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About Rani Durgavati

Context:

Recently, the Madhya Pradesh government launched a six-day rally called the Rani Durgavati Gaurav Yatra to commemorate the life and legacy of the 16th-century queen, Rani Durgavati, who fought against the Mughals.

Relevance:

GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Rani Durgavati
  2. Resistance against the Mughal Empire
  3. Legacy and Recognition

Rani Durgavati:

Early Life and Kingdom:
  • Birth in the Chandela dynasty: Rani Durgavati was born in 1524 in the Chandela dynasty of Mahoba, near the present-day border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Chandelas and the Khajuraho temples: The Chandela dynasty was known for constructing the famous Khajuraho temples in the 11th century.
  • Marriage and rule of Garha-Katanga: She married Dalpat Shah, son of Gond King Sangram Shah, and assumed the rule of the kingdom of Garha-Katanga after her husband’s death in 1550.
  • Extent of the kingdom: Garha-Katanga encompassed regions in the Narmada Valley and parts of northern Madhya Pradesh.
Resistance against the Mughal Empire:
  • Opposing Mughal expansion: Rani Durgavati staunchly opposed the Mughal Empire’s expansion in the mid-16th century.
  • Battles and leadership: She displayed strong leadership during battles against Asaf Khan, the commander of Akbar, and the neighboring Malwa Sultan Baz Bahadur.
  • Initial triumph and subsequent challenges: Initially, she succeeded in repelling Asaf Khan’s attack on her kingdom, but the Mughals regrouped and overwhelmed her forces.
  • Sacrifice rather than surrender: Instead of surrendering, Rani Durgavati chose to sacrifice her life in the face of Mughal dominance.
Legacy and Recognition:
  • Symbol of self-determination: Rani Durgavati is revered as a patriotic ruler who symbolized India’s spirit of self-determination.
  • Descriptions of her character: Abul Fazl, the court historian of Akbar, described her as a remarkable combination of beauty, grace, courage, and bravery.
  • Defender of culture: She is remembered for her sacrifices and her role as a defender of her culture against foreign invasions.

-Source: Indian Express


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