Home  |  About Us  |  FAQ
    Google Search   www Indo Vacations      

Rajasthan Travel, Rajasthan Tourism Travel


Rajasthan - Tourism - Travel


Rajasthan Travel, Rajasthan History
Rajasthan Art
Arts of Rajasthan
Painting Schools of Rajasthan
Arts and Paintings of Rajasthan
Rajasthan Map
Maps of Rajasthan
Location Map
Road Map
Travel Map
Distance Chart
Rajasthan Crafts
Rajasthan Crafts
Shopping in Rajasthan
Rajasthan Adventure
Adventure Rajasthan
Rajasthan Cuisine
Rajasthan Cuisine
Rajasthan Festivals
Rajasthan Festivals
Festival Calendar
Rajasthan Forts and Palaces
Rajasthan Forts and Palaces
Rajasthan Music
Rajasthan Music and Dance
Rajasthan Pilgrimage
Rajasthan Pilgrimage
Rajasthan Parks
Rajasthan Parks
Rajasthan Tours
4 Days Jaipur Tour
7 Days Imperial Rajasthan Tour
7 Days Rajasthan Tour
8 Days Golden Triangle Tour
8 Days Golden Triangle and Mandawa Tour
8 Days Taj Mahal and Wildlife Tour
8 Days Taj Mahal Tour
10 Days Rajasthan Desert Triangle Tour
11 Days Desert Golden Triangle Tour
11 Days Rajasthan Wildlife Tour
11 Days Shekhawati Desert Tour
12 Days Ayurveda in Rajasthan Tour
12 Days Desert Tour of Rajasthan
12 Days Horse Safari Tour
13 Days Rajasthan Desert Tour
13 Days Rajasthan Honeymoon Tour
Rajasthan Village Tour
Rajasthan Train Tour
Ideal Rajasthan Tour
14 Days Rajasthan Short Tour
Rajasthan Ayurveda and Yoga Tour
15 Days Rajasthan Horse Safari Tour
Rajasthan Camel Safari Tour
16 Days Ayurveda in Rajasthan Tour
16 Days Rajasthan Hadoti Tour
16 Days Cultural Rajasthan Tour
16 Days Rajasthan with Pushkar Tour
17 Days Rajasthan Camel Safari Tour
17 Days Vacations in Rajasthan Tour
17 Days Rajasthan Luxury Palace Tour
17 Days Colourful Rajasthan Tour
18 Days Rajasthan Women Tour
18 Days Rajasthan Round Trip Tour
19 Days Rajasthan and North India Tour
Rural Rajasthan Tour
Rajasthan Buddhist Tour
24 Days Rajasthan Forts and Palaces Tour
28 Days Rajasthan Heritage Tour
31 Days Wildlife with Rajasthan Tour
31 Days Rajasthan Intensive Tour


Mughals and Chauhans Resistance in Rajasthan

Resistance of Hammir of Ranthambore
In 1299 Alauddin had attacked Jaisalmer. However, the attack on Jaisalmer was a mere raid as compared to the invasion of Ranthambhor. Ranthambhor lies in the S.E. corner of Rajasthan. It is situated on a rocky plateau, 1578 ft – above the sea level. According to Amir Khusru, it was situated at a distance of two week’s march from Delhi and was surrounded by a massive wall three kos in circumference. In fact Ranthambore was the first state to be selected for the trial of strength with the Rajputs; firstly, because of its proximity to Delhi; secondly, because of its reputed impregnability. Added to these were a handy excuse and a justification. The Mongol rebels, Mauhammad Shah and his brother Kehbru, the leaders of the mutiny near Jalor, had been given shelter by the Rana of Ranthambhor. Though contemporary historian gives this fact as a cause for the invasion, circumstantial evidence supported by later writings unmistakably does strengthen the hypothesis. At the time of Alauddin’s invasion, Ranthambhor was ruled by the Chauhan prince Hammir Deva, a direct descendant of renowned Prithviraj. Muslim invaders had repeatedly tried to establish their authority in Ranthambhor but without success. It was attacked by Qutbuddin Aibak in 1209 and was captured by Iltutmish in 1226, but it regained its independence soon after. In 1291 Jalaluddin Khalji had marched against it but, finding the fortress impregnable, had given up the idea of capturing it. But Alauddin was made of a different stuff in 1300 he ordered his two generals. Ulugh Khan, governor of Bayana and Nusrat Khan, governor of Kara, to invade Ranthambhore with the forces at their command. The joint armies moved towards the Rajput stronghold and on their way captured and plundered Jhain without encountering any resistance. Before arriving at Ranthambhor, Ulugh sent a message to the Chauhan prince that his master bore no grudge against the Rai and if the latter either put the fugitives to death or surrendered them to him, the Imperial armies would return to Delhi. He further argued that when his suppliants had not proved faithful and loyal to the Delhi Sultan who had given them life and honour, how could they be expected to behave otherwise towards their new patron? In the end Hammira was asked to be ready for consequences in case he refused to act in accordance with the instructions contained in the letter. But Hammir was not to be cowed down. Hammir Deva was directly connected with Prithviraj Chauhan. He was the third son of Jait Singh and because of meritorious record had ascended the throne of Ranthambhor in 1282 in the lifetime of his father. He declined – to betray his guests into the hands of those who were determined to kill them. He sent word that he did not want to court the Sultan’s enmity, but he was not afraid of it either Nayachandra Suri writes in the Hammir Mahakavya that the Rana’s fall was due to his wrong economic policy. Rana had given an honorarium of two lacs besides large jagirs to Muhammad Shah & Kehbru, and burden of this liberality had weighed heavily on the people. Hammir Prabandha also says that the Rana gave wealth and jagirs to Muhammad Shah. To the gallant Chauhan, the promise of shelter to the Mongol nobles as well as the ancient glory of his house formed the severest justification for accepting the challenge of the Muslim generals. Besides he was no ordinary king; he had annexed to dominions as far off places as Shivapur in Gwalior and Balvan in Kota. No wonder that Jalaluddin Khalji had returned unsuccessful from Ranthambhor.

No sooner did Ulugh Khan receive Rana Hammir’s reply than he ordered his army to march to the destination. He encamped in the neighborhood of the fortress, and ordered construction of entrenchments and batteries (gargach). Arrada, gargach, marjniq and poshib frequently occur in the description of warfare in the medieval period. The first three were stone – throwing machines pashib raised a platform constructed by sand and other materials to scale the walls of the fort. By this time Hammir Deva had completed his preparation for defence. Yahya estimates that the Rai had under his command 12,000 cavalry, many famous elephants and innumerable footmen. According to Amir Khusru, the Raja had about 10,000 flee foot horses. The Rajpus unceasingly sent forth missiles and Nasrat Khan died at the main gate called Nawlakhi. The Muslim camp went into mourning at the loss of such an able commander. Upon this the valiant Rajputs, thinking the silence in the Imperial camp as a sign of its having been overtaken by sense of a defeat, relinggquished their defensive position, sallied forth from the fort, and attacked the besiegers. Ulugh Khan could not withstand impact of the onslaught and fell back on Jhain. That Alauddin had underrated the strength of the Rajputs, was clear to everybody. Ulugh Khan duly reported to the Sultan the death of Nusrat Khan and the retreat of the army from Ranthambhor, whereupon Alauddin decided to march in person to the scene of action.

The Sultan left with a large army for Ranthambhor. On the way an unsuccessful attempt was made on his life by his nephew Ikat Khan. A little later, Umar Khan and Mangu Khan, rose in revolt in Badaon and Avadh, and one Haji Maula started a rebellion in Delhi. But undaunted by these events, Alauddin marched on and arrived at Ranthambhor. The investment of Ranthambhor had proved to be a long drawn out affair. Meanwhile, a general like Nusrat Khan had perished, attempts on the Sultan’s life had been made, and the empire had been convulsed with a number of rebellions. And yet Alauddin’s determination to take the fort had not faltered in the least. The army was reduced to extreme distress, but not a single soldier dared to desert the camp for fear of the Sultan’s imposing a fine of three year’s pay upon him. The country around had altogether been ruined; a sprit of despair had begun to overtake the Imperial troops. Cut off from the capital, the soldiery was certain in its belief that they were destined to perish under the impregnable walls of Ranthambhor. In secret Alauddin would deliberate with his confidential nobles about the causes of the successive revolts and the seriousness of the situation, but outwardly be showed as if nothing of importance had happened, and pressed the siege with great vigor. The soldiers tried to fill the moat with logs of wood but these were burnt down by faggots hurled from the fort. This device having failed, and finding it impossible to reach the fort wall, the Sultan’s troops concentrated on filling a small portion of the moat with sand and stone. When bags fell shorts they used their trousers as bags and succeeded in erecting a high mound, which almost reached the turrets of the fort. But the defenders kept on throwing fire and missiles and succeeded in keeping the enemy away from the battlements for two or three weeks more. At last provisions fell short in the fortress and, soon famine raged to such an extent that one “grain” of rice could be purchased only for two rattis of gold. According to Hammir Mahakavya, Sarjan Shab, who bore enmity to Hammir, and who had been won over by Alauddin, secretly placed cowhides in the provisions – store and thus polluted the food – grains. ‘Man can bear every atecation but that of a starving stomach’ says Amir Khusrau, and the valiant Rajputs could not bear the pangs of hunger. In the imperial camp, on the other hand, gold was distributed freely among the troops to give them fresh incentive fight. When nothing remained in the fort except hardship, despair and starvation, the heroic act of Jauhar was performed. A blazing fire was lit and the ladies of the Rai, headed by the chief queen Ranga Devi, perished on pyre. The remnant of the Rajput soldiery, their nobles and the king donned saffron garments and dashed forth to engage the enemy in a last combat. A detailed description of Hammir’s last fight is given in the Rajput sources. According to Hammir Mahakavya, nine brave men fought by his side in his last hour, his brother Viram, Tak Gangadhar, foru Mongol (brothers), Kshetra Singh Parmar and two others. After Viram had been killed and Muhammad Shah had lost consciousness, Hammir advanced to fight. The battle raged fiercely and blood flowed on all sides. Muhammad Shah and Kehbru, greateful to the last to the Rajput king for his hospitality and sacrifice, fought side by side with their patron. At last the great Rana Hammir fell, fighting gallantly on the field of battle, as yet in the prime of his life. Isami asserts that none of the Rajaas family members was captured alive.

The gallant fight and death of Rana Hammir has been attributed by some writers to his persistence (Hammir Hath) but it must be admitted that Hammir was one of those gallant sons of Rajputana who fought valiantly against Muslim invader to save the ever-cherished independence of his motherland. Once he had given shelter to Mongol noblemen, he could never betray them into the hands of their enemy. Hammir fought with sublime courage, and upheld the noble traditions of the chivalrous race to which he belonged. Ranthambhor had capitulated on Tuesday, 11th July 1301 (3 Zilquda 700 H). Its fall had been accelerated by the defection of Ranmal and Ratipal, two ministers of Hammir. Ranmal, who had gone to Alauddin to settle terms on behalf of the Rajputs, agreed to desert to the Sultan, and obtained a written undertaking from him granting him complete amnesty. Ranmal showed the document to his Rajputs friends and some of them together with Ratipal left the beleaguered garrison for the royal camp. But after Alauddin had captured the fort, he punished the faithless Rajputs, Ranmal and Ratipal, saying that when they had not proved true to their old patron they could not be expected to be faithful to him. But Just the contrary was the treatment he accorded to Mir Muhammad Shah, whose wounds he ordered to be dressed. Even in pangs of death, that valiant soldier spurned the offer of attention. He openly insulted the Sultan for which he was trampled under the feet of an elephant. But the Sultan could never forget the bravery and integrity of the Mongol. Noble and gave him a decent burial.

The surrender of Ranthambhor witnessed the usual zeal for inconoclasticism and plunder. A number of temples, chief amongst which was the temple of Yahar Deo (Har Deva), were razed to the ground. Many “temples and houses in the city were destroyed” and “the center of Kufr became the abode of Islam”. The fortress of Ranthambhor together with the territory of Jhain was entrusted to the care of Ulugh Khan, and the Sultan returned to Delhi. After the collapse of the Chauhan résistance at Ranthambhor, Alauddin Khalji got busy fighting against the other states of Rajputana and against the Mongols in Punjab and near Delhi. After the conquest of Malwa, Alauddin sent his brilliant genera Malik Naib Kafur to the south and he himself seized an opportunity to attack Scvana. Sevana was then in possession of Parmar Rajput chief, Satal Deva. Satal Deva had witnessed the mighty citadels of Ranthambhor and Chittor succumb to onslaughts of the Khalji warlord, but still he refused to submit to the Delhi Sultan. Satal Deva was a powerful and energetic ruler, he had defeated many Rais in battle and a number of Rajput Ravats acknowleged his suzerainty. The Sultan marched on 2nd July, 1308 ( 13 Muharram, 708 H) to chastise the ruler of Sevana. On arrival there, he began the investment of the fort. The right wing of the royal army was stationed on two sides, east and west, of the battlement; the left wing was on the north; and the center was entrusted to the command of Malik Kamaluddin “the wolf.” A constant shower off missiles was kept up from the manjniqs but success was not in sight for a long time. The royal forces resorted to many stratagems, but all in vain. The Rajputs defended the fort stubbornly, threw fire and stone from the battlement, and for months together “breath was choked, by the sounds of the Turki flutes and Hindu bell”. When nothing seemed to avail, says Padmanabh, a trick was resorted to. A trait named Bhaile was induced to indicate a passage to the royal commander through which a manjniq was carried and it discharged a cow’s head into the lake which supplied water and their fate sealed. The Imperial forces succeeded in escalating the battlements of the citadel, but after great difficulty. Satal Deva tried to Flee to Jalor, but ran into an ambush and was done to death on 10th November, 1308 (23 Rabiul Avval, 708H) the administration of Sevana was entrusted to Kamaluddin Gurg and Alauddin returned to Delhi.

Capture of Jalor

Now Alauddin Khalji attacked Kanhad Deva, the Chauhan Raja of Jalor. Kanhad Deva, also known by the names of Saligram, Gokalnath & Krishna III, was the son of Som Singh, a dependent of the Solanki Bhim Deva of Gujarat. After Sultan Alauddin had consolidated his authority in Marwar, Kanhad Deva’s semi-independent status was construed as contumacy and, his country was invaded. Nainsi described two sieges of Jalor by Alauddin. The first occurred at the time of the royal army’s return from Gujarat in 1298 and the second in 1311. As the Sultan himself did not lead the forces to Gujarat, the details given by Nainsi about the siege of 1298 may not be quite accepted, as he always refers to king’s presence there. Farishta also mentions about the expeditions to Jalor While describing the events of the year 704 H (A.D. 1304) Farishta writes that as the imperial general Alap Khan and Nusrat Khan were returning from the conquest of Malwa, they arrived at Jalor and Nahar Deo (Kanhad Deva), taking lesson from the fate of Koka (of Malwa), offered his submission to the Sultan without a show of resistance. The other invasion according to Farishta came of in 1308 and was the outcome of a very curious incident. One day while Kanhad was present in the court, he heard Alauddin say that there was no one among the Hindu Rajas who could dare challenge the might of his arms. The remarks pricked Kanhad’s sense of pride and he picked up the gauntlet, retorting, “If I wage a war and do not come out successful, I may be killed”. This effrontery enraged the Sultan and he ordered an invasion of Jalor, to which Kanhad had already slipped to make preparation for war. Hajiuddhabir, a cotemporary of Farishta, almost repeats the story, which appears to be incredible. It is really strange that at one time Kanhad Deva hurries to Delhi to pay homage to the king of his own accord, professes unflinching obedience for four years, and then suddenly adopts such an insolent attitude that he puts himself and his subjects in extreme jeopardy. An interesting reason has been given by Nainsi. He say that a princess of Alauddins’s harem fell in love with Viram, son of Kanhad Deva, who was on attendance at the court in place of his father. Padmanabh in his Kanhadde Prbandh says that she was a daughter of Sultan Alauddin and her name was Firoza. The Sultan and the ladies of the harem first threatened the girl to change her mind, but finding her adamant, Alauddin insisted on Viram to marry her. The young Rajput could never think of marrying a “Turk” girl and left for jalor, promising to return with a wedding party (barat) after some time. The Sultan suspected a ruse on the part of Viram and kept a Rajput prince of the house as hostage. As was expected, Viram never returned to marry the girl and the Sultan was so much incensed at his treachery that he invaded Jalor. Neither the reasons given by Nainsi nor by Farishta and Hajiuddabir are convincing. The real cause of the invasion was in all certainly the determination of the Sultan to put an end to the independence of Jalor as was done with the other states of Rajputana. In short, a royal force was sent to Jalor in A.D. 1311. The name of the commander of the expedition is not known but he does not seem to have been a brave general. The Rajputs defeated the royalists in a number of engagements and threw them back on many occasions. One thing is certain that the battle of Jalor was terrible, and perhaps a prolonged one. According to the Gujarati epic romance Kanhad de Prabhandh, the contest continued for some years, and the imperialists met with a number of reverses.

The news of the humiliating retreats put the Sultan to his mettle and he sent a strong force under the veteran, Malik Kamaluddin Gurg. On reaching Jalor, Kamaluddin pressed the siege with unabated vigour. According to Padmanabh, one Sejwal was tempted by royal gold to guide the royalists to a secret entrance into the fort-Such meanness cost him his life at the hands of his wife, but it facilitated the task of Kamaluddin. At last Gokalnath, his son Viram Deva and their followers were killed in a close combat and the fortress was captured. Maldeva, a brother of Kanhad Deva, survived the massacre that followed the fall of Jailor. Later on, he was able to secure the goodwill of the Sultan, who appointed him to take charge of Chittor from Khizra Khan. Nainsi’s date (1311 – 12 A.D.) of the fall of Jalor is in conflict with that of Farishta (1308 A.D.) In 1308 the conquest of Sevana was undertaken and a large army was sent to the Deccan also. It is, therefore, probable that Jalor was attacked at a later date. But Nainsi’s date find corroboration in the Tirtha Kalpa of Jina Prabha Suri who says that in Sam vat 1367 i.e. 1310, Alauddin destroyed the temple of Mahavira at Sanchor, a place near Jalor. The destruction of this temple must have been a part of large enterprise, namely the invasion of Jalor. Reu also concludes that Jalor capitulated in A.D. 1311. it appears that Jalor resisted the invasion for long, and fought for many years before it capitulated. The brave Chauhans of Jalor had kept up the tradition. To commemorate this victory, Alauddin had a mosque erected in the famous fort of Songir at Jalor which is still in existence. With the capitulation of Jalor, almost all the leading states of Rajputana have been subdued one after the other. Ever since Sultan Alauddin had embarked upon the conquest of Ranthambhor in 1300, till the fall of Jalor in 1311, his armies had constantly foutht in Rajasthan. There was tough resistance to his attacks by all Rajputs (Chauhans included) and the valour of Rajputs could not brook the insult of giving way to the enemy. The result was that bloody battles were fought before each and every fortress. To enumerate the various wars in Rajputana, then, is to repeat the horrors of blood and slaughter, of gallant fight, of glorious martyrdom. Sometimes before a single citadel the contest prolonged for years and ended in a general massacre of its population, accompanied by the gruesome destruction of the womenfolk in the fire of Jauhar.

Causes of Failure for Rajputs

Unluckily the Rajputs who spurned life without freedom, possessed valour without the spirit of union. Individual fortresses offered stubborn resistance, but singly none of them was a match against the Sultanate of Delhi. Had even two or three Rajput princes combined against the Sultan, they would surely have succeeded in defeating him. But secure in their citadels, each one of them was contend to mind his own affairs and exert in his own pride, while Alauddin raided and subdued one kingdom after another. The relations between Sevana and Jalor are a glaring example of the callous indifference the Rajput chieftains sometimes entertained towards one another. While the fall of Sevana was imminent, the ruler of Jalor, living only about fifty miles from there, was unmoved, with the result that a couple of years Jalor was also taken in another assault. Another reason of Rajput defeat was their forts. They were generally constructed on the top of a hillock and were designed to protect women, children and cattle when the brave defenders sallied out to encounter a sudden invasion. And although it was difficult for the invaders to ascend, step-by-step, the steep cliffs of the hillock, yet the citadel, when subjected to a siege, was always cut off from the plains below. Thus the corns and revenues of the outlying districts automatically fell into the hands of the vicinity escaped in time to seek shelter inside the citadel; a large number of them were left on the plains below. Their distress made them hate enemy. The conditions inside the fortress, again, were not very satisfactory. During an investment, the crowed far exceeded the number of normal inhabitants, and there were no special arrangements for extra provisions and vegetables. The enemy, lying at the base of the hill on which the fort stood, could easily cut of the convoy, and it was always the dearth of provisions that rendered defense impossible. The mighty fortress of Ranthambhor and Jalor surrendered to famine – Again, medieval conditions of sanitation were no preventive against outbreak of epidemics. To add to this, caste considerations and orthodoxy reigned supreme. The enemy was alive to these weaknesses of the Hindus and took full advantage. The instances of Ranthambhor, Sevana and Jalor are worth repeating. Through the services of some traitor, cowhides were thrown inside the grain cellars, or cow’s head in water reservoir. Provisions were thereby rendered ‘desecrate’ and the fortresses surrendered.

The Rajput were still steeped in their age-long traditions of warfare and had little opportunities of developing their military strategy. They had little contacts with Central Asian countries and were quite ignorant of the revolutionary changes the Mongols had introduced in the art of warfare. Every now and then, the Sultan of Delhi had to fight the Mongol invaders and had adopted many of their tactics off ambuscade, camouflage and feigning retreats. They possessed engines of war like arrada, gargach and marjniq while the Rajputs fought with huge elephants, in open engagements. Their government was based on feudal principles and fixed quotas of soldiers were provided by the various dependencies in time of war. During an investment, such reinforcement could not always arrive because off enemy activity and the beleaguered had to fight single-handed. Moreover, the resources of a Rajput Raja were limited. His country was barren; there was dearth of crops and of water. His only fortune was the hilly nature of the country. But how could he succeed against the Sultan of Delhi who possessed the Punjab, Avadh and Gujarat, the most fertile regions of the country, and who could depend upon an unlimited supply of provisions and reinforcements. Furthermore, the Rajput only knows how to die. To him death, on the field of battle, was the greatest bliss, the highest honour. Chivalry was crammed into his very nature, hatred trick and treachery. As to the Turk, trickery was an important method of warfare. To him, death was the greatest misfortune. He wanted to live in this world and enjoy the fruits of victory. So victory he must have, whatever the means he employed to obtain it. Thus, while the Rajput flung himself into the battle, the Turk moved after calculating the enterprise. The Rajput fought desperately, the Turk strategically. Diplomacy among the Rajputs was minimal, with the Muslims it was the very secret of their success. But the success of the Sultan in Rajputana was short lived. The Rajputs, who had a country to love and an honour to defend, never gave away to Alauddin’s governors. They knew well how to deliver themselves and their families from the insulting invader, and soon as the deluge of the invasions had ebbed out, they reclaimed their territories. The result was that Alauddin’s hold over Rajputana was precarious and the occupation of Ranthambhor after Ulugh Khan did not last much. Jalor too become independent very soon after its conquest. Bardic literature enumerates continuous struggles between the Muslims and the Rajputs. Obviously Rajputana had not completely submitted, and one or the other kingdom in the land of born warriors, was always successful in resisting the authority of the Sultanate of Delhi.



Home    |    About Us     |    FAQ    |    Site Map    |    Contact Us


Rajasthan Tourism and Travels

Rajasthan - Tourism - Travel

Copyright ©, Indo Vacations®. All Rights Reserved.