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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Preparation of Rajputs | Battle of Chittor - Marathon Series Part-2

Hi all,

In present post, i am writing about the preparations and consequent reactions in Chittor, after receiving the news of imminent attack on Chittor. It should be noted that Akbar had decided to attack Chittor using hunting trip as a pretext. Hence, Mewar had very less time for the preparations. Chittor was not the only principality to be guarded from the attack. Along with Chittor, which was the capital of Sisodia Rajputs, the other regions of Mewar, were also to be guarded like Mandalgarh, Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Rampur, Bijolia,  etc. Hence, a decision was to be taken keeping many factors in mind.

In this post, i have made use of RARE Rajputana as well as Mughal Chronicles, often searching their Sanskrit and Persian texts, as their translations were NOT available..!!!!. I am giving the brief description of the important events. Describing each event in detail is not possible at present. We can have a discussion in the comments following this post, which we do as usual.

Other Posts in this Series:

1. Why did Akbar attack Chittor ? | Part-1

3. Battles BEFORE the Battle of Chittor - At Kumbhalgarh, Rampur, Udaipur, Mandalgarh | Part-3

4. ACTUAL Struggle between Mughal & Rajput Forces - Course of War BEFORE Jauhar and Saka| Battle of Chittor Part-4 | With explained Portraits from Akbarnama

5. Mughal Record of Jauhar of Rajput Women & Saka of Rajput Warriors at 3rd Siege of Chittor(1567-68) + Mughal Victory Followed by Massacre of Rajput Civilians | Battle of Chittor Part-5 | With Portraits from Akbarnama & personal pictures of Chittor Fort

6. DETAILED Rajput Record of Jauhar, Saka & Massacre of Rajputs at 3rd Siege of Chittor(1567-68) | Description of Rajput Warriors & OLD pictures of Chittor Fort | Battle of Chittor Part-6

7. Fatehnama-i-Chittor, Comparison & Pictures of Mughal-Rajput Weapons, Assessment of Akbar and Maharana Pratap, Old Portraits of Udaipur & Path for the Future Struggle of Mughals - Mewar | LONG Detailed Concluding Assessment..Last Post on Battle of Chittor Part 7

History of Jaimal and Patta | HEROes of the 3rd Siege of Chittor

The Preparations and Underlying events in Chittor BEFORE the arrival of Mughal Forces

As discussed in Part-1 series of Chittor Post{Link}, Udai Singh, who had already been informed of Akbar's intention by Shakti Singh was completely aware of the approaching danger and lost no time in calling a council of his UmRaos , Chief Sardars, Samants, merchants and leading citizens of the town to decide how to defend the homes and hearths in that critical moment. After considering and discussing several personal and public aspects of the problem it was decided that Udai Singh should retire to the defiles of Western Mewar. It was a startling suggestion and was naturally not at first welcomed by Udai Singh. But he bowed down to the inevitable.

The details of the above mentioned meeting are from the Rare Rajputana accounts of Mewar, which are listed as follows >  

1. Manuscript of Davet Udai Singhji, FF. 4,5,6,7,8.

2. The Veer V., Vol.2, Pg-74/75(< aka Heroes'/Brave's Delight- is the English reference to this Sanskrit cum Hindi Rajputana account of the History of Sisodia Clan).

This account has NOT been translated in any other language, and was made 'open' ONLY in 1920's by the Royal Family of Mewar, as keeping their accounts within the family was the tradition of all the Royal Houses. Mughals also kept their accounts in their OWN libraries till they ruled. Later Britishers took them and translated their accounts into English. But the Rajputana accounts are present in their original form till DATE, often with out translations. Recently, the present Maharana of Udaipur decided to de-classify around 13,000 Imperial documents/manuscripts/artifacts, which will be beneficial to those who want to know more about the history of Rajputana. I hope this happens soon.

Ok, so coming back to the point. If anyone wants to read the present account mentioned here, then one needs to know Hindi and Sanskrit language in GREAT depth. This account lists the names of the important generals present in the meeting/council which was called by Rana Udai Singh to decide the future course of action to cope with the impending attack.

The important people present in this meeting were --

a. Jaimal Vikram Devor {Belonged to the Rathore Clan of Rajputs, took the charge of Chittor Fort, earned martyrdom in the Battle of Chittor, was hit by a bullet at night when he was inspecting the repairs of the Walls of Chittor Fort, shot by Akbar himself from his matchlock called 'Sangram' which was the turning point of this war and turned the tide in favor of the Mughals. }

b. Rawat Saindas Chundawat {Close confident of Rana Udai Singh} 

c. Isar Das Chauhan { Fought heroically in Chittor, along with Jaimal and Patta, he earned the praise of Abu'l Fazl in Akbarnama, earned martyrdom in the Battle of Chittor, he was a descendant of Prithviraj Chauhan III, of the Clan of Chauhans of Ajmer/Delhi. }

d. Rao Ballu Solanki { Fought with great valor as per Abu'l Fazl's Akbarnama in the Battle of Mandalgarh(to be explained in next post of Chittor series) with Asaf Khan and Wazir Khan, earned martyrdom fighting in the battle, after falling short of soldiers. } 

e. Rao Sangram Singh

f.  Rao Sahib { Fought in the battle of Chittor, was the Chief of the Rathore Clan of Rajputs, one of the palaces in which the Jauhar of ladies took place belonged to him. }

g. Rawat Patta Sisodia { Took the charge of Chittor Fort, fought heroically, earned martyrdom in the Battle of Chittor, was trampled under an elephant }

h. Rawat Nait Singh

i. Kunwar Pratap Singh { Son of Rana Udai Singh, given the charge of strategically important Kumbhalgarh Fort, as per information, the Fort remained with the Sisodias, though Husain Kuli Khan was sent here by Akbar to take up the fort, and Mughal accounts are silent about the details of ensuing battle in Kumbhalgarh. }

j. Kunwar Shakti Singh { Son of Rana Udai Singh, he fought from Chittor or Kumbhalgarh, his details could not be located till now. }

Fort of Chittor

Thus forced by political and traditional bindings, Rana Udai Singh left the Fort.{a}
He reinforced the Fort by 5000 to 8000(?) brave Rajputs under the able command of Jaimal Rathore and Patta Sisodia.{b} Before leaving the fort he had strengthened it with ample provisions{c} of food and materials of war and devastated the surrounding country so that even grass could not be procured by the invading enemies.{d} A 1000 musketeers who were called from Kalpi were kept ready to discharge fire on the assailants.{e}

{a}. From:

i. "The Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-465 (Beveridge, Sr-910, ASB, Calcutta,1907)"
ii. "The Original Persian Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-395"
iii. "The Tabaqat-e-Akbari of Nizam-ud-din Bakshi (KCB,John, Vol.-5, Page-325, London, 1873)"
iv. "The Original Persian Tabaqat-e-Akbari of Nizam-ud-din Bakshi, Page-283"
v. "The Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Badayuni, Vol.-2, Page-104/5(Ranking, Haig, Lowe, Calcutta,1925)"
vi. "The Original Persian Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Badayuni, Vol.-2, Page-103"
vii. "The History of First Thousand Years of Islam, by Mulla Ahmed(KCB,John, Vol.-5, Page-170, London, 1873)"
viii. "The Tarikh-i-Firishta of Muhammed Qa'asim Firishta, Vol.-2, Page-229(Briggs, 1829)"

{b}. From:

i. "The Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-465 (Beveridge, Sr-910, ASB, Calcutta,1907)" says - 5000 gallant Rajputs.
ii. "The Original Persian Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-395" says - 5000 gallant Rajputs.

iii. "The Tabaqat-e-Akbari of Nizam-ud-din Bakshi (KCB,John, Vol.-5, Page-325, London, 1873)" says - 7000 to 8000 Rajputs.
iv. "The Original Persian Tabaqat-e-Akbari of Nizam-ud-din Bakshi, Page-283" says - 7000 to 8000 Rajputs.

v. "The Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Badayuni does not gives the number.

vi. "The History of First Thousand Years of Islam, by Mulla Ahmed(KCB,John, Vol.-5, Page-170, London, 1873)" says - 8000 veteran Rajputs including Rana's personal men with their wives and families were present.

vii. "The Tarikh-i-Firishta of Muhammed Qa'asim Firishta, Vol.-2, Page-229 (Briggs, 1829)" says - 8000 Rajputs.

viii. "The Original Persian Iqbalnama-i-Jahangiri of Mutam'hed Khan, Vol.-2, Page-226" says - 5000 Rajputs.

{c}. About the provisions stored for the war:

i. "The Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-465 (Beveridge, Sr-910, ASB, Calcutta,1907)" says - The Rana supplied the fort with provisions sufficient for several years.
ii. "The Original Persian Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-395" - same as i.

iii. "The Tabaqat-e-Akbari of Nizam-ud-din Bakshi does not gives the details. 

iv. "The Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Badayuni does not gives the details. 

v. "The History of First Thousand Years of Islam, by Mulla Ahmed(KCB,John, Vol.-5, Page-170, London, 1873)" says - The fort was set in order & great quantities of  provisions were stored. Great numbers of men guarded the battlements at the top of the walls, and great quantities of ammunition were stored in the fortress.

vi. "The Tarikh-i-Firishta of Muhammed Qa'asim Firishta, Vol.-2, Page-229 (Briggs, 1829)" says - ample supply of provisions were left in the fort.

vii. This one is a Locational Evidence cum Reference, which can be verified by visiting the Fort of Chittor and the Maharana College in Udaipur, in person. For those who can not visit, this fact is present in the documents(circa. 1950's) in the custody of The Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi Circle-954.05 , Pg-69, o/c-38.

"Among many provisions, a major quantity of salt was also stored in the Fort of Chittor during the period of siege. In one of the cellars of a ruined palace in the Fort of Chittor, a great quantity of salt is STILL PRESENT..!!!!!! This salt is attributed to the time of Rana Udai Singh. With the permission of the then(1950's) Deputy Collector of Udaipur, access to this cellar was allowed and this fact was verified, after obtaining a big crust of salt.

As regards the provisions of war, the most striking thing STILL preserved for posterity are the large number of stone-balls, each weighing around 37.3242 kilograms. They were kept at the walls of the Fort to be discharged from the catapult. Some of these were taken and preserved in the Maharana College of Udaipur(in 1950's) by the orders of the Rajasthan Government."

{d}. About the destruction of surrounding country:

i. "The Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-465 (Beveridge, Sr-910, ASB, Calcutta,1907)" says - The Rana devastated the surrounding country before leaving, so that there did not even remain grass in the fields.
ii. "The Original Persian Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-395" says - Viran kar ta ainake giyaha dar sera namand. < This is in Persian language.

iii. "The Tabaqat-e-Akbari of Nizam-ud-din Bakshi (KCB,John, Vol.-5, Page-326, London, 1873)" contests the above claim made by Abu'l Fazl and says - The royal forces were ordered to plunder and lay waste the country. { Note that BOTH Abu'l Fazl and Nizam-ud-din are chroniclers of Akbar, yet they differ on this point. }

iv. "The Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Badayuni does not mentions this point.

v. "The History of First Thousand Years of Islam, by Mulla Ahmed  does not mentions this point. 

vi. "The Tarikh-i-Firishta of Muhammed Qa'asim Firishta  does not mentions this point.

vii. "The Original Persian Iqbalnama-i-Jahangiri of Mutam'hed Khan, Vol.-2, Page-226" says - the same as Abu'l Fazl.

viii. "The Rajputana Manuscript - Amar Kavya Vanshavali , F.36(a) " says - the vegetation was finished in order to deprive the enemy(Mughals) from using it against themselves(Chittor).

The inference is - The Rajputs destroyed their vegetation in order to deprive the Mughals from using their own vegetation and benefiting from it in a war against themselves. Also, Akbar had ordered for the plundering of the kingdom of Mewar. This is evident not only from Tabaqat-i-Akbari, but also from other Mughal accounts, which will be 'opened' further in this Chittor series in subsequent posts. Abu'l Fazl has NOT mentioned the order which was given for the plundering by Akbar. He has only mentioned the destruction of their own vegetation by the Mewaris. Anyways, what are your views on this.?. I mean, how it feels to destroy your OWN vegetation by your OWN hand, just to prevent someone from using it against yourself .?. I don't think it is so easy to destroy something for which you toiled hard.

{e}. About the 1000 musketeers :

i. "The Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-474 (Beveridge, Sr-910, ASB, Calcutta,1907)"

ii. "The Original Persian Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Vol.-2, Page-408"


Chittor had very less time to prepare for the battle, though they managed and tried to control the situation from deteriorating. It was earlier decided to carry out a two-pronged struggle from inside and outside, but after encircling the fort of Chittor, Akbar sent his generals to other parts of Mewar, hence the HELP to Chittor could not be provided, as Mewar's army got engaged on other fronts also. The next post in this series will be about these battles only. 

The issue worth giving importance was that, it was not only Chittor which was attacked, but other principalities of Mewar were also under aggression like Rampur, Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur, Mandalgarh, etc. Hence, protecting all the parts of the state was a challenge. Sending generals/troops in each direction made the army weak, numerically.

Another point worth noticing is that, while Mewar had limited resources, Akbar had UNLIMITED resources at his dispense. A battle without a strategy was NOT going to win the day. No doubt on the patriotism and zeal of the Rajput warriors, but their resources were very limited in comparison to Akbar, who had the services of many generals and had access to resources of various provinces of Hindustan. Hence, each point had to be kept in mind before deciding the future course of action.

Rana Udai Singh HAD TO LEAVE the fort after the decision of the general assembly, forced by political and traditional bindings. Just like a game of Chess, wars also need the safety of the King. We all know how Hemu's army lost the almost WON 2nd Battle of Panipat(against Akbar), after an arrow accidentally hit him in his eye and he fell unconscious. The war was lost with the elimination of the leader.

As said before, it was a startling suggestion and was not at first welcomed by Udai Singh. But Udai Singh had to bow down to the inevitable. When the general assembly made a decision, he could not overrule it. The moment was one of great gravity and required to be met with calmness, firmness, and complete unanimity. Any difference of opinion would lead to serious calamities. It was of urgent necessity to present an united front to the enemy from the fort as well all as outside it.

But this act of Rana Udai Singh has earned him the wrath of many writers, who have condemned him as a coward, unheroic and unpatriotic. But the censure of these writers in not merited, provided we take a look at his political career. No contemporary Muslim writer calls him a coward. I had mentioned the accounts of 3 main court chroniclers of Akbar in the Part-1 series of Chittor Post{Link}, where no one called him a coward, but everyone called him arrogant for NOT surrendering to Akbar, as he was confident of the valor of his men and state, and was not ready to give up his independence, and bow in front of Akbar, and Akbar wanted him to pay his respects to him. Defying Akbar was NOT everyone's cup of tea.

Taking a look at his political career, we see that he waged wars and won against the Rathores, against the Afghans. Among the most famous and daring battles was the one against Shams Khan, the Afghan general of Sher Shah Suri, who had the keys of the Fort of Chittor. He also fought against Haji Khan Pathan. All these battles prove his worth as a successful soldier where he personally lead from front. The misplaced severity of history can not deny him his valor as a successful soldier and an accomplished general.  If he was a coward, how he fought these wars and kept Mewar safe from the invading armies from all corners, viz. Gujarat from South, Afghans, etc. in his long reign of 36 years, from 1536-1572 .?. 

In obeying the council, he exhibited good sense and loyalty to the feudal order which was a norm of those times in Rajputana. He had shown a new line of military action. But unfortunately, posterity, which is aware of the heroic struggle of his father, Rana Sanga and his son, Maharana Pratap, condemned him without rendering an allowance for the circumstances. He ascended the throne when Mewar was on decline, and restored the glory of Mewar after rising up from the various odds, both personal and political. It was his ill-luck that he came in between these two heroic personalities of the history of Mewar whose valour and achievements have dwarfed his personality. His action, which, though greatly jeopardized his personal reputation, was in the best interests of his state.

I am looking forward to reading your views on this topic...This series would be continued further. This post is ONLY to lay emphasis on the preparations and consequent steps taken by the Rajputs in such a small amount of time, where they were going to face one of the BLOODiest battles of medieval times.

PS: Have made this post HEAVILY REFERENCED and from MANY Rare Rajputana sources NOT Available on Digital Media, along with Mughal accounts, to provide as clear picture as possible, of Chittor. Hence, late in posting this part.

This article has been posted under the Rajputs and Mughals(Akbar) section of history_geek's BLOG.

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  1. Awesome, Abhay :)

    This post answered many of my questions, esp the reasons why Udai Singh and MP left the fort of Chittor and why they didn't extend help later from outside.

    Will get back later after reading this post again. :)

    1. Thanks Radhika.
      US and MP HAD TO LEAVE, and the reasons were quite obvious. They could not defy the council.
      Read at leisure. :)

  2. Great post, Abhay! n Thank u fr that.:-h Really feel pity fr Rana Udai singh n Maharana Pratap.There was no dearth of valour in them or their army.MP tried his best to bring whole Rajputana under one umbrella against Mughals, but in vain.:( But history- geek,I feel there was also lack of spying skill on the part of Rajputs Such a huge army accompanying fr hunting purposes shud hv certainly raised alarm.
    As per Udai singh, the fact that he did not give in to Akbar, n inculcated the same values in his son itself proves his valour.Also, in any war, safety of the king holds highest importance.We hv seen in our world war also, it continued till everyone was damn sure that Hitler finally was dead :) But I presume in Udai singh's career, maximum wars were fought n won by his son.
    Will post again after re- reading th post .:)

    1. Geeta,

      Akbar had proceeded with an intention of hunting. And, he DID NOT carry the MAJOR weapons of war with him during this process. It was after encircling the Chittor Fort that, he ordered major weapons to be brought from the Agra Fort and other garrisons. I will explain all that in subsequent posts.

      Also, the hunting trips of Mughals were really very BIG, and it could be not easily differentiated that is it an army for attack or a normal hunting trip.

      Another point being that, Akbar proceeded from Agra, without a BIG army. It was while marching , he ordered Asaf Khan to collect army from his provinces and join him in Rajputana. I have mentioned this point in my part-1 post. Have a look there. :)

      You can say that there was a dearth of spying skills, but Akbar was a master strategist. He did not go for open war. He used to proceed cleverly using hunting reasons. Deciphering the real intention was not easy. Also, Rajputs fought open wars, after "announcing". This was a part of their tradition. They did not HIDE and declare wars.

      So, both Akbar and Mewaris had different methods of warfare. Rajputs do not fight at night, but you see, in Chittor's case, skirmishes happened at night also.

      The bitter fact is that, Jaimal was shot by Akbar's bullet at NIGHT, when he was NOT FIGHTING, but inspecting the repairs of Fort Walls.

      About Udai Singh, he fought majority of his battles himself.

      Read at leisure and post thereafter. :)

    2. Btw, history-geek, hv u read any time in the history, Akbar got his army dressed up as Rajputs n went on a war on Mewar? I remembered because of stratagy Akbar followed..It was shown in MP, though I don't believe in it.:)

    3. No Geeta,
      I have not read anything of this type.

  3. Hi Abhay ,
    Thanks for such a detailed cleared us y udaisingh was missing .as far as burning their own vegetations,yes it would have been very hard ,but have read that this method was practised by south indian kings too during seige..They store grains in advance inside the fort .but yes here without the time for preperation for the war it should have been worse..


    1. You're welcome Priya. Yes foodgrains were stored in advance also in the forts. Can you share some more details of South Indian kings you mentioned.?. Would be beneficial for us here. : )

    2. Sure Abhay.. In The siege of kanchi(Capital of Pallavas) by chalukyas is where this method was used . PulikesiII king of chalukya dynasty(deccan area) around 617CE had won other frontiers but couldn't defeat pallavas capital kanchipuram(tamilnadu) which was then ruled by MahendraVarma Pallava. For months he tried to break through the fort but was unsuccessful .Enraged he did many atrocities outside the capital and raided the outer areas. Narashima varma Pallava son of MV toiled very hard for 12 years to build their military strength to avenge the insult done to them and famous battle of Vatapi(capital of chalukyas) happened and the chalukyas were defeated and pulikesii was killed. .Narashima varma was also know as Mamalan based on whom the name of city of Mamalapuram(Mahabalipuram) comes from. The city is well known for its architectural marvel.The cave temples of Mahabalipuram depicts events described from mahabharta is built during his reign .some inscriptions also depicts this victory over chalukyas.

  4. WOW..... ! hats off to you Abhay, for your extensive research, in order to write this article.

    I admire Rana Udai Singh.He did the best he could to protect Mewar, prior to war.He left the fort at the advise of his council of advisors.Like you have so correctly pointed out, the safety of the king was of utmost importance during a war.He was most definitely not a coward.A coward would never personally fight battles against his enemies.I was totally unaware of this facet of Rana Udai Singh. I respect the brave warrior and ruler in him.

    Akbar's crafty and well designed strategy to attack Chittor proved fruitful for him.I have been in awe of Akbar since childhood,but I can also never forget the ruthless manner in which he attacked the Chittor fort at night,and waged a war with a Machiavellian attitude,killing thousands of innocents,rendering hundreds more destitute and homeless, thereby forcing helpless women and children to commit 'jauhar'. This gruesome war also destroyed the beautiful fort of Chittorgarh.

    This war also indicates that in spite of being a smart,shrewd and benevolent king, Jalalludin Mohammad was also merciless and cold-hearted when it came to expanding the Mughal empire.On the one hand, he liked and respected the Rajvanshis,and even entered wedlock with a hindu queen,on the other, he was brutal to the same clan for not paying obeisance to him and coming under his authority.

  5. Gosh Abhay, amazing information! I cant even imagine how much time it takes to go through these chronicles. Thanks for sharing.


  6. @Charu

    Nicely summarized. :)
    I can't add more to it. Akbar had many facets of his personality, good and bad, and he should be analyzed keeping both in mind. Yes, what was done in Chittor is NOT at all justifiable, more so when the reasons of attack were to make the other party bend in front of you. I simply saw this as more of ego issue, clearly mentioned by Abu'l Fazl. Udai Singh did what he could do in such a situation, preserving the clan along with continuation of fight was also important, and in my opinion he did everything from his end.

    Thanks buddy. :)

  7. wow Abhay!! so much research and detailing..! than u buddy...:)
    I had to read it 4 times to understand every line.
    I am coming to this conclusion that, Akbar was very very smart! he actually blocked Chittor from ever corner to receive any help! first of all, he left Agra for hunting, then he gradually started collecting army, weapons and attacked..he didnt go for open war like Rajputs..he acted was obvious that Rana Udai Singh n gang would be needing a strategy to fight..u cant battle just like that..I dont know what would have happened if he didnt leave, but as he took this decision listening to the general assembly must be a toughest one in that condition.
    Rajputs fought bravely as expected...Akbar was a master strategist!

    waiting for more :D

  8. Thanks for sharing, Priya.

    Very informative. I have read about a king Mahendravarman who got some rock cut temples constructed on a coastal site. I Can not recollect the exact name and incident but your comment made me remember about that king. :)

  9. Thank you Tamy.

    I agree with you. Akbar was a master strategist, and Rajputs also fought brilliantly. :) Let us see the situation in future posts.

  10. Thank you Preeti.

    I would like to know your POV on this. :)

  11. Abhay, I have to admit I am not well read on the Chittore war although we have learnt about the ferocity of this war in school. They say that all is fair in luv and War so whatever military strategies Akbar used to win I won't comment on HOWEVER the carnage of innocents afterwards that I have a real problem with. I have great difficulty reconciling his actions in this war to the persona of Akbar in his later days that I so admire. and as you said I don't think he ever regretted his actions unlike Ashoka? Some have cited the example of other conquerors but if we are going to place him among the greatest of kings then we must hold him to a higher standard. Afterall we don't admire Tughluk and timur and all the other cruel rulers do we. So yes his actions were inexcusable!

  12. Priya

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful snippet of history. :)

    So the Pallavas destroyed their crops to make sure that the Chalukyas did not enjoy the fruit of their labor?

  13. Priya

    I found this when I looked up about the info you shared.

    1. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges by Tony Jaques.

    It says that the son of Pulakesin II, Vikramaditya defeated the Pallavs and invaded Pallava itself. He defeated Narasimha Varmar and occupied the strongly fortified city of Kanchi (now Kanchipuram). (around 655 CE)

    2. Sivakamiyin Sabadham (Vol 2) - By Kalki Krishnamurthy

    English translation at

    This book says that Mamallar was supported by Paranjyothi, the commander of the fort. Food supplies to feed everyone inside the fort for several months were stored.

    Do you have any idea if these books are reliable? :)

  14. Akbar was doubtless a master strategist. But the Rajputs must have been great strategists too and well prepared to keep the Mughals at bay for months. That's not a mean feat!

    History is full of Ifs and Buts. If Akbar had not been lucky in killing Jaimal, the result of the war may have been different.

    It was the tough resistance from the Rajputs, I guess, that drove Akbar crazy and commit that genocide. :(

  15. Akbar married HK and other Hindu princesses as a political alliance, not out of respect for Rajputs.

  16. Agree.

    Still I am biased against Udai Singh - for the manner in which he acted like the puppet of Queen Bhatiyani and even made a younger son the heir over MP. :(

  17. You are right. Chittor is not excusable. The atrocities committed were DONE after the war, and it was done on the unarmed civilians. I agree with Radhika here that, we have many IFs and BUTs , though Chittor was a black spot on him.

  18. Radhika,
    You should NOT include the personal matter of a King with this war. He was biased for Bhatiyani due to his affection for her, and Chittor War not related to her. Hence, i won't consider this point here. And, you know, as i said, the COUNCIL was most powerful, hence IMMEDIATELY on SAME DAY, Maharana Pratap was declared the heir by the council putting Jagmaal aside. :)

  19. Oh Abhay this is fantastic material and looking forward to the next post to know more about this War :).....This heavily referenced post :-h needs an applause from all of us here...It is fascinating, interesting and also disturbing when I read more and more about this War in detail.....I had one question though..... what happened to Rana Udai Singh and Maharana Pratap after War??...Did Rana Udai Singh die or had to finally bow .....What about MP???

  20. Thanks Pallavi. :)

    The war concluded in February 1568. Udai Singh started to rule from Udaipur, and died in 1572, and then Maharana Pratap became the King of Mewar. Udai Singh or Maharana Pratap did not accept Mughal suzerainty.

  21. Great....Thank you Abhay :)

  22. Yes Radhika ,as far as i read they got to do this for shortening the period of seige else pulikesi's army would have been able to prolong it...

  23. That's interesting as i had not known this fact . I only knew chalukya's capital was under pallavas control for 12 years after the victory ..
    and coming to kalki he is a revered author in the area of historical fictions. His books are taken as national heritage .
    I have immense respect for him and truly been captivated by his writing skills. He has the ability to take you into the world of pallavas and cholas ..I'm not sure on the english translations but the one in tamil is a delight to read.

    and as far as reliability ,i guess its reliable.Though he bring in fictional characters to add to the drama of the story ,mostly the historical events narrated are real. Not only this but parthiban kanavu and his famous ponniyin selvan (Raja Raja Chola) are also mainly based on historical events obtained from temple inscriptions.K.A.Nilakanta shastri is a revered historian who brought out many amazing details of pandyas,cholas,pallavas and cheras and kalki's events mirrors those of him.

  24. Thanks Radhika, for sharing on seige of kanchi.The dictionary seems interesting . We may get to know a lot.and as far as kalki goes i would recommend any friend to give it a try if they are interested in historical fictions

  25. Thanks a lot Priya, for brushing up my memory too.This only adds up to show that expansion of territory, n avenging their insult were born traits of great kings in the history.Akbar was no exception.

  26. True Geeta.. But in Akbar's case and rajputs they didn't even have enough warning or time for preperation.Here atleast pallavas are aware of pulikesis march and hence were able to prepare themselves.A seige in any case should have been terrible and though atrocities ,somehow i find that more worse as i don't understand the need for a mass destruction after victory .But true expansion and avenge for insults seems to be born trait of kings.
    When you mentioned of these common traits i remembered a few things. akbar RajaRaja chola was also religiously tolerant .Though he is a saivaite ,Vaishanavism and buddhism flourished during his period and so many temples were built .
    2.Raja Raja Chola 1 has also a special liking for elephants and highly skilled in dealing with them.
    3.He also did so many pujas for getting a son though he had daughters and finally was blessed with Rajendra Chola 1.
    Amazing isn't it to see all this coincidences of two icons of india who helped to shape up our history.

  27. Hi Abhay such a detailed and wonderful research on Chittor war.. didn't get time to read in details.... will come back to you after reading and understanding each and every line....

    great job dude

  28. Thanks for sharing, Priya! Really interesting :)

    There was also the case of the king who had no sons and raised his daughter like a son, after performing special ceremonies to "convert" her to a son. I forgot the name now....

  29. Priya,

    Thanks for sharing details of some authors we can look up. :) You seem pretty well-versed in S Indian history, like Geeta. You must keep sharing more facts, if Abhay has no problem :)

    So is Sivakami real or fictional like Anarkali? Was Mamallar ever really interested in her while his father opposed the alliance? It all reminded me again of Akbar opposing SA. :)

  30. LOL, Abhay, I am not linking the war with his personal life. No doubt he was a great warrior on the battlefield and he also led Mewar capably for many years.

    I have full respect for the council for being able to control him in spite of Queen Bhatiyani. LOL

    It was just a personal view about him - ya the council was able to overrule him and make MP the king, thankfully!

    Did Udai Singh really have 24 sons? What about the others? Did none of them rise to prominence except MP, Shakti Singh and Jagmaal (for a few hours)?

  31. Welcome Radhika ... I would love to if interested .. True... There are no concrete evidences .I think she is only a fictional character created by kalki to fill in the gaps.. The sculptor who created the rock cut temples initially has left some works incomplete and the reason is unknown ... even today those remain as such.In kalki's version he bring sivakami as this sculptor's daughter and show pulikesi took her away and there forms the story. My guess is its more like anarkali ,But the version is so popular in tamilnadu .Many movies,stage acts ,dramas has been done based on kalkis novels .The specialty of his novels is he so well describes the food,the place ,the culture ,customs of people of those times in a highly descriptive manner you feel like you are there and i find it authentic .Even there was a documentary made on all the places he has listed ponniyin selvan pathayil (Path of ponniyin selvan) and it covered all route kalki describes and various tidbits from the historians and researchers ..But its in tamil available in youtube..

  32. No probelms. I am finding them interesting. I have read Chola Dynasty history along with a bit of Pallavas also. but long back. Right now, finding this discussion very informative. Plz continue. :)

  33. Radhika, I am not well-versed in south indian history but Priya certainly is.:) I am only a lover of history. n I know mostly abt history of Karnataka, the Hoysala dynasty. But Radhika, let me tell u, the film makers in south india hv a flair, n great liking fr historical n mythological stories. In their passion, they don't hesitate to cross borders, n thus we hv films made in Kannada on Immadi Pulakeshi (Pulakeshi ||), Krishnadevaraya, Vikramaditya etc. Chanakya is also an all time fvrt.We also hv films on upakatha's n love stories but don't know how much is the real history :) Thus we r fed history right frm childhood :)
    History, i think, Radhika, may be frm north, south, or center, or even Roman, Egypt is very fascinating. Thet is why we r here bound by love for history:)

  34. History-geek, I had told u, ur blog will expand to other empires too:)

  35. Thanks priya, I had not known these things.;) Do u know who was contemporary of Raja Raja Chola in the north? because I remember to hv read at one time india was equally divided between 2 kings North and south. I think, Chola dynasty was the largest, as far as i remember..

  36. True Geeta and very well said .I'm also interested in history as it always fascinating to read and understand their culture,habits etc.. and it knew no bounds too.

  37. I'm note sure Geeta . From school history books all i could remember is mauryas... But chandragupta maurya and ashoka are far before raja raja chola.. and here another thing is rajendra chola made an expedition to ganges and won . I had read even he built a temple but it was far before so i don't remember the exact details. So I'm not sure if its equally ruled . May be abhay can shed more lights as he is the expert....I know from Raja Raja chola period for another 300 years was the golden age of chola period. The naval system was one of the best and the administration system was so good.Kudavolai system (Village administration) and land aquistion tax was first introduced by them . They completely routed the pirates on indian ocean and made sea trading safe..The whole of south india was under one reign.

  38. Ok I thnik I got it .You are talking about Harshavardana right ,the gupta empire. He was defeated by pulikesi 2 when he tried expanding into southern peninsula. But he is before Raja Raja chola period. Like radhika said pallavas start to descend in power after the defeat in hands of pulikesi 2 and then rise of chola happened.

  39. Thank u history- geek.After reading the post again, I feel indebted to u fr taking all this trouble.:)(
    Whether one shud destroy one's own crop so that it shud not be useful fr the enemy, is a tricky qstn.As priya has already told this strategy existed in the long drawn battle .i think it can be likened to Jauhar.It all depends on the priority of the people fighting the war.It is unfair to comment frm outside.
    I hv a qstn to u Abhay,whereas almost all imp. commandants lost their lives, how many imp. warriors lost their lives frm Mughal side?
    What is the chronology of events-- Salim's birth, Chittore war, various amendments made by Akbar fr the sake of his Avam n fr Hindus
    Later at any time Akbar seems to hv expressed any remorse fr this massacre?

  40. Yess!! priya, it's Harshavardhana I had completely forgotten his name.thanks again:)
    South India changed hands frm so many dynasty, each one leaving behind memoirs in the form of marvelous art, sculptire fr us to admire.

  41. Welcome Geeta,

    From Mughal side also warriors lost life. I will post in future posts. :)

    About chronology >
    1. Pilgrim Tax - 1562-63

    2. Jaziya - 1564

    3. Twins birth - 1564
    4. Chittor War - 1567-68
    5. Salim's birth - 1569

    No remorse was expressed for the massacre at Chittor. :)

  42. No problems Radhika. :)

    Yes, Udai Singh had many sons. I don't the number with assurity. :) Other sons did not rise to prominence.

    Shakti Singh "probably" , died in Chittor War.
    MP became ruler and struggled throughout.
    Jagmaal joined with Akbar.

  43. Raja Raja Chola's contemporary were the Rajputs in North India. The age from 750 AD to around 1200 AD is called the Rajput Period in the history of India. :)

  44. That means, the serial has rightly followed the chronology,isn't it? But they hv attatched their own motivation fr Chittor war.
    It seems Akbar thought only his Avam as humans.And Rajvanshis with self respect as enemies.His Ajmer trip also must be 1567-68, Ho sakta hai he wanted to wash his sins off.

  45. priya, even Harshvardhan was the last king of Vardhana dynasty, though he was a great king. He was childless.

  46. The Ajmer trip was more like a thanksgiving for being victorious in the Chittor war :(

  47. it's a pity that he was jungle me sher and billi in his mahal..i don't know Queen Batiyani, but they hv shown rani Dhirbhai as the vamp who wanted her son Jagmaal to succeed Ranaji.She was seen as feeding Uday Singh with afeem like thing in the paan so the king went into trance.

  48. Geeta

    She's the same lady, Queen Dhirbai Batiyani (I don't know exact spelling, pls excuse me).

    Oh! Did she mix something in his paan? I didn't think of that. He seemed to want to have that paan before he was ready to talk about anything else. But i just thought he was a paan eater. :(

  49. Thx for that infmn Geeta .Interesting

  50. Abhay, wonderful post. It is fascinating reading about the same battle from the pov of two opposing sides. You have not even come to the actual part of the battle yet!

    Just one request when you do - will you post some pics of the fort? Of the battle paintings if they are in the archives? I have read about the statues erected of Patta and Jaimal would love to see photos of them.

    It must have been agonizing 4-5 months for entire Mewad and Chittor in particular. How shattering it must have been for MRP and Rana Uday Singh to stay away and hear about the atrocities.

    I am very interested in knowing the following
    What happened to Chittor after the war ended?
    Did Akbar keep the control of the fort? If yes for how long?
    When did Chittor come back again to Mewad Royal family?

    Is the Rawat mentioned by you in your post - the same one who is shown in MRP as confidante of not just Uday Singh but MRP also?
    So he also fought in this war?
    Were any wives or Uday Singh and/or MRP present in Chittor fort at the time of the war? Did they also commit jauhar?
    Is there any account of how many women committed jauhar?
    Did Akbar army butcher the small kids also?

    When did Haladighati battle take place?
    I remember reading Shakti Singh helped MRP in this war - then he must have been alive then so in which war he passed away?

    I am waiting eagerly for your next post on this.

  51. NO Geeta..The chronology has not been followed. I mean not in exact terms. They have skipped the pilgrimage of Akbar and MUZ to Ajmer Dargah, this was before the Chittor war, and instead added a 3 year separation. !!!!

    Also, the trip of Akbar after Ajmer was a fulfillment of his vow, which he had made, if he wins this war.

  52. Thanks Surochita. Post when you finish reading. Take time. :D

  53. Geeta and Radhika,

    Yes she is the same Queen Dhirbai Bhatiyani, she is called so, because she from the Bhati Clan of Rajputs. :)

    About the paan, it was not containing afeem, but something different. Nothing serious. LOL

  54. Thanks Medha.
    Sure, in next part of this series, i will post the pictures of the fort also.

    1. After the war, Chittor was captured, and Akbar appointed Asaf Khan to take charge of Chittor.
    2. The fort remained in the control of Mughals till the reign of Jahangir, when it was finally given back to Sisodias, as a part of treaty signed between them and the Mughals. But, Chittor was NEVER allowed to be repaired.

    3. The Rawat Chundawat i mentioned here, is the same close confident of Rana Udai Singh, as shown in the show Maharana Pratap at Sony TV. Yes, not only he, everyone fought in some manner or the other.

    5. No, wives of Udai Singh left the fort, along with him. But the wives of the generals who were fighting in the fort were present inside. Yes, they committed Jauhar.

    6. Abu'l Fazl says that 300 "Royal" women did Jauhar, but the sound and lights how in Chittor, mentions 1000's of women.

    7. Everyone was butchered, some were taken prisoners, irrespective of age or gender.

    8. Chittor war happened in 1567-68. The battle of Haldighati happened in 1576.

    About the incident of of Shakti Singh helping his brother Maharana Pratap in this war, i could not find any historical account mentioning this as of now.

    Hope this answers you well. :)

  55. Hi Abhay, very detail post. Looking forward for other parts of this war.

    Regarding destroying vegetation, there is a similar event where the British used when Japanese attacked Malaysia during world war two. Japanese came into Malaysia through Thailand which is situated at north. ( Thailand has never been conquered by any force in history). Japanese start from north and took over one state after another with just bicycles. British retreated further south towards Singapore and along the way they destroy public infrastructures like bridges( to slow them down and to make sure they dont have a successful occupation). The only difference is that when they destroy there is hardly any feelings because the ultimate sufferers are the locals. Locals let Japanese cause they believe their propaganda of east saving east.

    Abhay...I got diverted from the topic.

  56. Hi Priya, very interesting. Even I'm interested in Cholas particularly Raja Raja Chola and Rajendra Chola. I want to ask, does the book describe anything regarding their expansion to south east asia. The place called Kadharam still exist with the name Kedah( one of the state of Malaysia). By the way, the old name of Malaysia is Malaya and it came from Malaiyur(country of mountain). Mount Jerai in Kedah is used as light house by sea travelers. There are so many artifacts related to them in that area.

    Did the Cholas stopped at Khadaram ? what make them leave the place? There is story where there is muruga temple on top of Mount Jerai. ( I should hick one day) There are so many questions.

    But sadly, the government is not interested in preserving them due to some pethatic racial political reason. Slowly many like sword, throne, lingas, part of temples, Ganesha statues are missing one by one( based on my uncle who live there and visited many times). Just few months back I came across an online news where government have given the land where the rebuilt foundation of hindu structure( since only foundation so not sure) to developer and no one know about it until a researcher found out. So, for me there is a urgent need to do dig out the truth or in few years time all will be lost.

  57. Hi Purani

    First of all thanks for the infmns you provided .I have read there exists documents of cholas in malay and even coins of chola inscriptions found there . I didn't put it here as I have read it only in forum and have no books to relate to it . I find the details you provided as highly beneficial .Its sad to hear of the present state .

    Coming to your Questions ,the book Ponniyin selvan is mainly a fictional novel that deals with incidents that happen before Raja Raja Chola became king and to an extent covers on cholas invasion on srilanka and it doesn't deal with any south eastern islands. The basic premise was based on utiremerur inscription that states after death of karikala chola ,Raja raja chola(Arul mozhi varman) was most favored by people and cabinets to become the next king but he voluntarily rejected it and gave the crown to his father's brother and only after his death became king .At times when relatives murder each other for crown ,this act set him apart and he is praised by many and kalki had weaved a plot of his own around this .if you are interested in any tamil literature you can look at

    "".Even there is an English version of this novel available though i'm not sure abt how its in English.

    As far as I have read Rajendra chola was given a title "Kadaram kondan" wrto his victory over malalysia (kalikangathu parani(tamil literature) talks abt this) and most of south eastern islands remained under his control during his reign and atleast a 100 years after that. I don't know the exact reason they left ,I guess with the decline of chola dynasty they might have also lost control. If you find any other infms please do share as I would also be very interested in knowing it.

  58. Purani,

    Thanks for sharing these interesting details. I am very keen in knowing more and more about history and this description of Malaysia reminded me of the stand of Vietnamese against the US Forces, which still fascinates me. :)

    You are free to discuss these details. No issues. :)

  59. A big thanks for the website. I prefer reading them in tamil than the English version. Will read them when free.

    Recently, Kedah state gov has named the road of little India in that area as "Jalan Kadharam". Jalan means road. Cool right.