Rani Durgavati, also known as Rani Durgavati of Gondwana, was a famous Indian queen who ruled the Gondwana Kingdom in central India during the 16th century. He is mainly remembered for defending Gondwana against the Mughal Empire.
Rani Durgavati was born on 5 October 1524 AD in the family of the famous Chandela emperor Kirat Rai. He was born in the fort of Kalinjar (Banda, Uttar Pradesh). Chandela dynasty in Indian history is famous for its brave king Vidyadhar who thwarted the invasions of Mahmud Ghaznavi.
In 1542, she was married to Dalpatshah, the eldest son of King Sangram Shah of the Gond dynasty. As a result of this marriage the Chandela and Gond dynasties came closer and this was the reason that Kirat Rai got the help of the Gonds and his son-in-law Dalpatshah during the invasion of Shershah Suri in which Shershah Suri died.
In 1545 AD, she gave birth to a son who was named Veer Narayan. Dalpatshah died around 1550 AD. Since Veer Narayan was very young at that time, Queen Durgavati took the reins of the Gond Empire in her hands.
Rani Durgavati is primarily remembered for her bravery and determination in defending her kingdom against external invasions, especially the forces led by Mughal emperor Akbar’s commander Asaf Khan. She became a symbol of resistance against foreign rule and oppression.
In 1564, Rani Durgavati faced a major Mughal attack, which she fought bravely. During the battle, she displayed immense courage and leadership, but unfortunately, she was ultimately defeated.
Realizing the dire situation, he chose to end his life rather than be captured by the Mughals. Actually, the queen was badly injured during the war. His mahout advised him to leave the battlefield but he refused and took out his dagger and sacrificed his life on the battlefield on June 24, 1564.
His sacrifice and commitment to protect his people and his kingdom established him as a great personality in Indian history. Rani Durgavati’s legacy continues to inspire people and her story is a testament to the indomitable spirit and courage of Indian women throughout history.