Padmin permeates our national consciousness as an iconic figure with immortal legancy. She emerges as a brave and worthly individual, capable of meticulous planning and flawless execution. She was also an extraordinarily brave, wise and virtuous women. The confluence of beauty, bravery, wisdom and virtue in the persona of one individual is, indeed, a very rare phenomenon.
No mutch known about Padmin’s family bachground and even the place where she came from as a bride into the ruling family of Mewar. However, she has been repeatedly mentioned in the Hindi literture as a relation of Gora and Badal who were Chauhans and have a haveli to their name in the fort of Chittor. Gora was supposed to be her uncle and Badal, the son of Gajanan, her cousin. Further detail of this relationship are not known. The earliest refernce to Padmini, to our present state of knowledge, is contained in Chhitai Charitra composed in AD 1526. This, however, is just a passing refernce, devoid of any detail about her.
According to Jayasi, Padmin was the daughter of King Gandharva Sen of Ceylon, and Rawal Ratan Singh went all the way to the Island seeking her hand. It took him eight long year to win her in marriage and bring her to Chittor to the great delight of his subjects. A number of other Hindi works on Padmini from the sixteenth century onward like the Gora Badal kavit by an anonymous writer, Gora Badal Padmini Choupai by Hem Ratan, Gora Badal Choupai by Jatmal Nahar, Padmini Charitra Choupai by Labdhodaya and khoman Raso by Daulat Vijay all insist that Padmini came from the Royal family of Singhaldeep,i.e. Celyon or Shri Lanka. Taking them seriously the, the royal family of Udaipur is believed to have invited a delegation from Shri Lanka to examine their antique ancestal ornaments. None of these could be eastablished to be of the Shri Lankan origin. The Celyonese connetion of Padmini is, therefore, highly improbable. Because Rana Ratan Singh had no time on hand for the Island adventure due to war cloud those time.
Col. Tod started compiling his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan in 1806 and completed 1829. Padmini is mentioned to be the daughter of King Hamir Sank (Hammir Singh Chauhan) of Ceylon in this work. Tod’s version is, of course, based largely on the Bardic sources, the reliability quotient of witch could not be very high for obvious reasons. In fact, as as per history, the contemporary ruler of Ceylon was King Prakaram Bahu 1V. this, in itself, should go a long way to negate the theory of the Ceylonese origin of our national herione.
Such a hot equatorial region is least likely to be overflowing with fair ladies of class of Padmini as made out in our Hindi litrerature.
Abul Fazal and Haji-ud-Davir do not describe her as Padmini by name, but as an extraordinarily beautiful women of the Padmini class. In fact Col.Tod also write that she was bestowed with the title of Padmini because of her exquisite beauty. Her maiden name may well be different and she may have been renamed Padmini.
Our scriptures divide women into four categories as per their physical, attributes, mental attitudes and spiritual inclinations- Sankhini, Hastini, chitrni and of course, the most cherished , Padmini. This is how these classes have been comprehensively describes by Labdhodaya in his Padmini Charitra Choupai.
The issue that need to be settled right now is that our Padmin could not have the Ceylonese background for several reasons. First, Cyelon is the least likely place for women of her class to be found. Secondly, Rawal Ratan singh had no time on hand to go all the way to Ceylon looking for something that could not even be likely to be found there. It is thus, reasonably clear that Ceylon got dragged in to the literature on Padmini only to add a dash of adventure to the romance of the story.
A place known as Pungal in Rajasthan itself has been traditionally famous for Padminis. Dainty-looking women of petite build and chiselled feature are even now found in some part of Rajasthan.
Gaurishankar Hirachand Ojha suggested that Padmini may have belonged to the village of Singholi, forty miles to the east of Chittor. Earlier the Amar kavya Vanshawalis had also mentioned Singoli as the place of birth of Padmini. Since the name of village rhymes well with Singhaldweep, it may have made the poets mind soar to the far away island.
Thus, if we are able to from a final view that our natinal heroine is a historic reality, then we shall also have to recocile to the fact that she did not come as a bride in to royal family of Mewar all the way form Ceylon, but from some place much nearer Chittor.
“Rani Padmini, The Heroine of Chittor.”written By B.K.karkra
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