After the demise of the great Maharana Sanga the charismatic leader of Mewar who expanded the kingdom of Mewar in all directions, things took a huge turn for the Mewari’s. The kingdom which shattered the forces of Sultanates of Malwa, Gujarat, Delhi, and Mughal all of a sudden was defenseless.
Their leader who forged an unbreakable kingdom on his own now gone and his people were now surrounded from all directions by the enemies who were eagerly waiting for their vengeance.
The man who desperately wanted to invade the kingdom of Mewar was none other than Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Maharana Sanga had defeated and plundered Gujarat during his rule and now the Sultan wanted to do the same.
This is the story of the second Jauhar of Chittorgarh and how the outnumbered and defenseless people of Mewar fought against the rising force of Bahadur Shah.
Aftermath of Rana Sanga
Rana Sanga died in the year 1527 and was succeeded by his son, Ratna (Ratan) Singh. The reign of the newly crowned Maharana did not last long and his tenure only lasted for five years. Furthermore, during his rule, the relationship between Mewar and Hadas of Bundi deteriorated.
After him, his brother Vikramaditya also called Bikramjeet ascended the throne of Mewar and entitled himself as the new Maharana in the year 1531. However, Vikramaditya’s rule also ended very early but it was during his tenure when the forces of Sultanates marched against Mewar.
Invasion of Bahadur Shah: Second Jauhar of Chittorgarh
It was an ideal time for Bahadur Shah as Mewar had already lost his protector and the newly crowned king was only 14 years old and was guided by his mother Rani Karmavati. Bahadur Shah in the year 1531 was able to capture the fortress of Mandu from the Malwa Sultan Mahmud Khilji II.
He tried to invade Mewar in 1533 but at that time Rani Karmavati gave the invader the territory of Ranthambore. However, this agreement couldn’t halt the zeal of Bahadur Shah, and in 1534 when he pitched his camp near Bundi all things became clear and the Rajputs prepared for the final encounter against him.
In this onslaught, he was firmly aided by the Lodi Afghans and Mandu chiefs. Furthermore to make matters worse for Mewaris Bahdaur Shah was able to bring highly advanced Portuguese artillery with him.
Note: Vikramaditya and his younger brother Uday Singh were safely escorted to Bundi during the invasion of Bahadur Shah.
He used this weaponry to bombard the strong wall of Chittorgarh. Seeing this threat several Rajput rulers decided to aid Mewar and its queen at any cost.
Defenders of Chittorgarh
The fortress of Chittorgarh held a high prestige for all the Rajputs and they did everything they could to shield the centuries-old symbol of prestige.
Some of them were Bagh Sigh Rawat also called Baghji arrived for the protection of Mewar from Bundi. Rao Maldeo of Marwar also sent a contingent of his 500 Rathores. Rao Arjun of Bundi also arrived to safeguard Chittor with his 500 Hada Rajputs. The Songara Chauhans and Deora Raos of Jalor also joined Mewar.
Sajja Jhala the brother of Ajja who fought against the Mughal at the battle of Khanwa also came to help. Sajja fought heroicly in war and fought till his last he died at Hanuman Pol.
The son of Raimal Solanki Bhairav Das joined Mewar. He sacrificed his life while protecting the Bahirav Pol dwar of Chittorgarh Fort. Among these valiant and spirited men, there was a lady who decided to fight along with Mewari troops.
She was Jawahar Bai who fought till her last to defend Chittor. The artillery support brought by the Sultan played a key role in this campaign. Labri Khan the engineer of Frengan was able to dismantle and breach the walls of Chittor.
Jauhar of Queen Karmavati and Others
The Rajput men defended their prestigious fort with rare heroism and perished one after the other. Sajja Jhala who took the responsibility of defending the Hanuman Pol fought till his last and attained martyrdom at the very spot.
When defeat became certain Bagh Singh ji of Deolia took charge of the fort and ordered for Shaaka. The women prepared for Jauhar. Rani Karmavati led her 13000 Rajputnis to save their honor from the clutches of barbaric invaders. When Jahur was completed the remaining men came out of the fort and fell upon the invaders.
One by one they perished for the independence of Mewar. Bahadur Shah captured the fort on March 1535 after killing 32000 people of Chittorgarh. But the invading hordes couldn’t hold their hegemony over Mewar for long and when the Mughal emperor’s advance arrived the invaders retreated.
Several stories suggest that during the siege of Chittor Rani Karmavati sent a Rakhi to the then-Mughal Emperor Humayun and asked his help to send his troops for the protection of Mewar. In return the emperor arrived but it was too late as Bahadur Shah was able to capture Chittor and the women committed Jauhar to save their honor.
It is also suggested that Mughal emperor Humayun was aware of the fact that Bahadur Shah had declared Jihad on Mewar and decided not to engage himself in this holy war. It was after the battle that Humayun finally arrived and forced the sultan to retreat. However, nothing can be said with certainty about these stories.
But Mewar and its gallant troop defended their fortress till their last. The invasion of Bahadur Shah of Gujarat resulted in the Second Jauhar of Chittorgarh and the sacrifice of countless women like Rani Karmavati and warriors like Bagh Singh Ji, Sajja, and others.
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