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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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

Hi All,

We have gone through 6 articles in the Chittor Battle Series. In the last article, we read the detailed description of this war, including the Jauhar of the Rajput women, the Saka of the Rajput warriors and the massacre of civilians in the Fort of Chittor, as mentioned in the Rajput records. { Link : Battle of Chittor Part-6}

We have also seen the Mughal account of this war, which showed the tenacious ferocity with which both man & beast engaged in a do-or-die battle for the control of the pride of Rajputana - Chittorgarh. { Link : Battle of Chittor Part-5 }

The present post is the concluding part of this Chittor Battle Series, which presents the Fatehnama-i-Chittor, the victory farman of Mughal Emperor Akbar, issued by him after winning this war. It also compares the resources - weapons, soldiers, etc. of the two combating sides. In addition, it talks about how this war paved the path for an unceasing struggle against Mughals by the Mewar Rajputs, spearheaded by Maharana Pratap. It also contains pictures of the weapons used by the combating parties and also portraits of Kumbhalgarh and Udaipur.

Other Posts in this Series:

Here are the links to the previous parts of the Chittor Battle Series. Please do read these before reading the present post.  

1. Why did Akbar attack Chittor ? | Part-1
2. Preparation of Rajputs - Battle of Chittor | Part-2
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 the 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

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

Patta's Lake - Fort of Chittor

As i mentioned in the last post, i again quote the following points, which should be kept in mind while reading this post:

1. My reasons for reading history are different from those of most people. I believe that many serious problems, which we face today, can be solved or at least understood clearly to a large extent, if we study our past. Reading history not only ensures that we don't repeat the mistakes of the past but also provides us with vital lessons from the experiences of the people who lived in the past. Unless we talk of those uncomfortable events and try to understand them, we won't be able to find feasible solutions to a lot of present-day issues.

2. History should not be viewed with a revivalist sentiment but from a reformist approach. Revenge/retaliation for some injustice/crime committed in the medieval/ancient times is not a feasible solution. The past cannot be changed, but repetition of those mistakes in present/future can be avoided.

3. One should wear faith on one sleeve and humanity on another, ensuring that there is no 'friction' between them. Indeed there is hardly any faith that does not advocate humanity. Think about this!

4. Religious sentiments have been "used" since a long time for expanding empires or for achieving certain political goals. I quote Karl Marx, whose words explain this point clearly - "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. Religion is the opium of the people.

All these 4 points are related to the present post, as readers will understand while reading the post. Let us start.

The Fathnama-i-Chittor or Fatehnama-i-Chittor
The Victory Proclamation at Chittor


This document was released in Ajmer, on 9th March 1568 by Mughal Emperor Akbar after winning the Fort of Chittor. It was originally present in the Munshat-i-Namakin of Saiyad Abdu'l Qasim Khan, compiled in 1598. The English translation of this document is taken from : The Proceedings of Indian History Congress, Volume 33, 1972 ; Page-350, by Ishtiaq Ahmad Zilli.

Introduction to Munshat-i-Namakin:

The importance and utility of insha literature as source material for history is increasingly recognized. 

Insha lierature refers to the manuals of composition (inshāʾ) which were written elaborating the technique of secretarial correspondence, and they grew into an accepted genre in Arabic as well as in Persian and Turkish literature. The devices thought indispensable for elegance in modern poetry were applied to prose. 

In this vast literature, the Munshat‑i-Namakin compiled during the reign of Akbar, in 1598, holds a unique place became of the information contained in it. It is the largest collection of its kind, so far known, that has come down from the early Mughal period. Its compiler Saiyid Abul Qasim Khan Namakin was a noble of some prominence and served under Mughal Emperors Akbar & Jahangir. Under Jahangir, he rose to the mansab of 3000.

Among the documents contained in the collection are several fathnamas (letters of victory) issued by Akbar on various occasions. These include Fathnama-i Chittor issued by Akbar after the conquest of Chittor. No other copy of this Fathnama is known to exist. It was issued in Ajmer, where Akbar stayed for some time en route to Agra, on Ramazan 10, 975/ March 9, 1568. The copy included in the Munshat‑i-Namakin was sent to the Mughal Officers in the Punjab. 

Hazrat Naugaj Peer - Fort of Chittor  .. Held Sacred by all faiths

Importance of this Document:

Both, owing to the importance of the campaign against Chittor as a political event, and in view of Akbar's subsequent formulation of religious policy (first as an orthodox Emperor, and then, as a proponent of Sulh‑i-kul), the text of the document is of exceptional interest.

A Few Disclaimers and Food for Thought:

1. Mujahid literally means the 'inner struggler'. Also, it means the ones who fight for the sake of Islam and Allah. The ones who engage in Jehad.

2. Infidel / Kaafir simply means disbelievers or ones who conceal the truth. Initially, this term was used in very normal parlance. But, in medieval times, this term was misused to justify the war waged on those people who did not conform to the tenets of Islam, especially in the South Asian context, and hence became offensive to many.

3. Just like mujahid, Jehad also has many meanings. One of them is an inner struggle. Another meaning is a war against disbelievers / the enemies of Islam. In English, Jehad is often translated as Holy War.

4. Ghazi means a person who participates in Ghazw / military expeditions. But after the emergence of Islam this took new connotations of religious warfare. This can also relate to the fighter who aims at spreading ghazawat as a Jehad. An incident is related to the beheading of infidel king Hemu, after the 2nd Battle of Panipat by Bairam Khan. Mughal Emperor Akbar is said to be proclaimed a ghazi after this. { Picture from Akbarnama showing the making of pillars of heads is given below, in this post. }

5. All the terms - Mujahid, Jehad, Kaafir, Ghazi, etc. have very normal origins, but, in post Islamic times, they all assumed quite serious "interpretations", as benefitted the rulers. For instance, the way Akbar interpreted his war against Chittor as a Jehad.

6. Khilafat or Caliphate is a government run according to Islamic laws / Shariat.

7. As responsible citizens, we need to understand how religion / religious teachings can be manipulated by some people to suit their own interests.

8. Scholars often differ on the meaning of these terms and there's a good deal of debate surrounding them. This post in no manner declares 100% correct "interpretation" of these terms.

Our only interest in this discussion is to have a brief understanding of what these terms mean in context of this war, that is, in what sense Akbar used these terms to mobilize his forces along religious lines.


This is the MOST bitter historical document i have read till date. Demeaning phrases are used to describe the Rajput defenders and prayers are registered to dispatch them to the lowest levels of hell. From the POV of Mughals - the Rajputs were their enemies, and hence, these bitter phrases can be understood to some extent.

Those readers who want to read the complete translation are suggested to go through the above-mentioned references. I am not quoting the entire Fathnama in this blog post, in public interest. It is too bitter to be digested, even by today's standards.

The entire document is written with a heavy religious undertone and each and every action of the Mughal army is said to be performed according to the will of the Almighty Allah. In short, this is strictly the religious propaganda of Mughal Emperor Akbar. This shows how religion can be manipulated even by the best of the rulers and given an orthodox undertone.

A critically annotated translation of the document has been offered. I have just written the line by line translation here. As usual, my explanations/opinions are given in purple color, to differentiate them from the original text.

Here starts the Translation:


Praise be to Allah who made good His promise, helped His servant, honoured His soldiers, defeated the confederates all alone, and after whom there is nothing. All Praise and thanks‑giving behoves that great Opener (fattah) of forts and kingdoms in whose grasp are the keys of the conquests of the just and religious Sultans, and with whose patent of favour and authority are decorated the manshurs of the Khilafat {Islamic Government} and sovereignty of the Victorious Emperors. The Merciful one (Karim) whose omnipotence has ensured the victory of the believers through the promise to help believers is incumbent upon us.

The Omnipotent one who enjoined the task of destroying the wicked infidels {Rajputs} on the dutiful mujahids {Mughals} through the blows of their thunder-like scimitars as laid down: 

"Fight them !
Allah will chastise them at your hands and He will lay them low and give you victory over them. "

Glorified is He, and High Exalted from what they say , His sovereignty is not dependent on any friend and helper.

Whereas the Sovereign one, universal be His bounty and exalted His glory, has, in conformity with -  I am to appoint thee a leader of the mankind, assigned to us government of the mumalik { general/head } of Hindustan which is one of the biggest countries of the world, and the Munshi of the office (divan khana) of munificence and the Supreme Sovereign has adorned the radiant mandate (manshur) of our Khilafat and monarchy with the Parwana. { Akbar says he is chosen by the Allah to establish the Caliphate / Islamic State in Hindustan. }

Surely we established him in the land and decorated it with the ornament of That is the bounty of Allah, which He giveth unto whom He will All the people who are God's trusts, being in the security of Peace from the hardships and misfortunes of the age, are busy in discharging the obligations of obedience and worship of the Almighty under our benevolent Protection, we deem it our duty to render thanks and express gratitude for this great favour. 

In accordance with  Proceed whither you wish, you are victorious, in whatever direction we Proceed fortune and felicity come forward to greet us and whither we turn the reign [sic] of our resolution the [sic] success and Victory hasten to our Presence.


Schmitar - Zulfikar Sword

Motivation for War:

In conformity with the happy injunction - This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful we spend our precious time to the best of our ability in :

- war (ghiza) and Jihad and with the help of Eternal God, who is the supporter of our ever-increasing empire,

- we are busy in subjugating the localities, habitations, forts and towns which are under the possession of the infidels - may God forsake and annihilate all of them,

- and thus raising the standard of Islam everywhere, and removing the darkness of polytheism and violent sins by the use of sword.

- we destroy the places of worship of idols in those places and other parts of India. {admission of Mughal Emperor Akbar in this Fathnama }

The following lines say that everything done by Akbar was according to the permission and blessings of Allah. This was his propaganda. He was using the cover of religion to justify his ruthless actions. 

The praise be to Allah, who hath guided us to this, and we would not have found the way had it not been that Allah had guided us. The purport of the discourse is that during these victorious times, after the elimination of Ali Quli and (his) ungrateful faction we arrived at the Capital Agra like  the noble, victorious, and with a view to augment the materials of our recreation of hunting of elephants we encamped in the confines of Sivi Supar and Gagrun which are on the border of the country of Chittor.

Rana Udai Singh & his Son Refuse to Kiss the Royal Threshold or Make 'Peshkash' to Akbar:

There it was brought to our notice that Rana Udai Singh - may God annihilate him. It was expected from him that he would come forward to welcome, pay respects and kiss the royal threshold or would send his son with Peshkash ; but he has adopted, due to excessive pride and conceit, an obstinate and arrogant attitude. 

(He) is collecting provisions in the fort of Chitor which is his hereditary place of residence and is distinguished in the forts of India in strength and grandeur, with the intention of entrenching himself there. { Akbar expected Rana Udai Singh to welcome him, and make offerings. But, the Rana was busy preparing his fort for any eventual attack and refused to oblige any demands of Akbar.}

Angered by Rana's Refusal to Submit, Akbar Decided to Attack Chittor:

Since the thoughts of war (ghiza) and Jehad dominated the enlightened mind, it (Rana's behaviour) made the King (Akbar) angry and increased (his) zeal for the divine religion.

Despite the fact that most of the royal troops had returned to their Jagirs after the last victory and only a few, who happened to be present at the Capital, accompanied the royal cavalcade on this hunting (excursion), we turned our rein to suppress that infidel.


Jaimal and Patta Equated to a 1000 Horsemen, But With a Tinge of Bitterness:

Fearful of the approach of the imperial standards, he {Rana Udai Singh left the fort as suggested by the advisers} left his uncle Sahidas Jaimal and Udiban Patta who are renowned for their valour among the infidels - may God forsake them and lead them to the abode of Perdition - and who are considered to be equal to a thousand horsemen in intrepidity and prowess, with five thousand chosen Rajputs, one thousand troops from his (Rana's) own contingent and ten thousand other men to guard the fort. { Rest of the Mughal and Rajput accounts mention 8000 soldiers.}

(The Rana) himself hastened with his troops to Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh which are located in the security of the mountains and jungles.  When at the town of Rampur, which is one of the well-known towns attached to Chittor, it became known that he was entertaining such plans, the royal mind decided upon subjugating the fort (of Chittor) with the divine help and only then to take other steps that may appear [sic] feasible.

View of the Hill Fort of Kumbhalgarh in the Aravalli Hills

Mughal Emperor Akbar Arrives in Chittor:

In this way we arrived in front of the fort with the intention of besieging it on Thursday, October 24, 1567. A fort rose in view such as Alburz with all its majesty would appear an insignificant rock at its foot and Tur and Hindukush would fit as walls in its rampart. Its canopy vies with the Crystalline sphere in its height. Its circumference is about three farsangs and the calculators are unable to count in battlements.


Difficult Task to Capture Chittorgarh:

Though the siege of the fort looked impossible, but by the grace of the Almighty and with the secret help of the accomplished people, any direction that we have taken we have achieved there what we have wished, the very same day we inspected the surroundings of the fort carefully, and entrusted each pace to one of the courageous servants (Khans, Sultans and Amirs) of the exalted court who were present. 

Depicts sappers laying mines during the siege of the fortress of Chitor in 1567. Mughal sappers are shown preparing covered paths called Sabats to enable the Mughal army to approach the fort of Chittor, while their opponents fiercely defend themselves by firing the muskets. On top left, ladies of the fort can be seen, watching the proceedings carefully. On the right of the painting, 3 Mughal canons with wheels can be seen firing on the fort, the smoke is clearly visible after the cannon balls cause destruction in the fort. These cannons have been placed on the hill - Chituri, which was near the Chittor Fort. Copyright : V & A Museum

Initial Enthusiasm of the Mughal Force:

The mountain traversing warriors, who brave the fields of battle and seek Jehad with all their heart and soul and consider martyrdom to be the greatest reward in this as well as the other world, sought permission [to] betake themselves to the towers and fortifications and putting their trust in God and relying on the divine help, which is the source of strength to the imperial authority, carry out brave assaults and bring the fort under control by force.


Swivel Guns
Used by Rajputs in the Battle of Chittor
Picture for representational purpose

Interesting Account of the Massive Weaponry Present with the Rajputs:

Since those ignoble people had collected such large quantities of weapons for defending the fort like :

a. deg (mortars),

b. swivel guns (zarb-zan),

c. top (cannon),

d. tufang (matchlock),

e. manjaniq (this was a special mechanical artillery system through which fireballs, fire laden arrows, reptiles, poisonous scorpions, naptha balls mixed in minerals native to Rajasthan,  etc. could be hurled on the enemy..This system was a crude mechanical artillery. In simple terms, it looked like a catapult but was very dangerous),

f. Jarr-i-saqil (type of canon),

g. naft (naphata), and

h. nawak (A pipe through which an arrow was shot. The nawak was usually used for shooting birds. This was either a cross-bow, or formed in some way as part of an ordinary bow. It was not a blow-pipe like those used by the Malays for their poisoned arrows. Specimens of the pipe are 6.6 to 7.6 feet (2.0 to 2.3 m) long and use foot-long arrows. It is like a modern day sniper. Considered to be a very fast and accurate means of registering blows on the enemy. It can be easily mounted on a horse.)

Such weapons that, they would last for thirty years even if continuously used, and since they had great confidence in these weapons and in the strength of the fort as well as their own prowess, we did not let them (the Mughal royal officers) fight with (the Rajputs) a view of protecting the people of Islam - may God preserve them till the day of resurrection, lest some of them may get killed in rashness.


Weapons of India from Ain-e-Akbari:

1 row:  
jamdhar sehlicaneh (3-pointed dagger), jamdhar doulicaneh (2-pointed dagger), 
jamdhar (broad dagger), baneh (sword), javelin, tschehouta (spear), barchah (lance), flail.

2 row: 
katarah (katarsh, dagger), jhanbwah (jambiyah, dagger), khapwah (k'hapwah, dagger),  
dhal (shield), tarkash (quiver), maktah (bow), kaman (bow), scymitar.

3 row: 
gupti kard (dagger), shushbur (shashpar, mace), narsingmot'h (dagger), bank (dagger), 
g'hug'hwah (chainmail), udanah, bhelhetah (sword), phari (cane shield), sipar (shield).
below: angirk'hah (over armour coat), zirih (coat of mail), kant'hah sobha (neck protection).

4 row: 
tarangalah (axe), tabar-zaghnol (axe with hammer), zaghnol (warhammer), 
chaqu (clasp knife), gardani (horse protection), qashqah (champron), bhanju (coat with neck protection).

Weapons of the Mughals and Their Mode of Warfare:

(We) sent for the : 
-  dragonlike rads (Cannons),
-  mortars, and other pieces of artillery which were left at the capital.

We also ordered the manufacture of : 
- cannons, and 
- mountain-breaking mortars in the camp, and 

We decided that tunnels be dug and after the arrival of battering ram (sarkob*) and sabat (covered passage) an attack be launched.

{ *Sarkob - A device which was made from strong wood, much like a wooden log in appearance and was used to break the doors of Forts by continuous assault. For those who have a problem in understanding it - Think of CID Officer Daya of CID show, which telecasts on Sony TV. :-P }

Medieval Weapons on Display in the Delhi Museum

Mughal Troops Appointed to Capture 'Worthless Infidels' and Sack Udaipur & Rampur:

We appointed some troops of the left wing to sack, kill and (take) captives the people of Udaipur, and the troops and men of Rana who were there while he himself was perched at a distance of ten Kos. We sent another army to plunder and sack Rampur. The troop returned with immense booty after dispatching many of the worthless infidels to the abode of perdition.

After the arrival of the artillery (topkhana), completion of the covered passage (Sabat), explosion of the mines causing conflagration and (the consequent) blowing up of the towers and battlements, we directed the troops to establish themselves at the foot of the rampart and surround the fort from every side.

{All this has been explained in detail in the previous posts in this series.}

Illustration from Akbarnama of an incident when a mine exploded during the Mughal attack on the Rajput Fort of Chittor (Chittaurgarh) on 17th December 1567, killing many of the besieging Mughal forces. Top left - horses and soldiers can be seen flying in the air after the explosion. On top right - Rajput women in the Fort can be seen - the attendants are giving them the news of this explosion. On the center right, Rajput defenders can be seen holding swords in their hands, some are ready to shoot arrows, some are waving the saffron-yellow flag of Mewar in their hands. Bottom left - Attendants of Emperor Akbar can be seen giving him this news, behind him is his servant taking holding the royal tuman-togh in his service. Copyright : V & A Museum.

Rajputs Proposed Ceasing of This 'Fruitless War' but NOT at the Cost of Surrender:

The doomed ones {Rajputs}, being fully informed this time of the strength and prowess of the army of Islam and the asperity and haughtiness of their ruler, started imploring for intercession and respite with abject submission and some of the chiefs came out (with this petition).

Notwithstanding the fact that they have caused death of many people of Islam, both nobles and common soldiers, with matchlock-fire, continuous showering of stones  through the manjaniq (its meaning was explained above), they sued (for peace) on such impossible terms which could not be conceded. They were permitted to return.

Next day we went in person to the Sabat of Muhammad Qasim Khan, mir-i bahr, which was nearest to the fort and issued orders for Jang‑i-Sultani { Special royal war battery containing mortars, which was placed opposite the Lakhauta Darwaza of Chittor Fort } to be launched.


The Struggle Continued:

The armies of Islam placing their reliance in (the revelation) Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent protector , fearlessly and boldly commenced the assault. Within (the fort) the vigilant bands of jew‑ like infidels set ablaze the fire of conflict and brawl by discharging fire raining manjaniqs and cannons (top) one after the other. { Hot assault continued by the Rajputs from the fort. }

The "lions of the forest of intrepidity"{Mughals} and the "panthers of the mountain of bravery"{Rajputs}, in their extreme courage stretched their coveting hands to the Sash of the Constellation Orion and with great expedition snatched the diadem from the head of Bahram.

In conformity with the commandment,  And prepare against them what force you can, the troops excelled each other and with complete unity betook themselves to the towers and the walls of the fort that were breached by the artillery fire. 

From that multitude, groups like the pigs hit by arrows rushed out of doors and blocked the entry of the combatants. { Rajput defenders are compared to pigs here. This is one of the demeaning references  to the defending Rajputs in the Fathnama. }

In return they {the royal troops} fought back by throwing arrows and stones and scattered those retreating ones {the Rajputs}. They sent a tremor through the ranks of the enemy with incessant and frightful cannonade setting fire to the harvest of their lives.

For 3 Days and Nights, the Fight Continued:

Three days and nights passed in this manner. The two sides did not stop fighting even for a moment. All the attempts of these fox-like people {the Rajputs} at fraud and deception were frustrated by the lions of the jungle of intrepidity. { The hostility towards the defending Rajputs is visible from the range of adjectives used to describe them. }

At last on the night of Tuesday, 23rd February 1568, in conformity with the orders we assaulted. They shall not be able to ward off the fire from their faces nor from their backs, nor shall they be helped when the continuous rain of fiery balls and cannonade became so intense in conformity: Nay, it shall come on them all of a sudden and cause them to be confounded. Those condemned ones {Rajputs} were no longer able to resist us.

The call from beyond :
" If ye help Allah, He will help you and will make your foothold firm " - was coming to the exalted hearing and every moment the Divine Inspirer made audible the good tidings :  Now surely Allah's help is nigh.

Short range Weapons on Display

One-to-One Combat of Mughal - Rajput Warriors Using Daggers:

The revengeful warriors and the brave ones skilled in the use of daggers, deadly set against the enemy and drenched in the blood, delivered concerted assault and succeeded in removing the wooden planks with which those accursed ones had blocked the breaches. { Wooden planks were put up to close the breaches by the Rajputs. These were successfully removed by the Mughal forces. }

Jaimal Takes Part in the Ongoing Action to Personally Encourage His Soldiers:

Seeing this, Jaimal, one of the three chiefs, who had taken the lead in the battle and was looking after the fort from the beginning to the end,  advanced with a body of men to stop the breach.

In the meanwhile, some artillery men belonging to that wretched band {the Rajputs} fired their guns one after the other (and in their flashes) Jaimal, and those accompanying him could be seen (from afar). 

"That Worthless Infidel - Jaimal - Goes to the Lowest Parts of Hell..Proceeds to the Abode of Perdition"

As for the last three days and nights we have been present there {battery of Qasim Khan} often firing with muskets and arrows and since it was destined for Jaimal that he should hasten to the lowest parts of hell at our own God‑worshipping hands, when he came in view the matchlock (tufang) we were holding, was ready as is said, When God wills anything, He provide its means.  

No sooner he was seen and the gun discharged than the worthless infidel was struck in the forehead and hearing the call,  wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you, even though you were in lofty towers,  proceeded to the abode of perdition. 


Mughal Emperor Akbar shoots Jaimal - Rajput commander of the Fort of Chittor from his matchlock called Sangram.

The left side depicts the Fort of Chittor. The muskets can be seen aiming at the Mughals entering in the Fort. Rajput defenders are trying their best to stop the Mughal army from entering the Fort with their spears as seen in the picture. While Mughals are forcing their way in large numbers in the Fort, along with armoured elephants.

The right side depicts the Sabat of the Mughal camp. On top most storey Akbar can be seen with a matchlock in his hand. Mughal soldiers are also firing from the muskets from inside the Sabats as can be seen.

Mughal army succeeded in approaching the ramparts by constructing covered defences called Sabats. As Akbar was surveying the battle from his apartments constructed on the top of Sabats, he took aim with his gun at a figure in the Rajput Fort whose studded blue coat indicated that he was a leading enemy soldier. The shot hit the target, who was discovered to be the Rajput hero Jaimal Rathore.

The covered lines of attack built by the Mughals allowed the army, including armoured elephants (centre left) to approach the walls of the fortress (shown in upper left). Akbar is shown on top right, holding the gun called Sangram with which he has just shot a figure in a studded coat. Jaimal, the general of the enemy army, in blue colored clothes and white beard can be seen in the arms of his soldiers on the top left, in an injured position.
Copyright : V & A Museum.

Blow to Raja Jaimal Rathore..
A Great Loss to "That Cattle-Like Community - the Defending Rajputs"

This caused great consternation among the high and low of that cattle-like community. { This is another demeaning reference made to the defending Rajputs - a community of cattle, which i have included in this post. The Persian word, which is used here is even worse.}

The 'Last' Morning of Chittorgarh - Saka Occurs:

(Subsequently) the other chiefs continued to resist but they could not repulse the brave from the openings. At dawn, the excellent archers whose skill is such that they could pierce the eye of an ant in the dark night and the lancers who could pick up the crumbs of the breach from the ground, putting the elephant in front delivered another assault. (They/Mughals) forced their entry into the fort through sheer bravery and prowess and started discharging arrows and fighting with lances.

The hand of destiny had covered the deceitful eyes of that erroneous, arrogant and scanty host with the nocturnal blindness of ill‑luck  And they thought that there would be no affliction and so they became blind and deaf,  and had blocked upon them the way of success and escape. They could neither go forward nor turn back.


Rajput Women Performing Jauhar During the 3rd Siege of Chittor
Explanation of the painting:

This page of the Akbarnama depicts the 'Jauhar', or burning, of the Rajput women following the fall of the fort of Chittor in 1568. The royal Mughal tents, identifiable by their red colour, are in the lower left of the composition, behind the firing lines of the Mughal cannon. At bottom left, the royal camp can be seen in a state of rejoicing, knowing they have won the day. Above a blank text panel, at top right, the women of the fort are about to be consumed by flames which spurt out into the margin of the page. The women preferred to perish rather than be captured alive by the enemy, and thousands of women died in the event. Akbar ordered thousands of Rajput men to be killed after the Mughal victory in retaliation for their fierce resistance. More than 30,000 civilians were killed in the fort of Chittor.

Prayers for Victory...

The people of Islam were busy praying:  Our lord ! bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against the "disbelieving folk" {Rajputs},  and the refreshing message - Help from Allah and present Victory. Give good tidings to believers -  was coming to them from heaven. 

They {Mughals} advanced in groups against the wicked unbelievers {the Rajputs} to get hold of the opening. (They) stood in the foremost rank without flinching and got an upper hand. 

They felled them {the Rajputs} one upon the other with the stroke of (their) bloodthirsty sword, leaving all around heaps of the slain.

Flight of the Frightened Asses - Rajput Civilians..
Dispatched to the Lowest Parts of Hell..

Pursuing the remnant [sic] who were fleeing in different directions as they were "frightened asses". { Another demeaning term used for the helpless Rajput civilians who were running helter-skelter around the Fort to save their lives and were pursued by the Mughal forces in all directions. }

Fleeing from the lion {Mughals} despatched them to the lowest part of the hell ‑‑when the star of success and good fortune rose from the horizon of the sublime message,  Victory comes only by the help of Allah, the Mighty, the Wise, the whole victorious troop entered the fort. 

Orders for Massacre Given..
Men Killed & the Women/Children Taken as Captives / Booty :

In accordance with the imperative Command  - Kill the idolaters altogether.

{ This section will clear all doubts, if any, why the women preferred to burn themselves in fire with their children. Some scholars opine that Jauhar was against the "human rights of women". But, they should also think about the horrible fate of women in case they survived. }

The defiant ones who were still offering resistance having formed themselves into knots of two to three hundred persons, were put to death.

And their women and children taken prisoners. According to the promise,  Allah promised you many acquisitions which you will take.

Immense booty and spoils in cash and kind were acquired.  So the roots of the people who were unjust were cut off; and all praise is due to Allah - the Lord of the worlds.

{ We saw that Akbar said that he did all these acts, as per the directions of Allah. He was simply "using" religion as a justification for all his misdeeds. }


Pillars of Dead Men's Heads Made After Winning the 2nd Battle of Panipat. The same was done in Chittor. The same type of pillars were seen by Mundy during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, details of which were posted in the preceding part of this series.

Celebrations of Victory:

The receptacle of nobility, the support of kingdom, the pillar of the mighty state, the prop of the magnificent empire, the confidant of the resplendent Khilafat, the foremost among the great Khans of the age, the climber of the ladder of authority and dignity, the devoted and sincere are the well wishing one, the intrepid cavalier, the adorner of the ranks in the field of valour and bravery, Mubarizuddin, Mir Mohammad Khan Bahadur, and the receptacle of nobility, the support of kingdom, the Pillar of the mighty state, the prop of the magnificent empire, the best among the sinceres [sic] of the age, worthy of confidence and favour, the rider of the field of battle and valour Qutbuddin Mohammad Khan Bahadur and the rest of the great Khans and noble Sultans along with the Saiyids, Ulama, Mashaikh the qazis of shariat and other dignitaries, residents, inhabitants, Chaudhris, qanoongos, the ri'aya and peasants (muzari'an) of Sarkar Punjab respectively, being jubilant at the happy tidings carried by this auspicious Fathnama, which is, in fact, a foretaste of the victories to follow, should offer infinite thanksgivings. 

Thanksgiving for Victory:

They should also pray in the auspicious moments 

- when the prayers are more likely to be granted 

- for the long life of our noble self 

- the perpetuity of the empire and for the grant of greater competence to us for fulfilling the obligation of Jehad, divine worship and acts of piety. 

Further they should continuously be expecting that day after day, doors of fresh victories and successes will be opened before us.

Whereas after the management of the affairs of Chittor, we have turned the reins of our determination towards the capital Agra. The horse beneath the thigh and overhead canopy of victory, the victory and soccer keeping company and divine help guiding the way.

God willing, within these few days, we will reach the seat of the Khilafat. The pillar of the state knowing that our thoughts are directed towards the management of his affairs and the fulfilment of the hopes and aspirations of all the well wishers may send regular reports about the development (in his region). 

Any request that he might like to make should he communicated (to the court) so that it may be granted. Written by the royal order (to be obeyed permanently) at Ajmer on 10th of the month of Ramzan 975 A.H., 9 March 1568.

Fort of Kumbhalgarh.. A Painting.. 1819


The discrepancy between the heavy religious undertone of the Fathnama-i-Chittor and the secular image of Mughal Emperor Akbar is shocking and yet, a creation of Akbar himself. This document was written at his behest to celebrate the victory at Chittor and as part of his thanksgiving at the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti at Ajmer.  

I would like to mention here that there is NO harm in seeking the blessings of the God / faith one believes in, during times of war. But, there is a huge difference between having faith in God and waging war against another community in the name of that God and seeking to spread one's faith forcibly.  

Akbar invoked the cause of Islam and urged his soldiers to fight for their religion, for the "glory" of Islam and to kill the infidels and decimate their possessions - giving it a communal tinge.

Rajputs remembered their God to seek their blessings and to pray for courage. It is not that it was a fight of one religion versus another. Muslims were present on both the sides. There were Pathans like Ismail Khan in Mewar's army who prayed to their Allah and sought his blessings against Mughals. This was a personal display of faith restricted to themselves only. They were not thinking about the religion of the Mughals at that time. They were not thinking that these were "infidels" they had to fight against. They went to war ONLY to save their homeland, and not with the intent to kill the Mughals, or to propagate and spread their religion in Mughal dominions.

Rajput women also invoked the Goddess of strength - Bhawani. But, this had nothing to do with the attacking Mughals who were fighting with a strict motive of offering their lives in Jehad. The women invoked their deity to ask for strength, so that they could perform the painful ritual of Jauhar with calm.

Akbar, on the other hand, waged a Jehad with the intention to kill the infidels - he even ordered their massacre, - destroy their places / idols of worship and increase the dominions of Islam in Hindustan. No one present in the fort was spared. All the men were killed and the women and children taken as prisoners or war booty.

Quoting Akbar from his Fathnama -- "As directed by the word of God, we, as far as it is within our power, remain busy in Jehad and owing to the kindness of the supreme Lord, who is the promoter of our victories, we have succeeded in occupying a number of forts and towns belonging to the infidels and have established Islam there.  With the help of our bloodthirsty sword, we have erased the signs of infidelity from their minds and have destroyed temples in those places and also all over Hindustan. "

Is it possible to compare the manner in which Akbar invoked his religion with what the Rajputs were fighting for ?

An old Blog post talks about the Victory Proclamation of Maharana Pratap, after the Haldighati Battle. The Maharana had also thanked "his" Gods. But, there is complete absence of any 'heavy religious' undertone regarding the religion or the religious beliefs of his enemies - Mughals. Nor does it try to glorify the Maharana's victory. Here is the link of the post: Battle of Haldighati Stone Inscription recently discovered in Rajasthan

Even today, the soldiers in any army outpost pray to their respective Gods. But that does not mean they are fighting for religion. They are understood to be fighting for their country. But there are organizations which are fighting Jehad because they want to spread their culture forcibly. So, when these armies fight against these "organizations" , and remember their God, can we place both the sides on an equal footing?

The two just cannot be equated, in my opinion. Opposing views to my thoughts are welcome in comments below.

A few take-aways from the series on the Battle of Chittor:

a. Akbar {This assessment is in the context of Chittor}

There can be no two opinions that Akbar started as an orthodox person filled with religious zeal initially. Further indication of his religious leanings can be seen in his devotion to Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti, whose dargah he visited almost every year, starting in 1565. He always entered Ajmer on foot and made special journeys to the place when faced with a perplexing problem or a particularly difficult expedition such as the Battle of Chittor. It is highly ironical that he issued this victory farman from the dargah of a Sufi saint, which he visited to offer thanks for "divine help" in acquiring Chittor.  

Akbar makes no bones in proclaiming himself as a ghazi engaged in a holy war against infidels. He takes the credit for killing Raja Jaimal Rathore, although Rajput accounts suggest that Jaimal was only injured and continued to fight with swords in both hands, while sitting astride the shoulders of a soldier. {This was mentioned in a previous post. Link here : Battle of Chittor Part-6

Right at the beginning of this document, it was stated that the Mughal soldiers were shielded from "infidel {Rajput} fire". So the troops must have been stationed beyond the range of the defending Rajputs. Given that the range of Mughal muskets was around 90m, it is unlikely that Akbar could have actually killed Jaimal. This document seems to be an attempt to glorify the victory of Akbar by attributing all the credit for the victory to him.

b. Modus Operandi of Attack on Rajput States & Fate of Civilians of Chittor

It was also a veiled warning to other Rajput states to "offer peshkash & kiss the Mughal threshold" lest Akbar should be enraged by their stubbornness to bend, and crush them as he crushed the Rajputs in Chittor.  

What is also shocking is the total lack of grace in referring to the vanquished side in highly demeaning and dehumanising terms. Just a few of such terms used in the document have been included in this post to illustrate how the victorious Mughals perceived the defeated Rajputs. 

This victory farman makes it quite clear that men were killed and women and children taken as captives. The latter were considered "acquisitions" of the Mughal soldiers for being victorious in their holy war. The fate of these civilians can only be imagined. Is it any wonder then that many women preferred to commit Jauhar, which though physically painful, was at least more honourable to bear than being humiliated as slaves by the Mughals? The royal ladies were able to save themselves via Jauhar, though the same was not true for the entire civilian population.

c. Comparison of Weapons & Soldiers:

some of the historians say that the Rajputs lacked modern resources and fought with age-old weapons , which were no match to the superior resources of the Mughal army. But from the Fathnama, it is clear that the Rajputs also had weapons with them. After winning the Fort, when the Mughal army took possession of the Rajput artillery, it estimated that the Rajput reserves could last for nearly 30 years, even if used continuously. 

The Rajputs however lagged behind in terms of the numbers of soldiers they had. They were a mere handful compared to the Mughal army, which was estimated to have 60,000 to 85,000 soldiers. Though, to give credit where it is due, I have to admit that the Mughal victory was also in part due to the brilliant warfare strategies of Akbar.  

It remains for us to judge the facts of the fall of the historic fort. That the Rajput garrison fought with several handicaps, such as a small army and limited resources is undeniable. Their artillery must have been less modern than the Mughal artillery. The Mughals had free access to the outside world. We read in the Fathnama that they even got ammunition from Agra, while the Rajputs were stuck in their Fort during the siege. The Mughals had the triple combination of battery charge, mining operations and erection of Sabats, which contributed to their victory. The successful encircling of the fort necessarily increased the sufferings of the inhabitants and daily diminished the limited supply of food and other provisions and blocked outside help.

Jaimal's blow told heavily on the morale of the Rajputs who, in desperation,  finally prepared for Jauhar and Saka. They willingly exposed themselves to the invading army by opening the gates of the fort and died a glorious death.  

Lake of Kankrauli in Udaipur .. Hills in the Background..1868

d. Re-imposition of Jaziya & Mughal-Mewar Struggle related to Ajmer Dargah:

Chittor was made a part of Ajmer Suba. It is opined that the Mughal Emperor Akbar also tried to interfere with the religious leanings of the natives. In 1575, Akbar conferred some parts of Mewar such as the villages of Rayala, Katdi, Arneta and Kanya of Hurda, Shahpura & Badnor districts to the Dargah of Sufi saint Muin-ud-din Chisti at Ajmer. This was the same year (1575) when Akbar re-imposed the tax - Jaziya, in order to pressurize Maharana Pratap to surrender to Mughal authority; {he had abolished Jaziya earlier in 1564}. This shows Akbar was an astute politician who was ready to go to any extent to make his arch rival bend before him. Akbar actively pursued the Maharana for several years after the Battle of Chittor. Jaziya was later taken off.

Battles were fought by Maharana Pratap and his son Rana Amar Singh against this 'brief religious imperialism' of Akbar, and these places were recovered. The very next year, the Battle of Haldighati was fought. 

Till 1740, these places were contested between Mughals and Mewar. Wars were also fought after a brief period of lull during the reign of Jahangir, in the times of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, by Rana Jagat Singh & Rana Jai Singh. Finally, when the Mughal Empire became weak after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the Ranas of Mewar became the 'protectors' of this Dargah and granted in charity these same places for which they fought for more than 150 years, to the Dargah of this Sufi saint, themselves. 

They fought for more than 150 years against the interference of Mughals in their area, but ultimately they were NOT against the Dargah of Sufi saint Muin-ud-din Chisti. The Dargah was made there after the death of Rajput ruler Prithviraj Chauhan (1192 AD) but this Dargah was NEVER destroyed or harmed by any Rajput ruler, in this long history. This is also an act of religious tolerance. Religious tolerance is not confined to any single person alone.

Details will be discussed in a future blog post. These details are very little known.

Reference for the above mentioned information is : 
Collection of Old Mewari Letters Section,  File Number 20/II. S.93
Udaipur Commisioners' Office
Udaipur, Rajasthan

Statue of Hakim Khan Suri Pathan near a canon , in Udaipur - Friend of Maharana Pratap, Who Fought Along with Him in the Battle of Haldighati

e. Why Maharana Pratap Resisted Mughal Subjugation:

Perhaps Maharana Pratap understood the fate that would befall on Mewar if he let go of his ideals and compromised with the Mughals for his personal comforts. After reading this victory farman, it can be seen that it was not EGO that drove the Maharana to "sacrifice his subjects" in his struggle against Akbar for a quarter century, but the intense desire to preserve the dignity and freedom of his subjects. 

It is important to note that he was NOT alone in fighting the Mughal aggression, but he was ably supported by his people. If he was able to carry on a prolonged struggle against the Mughal Emperor, then a lot of credit also goes to the civilians of Mewar, who were the unsung heroes. The Bhil tribals of Mewar hills fondly called him "Kika", which means a brave little boy/son.

A well planned Street in Udaipur .. An Oil Painting by M. North.. 1878

f. Let's Analyze Akbar and Maharana Pratap on Moral Grounds:

In contrast with the Maharana, Akbar's belief in his own nobility and the greatness of his empire can be seen in the following lines from the victory farman:

" They should also pray in the auspicious moments, when the prayers are more likely to be granted, for the long life of our noble self, the perpetuity of the empire and for the grant of greater competence to us for fulfilling obligation of Jihad, divine worship and acts of piety. Further they should continuously be expecting that day after day doors of fresh victories and succeess will be opened before us. "     

It is important to note that the Battle of Chittor was not a religious war between 2 communities, but Akbar deliberately used religious zeal to achieve victory. Note the difference between the two points. He instructed his men that they could go on a rampage in the fort and kill, plunder, and capture prisoners, at their will, as a "reward" for their "great deed in winning the holy war".

We have already read about the horrifying incidents, which took place in Chittor, in the last post. { Link here : Battle of Chittor Part-6 }

On the other hand, the Maharana was HUMANE enough to put aside all enmity and ill-feelings towards his arch rival - Akbar, and release the ladies of the camp of Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khana with due respect, when they were taken captive by his son Rana Amar Singh. Abdur Rahim was fighting against Maharana Pratap at that time and was hunting for him in the jungles in 1581. The Maharana admonished his son and asked him to escort all the ladies back to the Mughal camp. Rahim was so moved by this gesture that he refused to fight against the Maharana!

One can only imagine how solid the foundations of strict constitution, morality & ideals of the Maharana must have been that he released the ladies of that person who was deputed to kill him and had made his life miserable. It is said that testing times are the REAL mirror of a man's character. The Maharana was also well aware of what had happened in Chittor with his men & women. Yet he refused to show any zeal for a similar revenge, when he got a 'chance', even though he was pursued by that enemy from all sides. The Maharana waged a war against Mughal Emperor Akbar throughout his life, but NEVER at the cost of ethics. Till date, his morality is talked about in high terms by one and all.

For historians,  the extent of the empire of Mughal Emperor Akbar and his reforms etc may matter MORE. But, for me, as a layperson, the morality & ethics of the Maharana are also as much important, if not more, as they inspire one to develop a character like his in today's time. 

The View of the Majestic Temple of Jagganath at Udaipur, 1867 (British Library)

g. Legacy of the Struggle between Akbar and Maharana Pratap:

When The Great Mughal - Akbar died, he had amassed a huge fortune of thousands of millions of rupees, his empire extended from Kabul in the West to Gaur in the East. His army consisted, at a modest estimate, 200,000 men, 50,000 horses, 5000 war elephants, among others. There was almost nothing which he could not obtain. Yet with so much power and resources, he was unable to bring 6000 square miles of Mewar under his control.

Whatever may have been the cause of the fall of Chittor and whatever the spirit of having lost everything felt at the occasion by the Rajputs, the fall of Chittor signalized a sensational step in the Rajput strategy of war. Defence was based not on forts but on valleys and defiles, where protracted and repeated attempts by the Mughals to capture them were foiled by a handful of the Maharana's men. It also revealed to the Mughals that the Rajput annihilation was not so extreme as to make them incapable of another stand against the Mughals. The Mughals knew that this part of Rajasthan was not so easy to subjugate. Henceforth, it would be the defiles of Girwa and not Chittor that were to be the centre of Mughal politics during the succeeding centuries..

Later in life, Akbar did turn away from orthodoxy and turned his mind to Sulh-i-kul, but he could never make it up to the Rajputs of Mewar for the barbarism he unleashed in Chittor. The damage was done. Till his death, Maharana Pratap considered Akbar a foreigner - an invader - a Turk who destroyed his people & his motherland. The two clashed throughout their lifetime. They were fierce rivals. Akbar did everything to make the Maharana bend, though the latter never succumbed despite staying in thatched huts, sleeping on straw and eating grass , even recovering almost entire Mewar back from Mughal Emperor Akbar!!

Picture of Lake Picholla in Udaipur .. An Old Photograph of 1870's


Till this day, Chittorgarh remembers the sacrifice of those men and women. An annual Jauhar festival is STILL held in Chittorgarh to pay homage to those brave women. The "sin of the slaughter of Chittor" is still remembered in the native language as "Chittor Marya ra Paap". Their pain is very much alive. The last blog post in this series mentioned that the banker's note in Rajputana carried the number 74.5, considering it be inauspicious. This is because 74.5 pounds was the weight of the sacred threads, which were taken from the dead bodies of the slain Rajputs in Chittor, on the orders of Akbar, to assess how GREAT was his victory. 

I am re-quoting the statement from an old Blog post {Link}: " The vanquished were perhaps greater than the victors." Chittor is hardly remembered for the victory of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is remembered more for the sheer difference in ideology of the combating sides and the attitude with which they fought.

The war which took place in Chittor is a lesson for future generations and it is hoped that we all will learn something constructive from this sad part of history. That will be a true tribute to all those brave people who fell there. Many problems faced in today's world have their roots in the past. Unless we face our past honestly, we won't be able to work upon a solution to the problems of the present.

This is the concluding part of the series on the Battle of Chittor. The purpose of this series was ONLY to present history in a balanced manner, taking both Mughal and Rajput accounts into consideration.

Discussions can now be conducted on the battle and its aftermath, as the battle has been been described in its entirety, right from the run-up to it to the gory consequences of the battle.


Thanks to Radhika for her contribution to this post.
This article has been posted under the Rajputs and Mughals (Akbar) section of history_geek's BLOG.

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