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Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 28 29 2014 Jodha Akbar | 361 362 The Children of the Mughal Sultanat

Hi Friends,

On Tuesday, we saw a host of fresh young faces, the next generation of Mughals and their citizenry. The children should have made the show more positive, more upbeat with their enthusiasm and innocent pranks. Unfortunately, the CVs with their penchant for the negative have robbed the kids of their innocence and thrust upon their delicate shoulders the passions and furies of the adult. 
The underlying theme on Tuesday and Wednesday has been the demonstration of mature emotions by immature cherubs. :(

Shaguni Bai - Our Own Nostradamus
On Tuesday, Shaguni Bai made an entry in Agra along with her compass-kauris that always point to the future of the person for whom they are thrown. 
She informed Zilbahar that her daughter would take her to the palace and that she (her daughter) would shake up the Mughal Sultanat and change the course of history. Zilbahar was naturally thrilled.  
Shaguni also informed Jodha that her son would wear his heart on his sleeve and would embark on a love story written in blood and that he would even battle his father for love. She added that Salim would be loved by two women, one of whom would break his heart and the other mend it.  
To appease viewers fed up of seeing Ruqaiyya's face, Shaguni added that Ruq had the feet of a dayan, as she saw blood footprints as Ruq walked away. 
For most of her predictions, Shaguni used kauris that automatically moved around to form arrows that seemed to talk to her about the future. 
It was weird the way Shaguni pronounced a heart-to-heart connection between Salim and Anarkali just by looking at the taveez on Salim's hand. 

Salim Saved by Anarkali
Salim lay seriously ill and JJ prayed hard to Kanha / Allah to save him. What they didn't know was that his heart was tied with that of Anarkali's and the moment she was born, his heart miraculously started beating again. I don't wish to recall the innumerable voiceovers in Tuesday's episode because they were so pathetic. One such voiceover announced the birth of the epic love story of Salim and Anarkali right at the moment of Anarkali's birth.  Disgusting! 

Anarkali's Christening in DEK
Akbar has been reduced to an unemployed hey-you for anything that needs to be done, such as naming the babies born in his kingdom to ordinary mortals. He duly named Anarkali as Nadira on her mother's insistence. 

If this wasn't bad enough, Zilbahar went behind the screen for ladies and sat right next to MUZ herself. And Salim was instantly happy to get a girlfriend so early in life and promptly showed his glee with a forehead kiss to Anarkali. Can anything be so pathetic and depraved as showing two babies in "love"???

The 8-Year Leap
As it is, I don't know how 1 year went by so fast. No one celebrated Salim's birth or 1st birthday. :( 

But we were at least informed of the 8-year leap by a VO that announced that Salim was now 9 years old.

Who's the Mother of Murad
Murad entered the show on Tuesday as a 4-5 year old as did 9 year old Salim and an 18-19 year old Rahim.
But we have not been told till date who his mother is. Today we saw him being taken care of by Salima Begum as her son. But did she give birth to him? Or was he born to Jodha or any concubine and then given to Salima for upbringing? This question is vexing me. :(  
Murad is first of all far too younger here than in real life (compared to Salim). Secondly, yesterday we saw the beginning of a sibling rivalry between Murad and Salim.

Murad was miffed with Salim being given the right to keep the injured dove that he had shot down. Later he was further agitated to see a tuladan being performed for Salim and none for him. 

Somehow the idea of Murad being antagonistic towards Salim is hard to swallow. May be after they grew up, they may have had their share of power strugglebut to show them as "not getting along" right from childhood is stretching things a bit too far.

Adham Khan Junior 

If we thought we had at least seen the end of Mahamanga and Adham Khan, we were wrong. Adham Khan junior is a chip off the old block in mannerisms and temperament. He is as jealous of the crown prince as his father was of Jalal. 

Ekta is already preparing the ground for a confrontation between Salim on one hand and Murad and Khan Jr on the other hand. There were a couple of older boys whom I couldn't place. Let's see who they turn out to be and on whose side. 

Salim - The Confluence of AkDha

Salim seems to have acquired his mother's universal love for everyone around him, from a dove to his grandmother. This was clearly visible in the way he saved a dove just the way his mother had saved a dove and a deer before her marriage. 

But Salim is his father's son too. Just as Jalal had a fetish for collecting Jodha's payals, Salim seems to be developing a liking for Anarkali's ghungroos. 

It was unbelievable to watch Salim walk off alone into the heart of the city followed at a distance by an unarmed Rahim. Wasn't Salim supposed to be surrounded by 2-3 rings of security at all times, as ordered by Jalal himself after SD's botched attempt to attack Salim during JJ's temple visit? Even otherwise, who will allow a royal crown prince to walk off alone into the city just because he had heard some sounds coming from somewhere? (This walking off in a trance, upon hearing the ghungroos, was reminiscent of Jalal walking off towards Jodha upon hearing her sing, leaving everything.) 

But, while Jalal fell for Jodha as a 20-year old, Salim seems to be treading the path of "true love" right from infancy. And a doomed love at that. At least, Jalal got what he wanted. We know for sure that Salim will NEVER get Anarkali. If we didn't realise this ourselves, Shaguni Bai made sure we knew this. 

What Next

The SA track seems to be a case of "history repeats itself on a minor scale". Replace JJ with SA, Mahamanga with Ruq, AK with AK Jr, and there's another epic love on our screens. If Jalal had to contend with Hakim Mirza and AK, Salim has to contend with Murad and AK Jr. 

Ruq is laying stress on the fact that as a prince, Salim has the right to be impulsive and can well let his heart lead him. Already, we can see her laying the foundation upon which she will build a castle of resentment towards Jodha in Salim's impressionable heart. 

What We Didn't Get

We didn't get the other kids of AkDha. Even the one we got - Murad - has been assigned to someone else - Salima.

During the Ruq MC track, we had seen Jalal trying to scare Salima by pretending to be amorous and she had submitted herself to his advances like a sacrificial goat. Then how did Murad happen? Or is it that Murad is supposedly the child of a concubine who has been given to Salima for upbringing? 

We didn't get any war following Chittor. 

We didn't get to know what happened to Bakshi's daughter and SD and his father.

We didn't get the move to Sikri. 

We didn't get to see Akbar marrying any other princess.

What are we getting instead? Repeat scenes of JJ's "love" and "jealousy". Let's grow up. Jodha is living in a harem for 16 years now. Will she still try to stop her husband from going to other begums and will he still stay tied to her only?   

There's a lot of fiction to accept in coming weeks. It's almost like FF coming to life. Perhaps the CVs liked the FFs on IF more than the historical discussions, considering that there is a multitude of the former and just one thread for the latter. 

Perhaps the SA love track will be used to show JJ progressing through the various stages of love, as they grow older together? We may get to see in fast forward mode how Jodha was caught between her son and husband and chose to remain by the side of her husband, out of her devotion to him. 

I am trying to stay positive, because I don't want this fiction to affect me negatively. :)

You all are welcome to share your views, and discuss the episode... 
This article has been posted under the  Jodha-Akbar section of  history_geek's BLOG.

history_geek has updated the historical information related to children of Akbar and Mariam-Uz-Zamani here.>
Children of Akbar and Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum

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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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