Indian history abounds with captivating tales that introduce us to our rich and glorious past. Our past is so fascinating that the more we learn about it, the more intrigued we become. This is perhaps why Sanjay Leela Bhansali keeps making history-dramas. His upcoming film Padmavati is yet another such drama, based on the life of Rajput Queen Padmavati also known as Padmini, and it promises to bring one more interesting story from the annals of history.
The legend of Queen Padmavati is a tale of lust and war.
Though there is no strong evidence about the existence of Rani Padmavati, a famous poem by Malik Muhammad Jayas says that Padmavati was born in Sinhala Kingdom to King Gandharvsena and his wife Champavati.
From very small age, Padmavati was given war-related education and skills. She was always known for her bravery so a suitable groom was hard to find.
A swayamvar was organised to find a perfect husband for her where the challenge for men was to defeat a designated fighter in a sword battle. The special one to defeat the fighter will be the husband of Rani Padmavati.
However, no one knew that Rani Padmavati was the fighter in disguise herself. It was Raja Rawal Ratan Singh who managed to impress her by introducing her with defeat. As she lost the fight, she lost her heart to Raja.
Now, this is an interesting story and will tell you why it really deserved a Bollywood film.
Raja Rawal Ratan Singh’s court was employed by talented and skilful people and among them one was a painting artist named Raghav Chetan. Apart from making beautiful paintings, he used to tell Raja about the minor and major secrets of the palace.
However, one thing that he kept a secret was his habit of doing witchcraft. This was not the end as he used to kill the people who accidentally came to know his truth.
Rawal Ratan Singh was furious when he caught him red-handed. After much humiliation, he ordered Raghav to leave the kingdom.
This insult was unforgettable for Raghav Chetan who started plotting revenge. He settled down in a forest in Delhi where Alauddin Khilji (Th evil emperor who was known to invade kingdoms for their land and women) used to come for hunting.
One day, when Khilji entered the forest, Raghav Chetan started playing a melodious tone on his flute. The melody attracted Khilji and he decided to meet the man playing it. Now there was no stopping for Raghav who manage to trigger Khilji to attack Chittorh by narrating the beauty of Rani Padmavati.
Khilji agreed with Raghav Chetan but he wanted to meet Padmavati first. Soon he reached the Chittorh Fort and found it heavily guarded. He was dying to see Rani Padmavati now so he sent the message to Rawal Ratan Singh expressing his wish to meet the real beauty of Chittorh.
Rawal Ratan Singh approved his request and allowed the meeting. Khilji brought his best army men along with him and told them to observe and note down the security loopholes of the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Rani Padmavati was quite aware of Khilji’s history so she agreed to meet him but there was a condition that he will be able to see her reflection only. Big arrangements were made and mirrors were set in such a way that Khilji could only see her reflection. During the meeting, Khilji got obsessed with Padmavati and wanted to have her at any cost.
Khilji soon made a plan and invited Rawal Ratan Singh to his camp. When Rawal Ratan Singh visited the camp he was cheated and misleadingly prisoned by Khilji who then sent a message to Padmavati surrender.
A counter attack plan was then made by Rawal Ratan Singh’s nephew to save him and Padmavati including other women of the kingdom. However, Khilji soon attacked the Fort with even more power. Despite giving their best, the army men of Chittorh including Rawal Ratan Singh lost the surprise war.
Meanwhile, Rani Padmavati decided not being the victim of Khilji and his army. She encouraged other women to sacrifice their lives for the sake of prestige. All the women walked down the secret passage linked to the Jauhar Kund.
While singing the praises of their men and their bravery, all the women jumped into the fire. Rani Padmavati lead all the women and was first to jump. The whole area was filled with the sound of their cries.
The heat and sounds, coming out from the Jauhar Kund were so fierce that Khilji ordered to permanently close the tunnel passage.
The passage was reopened hundred years ago by the then King of Chittor who honoured these brave women.
So what do you think? Here is a trailer of the movie