Story of Hammir Chauhan - Hammir Hath is famous for Promise

Story of Hammir Chauhan - Hammir Hath is famous for Promise, it tells about life history of Hammir Chauhan of Ranthambhore who fought with Alauddin Khilji.

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Hammir Chauhan was the youngest son of the Jaitra Singh and queen Hira Devi among his three sons.

The name of the two elder brothers of Hammir were Suratrana and Virama.When Jaitra Singh was going to retire, he had to choose a successor to the throne.

So, he started to observe all the three of his sons and found that Hammir as his more.

Hammir had all those qualities that should be in a king and warrior. In 1282 CE, a coronation ceremony was conducted by Jaitra Singh in which Hammir was enthroned as the ruler of Ranthambore.

After becoming the ruler and gaining all the control upon the administration, he followed Digvijay policy and started to extend the boundaries of his kingdom till 1288 CE.

After performing Digvijay policy, Hammir organized Koti Yajnas, which leads to increase his popularity and reputation among the peoples.

He defeated Mewar ruler and occupy it and also established his panache in the whole Rajasthan.

According to a Jain scholar Nayachandra, Hammir was generous towards Brahmins, he respects all the religions and India faiths including Jainism.

Hammir Chauhan and Jalaluddin Khilji


During that time, maladministration prevailed due to the weakness of the Sultan of Delhi. So, because of these conditions, Hammir got and a nice opportunity to enhance and increase his powers by capturing Delhi.

As Jalaluddin Khilji became the Sultan of Delhi in 1290 CE, he observed and decided to eliminate the increasing power of Hammir Chauhan.

Because he was afraid that if Hammir capture Delhi, he (Jalaluddin) had to get away from Hammir’s way or Hammir will eliminate him.

Then Jalaluddin made a plan, he captured Jhain and surrounded Ranthambore, but even after all the efforts made by his army, the army of Sultan became unsuccessful and was forced to go back to Delhi by the Rajput.

After this failure, Jalaluddin once again tried to conquer Ranthambore in the 1292 CE (around two years from the past attack).

But because of Hammir’s successful and diplomatic counteractions, Jalaluddin became unsuccessful again and this time he has to face an excessive loss.


Then after, Jalaluddin removed the enclosure from the fort and said, “I do not give importance to hundreds of forts like this in comparison to a single strand of hair of Muslim”.

Amir Khusrau, who was the eye witness of all these campaigns conducted by Jalaluddin Khilji, had portrayed these campaigns in his book “Miftah ul Futuh” in an extended way.

And in the future also, when Alauddin Khilji became the ruler of Delhi by assassinating his uncle Jalaluddin Khilji the quarrels and battles with Hammir and Alauddin were in progress.

Hammir was a brave and lionhearted ruler and a soldier. He faced many rulers in his lifetime, some of them were even stronger than him.

But he hadn’t left the battlefield and fought with bravery. He was also very kind for the peoples of his kingdom and to those who wanted help from him.

Hammir Chauhan and Alauddin Khilji


Alauddin Khilji enthroned himself as the Sultan of Delhi by assassinating his uncle in the year 1296 CE.

Few years after becoming the Sultan of Delhi, he started to attack upon Ranthambore. His main objectives to attack upon Ranthambore were:

1. Strategically, Ranthambore was very important. Alauddin wanted to occupy that powerful fort and establish his panache upon Rajput Kings.

2. Ranthambore was quite close to Delhi. And Alauddin was afraid of the increasing power of the Chauhan and wanted to finish them.

3. Before Alauddin, his uncle Jalaluddin Khilji tried twice to occupy the fort, but he remained unsuccessful. So, Alauddin wished to avenge the failure of his uncle.

4. Alauddin was an imperialist and ambitious ruler. Because of this he attacked upon Ranthambore.

Hammir gave protection to Alauddin’s rebels


According to “Hammir Mahakavya” written by Nayanchandra Suri, one reason for the attack made by Alauddin on Ranthambore was that, Hammir Chauhan had given protection to Alauddin Khilji’s rebel commander Mir Muhammad.

Isami, the Muslim historian also confirmed this caused in his deception or his text. He had written that, in 1299 CE Alauddin Khilji sent his two commanders Nusrat Khan Ulugh Khan to invade Gujarat.

After capturing Gujarat, when the royal army was returning, then because of the issues of division of the booty, the “Nav-Muslims” revolted against them near Jalore.

Those Nav Muslims were Mongols, who had settled in India during the region of Jalaluddin Firoz Khilji and had accepted Islamic religion.

The rebels were supressed brutally, but among those rebels, Muhammad Shah and his brother Kamru were becoming successful from in running away from there.

They went to Ranthambore for help and Hammir not only provided them shelter and security, but also conferred the Jagir of “Jagana” to Muhammad Shah.

According to the composition “Hammir Hath” inscribed by Chandrashekhar, Muhammad Shah had fallen in love with a Maratha wife of Alauddin.

And both of them (Muhammad Shah and Alauddin’s wife) became united and made a plan to eliminate Alauddin Khilji from their way.

But Alauddin got information about their plan in due time, he made efforts to imprison Muhammad.

But that time he successfully fled away and reached to Hammir’s heaven.Seeing this Alauddin demanded to hand over those rebels to him.

But Hammir denied that demand.This thing made Alauddin mad at Hammir and Alauddin’s army attacked upon Ranthambore.

Initial Success of Hammir


At the end of 1299 CE, Alauddin Khilji sent an army to attack and occupy Ranthambore under the joint leadership of Ulugh Khan, Alap Khan and Nusrat Khan.

This army occupied Jhain which is also known as “Ranthambore Ki Kunji”. According to Isami (Historian) after occupying Jhain, Ulugh Khan changed the name of “Jhain” to “Nav Shahar”.

According to “Hammir Mahakavya” it is written that at that time when the royal army had occupied Jhain. Hammir had just completed his “Koti Yajna” and was busy in “Muni Vrat”.

Because of these reasons, instead of going himself, he sent his two commanders, Bhim Singh and Dharam Singh to the defeat and reoccupy Jhain.

Both of these commanders attacked upon Khilji’s army very powerfully and pushed them backwards, and also seized the looted goods.

The Rajput army attacked upon Khilji’s army in which his (Alauddin Khilji’s) army had to face defeat.

The Hammir’s army made two groups, one group will take the looted booty and returned to Ranthambore while the other group will stay there.

The first group was led by Dharam Singh and the other group was led by Bhim Singh. Taking advantage of this situation the scattered royal army attacked upon Bhim Singh and his army under the leadership of Alap Khan.

And in this sudden attack, Bhim Singh got killed with hundreds of his companions.

Everyone was shocked after getting the news of the death of Bhim Singh and his companions, Hammir held Dharam Singh responsible for this incident. Hammir made him blind as punishment and made Bhojraj as the new minister in his court.

As a minister Bhojraj had to control upon the disfigured situation of the kingdom, but he became unsuccessful in that task and soon become unpopular among the peoples.

In those conditions, Dharam Singh suggested and convinced Hammir for increasing the revenue in the kingdom and to reoccupy his old titles.

Dharam Singh was waiting for the right time to avenge his insult and he got an opportunity. He imposed several taxes on the subjects and started to collect them forcefully.

And on the other hand, Bhojraj got angered and bamboozle Hammir by going to Alauddin Khilji’s court. Bhojraj tempt Sultan to attack upon Ranthambore and capture it.

Sultan got interest and sent his army to conquer Ranthambore, but the Chauhan’s army was very strong.

And they badly defeated the royal army in the battle which took place in the Valley of Hinduvat.

After getting information about such an insulting defeat of his army, Alauddin got angry and again sent a massive army to capture Ranthambore under the leadership of Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan.

This army occupied Jhain fort. After conquering Jhain, Ulugh Khan sent a message from Alauddin Khilji to Hammir Chauhan via Mehalnasi. Mehalnasi was an ambassador at Hammir’s court.

In that message, Alauddin demanded to hand over both of his rebels, Muhammad Shah and Kamru and also demanded for the hand of Hammir’s daughter Devaladevi for himself.

After hearing this, Devaladevi suggested Hammir to accept this proposal for the security of the kingdom, but Hammir rejected the proposal and chose the option of the struggle.

Alauddin’s commander Ulugh Khan surrounded the fort of Ranthambore and built Pashibs and Gargachs on all the four sides of the fort and throwing stones to fort keepers through Magrabs.

In the fort also, various Makrati Yantras, Thikuliya and Bhairav Yantras were present and were installed to shower stones on the enemies.

Nusrat Khan got injured by the hit of a stone and after a few days, he died. Because of this incident, the royal army became sad and desperate.

Hammir took advantage of this condition and he came out of the fort and started an attack upon the royal army.

Because of that sudden and such a violent attack, Ulugh Khan and the royal army were forced to move back from Jhain.

Alauddin reaches and occupying Ranthambore


After the defeat of the royal army under the leadership of Ulugh Khan, Alauddin himself reached Ranthambore.

Amir Khusrau was the eyewitness of that campaign conducted by Alauddin and he had mentioned it in his composition “Khazain ul Futuh”.

He had written that, in the invasion upon Ranthambore, the Sultan took assistance from Pasheb, Magrabi and Arradaa.

After many efforts made by Alauddin, he remained unsuccessful in invading upon Ranthambore.Then Alauddin chose the path of treason and diplomacy and sent an offer of a reconciliation with Hammir.

For this offer, Hammir sent his commanders Ratipal to talk to them. Alauddin enticed Ratipal and another commander of Hammir named Ranmal to grant them the fort of Ranthambore. After doing the favour he got the favour of both of the commanders.

In Hammir’s composition it is written that, Alauddin got favour of one of the Hammir’s officer and he adulterated the food present in the fort.

Because of that a severe crisis of food started in the fort. Of these factors, Amir Khusrau written that “in exchange of two grains of gold, not even one grain rice was available”.

Due to the lack of food, Hammir was forced to come out of the fort. And because of the betrayal of Ratipal and Ranmal, Hammir had to face defeat.

During the battle, Hammir got killed while confronting his enemies. And on the other side, the brave Rajput women performed Jauhar under the leadership of the queen Rangdevi.

But through other different sources we get other information. They state that the women performed “Jal Jauhar” in the “Padmal Pond” situated in the Ranthambore fort.

And in this way Alauddin Khilji occupied Ranthambore on 11th of July,1301 CE. In the battle, Mir Muhammad was fighting from Hammir’s side and he got injured.

Alauddin noticed the injured Muhammad and asked him that, “If you are cured, what will you do?”

To this question, Muhammad answered bravely that, “Firstly, I would kill you and secondly, I will enthrone a successor of Hammir on the throne of Ranthambore”.

After hearing this answer, Alauddin became mad at Muhammad Shah and he got Muhammad assassinated by crushing him under the feet of an elephant.

Writer

Ramesh Sharma {M Pharm, MSc (Computer Science), PGDCA, MA (History), CHMS}

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