Rani Durgavati

Rani Durgavati

Context : 

To kick off the six-day “Veerangana Rani Durgavati Gaurav Yatra,” an endeavour of the State government to honour the heritage of the 16th-century Gondwana kingdom queen Rani Durgavati, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will travel to Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday.

Who was Rani Durgavati?

  • Birth And Heritage:
      1. Rani Durgavati was born to the renowned Chandel emperor Keerat Rai on October 5, 1524, during the Chandel dynasty.
      2. The Chandel dynasty was well known for its brave king Vidyadhar, who thwarted Mahmud of Ghazni’s invasions.
      3. The famed Khajuraho temples and the Kalanjar fort are examples of the dynasty’s love of sculpting.
  • Marriage and Alliance
      1. In 1542, Rani Durgavati wed Dalpatshah, the Gond dynasty’s eldest son and the son of King Sangramshah.
      2. The Chandel and Gond dynasties became more closely knit as a result of the union.
      3. The Gonds and Dalpatshah supported Rani Durgavati’s father Keerat Rai during Sher Shah Suri’s invasion, which resulted in Sher Shah’s demise.
  • Leadership and Widowhood:
      1.  In the year 1545, Rani Durgavati gave birth to a son by the name of Vir Narayan.
      2. Around 1550, Rani Durgavati assumed leadership of the Gond kingdom following the passing of her husband Dalpatshah.
  • Adhar Kayastha and Man Thakur, two ministers, assisted her in running the government.
      1. The kingdom’s capital was transferred from Singaurgarh to Chauragarh, an essential fort in the Satpura hill range.
  • Defeating Bajbahadur:
      1.  In 1556, Sujat Khan’s son Bajbahadur took control of the Malwa province.
      2. The stormy romance between Bajbahadur and Rani Roopmati gained notoriety.
      3. Rani Durgavati’s reputation was improved when Bajbahadur tried to attack her but was soundly defeated.
  • Interactions with the Mughals:
      1. In 1562, Akbar annexed the Malwa province to the Mughal Empire.
      2. The Mughal dynasty and Rani Durgavati’s realm had direct interaction.
      3. Ramchandra, the monarch of Rewa, was vanquished by Abdul Majid Khan, a Mughal subedar who was drawn to Rani Durgavati’s state by her wealth.
      4. Abdul Mazid Khan invaded Rani Durgavati’s realm with Akbar’s approval and was motivated by imperialism and expansionism.
  • Battle and Defence: 
      1. Rani Durgavati decided to defend her realm and set up camp in Narrai, a valley bounded by the Gaur and Narmada rivers on either side of a mountainous ridge.
      2. She led a valiant defence despite having outnumbered and inadequately equipped forces.
      3. After her Fauzdar Arjun Das was murdered, Rani Durgavati took charge of the defence alone.
      4. Her forces triumphed after effectively repelling the Mughal army and pursuing them.
  • Final Battle and Sacrifice:
      1.  The Mughals reassembled, and Asaf Khan ordered heavy artillery the following morning.
      2. Rani Durgavati persisted in the battle while mounted on her elephant Sarman.
      3. Her son Vir Narayan put up a heroic fight that repeatedly forced the Mughal army to turn back.
      4. Sadly, Vir Narayan was hurt in the conflict.
      5. Even though she was hit by arrows, Rani Durgavati remained conscious.
      6. She refused to leave the battlefield despite knowing that she would soon be defeated and killed herself with a dagger.
      7. As “Balidan Diwas” (Martyrdom Day), June 24, 1564, is remembered as the day she was crucified.
  • Legacy and Honours: 
      1. Rani Durgavati was renowned for her administrative prowess, beauty, bravery, and fearlessness.
      2. Rani Durgavati and her son Veer Narayan are well known for their connections to the Madan Mahal Fort in Jabalpur.
      3. In her honour, the University of Jabalpur was renamed Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1983.
      4. On June 24, 1988, the Indian government released a postage stamp in memory of her.
      5. The Durgavati Express (11449/11450) runs between Jabalpur Junction and Jammutawi and is named for the Queen.
      6. The third Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) of its kind, ICGS Rani Durgavati, was commissioned by the Indian Coast Guard on July 14, 2018.
      7. On June 24, 1988, the Indian government honoured her by releasing a postal stamp in remembrance of her martyrdom.

Why was the queen in the news recently?

  1. The ‘Veerangana Rani Durgavati Gaurav Yatra,’ a six-day programme organised by the State government, would be launched in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, during Amit Shah’s visit there.
  2. The yatra aims to honour the legacy of Queen Durgavati, a prominent figure from the 16th-century Gondwana kingdom.
  3. The yatra has five routes that leave from various points in Madhya Pradesh. The Vindhya and Mahakoshal regions, where Queen Durgavati is greatly honoured, are two areas where tribes predominate.
  4. 21% of the people of Madhya Pradesh are tribal. The yatra seeks to establish relationships with and win the support of the tribal groups.
  5. Madhya Pradesh has 230 Assembly seats, 47 of which are set aside for tribal groups.