding: when the world has turned topsy-turvy, a female might be able to turn it right side up.[10]
Closely related to this conclusion is the observation that Padmini's departure from parda and assumption of male duty are occasioned by opposition stated in the narrative between the male duty to protect the realm by fighting and the male duty to protect the realm by protecting women.[11] Honor prevents men from relinquishing either goal and so paralyzes them. Only when Padmini takes charge are men delivered from their dissonance. Thus Padmini's inversion not only handles the dilemma of competing pativrata responsibilities, it enables men to act and thereby catalyzes a battle for restoration.
In sum, restoration of order means that conflict has been resolved and that conflict had existed. If restoration has been effective, actual, not apparent, conflict must have been overcome. This being so, what is to be made of the symbolism of Padmini's return to the zanana and of the conviction that her pativrata status has not been interrupted or diminished? Two thoughts come to mind. On the one hand, women clearly assume that the military heroine crossing out of parda internalizes the (sexual) control that parda symbolizes. It would seem she takes parda and the sat it has built with her and so is not judged immodest. Perhaps this thought explains why some variants on the Padmini and Hari Rani stories describe the heroines' faces as still veiled, though most I have come across describe heroines as out of parda and without veil (ghunghat ) or mention no veil.[12] (Presumably a veil would make fighting especially troublesome.) In any case, the internalization of parda is verified by her death as a sati . Even where death occurs not through fire but in battle, it verifies internalization, for the heroic Rani of Jhansi, who is felled while fighting, bears the sati epithet.[13]
On the other hand, when a woman leaves the household she implicitly assumes male purpose and duty, so that the person outside parda is perhaps not quite the person who was inside it, although the outsider still intends to return once her task is accomplished. In other words, the person who conforms to the pativrata paradigm may be thought of as not really leaving the zanana and its parda ; while absent from the zanana and performing male duty, the heroine may be not quite herself. Her intentions and so her honor would remain veiled by parda , which is located at home. Reentry would then signal a symbolic confirmation of the pativrata 's continued presence in the zanana .
In either case, it seems to me, the heroine gains a mode of control generally attributed to men. The chastity she has exercised in the zanana , chastity protected by males and protecting them on the battlefield, now empowers and protects her as she sets out for war. Her chastity protects her person as she fights for her husband; as she fights for him she is able to protect the chastity of her person.
The heroine's internalization of parda and assumption of male identity conjointly reveal a further valence of boundary symbolism. This is the idea, widespread in Rajasthan as elsewhere in India, that marriage merges the discrete male and female into a single symbolic personage. The notion that a woman is part of her husband pervades Indian classical and popular culture. A man needs a wife to become whole. Without one, he cannot perform essential Hindu rituals. This idea finds expression in the familiar image of Ardhanarishvara, Shiv as half himself and half his wife, Parvati.[14] In commenting on the behavior of Padmini and other heroines, a thakurani from a leading Mewar estate made explicit reference to this image. Having said that these women were pativratas and that being a pativrata is a woman's highest duty, she said: "I'd give my life for my husband [also]. You can defame God but not a husband. I am half his body; I'd do any sacrifice for him."
If we apply this notion, substitution for the husband could also represent merging with him. The heroine, having united with her husband through performance of his role, becomes the recipient of her own power. She acts for him; he acts through her. Her passage into male space transforms her so that she is both heroine and masculine, or at the very least male-like.
This transformation of Padmini's power as she enters the battlefield would seem to emphasize the functional androgyny indicated by staging a military ambush. During this time of disorder, in which customary segregation is suspended, Padmini's performance of her husband's military duty (as strategist and commander) points to the ultimate theoretical harmony of segregated roles. At the same time, the symbolic merging of sexual identities represented by Padmini qua soldier, woman as performer of male caste duty, points to their differentiation in ordinary experience. Padmini's crossings out into battle and back into parda show that the suspension of custom is not final. In the end she resumes her traditional role as is expected. In fact, her crossing out carries overtones of the ritual crossing out of a sati on the way to the pyre.
Recall that when Padmini leaves the palace, her body becomes hot with sat . It is at this precise point, the intersection of inner and outer spheres, that satis traditionally symbolize their intention to die as satis by placing their handprints of wet vermilion on the entry gates. Thus the observation that Padmini becomes hot with sat as she emerges from the palace likens her crossing into the battlefield to the crossing that a sativrata makes as she processes to the cremation ground (mahasatiyam ). That she is a sati —she is full of sat —is clear.
It is tempting to draw out the analogy by suggesting a further comparison between the sati procession and Padmini's caravan procession. In the case of the sati procession, a woman is understood to be going to the mahasatiyam as a bride to be joined once again with her husband: the fire is the basis for both the marriage ceremony and joint cremation.[15] At the same time, the sativrata is technically a widow and the conjunction of bride and widow symbolism expresses the power she possesses and the fear she inspires through her capacity to curse. Padmini is recognized to feign a dowry-carrying procession toward marriage (or perhaps marriage of sorts) with her enemy while truly advancing toward reunion with the Maharana, her husband. Her journey appears to emphasize her fidelity in marriage. Her mission is to liberate her husband in order to enable him to fight, although it is clear that the Rajputs cannot win against the Muslims, who vastly outnumber them.
Given this situation, Padmini's procession portends imminent widowhood; it is a prelude to jauhar . Hence the bride-widow elements of sati symbolism fall easily into Padmini's procession, though their presence is not necessary to prove the significance of the fundamental sati analogy stated by Padmini's manifestation of sat .
The fact that Padmini will die a sati , although no actual sati procession is possible under the circumstances, is plain from the time she disingenuously agrees to Ala-ud-din's terms.[16] From this perspective, Padmini, whose sat is manifest, is a sativrata . She is transformed not simply from wife to heroine but to sati as well. Neither conceptualization will suffice independently. Although Padmini is like a sativrata , she does die a sati ; although Padmini is a sati , she engages in exceptional behavior that does not literally conform to the sati scenario.
Perhaps the best way to conceive the mutuality of the two perspectives—Padmini the sati demonstrating normative pativrata-sati behavior and Padmini the soldier exhibiting extraordinary heroic behavior—is to think of one as the mirror image of the other. The mirrored representation is exactly what is reflects, its equivalent. It is also the opposite of what it reflects and therefore reflects in faithful denial every detail it reproduces. And so the heroine is a sati , which is why her sat manifests. But she is also like the sati in that she plays a perfect (heroic) counterpart, which carries the charge of her story's dramatic emphasis on transgression, both normative and locative.
This transgression, however harmonious with her purpose, is symbolically reversed when Padmini crosses back into parda and resumes the custom of segregation deemed necessary in society. This reentry is understood as the most proximate prelude to death. As Padmini's departure for the battlefield is meaningful in terms of a sativrata 's procession, so her return to the fortress connotes and points toward crossing into fire, which is a salient purpose of reentry. The fortress then takes the place of the mahasatiyam . The husband being alive, jauhar occurs where the husband has lived rather than the place where he is to die.
What, we might ask, would have happened if the Rajputs had won a quick, decisive victory? Would Padmini then have had no need to kill herself? Would not reentry then be robbed of half its meaning and symbolize not legitimation but aggregation? Would Padmini still have been a paragon of virtue? Such questions force issues not to be forced. Symbolism is meaningful relative to the situations in which it is found. To alter its premise or artificially expand its context is to invite unsound speculation. Moreover, even to conduct interviews to determine what would have happened if only this or that element of the story were changed, would mean asking respondents to disrupt the relations among story elements and damage the narrative's integrity. In the Padmini story, death makes sense of the events it follows. It confirms the reversion of the transformation essential to female heroism, even if individuals interviewed do not expressly articulate this notion in equivalent terms. As myths are social institutions, their meaning cannot be wholly explained by individuals called upon to dissect them.[17] The efficiacy of the symbols they comprise exists within the arena of social consciousness, elements of which individuals may not be consciously aware. Thus the question to be posed is not whether death is required and if not, what then; rather, it is what death means where it occurs and then, in a similar vein, whether its occurrence has a meaningful pattern elsewhere in the culture's myth and ritual.
We have seen already that death validates purity of intention in the Padmini story and, more generally, in the immolation ritual. Death as a sati , a true sati , proves purity of the heart. Given the analogy and equation of the Padmini story and the sati scenario, we have concluded that death as validation both justifies what has preceded the story's climax and catalyzes and constitutes that climax. It is, however, legitimate and advisable to inquire whether such a death is typical of stories that tell of situations similar to the one Padmini faced. The context of a symbol is defined not only by the story in which it is found but by those stories utilizing the same thematic and symbolic elements. The stories must be drawn from the same social element. Still, not any old myth available from that element will suffice. Preliminary relevance must exist not in the mind of the researcher but in the minds of the storytellers. Thus here I invoke only those myths chosen by Rajput women as bearing on the question at hand: the exemplification of good Rajput character.
Given this limitation, I find it significant that the myths told by Rajput women conclude with the death of the protagonist. Even Mira, whose behavior bears little obvious resemblance to that of the heroines discussed in this chapter, dies a legitimizing death. Death is an essential aspect of all their stories' meanings.[18] To illustrate this point it will prove fruitful to compare the Padmini story with the stories of the only other exemplars whose stories are mentioned with any regularity.

[1] This representative narrative is a condensation of what Tod gives as two episodes. In Tod, Ala-ud-din takes time to recoup his losses and then begins another attack. Jauhar follows this attack, in which the Maharana is killed. No respondent mentioned two attacks or the circumstances surrounding the Maharana's death, which is central to Tod's detailed account (Annals and Antiquities 1:212–16). Tod identifies Padmini's husband as Bhim Sinh, but official palace records at Udaipur identify the king as Ratan Sinh. Bhim Sinh belonged to the collateral branch of the family at Sisoda.
[2] In the Rajasthani Sabd Kos the first definition of jauhar is "jewel" (ratna ). The second is "proof" (pramana ) of the "character" (svarup ) of a sword as seen by fineness of the striations in its iron. The third is "quality, beauty, character" (vishesta, khubi, gun ). The fourth is "the mass burning of live Rajput women on a pyre when their husbands, wearing saffron, are about to lose their fort to the enemy, so that the enemy cannot get them." The fifth is the "pyre" (cita ) where such burning occurs. The final, sixth entry ties the "rite" (kriya ) of immolation of anyone (kisi ) to the motive of "revenge" (pratikar ) for
injustice. (It presumably applies to immolations of others besides the Rajput women mentioned in the fourth definition. This is interesting because women sometimes say jauhar punishes enemies by depriving them of the opportunity to satisfy their carnal desires). Jauhar shares basic associations of sat . Like sat , it refers to quality and character; like sati it is proof (of female character and goodness). The link between "gem" and character appears to be the same made in English when we refer to someone as a "real gem." In short, the primary meanings denote character; the derivative meanings refer to the rituals that demonstrate it.
[3] Women's renditions usually mention no children or elderly persons. As we saw in the tale of Guha, a child (unborn) raises an issue of conflicting loyalty that Rajput mythology resolves in various ways. In one myth a sati first cuts her unborn child from her womb. In other stories, women die pregnant or with their children; heirs are smuggled away but everyone else perishes in flames. I saw only one miniature painting of the Padmini jauhar , which depicts women dying together—no children or men. The issue deserves historical study. The point of the Padmini myth told by women, however, seems to be the sacrifices made by women for the encouragement of men.
[4] The enabling function of women's sat is somewhat like the motivational aspect of shakti , the female power discussed widely in literature on women and goddesses in India. My Rajput informants did not invoke shakti in discussions of satis or heroines. They describe the Goddess or a kuldevi as being Shakti (a Sanskritic epithet) or having shakti , but they overwhelmingly speak of satis , heroines, and ordinary women as having and seeking sat , understood as substantive virtue and power. Informants understood what I meant when I spoke of shakti but themselves employed the term sat when talking about women's duties, powers, and goals. Sat is the term they employ when they describe themselves and their motivations in admiring and worshiping kuldevis, satimatas , heroines (and heroes and other deities). See the discussion of sat in chapter 5 and that of jauhar below.
[5] At Chitor there is an annual celebration of heroism known as the Jauhar Mela. Rajputs parade through Chitor to honor the courage of their ancestors. Although the festival focuses on jauhar , it does not bear a specific sati 's name. It takes place on the anniversary of another jauhar , but most Rajputs I know assume it celebrates the jauhar led by Padmini. Its organizers intended the festival to commemorate all three sacks and jauhars at Chitor—they chose the anniversary they did because it is a time when neither students nor farmers are busy. Although the procession commemorates the bravery of Rajput ancestors, it also occasions fiery political speeches and protests against the lawmakers in Delhi for grievances related to the loss of political power.
[6] Almost without exception the women who mentioned Padmini said they admired her because of her bravery. The only woman who made a negative remark about Padmini said that although she was brave, "Padmini should have committed suicide early on; that way there would have been no need for a war!" In other words, she could have done even more for her husband.
[7] The sat that women and men inherit through the blood they increase through appropriate behavior. This notion is illustrated in one thakurani 's claim that "because Padmini and the other heroines like her had good blood, they could fight." Padmini's character, developed by being a pativrata , gives her the ability to perform her husband's tasks. Recall that in the Guha story, the sat of the mother dying as a sati enabled her male descendants to conquer a kingdom. Recall also that in the stories in which women shame their men into fighting, the sat of the mother or daughter encourages the son or husband to fight (myth variants often interchange wife and mother).
[8] A heroine (virangana ) takes a masculine role in various Indian myths and legends. On the use of "male attire, as well as the symbols of male status and authority, especially the sword," see Kathryn Hansen, "The Virangana in North Indian History," Economic and Political Weekly , 30 Apr. 1988, 26–27. An interesting, if partial, South Indian parallel is the Madurai heroine Minakshi, who is trained as a prince (here the heroine does not die but becomes the spouse of Shiv).
[9] See, for example, Sontheimer, "Hero and Sati-stones."
[10] The notion that a woman, presumably weaker than a man, is especially able to demonstrate Rajput heroism brings to mind the theme of the youngest sati , mentioned previously, who is the ideal sati ; she is the weakest, having had the least opportunity to accumulate sat . People dwell on the beauty and fragility of Padmini, presumably because she is so much weaker than one would expect a soldier to be. Cf. Beck's parallel finding that people identify with the youngest sibling in South Indian folk narratives (Three Twins , 35).
[11] On the male duty to protect a woman and the preservation of honor, see Ziegler, "Action, Power," 80.
[12] See also Ann Grodzins Gold, "Stories of Shakti" (paper presented at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., March 1989), 15.
[13] Summarizing her assessment of this queen's character, one woman stated, "The Rani of Jhansi was very brave and had good character. She was a lady but she had to come out of parda to fight!"
[14] I am grateful to Dennis Hudson for bringing up this point in discussions of chastity and heroism.
[15] Hence some satis wear wedding dresses. Moreover, as we have seen, a betrothed woman who circumambulates her financé's funeral fire and ascends it, becomes wife and sati .
[16] In one woman's telling of the tale, Padmini wears a wedding dress to the ambush. In another's, Padmini dresses for battle (presumably as a man) and then puts on her wedding dress when she returns to die a sati . In both, wearing a wedding dress is preparation for jauhar .
[17] Victor Turner, "Symbols in Ndembu Ritual," in The Forest of Symbols (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967), 26–27.
[18] In this respect the heroines' deaths resemble martyrdom. There is, however, a crucial distinction in that martyrs are remembered as heroic individuals as a result of their deaths, whereas these heroines are celebrated because of their behavior while living. Their deaths are far more commonplace than their lives.

Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap, the eldest son of the founder of Udaipur Maharana Udai Singh was born to Sonagari Queen Jayawanti on Jyestha Sudi third day of Vikram Era 1597 (i.e. May 9, 1540) Sunday at 47 Ghati 13 Pal past sunrise. Born is Ardra Naksatra, his birth was considered not only auspicious but the astrologers also made the prediction that the child will bring shining glory to the name of the clan.

He was initiated into education and leasing worthy of a prince and, when adult, he mastered the skills in the use of arms and weapons including horse riding. But owing to mutual jealousy among the queens of Udai Singh, he was deprived of his father’s have and affection, and was forced live in a village below the ridge of Chittorgarh. His maternal grand father Akheraj Sonagar (pali) had died in the battle of Sumel Girari in 1600 Vikram Era. Thus, neither he received the from his father nor did he get maternal grand father’s care for long.

First Marriage of Pratap and Founding of Udaipur
At around age of 17 years Pratap was married to Ajabade, the daughter of Rao Ram Rakh Panwar. Amar Singh was born to her in the month of Chaitra Sudi 7, Thursday of Vikram Era 1613 (i.e. 16 March, 1559). At this time Maharana Udai Singh had gone to Ekaling Ji for Darshana (holy Vision of the lord) and from there he moved towards village Ahar in the cause of hunting. After consultations and discussions with his chieftains and advisers he started construction of a palace and establishment of a city towards the north of present day Udaipur the ruins of which exist to-day, known as Moti Mahal

Hero of the Age – Maharana Pratap
The Third Saka (Supreme Sacrifice) of Chittor and Pratap
When emperor Akabar evivaded Chittor in 1967, Maharana Udai Singh abandoned Chittorgarh following the advice of his chief cans and Generals. Though Pratap desired to stay back and protect the fort but the chief fans and Generals did not agree to expose the future king of Mewar to the jows of death and sent him to mountains alongwith his father on the night of 23 febuary 1568 the last Jauhar (a ritualistic self emulation by the women in order to protect their chastity and honour before their warrior husbands march for the final and last assault) was organized and in the morning of the following day the warriors threw open the Fort gates and wade the supreme sacrifice (the Saka, in popular lane). With the fort fell to the hands of Akabar. Akabar not only ordered the killing of innocent residents women and children but also offended sentiments of Hindus by destroying and desecrating the temples and idols in the fort.

This incident of Jauhar and Saka at Chittor made a deep impression on the heart of Pratap. He was full of hatred for Akabar who indulged in this merciless killing. The Supreme Sacrifice made by the women and the warriors for upholding the honour and respect of their nation family, clan and religion because the source of expiration for Pratap to resolve for a struggle ful life
Repression of the Vagadiya Chauhans
Pratap first demonstrated his bravery by attacking the Vagadiya Chauhans. In the battle at the banks of Som river Karansi the cousin of Rana Sanwaldas was killed. Being defeated the Vagadiya Chauhans Conceded a large part of Vagad lard to Mewar. This enhanced the fame of Pratap and the attention of the common masses and feudal heads started centering towards the browsing of Pratap.

Coronation of Pratap
Living for a while in the difficult mountain terrains at Kumbhaner alongwith his father, Pratap made his residence at Gogunda where Maharana Udai Singh died on 28 Feb.,1572. In accordance with the desire of Bhatiyani queen Dheer bai, Maharana Udai Singh had declared his son Jagamal as his heir apparent but despite strong desires of the queen and the Maharana, Jagamal could not realize his dreams. After the death of the Maharana Jagamal occupied the Royal Throne but he did not participate in the funeral rites the former ruler of Gwalior Ram Singh Tanwar enquired about Jagamal after which the noble heads came to know about Jagamal having been made the heir-apparent. At this point Man Singh Sonagare, the maternal uncle of Pratap raised objection and said to Rawat Sanga ( the predecenor of Devagarh nobles) – you Belong to the clan of Chunda therefore, this ought to have been decided after consultation with you. Then, Rawat Krishna das and Rawat Sanga said – “pratap is the eldest son, and worthy also, hence, he will be the Maharana.” After completing the last rites, the noble chieftains made Pratap to occupy the Royal Throne and spoke to Jagamal – “In your capacity as the younger brother, your seat is in front of the Royal Throne”. Thus, on 28 feb, 1572- the day of Holi Pratap’s coronation was performed at Gogunda Afterward, the coronation ceremony was celebrated at Kumbhalwer which was attended by Rao Chandra Sen (Jodhpur) the brother-in-low (Sister’s husband) of Pratap as Nell.

Making Kumbhalmer and Gogunda as centres, Pratap started ruling over Mewar. He conquered the CHHAPPAn area, defeating the rathors, then he ensured full protection of entire Godwad and the Arawali ranges. At that time, the territories lying to the North-east and South-east of Mewar had fallen to the hands of Akabar and almost all the kings of Rajasthan had accepted authority of Akabar, the only exception being Pratap who never bowed his head before the emperor. After Pratap’s coronation, Akabar kept sying over his activities for one year. Hoping that Pratap too will follow the path of other kings and will himself join the Royal service but this did not happen and Akabar decided to send emissaries to Pratap to prevail upon him

Akabar Sends three Emissaries to make Pratap accept his authority
First of all, at the orders of Akabar, Prince Man Singh Kachhawah came to Pratap lowing Gujarat in april 1573 and traveling via Eedar and Dungarpur, Pratap come to Udaipur from Gogunda and extended an affectionate wel-come to Man Singh near Udaipur. Though, Man Singh tried his best to prevail upon Pratap to come to the Royal court but Pratap did not agree. Tension developed between the two at the time of taking food and maan Singh left angrily and reported the mother to Akabar. On eruption of rebellion again in Gujarat, Akabar invaded Gujarat and suppressed the rebellion on 2 Sep. 1573 and from there ordered some army generals two under the leadership of King Bhagawan das (Amer) to go to the Rana.

Elderly bhagwan das , it was hoped, will succeed in prevailing upon Pratap to accept subjection Bhagwandas reached Eedar after first conguering the strong fort of Badanagar. The ruler of that place Narayan Das Rathore, who was Pratap’s father-in-low, accepted subjection under Akabar there after Bhagawan das went to Gogunda to meet Pratap. Although, Pratap welcomed Bhagawan das with due respects, he tactfully sefured the proposal to present him self in the court of Akabar. After two months itself, under orders from Akabar king Todarmal, while returning from Gujarat met Pratap, but had to return disappointed. This fully convinced Akabar to believe that Pratap can not be pressed down without using military might, he resolved to send Army on Pratap.

Pratap’s Reaction
Despite efforts having been made to prevail upon Pratap, he did not accept subjection of Akabar, rather remained firm on his earlier decision. What will be the consequences of all this? Pratap know this very well. Therefore, he quickened his campaign of organizing the soldiers. He stored food- items in Forts like Kumbhalmer and established many posts to protect Gogunda his main centre.

The Battle of Haldighati

Prince Mana Singh left Ajmer on 2 April, 1576 and reached Mandalgarh to launch attack on maharana Pratap. Staying there fore two months he organized the Royal Army and then moved his army towards Gogunda. On the way , he encamped at Mohi and Molela – the two villages. Onreceiving this information Pratap came to lohsing from Gogunda. This place is 9 miles away to the south-west of Haldighati From here to Haldighati the path is so narrow that not more than two men could walk together on this at a time.

It Pratap had preferred to stay here and wait for the arrival of the Royal Army, they would have had no other option but to move through this narrow path and would have been killed in the narrow valley. But Pratap and his soldiers were very eager and deprecate to fight in the open area. So, Pratap alongwith his soldiers reached khamnor though the inaccessible path. The battle was fought in the morning of 18 June, 1576 in the wide open area between Haldighati and village Khamanor. In Man Prakash, written in the praise of Man Singh it is stated – Pratap said to Madhav Singh – the younger brother of Man Singh Kachhawah, don’t feel happy in this battle field, I am soon going to end your happiness with alongwith king Man Singh in a moment. I say this under oath in the name of lord vishnu that you can not cherish the thought of Victory, so leery as I am alive.” And for the first time launched such a severe attack that the Mughal army ran miles away, but soon the scenario changed. Fighting from Pratap’s side many warriors in cluding Ramdas Medaliya, Tanwar Ram Shah of Gwalior alongwith his three sons, Jhala Beeda Jhala Mansingh, Man Singh Sonagara, Dodiya Bheem Shankar das Rathore, Rawat Naitsee, charam Jaisa and many others sacrificed their lives fighting fiercely. At last Pratap and his remaining soldiers had to abandon the battle field. Although the Royal army won, but the purpose, for which the bottle was fought- was not achieved, neither Pratap could be captioned nor did his attitude charge.

Post Battle Activities
The Royal army moved forward after the battle of Haldighati captured Gogunda the place of Pratap there they dug around a moat as they were afraid of the Mewar army. Pratap now made his stay in the strong fort of Kumbhalmer. After a short while Pratap reached Gogunda via village Kolyari, re-captured Gounda after forcing the Mughals to flee from there and placed Mandana Kumpawat there for its protection. He had good neighborly relations with the rulers to Sirohi, Jalore and Eedar. So to weaken the friendly ties the Royal army attacked them and brought Taj Khan of Jalore and Surtan of Sirohi under subjection – still, they continued supporting Pratap and they did not become averse to Pratap.
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Attack by Akabar
In Oct., 1576 Akabar himself resolved to invade Mewar. He was confident of accomplishing the task which his generals could not do. So Akabar left Ajmer on 13 oct., 1576 with a huge army. King Bhagawan das and prince Man Singh were sent to Gogunda under the command of Kutubuddin Khan. When Pratap got this information, he left Gogunda and went into the mountains. The Royal army went searching for Pratap in the caves of mountains but he could not be traced. Staying at village Mohi, Akbar made several efforts to capture Pratap but he did not succeed. Army generals were placed in the areas of Mohi and Madariya, and the campaign to search Pratap was given impetus. But all efforts failed. About Fazal writes while attempting to hide the failures of army generals – “They went into the territory of the Rama, but finding no clue to trace him returned back. Akabar got angry with them and suspended them from royal duties, and re-instated them when the begged for pardon. Hararred as he left, aKabar finally left Udaipur on 27 Nov, 1576 and went to Mahawa via Banswara. Thus, staying in Mewar for about a month and a half Akabar put all his might and skills in actions to suppress Pratap, but he did not get success. Rawal Pratap Singh of Banswara and Rawal Aasakaran of Dungarpur accepted subjection lender Akabar but Pratap Continued to give thorny pricks to the heart of Akabar. Soon after Akabar left, Pratap not only re-captured the Royal posts, but also closed all important exit points of Mewar people under the Mughal areas stopped cultivating lands with the reruls that Royal army stanted failing grant hardships due to non-supply of rations and restrictions of movements. Akabar sent his huge army those and came himself as well, to suppress Pratap but failures did not part campany with him.

Pratap was annoyed with the rulers of Dungarpur and Banswara because they did not support and stand by him ceramal the son of Dungarpur ruler Aasakaran aligned with Pratap and persuaded Pratap to send his army on Aasakaran and promised to pay Pratap 4000 Memudi for this favour Pratap at that time, was in dire need of money and he saw in this offer an opportunity to suppress his opponent therefore Pratap immediately sent his army to invade Dungarpur. When the army besieged the fort, Parvati, the wife of Dungarpur Rawal Aaskaran infomed her brother Rao Chandrasen of Jodhpur about this envision. At this Rao Chandra sen came to Dungarpur with his prominent warriors and entered the fort through the back-gate of thefoot when sesamal informed Pratap of this development, Pratap ordered his army not to take any action against Rao Chandra sen and removed his army from Dungarpur. Rao Chandrasen called Aaskaram in and handed him over the fort when Akabar invaded Dungar, Chandrasen went to Banswara, then came to village Kotara and lived there, Pratap met him there.
Invasions by Shahabag Khan against Pratap
On 15 oct., 1577 army was again sent to attack Pratap under the command of Shahbag Khan and Mir Baksi, king Bhagwandas and prince Man singh were also with them. The army, this time, intended to occupy the strong fort of Kumbhalmer. Shahbag first captive Kelwara, situated at the ridges of Khumbhalmer and then laid siege of khumbhalmer. Facing shortage of food items Pratap left the fort in the night and assigned to task of Protecting the fort to his maternal uncle Bham Sonagae. The ammunition got destroyed by the fire from a big cannon that cracked. Bham and other Rajput worriers came out opening the Fort Gate and made the supreme sacrifice while fighting on 3 April, 1578. Kumbhalmer was captured but Pratap was not caught therefore, instead of dying stationed in the fort, Pratap thought it better to abandon the fort and continue with the struggle in the style of his fathers paticies.

Pratap left kumbhalmer and went to Ranapur and then stayed for quite long in village choolye under the state of Eedar. Bhamashah and Tarachard went to Rampura and took shelter. After shahabag khan left mewar, bhamashah returned from rampura and after plundering villages of malwa and mewar, offered good amount of wealth to Maharana Pratap. For this favour Bhamashah was made Prime Minister replacing Rana Mahan see. After returning from chooliya, Pratap spent his time in mountain terrains around Kamalnath and Awargarh. After about 8 months, Akabar again ordered Shahabag Khan to invade Mewar with the warning that if you will not bring Maharana under subjection, you will be beheaded. So, he left fatehpur sikari on 15 Dec. 1578 for Mewar. Despite the exhaustive efforts for three months, no where about of Pratap could be known Tarachand fell down from horse while fighting with shahabag Khan but Devara Saindas of Runija sawed his life.

Third attack by Shahabag Khan and Pratap leaves for Godawad
On 11 Nov., 1579 Shahabag Khan moved from sambhar to launch third attack on Pratap this time many Rajputs were killed fighting with shahabagkhan. Royal posts were established at many important places and strict vigil was enforced to moniter movements of Pratap, Pratap went to the mountains of Soondha in Godawad where Dewal Padihars were ruling. Thkur Raydhawal Dewal of loyana extended warn welcome to pratap and gave his daughter to Pratap in marriage. Pratap got dug a well (Bavadi) and stabled a garden at Soondha, Decorated Raydhawal with the title of Rana. When in May 1580 Shahabag Marched to Bengal, Pratap came back to Mewar and lived at village Dholan (sayara area).

Shahabag Khan had stabled authority over Jawar Chhappan and Vagad in addition to kumbhalmer and established Royal posts there. Pratap suspended action against the mughals for some time due to fall in military strength. He territories under his control and increasing the strength of his army. After three years he chalked out plans to attack the Royal posts making Dholan as his main centre of activities

The Battle of Dever and Victory of Pratap
Pratap launched an attack on the Royal Post at Dever a village situated in Dever valley of Arawali ranges north east of kumbhalmer. The post commander Sulteen Khan lead the Royal off the legs of the elephant with blows of swards and the elephant fell down. Then sultan khan fought riding a horse. Prince Amar Singh demonstrated great bravery in this battle the Amar Kavya states – He pierced his spear through Sulteen Khan and the house together. Other soldiers ran away and Pratap got victory. Pratap got the triumphing victory in this battle. James To & describes Dever as the marathon of Mewar. Marathon is a place in Greece where the Greeks foxed the inamains to flee away from the war

Demise of Pratap
In January 1597, while pulling the sting of bow to hunt a tiger he developed pain in his intenstine and fell sick. Seeing him grim faced, the Rawat of Salumber asked him for the reason, I am worried and doubtful at the prospects as to weather my son Amar Singh, who, I know, is prone to a comfortable life-style will be able to up hold the glory of Mewar and the tradition of my family and clan. It you nobles make a promise to protect the glory of the kingdom of Mewar, I may die in peace, All the chieftains of Mewar, present there at that time, when took the oath in the name of the throne of Bappa Rawal, then Pratap breathed his last on 19 January 1597 and thus came the end to a golden era of struggle for freedom.

Jauhar Smriti Sansthan on Web

One of the presitigous organization, Jauhar Smriti Sansthan of Mewar is now having its website
Moderator:Bhanu Pratap Singh Raghav

Third Jauhar of Chittor

Emperor Akbar besieged the fort of Chittor in September 1567. Changing the strategy, Rana Udai Singh II, his sons and the royal women, using secret routes, escaped soon after the siege began. The fort was left under Jaimal Rathore and Patta Sisodiya's command. One morning Akbar found Jaimal inspecting repairs to the fort which had been damaged by explosives, and shot him. The bullet hit Jaimal in the leg and wounded him seriously. That same day the Rajputs realized that defeat was certain. The Rajput women committed Jauhar in the night of February 22, 1568 AD, and the next morning, the Rajput men committed saka. (Abul Faz'l has given a true account of the event as seen by Akbar in his biography in 1568 AD.)

Second Jauhar of Chittor

Rana Sanga died in 1528 AD after the Battle of Khanua. Shortly afterwards, Mewar and Chittor came under the regency of his widow, Rani Karnavati. The kingdom was menaced by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, who besieged Chittorgarh. Without relief from other forces and facing defeat, the Rani committed Jauhar with other women on March 8, 1535, while the Rajput army sallied out to meet the besieging Muslim army and committed saka. According to one romantic legend of dubious veracity, Karnavati importuned the assistance of Humayun the son of Babur, her late husband's foe, by sending him a Rakhi and a request for his help as a brother. The help arrived too late. This is the occasion for the second of the three Jauhars performed at Chittor.

First Jauhar of Chittor

In 1303 AD, Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi besieged Chittor fort, which was under the control of Rana Rawal Ratan Singh. The Rana allowed Khilji one glimpse of his wife, Rani Padmini, in a mirror, before he was at the gates and held hostage for Padmini. Padmini sent misleading information that she would join Ala-ud-din, but she was to come with 700 women as befitted her status. The Rajputs were thus able to infiltrate about 2000 men into Ala-ud-din's camp. Each Palaqi Palanquin) contained two Rajput soldiers and four men to lift it. Gora and Badal were leading this team. Ala-ud-din allowed Padmini one final meeting with her husband, which allowed the Rajputs to whisk Ratan Singh out from under the Khilji king's nose. Beaten, Ala-ud-din returned to Delhi, only to come back better equipped early the next year. The Rajput defence failed as a result of this second attack and, to a man, perished on the battlefield while their womenfolk, led by Maharani Padmini, performed Jauhar. The siege of Chittor, its brave defence by the Guhilas, the saga of Rani Padmini and the Jauhar she led are legendary. This incident has had a defining impact upon the Rajput character and is detailed in a succeeding section.
Jauhar Smriti Sansthan, Chittorgarh was established in the year 1948-49 during the Kangra Rajput Sabha Delhi Chapter. It was established with the aim to preserve,and to promote the Glory,Pride,Honor,and Dignity of Rajputs.With this aim in mind Jauhar Smriti Sansthan's orgainzers and founders had taken oth to organize Jauhar Mela a.k.a.Sati Mela to glorify the sacrifices made by Rajput Womens of Mewar.

The first Jauhar Mela / Sati Mela, Chittorgarh was organized in the year 1949-50 in which Maharani Sahiba of Mewar, Rajmata Sahiba of Jodhpur,etc. had made thier ospicious presence.After the success of first Jauhar Mela, it was started to celebrate and organize every year till date. With each coming year the glory of Jauhar Mela has been extended throughout the world.