Sunday, 7 December 2014

Heartrending love story - Sultan Baz Bahadur and Queen Roopmati of Malwa,India



Rani Roopmati &Sultan Baz Bahadur hunting. onlineonly.christies.com

Miyan  Bayezid Baz  Bahadur was the last sultan of Malwa (1555 to 1562) and  became a ruler after his father - Shuja'at Khan. Malwas is in the Madhya Pradesh state of India. Buz Bahadur was known for his romantic liaison with Roopmati, a singer of Rajput birth and married her according to Muslim and Hindu rites.
Baz Bahadur, ever so fond of music, was the last independent ruler of Mandu. Once out on a hunting trip, Baz Bahadur chanced upon a shepherdess having fun and singing with her friends. Smitten by both her enchanting beauty and her melodious voice, he begged Roopmati to accompany him to his capital. Roopmati at last agreed to go to Mandu upon one condition that she would live in a palace within the sight of her beloved and venerated river, Narmada. Thus was built the Rewa Kund - huge water tank to supply water to Roopmati's  palce near the river at Mandu to fulfill Roopmati's wish. Deeply in love with Roopmati,  the Sultan spent most his time with her and as a result he failed to concentrate on the administration of his kingdom. His army became weak and the kingdom was prone to attacks from other rulers.
Rani Roopmati &Sultan Baz Bahadur of Malwa,India.britishonlineonly.com
Unfortunately, the romance of this Muslim prince and the Hindu shepherdess was short-lived, doomed and, as ill-luck would have it, ended up in tragedy. The great Mogul emperor Akbar sent his powerful army led by one Adham Khan and Pir Muhammad Khan to invade Mandu and capture Roopmati and Baz bahadur. The small, insignificant army of Buz Bahadur was no match for the great Mogul army; Sultan was easily defeated in the battle at Sarangpur on 29th March,1561 and his capital Mandu  was captured.
Baz Bahadur fled to Khandesh to seek help. When Adham Khan came to Mandu, he was at once captivated by the beauty of Roopmati. Anticipating what would happen to her after capture, Rani Roopmati stoically consumed poison upon hearing Madu's fall and died. Thus the curtain abruptly came down on this magical love affair between a royal ruler and an ordinary bewitching beauty. This heart-wrenching love story is steeped in music, poetry and beauty and no one can overlook the underlying pathos and sacrifice in it..
In the meantime with the help of other rulers, Buz Bahadur regained his kingdom for a short period but subsequently was
Mandu city of stones and marbles,Madya Prasesh,India.karmaindia.com
defeated  and arrested by Akbar's army led by Abdullah Khan)(1570).

The Rewa Kund is a  reservoir built by Baz Bahadur at Mandu, equipped with an aqueduct to supply Roopmati's palace with water. Today, the site is revered as a holy spot. Baz Bahadur's Palace was built in the early 16th century, Its spacious courtyard fringed with halls, and high terraces set in a beautiful place enhances the grandeur look of the palace. This divine beauty was at peace with herself with her favorite river Narmada and her husband near-by. Rani Roopmati's Pavilion was built as an army observation post which also served as Roopmati's retreat. 
Ref
Khare, M.D. (ed.) (1981). Malwa through the Ages, Bhopal: Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of M.P., pp.365-7
Wikipedia.org