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Friday, June 26, 2015

Farman of Mughal Emperor Akbar to protect a 'Brahmin of Mathura' + Scan of Original Persian Document | Connection with Maharana Pratap, Ajabde Bai Sa & Mariam-Uz-Zamani


Today, I am sharing a Farman which was given by Mughal Emperor Akbar to a Brahmin who lived in the suburbs of Mathura. This farman is first in the series of farmans, given by the Emperor to prevent this Brahmin saint - Shri Vithal Rai, from harassment at the hands of Imperial Mughal officers. The Emperor had given clear orders that no one should interfere with this Brahmin as regards his faith etc. and they should allow him to worship as per his custom, keeping the welfare of the Empire in mind.

A few months back, another farman was posted on the blog, which was granted by the mother of Mughal Emperor Akbar - Hamida Bano Begum, to the same Brahmin. She had to give the farman because, even after the farmans of the Emperor to this Brahmin, he was harassed by the Mughal officers. The farman by Hamida Bano Begum was to confirm the earlier farman of Akbar(mentioned in present post) given in same regard, in order to give more weight to the Emperor's order.

This Brahmin was a very famous saint and was the son of Shri Vallabhacharya. The disciples of this Brahmin saint include the following people - 

a. Mariam-Uz-Zamani / Harka Bai, First Rajput Wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar
b. Maharani Ajabde Bai Sa, First Wife of Mewar's Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap

c. Raja TodarMal,
d. Raja Birbal,
e. Baz Bahadur of Malwa(wife - Rani Rupmati),
f. Tansen, 
g. Raja Man Singh of Amer

Note :
Akbar and Maharana Pratap were fierce enemies of each other who fought against each other throughout their lives, yet their wives had the same saint as their 'Guru'(religious master) . This is because both of them were devotees of Lord Krishna, and this saint, whose name was Shri Vithal Rai, was a devotee of Shri Nath Ji, a form of Lord Krishna. He was the son of Shri Vallabhacharya & propagated the cult of Krishna Bhakti (devotion to Lord Krishna), which had been started by his father. For this reason, he was harassed by Mughal officials.

Emperor Akbar's officers did NOT always demonstrate the same tolerance as the Emperor, towards other faiths. There are several incidents of harassments at the hands of Imperial officials. The number of farmans issued by the Emperor to 'protect' the saint prove this assertion. 

This point was also raised by S.A.I Tirmizi, Deputy Director of Historical Archives, Govt. of India. While discussing Farmans issued by Mughal ladies, he mentioned that many times, the officials ignored the farmans issued by the Emperor and harassed the common folk. In such situations, the commonfolk often sought help from the Mughal ladies, who then issued farmans to redress the grievances of the common petitioners. Examples :
Farman of Wali Nimat Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum  |  She gave this farman, as a warning, and asked the official under question to return the Jagir to it's righful owner which was usurped by the Mughal official.
Farman of Hamida Bano Begum | Discussed at the end of this post.

Lord Krishna in the form of Shri Nath Ji, Painting : Udaipur

A separate detailed post is coming soon about this saint and his relation with these contemporary personalities..

Shri Vithal Rai Ji

Near Udaipur, in Mewar, there is a very beautiful temple dedicated to Shri Nath Ji, which is held sacred by BOTH Hindus and Muslims alike. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had tried his best to destroy the idol of Shri Nath Ji. Note that this temple is located in the former palace of Maharani Ajabde Bai Sa, First wife of Maharana Pratap.

Initially, the idol was present and worshipped in Goverdhan in Mathura. But, in 1669, it was taken from there into the protection of Rana Rai Singh of Mewar as, only he was deemed fit who could protect the idol. There is a farman of Aurangzeb, dated 9th April, 1669, issuing orders for the destruction of idols.

The following is the order/farman of Mughal Emperor Akbar:



Seal : Jalal-ud-din Muhammed Akbar Padshah 'Ghazi*'

The Farman of Jalal-ud-din Muhammed Akbar Padshah 'Ghazi*'

Contents (Approximate English translation):

" As Vithal Das*, indisputably a prayer-offerer (for our well-being) is a resident of the town of Gokul*, it is vital that no one out of the servants of the World-protecting Court, and others besides them, should
harass the above mentioned indisputable prayer-offerer (well-wisher), his relatives and retainers, and by no manner of means should demand or call for anything(ransom) from them. 

They must allow him to live in his place and home, he should be left easy at heart, so that he might engage himself in praying for our daily increasing fortune and the perpetuity of our eternity allied dignity. They must act according to what is written, and should not go contrary to it.

Written on 29th of Jamadi the Second Hijri 985 (Friday 13th September A. D. 1577).. "



I could obtain a photocopy of the Persian Farman, though it was too much tattered.
Thankfully, this document could be scanned. Here it is :


1. Gokul is a small town in Mathura district of present day Uttar Pradesh state of India. The place is associated with Lord Krishna, as per Hindu Mythology.

2. A farman of this nature by Hamida Bano Begum (to confirm the order of Akbar) bestowed to Vithal Rai, raises some pertinent points. 

This Brahmin must have been held in high favor/regard by Hamida Bano Begum, hence such an order. She would not go out of her way to grant him this favor. This also shows that the Royal ladies were not ONLY confined to the 4 walls of the harem, but also could interact with (select) people and were aware of the developments in the kingdom. It is not surprising that a royal lady has issued this farman, unless the person under consideration has impressed her greatly. Of course, such farmans were not gifted out to everyone, but only a few people of high repute.

3. This Vithal Rai was one of the two sons of a great saint of Mathura, Vallabhacharya, who had impressed Mughal Emperor Akbar by his divine views. He was the 'guru'(religious master) of many eminent personalities as listed in the post above.

4. Ghazi means slayer of infidels. This was a title present in the name of Mughal Emperor Akbar.

5. Note the date of this farman : It is 1577 - this was the time around which Akbar's policies started to have a great change "in reality".

The copy of this farman{order} has been sourced from the President House's Library, New Delhi.

Related Posts:
Farman of Wali Nimat Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum
Farman of Hamida Bano Begum
Farman of Begum Saheb Jahanara
Rare Stone Inscription recently found about the Battle of Haldighati

This article has been posted under the Mughals(Akbar) and Rajputs section of this Blog.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chetak and Maharana Pratap ~ An Eternal Legend ~ An Unforgettable Tale | Story of a Warrior & His Horse - With Pictures

" Meekily i pray to thee O My Creator! 
Grant me in Charity the life of my Chetak,
If that be asking too much,
I beg at least for the loan of life of my Chetak that i may continue the struggle "

 ---- A teary eyed Maharana Pratap when 
Chetak was breathing his last,
Battle of Haldighati, 18th June 1576


Hi all..


Today is 18th June -- the 439th Anniversary of the Battle of Haldighati, about which an article has been posted just now. Here is the Link : RARE 400 year old Inscription about the Battle of Haldighati ON it's 439th Anniversary

It also happens to be the 439th death anniversary of Chetak - the horse of Maharana Pratap - who was no ordinary horse, whose faithfulness to his master is still a thing talked about in Rajasthan. While we pay a lot of tributes to the rulers in history, let us spare some time and remember this horse who remained faithful to its master till its end. 

On this day, posting an article about Chetak - the Maharana's legendary horse. The names of the Maharana and Chetak are inseparable & theirs is an eternal~~legend & an unforgettable tale.

Here's a story of a legendary king and his battle's'.

But it's also a story about a horse...

From a story of an eternal tree to an eternal legend. . .
Come, listen, to an unforgettable tale of a MAN and his HORSE!

This story comes from Rajasthan, a land that is part desert and part mountainous. The many clans of Rajputs who live in this inhospitable land are as fierce as the sun that beats down on them and as strong as the Aravalli mountains that run along the state's eastern boundary. They bring colour and life to an otherwise barren land.

Nearly a thousand years(800+) ago, the clan of Rathores moved into Marwar. There they found one of the greatest treasures of all times " the Marwari horse. Do you know that it is one of five indigenous horse breeds of India?

Well, on with my story. The beauty, spirit, intelligence and loyalty of the horse amazed the settlers; they went about the business of breeding them. In a few hundred years, Rathores and other Rajputs had an impressive cavalry of over 50,000 men. From then on began the great 'romance' of Rajput warriors and their marwaris.

Maharana Pratap selecting horses for his army brought by the Arab traders. Chetak(on right side in white color) was also one of them.

Rana Udai Singh, a Rajput ruler, was defeated at Chittor in 1568. He had to leave his capital to form a new one at Udaipur. Four years later his son Rana Pratap Singh took the reins of Mewar and for the next 25 years, ruled with courage, patriotism and determination.

Shall I now begin one of the greatest "love" stories, one of a warrior king and his horse?

Then came a supreme test of the Maharana's kingship.

In 1576 the imperial army of Mughal Emperor Akbar made its way to capture Udaipur. Maharana Pratap and his men waited at the entrance to a narrow one-km long pass in the Aravalli Mountains. The pass called Haldighati was the access to Mewar for the advancing army. A bloody battle was fought between the armies. People still remember the courage and loyalty of his men and his horse.

Statue of Chetak in City Palace of Udaipur

Chetak, for that was the name of his horse, proved to be a marwari horse and more. In the thick of the battle, the tusk of the elephant of Raja Man Singh(fighting for Akbar) tore through one of Chetak's rear legs and crippled it. But the horse would not give up. With his wounded king on the saddle, Chetak made his way back to safety on his three good legs and collapsed.

Maharana Pratap in grief at the death of his 'Beloved' horse Chetak - Battle of Haldighati(1576)

Picture of portrait from the Haldighati Museum

Another remarkable act of loyalty which the king could never forget was of his trusted aide Jhala Man Singh (not to be confused with Raja Man Singh of Amer) who grabbed the Maharana's royal crown and wore it, as the Mughal army closed in on him. The deception worked. While the enemy soldiers followed the "king" and killed him. Maharana Pratap was unharmed..

Chetak's Tomb at the place of death

Close View

Maharana Pratap with Chetak breathing his last - Model from Haldighati Museum

Beautiful, isn't it?

The years after the Battle of Haldighati were difficult for the ruler of Mewar. Living in the jungles, sleeping on straw and eating off leaf plates, the warrior king, his family and his subjects continued their fight to recapture their land from the MOST powerful MAN of his times - Mughal Emperor Akbar, but never surrendered. In 25 years, the king regained his kingdom except the Fort of Chittor & Mandalgarh

Picture from Haldighati Museum - Maharana Pratap on Chetak instilling confidence in his soldiers

On his death bed, he made his successor and eldest son Amar Singh promise that as long as Mewar was not completely won back, no ruler should eat off gold or silver plates and sleep on mattresses. So, this was a MAN who lived and died up to his IDEALS.!

Even today, the Mewar Royal Family places a leaf under their plate and straw under their beds to keep the promise made to Maharana Pratap 400 years BACK.!! 

Info on Haldighati

Chetak Breathing it's Last in the Lap of Maharana - Slab at Haldighati Memorial

This was the moment when Chetak was injured by the weapons in the tusk of Raja Man Singh's elephant.


1. Maharana Pratap used to carry 2 swords with him, always. It can be very well seen in each portrait posted here. 

It is said that the 2 swords were kept by him for a special reason. In case his enemy was without a weapon, one of the swords was given to the enemy, as it was against 'Rajput' code of warfare to attack an unarmed person..

2. Some contents of this article have been borrowed from an article which appeared in The Hindu.


About brave battles and true grit
When all that history is writ
There will sit saddled, one great name
Within the heroes’ hall of fame
The horse Chetak’s, a Marwari
A breed that would the least tarry.

Folklore etched their names in gold
Paeans are sung, stories told
Of rider and the brave blue horse
Now, more renowned the horse of course
In harness he died, one great name
Years pass, but not that horse’s fame.  

To be continued.....

Info from Haldighati Memorial

 This article has been posted under the Rajputs section of history_geek's BLOG.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Rare Contemporary Stone Inscription about the Battle of Haldighati found near Udaipur

Hi all

Today i am posting some information relating to the Battle of Haldighati. A rare stone inscription about this battle was recently found in Rajasthan. After a lot of treatment with various cleaning agents, the inscription appeared readable. The inscription was in Sanskrit language. The English translation of the same is given below. And this is the appropriate time to discuss the same.

The reason is - 18th June happens to be the 439th anniversary of the Battle of Haldighati, which was fought between the forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar and Rajput King MahaRana Pratap on 18th June, 1576. The battle is quite famous. 

There is another post about the horse of Maharana Pratap - Chetak. Here is the link :  Chetak and Maharana Pratap - An Eternal Legend , An Unforgettable Tale

What the inscription tells us ?
The Mughal Army under Raja Man Singh was compelled to leave Gogunda on 27th September 1576, after continuous fighting with the forces of Maharana Pratap. Gogunda was the only place which came under Mughal occupation after the Battle of Haldighati, that too after 5 days, on 23rd June 1576, due to the resistance offered. But this was taken back after 3 months on 27th September 1576. The inscription is a rare piece of great historical value. It gives an insight into the victory celebration of MahaRana Pratap after regaining Gogunda.

Just for information : Mughal Emperor Akbar had forbidden his favorite general Asaf Khan & Raja Man Singh from the Mughal Court, in anger, after the Battle of Haldighati. Akbar never considered Battle of Haldighati a success because despite using his best resources and even after pouring in a lot of financial assets, his task remained incomplete. He had aimed at the elimination of Rana and subjugation of Mewar. Though, this did not happen. On the other hand, Gogunda, which was captured after 5 days of the battle of Haldighati(on 23rd June), was also lost. Asaf Khan was also the hero of the earlier victorious campaigns like the Battle against Rani Durgavati and the 3rd Siege of Chittor to name a few.

Location of the inscription:
The inscription was found at The Lakshmi Narayan Temple at a small & very less known Kharasan village in the Bhindar tehsil of Rajasthan, PIN : 313602. The inscription is of great historical significance and is located inside the main mandapa of the temple. It was found between the two pillars at a height of 7 feet on the left of the garbh griha - place where the deity is placed. 

Condition of the inscription:
The right edge of the inscription was embedded in white plaster which was applied in later times, to repair the temple. This plaster made most of the inscription unreadable. The inscription was found in a bad condition, which was full of scratches and damaged letters.

Efforts to retrieve & understand the inscription:
After a lot of efforts, the inscription was first coated with a layer of oil paint. This partially removed the stains of other paints. Many of the letters which had cement and scratches still remained almost unreadable. At last, a layer of vermilion was also applied on the inscription. 

The inscription gives information about Maharana Pratap, architect, workers and helper/founder of the temple with several names of Vishnu.

Credits for this entire excellent translation goes to my friend Rasika. 
Here is the translation:: 

We Pray/salute to Him who is called Govind, Keshav, Janardan, Vaasudev. He is omnipresent, the One who killed demon Madhu. He is the God of whole universe. He is lotus naveled , the supreme being , having eyes like a blue lotus. He is the Supreme spirit/God. He is imperishable and permanent and Nrusimha (now commonly known as Narasimha - the half lion, half man avatar of Vishnu). We salute to Him. 

We sing praises to the Gods and describe (the valor of) the King (who) defeated/killed (his) enemies and liberated himself. The King and his servants/men those who are in our(God's) protection.

(This is) was written on the day of Year [Samvat] 1632, [Shake] 1498 ; when Sun is moving southwards, (in) season of autumn, (in) the sacred month of Ashwin, (on) fifth day of bright lunar fortnight ; Time of day 8 hours after sunrise.. {In English calendar this means the year was 1576, the same date when Gogunda was won.}

On Friday, when there is Anuradha Nakshtra, at time of dawn on the day when there are Siddha Yoga (related to astrology), Ravi Yoga and Simha Yoga all the three together, this (scripture about) the victory of The King of Kings Maharana Pratapsimha was written. 

By the greatness/valor (of) Jagannath, Kavar Rama... till Hema,(These are names of people involved) and their leader Bhima bapa Manik, it was written. May auspiciousness be unto all. 

Only some images could be procured. They are present below. As more images are procured, they will be posted. Copyright of all the images used here rest with Rana Arvind Singh Ji, Present Head of the House of Mewar..
Laxmi Narayan Temple

Condition of the inscription before cleaning

Surface Cleaning with soft & hard brush

Filling the engraved letters of the inscription by paste of lime and marble powder

After cleaning

This article has been posted under the Rajputs section of this history BLOG.

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