Delhi Sultunate : Battle of Chittor

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Having ascended the Delhi throne, Alauddin Khalji saw the dreams of world conquest. He desired to become a second Alexander. To realize his ambition he led a aggressive campaigns against the neighbouring Hindu kingdoms without offering any sought of excuse. It was a view to expand his empire that in early 1303 A.D. Alauddin decided to take Chittor (Mewar) and so proceeded from Delhi. On 28th January he laid siege to this Rajput stronghold.

It is said that Alauddin in this invasion was led by his desire to possess Padmini, the exceptionally beautiful queen of Rana Ratan Singh of Mewar. Having laid siege to this fort Alauddin pitched his Shite Shamiana on the nearby Chittori hills. But all his efforts to take the fort proved futile and the siege lasted eight months. The Rajputs put up such a heroic fight that it compelled the admiration of even their enemies. However, the Rajputs could not hold against a superior enemy for long and Ratan Singh surrendered in August 1303. Even after a surrender Alauddin carried out a brutal massacre of the Hindus, whom he referred to as the non-believers or infidels, in the fort.


There is a popular story that when Alauddin failed in his design to possess Padmini, he agreed to lift the siege on the condition that Rana Ratan Singh allowed him to see the reflection of the charming face of Padmini in the mirror. When the Rana thus had shown to him the Padmini's face, accompanied the Sultan out of the fort to see him off, he was arrested in a treacherous manner. Padmini with great ingenuity got her husband released from the clutches of the enemy. Realising that the Rajputs had no chance of a victory over the invaders, thousands of Rajput women led by Rani Padmini prformed the rite of Jauhar i.e. self-immolation to save their honour.

When on his victory Alauddin entered Chittor, he found it a desolate, lifeless city laying in a ruined state. He changed the name of Chittor to 'Khizrabad' and after appointing his son Khizar Khan the Governor of Chittor, the Sultan returned to Delhi.

After the conquest of Chittor, almost the whole of north India passed under the subjection of Alauddin. The Rajputs constantly harassed their new rulers and for this reason Kaljis could not keep their hold on Chittor for long. In 1311, Khizar Khan laid down his office in frustration, and Alauddin was compelled to appoint Maldev in his place. He had hoped that Maldev would be able to keep the rebellious Rajputs under leash and ensure regular flow of taxes to Delhi. But soon after the death of Alauddin (1316), Hamir Dev, the Rana of Ranthambhor and chief of a small branch of Guhila Rajputs, drove out Maldev and recaptured Chittor, the capital of his ancestors.

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