The Queen She Was?
Children do you know why June 24 is celebrated as “Balidan Diwas” ? It is in the memory of Rani Durgavati who killed herself on this day in1564. Let us learn more about this valiant queen.
Rani Durgavati was born on October 5, 1524 in the family of Chandel emperor Keerat Rai. She was born at the fort of Kalanjar (Banda, U.P.). Chandel Dynasty is famous in the Indian History for the valiant king Vidyadhar who repulsed the attacks of Mehmood Gaznavi.
In 1542, she was married to Dalpatshah, the eldest son of king Sangramshah of Gond Dynasty. Chandel and Gond dynasties got closer as a consequence of this marriage and that was the reason Keerat Rai got the help of Gonds at the time of invasion of Shershah Suri in which Shershah Suri died.
She gave birth to a son in 1545 who was named Vir Narayan. Dalpatshah died in about 1550. As Vir Narayan was too young at that time, Durgavati took the reins of the Gond kingdom in her hands. Rani moved her capital to Chauragarh from Singaurgarh. It was a fort of strategic importance situated on the foothills of Satpura.
After the death of Shershah, Sujat Khan captured the Malwa zone and was succeeded by his son Bajbahadur in 1556. After ascending the throne, he attacked Rani Durgavati but the attack was repulsed with heavy losses to his army. This defeat silenced Bajbahadur and the victory brought name and fame for Rani Durgavati.
In the year 1562 Akbar vanquished the Malwa ruler Bajbahadur and annexed Malwa with Mughal dominion. Consequently, the state boundary of Rani touched the Mughal kingdom.
Prosperity of Rani Durgavati”s state lured the Mughals to invade Rani”s state. When Rani heard about the attack by Asaf Khan she decided to defend her kingdom. To fight a defensive battle, she went to Narrai situated between a hilly range on one side and two rivers Gaur and Narmada on the other side. It was an unequal battle with trained soldiers and modern weapons in multitude on one side and a few untrained soldiers with old weapons on the other side. Rani decided to lead the defence herself. As the enemy entered the valley, soldiers of Rani attacked them. She chased the Mughal army and came out of the valley. At this stage Rani reviewed her strategy with her counsellors. She wanted to attack the enemy in the night but her lieutenants did not accept her suggestion. By next morning Asaf Khan had summoned big guns. Rani rode on her elephant to the battlefield. Her son Vir Narayan also took part in this battle. He forced Mughal army to move back thrice but at last he was wounded and had to retire to a safe place. In the course of battle Rani also got injured near her ear with an arrow. Another arrow pierced her neck and she lost her consciousness. On regaining consciousness she perceived that defeat was imminent. Her Mahout advised her to leave the battlefield but she refused and took out her dagger and killed herself.
Children, this is the story of the brave queen Rani Durgavati. Her indomitable spirit did not allow her to surrender to the Mughals. She died while defending Bharatmata from the Mughal invasion.
-Aniket Raja ?