Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Download UPTU/UPSEE counselling Letter 2014


Now the wait is over for the students who are looking to take the admissions in B.Tech through UPTU. The counseling letter has been made available by UPTU, yesterday. This year UPTU has changed the procedure of counselling so read all the instructions carefully. According to new procedure students can visit any near by centers for document verification. You can check the list of document verification centers by Clicking Here. After the document verification they will give you an OTP (one time password) that you can use for filling the choices from anywhere through their official website that is there is no need to go to counselling centers for filling the college choices.

Following are the documents required for verification at the verification center:
  • 1. UPSEE Counselling letter.
  • 2. UPSEE admit card.
  • 3. A draft of rupees 500 in the favor of Finance Officer, UPTU, Lucknow, payable at city branch of verification/counselling centre. For example : candidate going to a centre in Agra, the draft should be in favor of Finance Officer, UPTU, Lucknow payable at Agra.
  • 4. Certificate and mark sheet of qualifying exam i.e. Mark sheet and passing certificate of class XII or diploma certificate and high school certificate.
  • 5. Medical fitness certificate/ Undertaking of medical fitness.
  • 6. Domicile certificate for students who are from outside U.P.
  • 7. As per eligibility, category certificate issued by designated authority for: (a) SC/ST, (b) OBC, (c) Physically handicapped(UPHC), (d) Armed forces (UPAF), (e) Freedom fighters (UPFF), (f) Income certificate (economically weaker only).
  • 8. certificate for Rural Weightage if applicable.

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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Rana Sanga - The Greatest King Of Mewar

Born: April 12, 1484
Died: March 17, 1527 (aged 42)

Rana Sanga

A Brief Introduction:

Maharana Sangram Singh, popularly known as Rana Sanga, was the king of Mewar. He was a scion of the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs. Rana ruled over Mewar from 1509 to 1527.

Rana Sanga was known for his bravery, honor and generosity. He fought a series of battles against the Muslim rulers, defeated some well known kings of his time like Ibrahim Lodhi (the sultan of Delhi), Mehmod Khilji (the ruler of Mewar) and extended the boundaries of his kingdom to a large extent. It is stated that during these battles, he sustained 84 wounds on his body.

During the reign of Rana Sanga, Mewar reached the pinnacles of prosperity. Rana fought his last battle against the Mughal invader Babur and during the battle of Khanwa, he got seriously wounded and died shortly thereafter on March 17,1527.

Birth and Early Life :

Rana Sanga was born to Rana Raimal and Rani Ratan Kanwar on April 12, 1484, in Malwa, Rajasthan, India. He was the 3rd son of Raimal and grandson of Maharana Kumbha (Maharana Kumbhakarna). Rana Sanga had two elder brothers Prithviraj and Jaimal.

The three young brothers were very close to each other. They spent most of the time playing together, also they often went to a cave near Mewar. One day all three brothers and their cousin Suraj Mal went to cave as a regular routine, where they met a witch and asked her who would be the next king of Mewar ? Then the witch replied that Rana Sanga would be the next king of Mewar. On hearing that Prithviraj became enraged and attacked Rana Sanga. To save his life from Prithviraj, Rana had to flee from the cave and during this course Rana Sanga lost his one eye and sustained five wounds on his body. After that Rana Sanga spent some time in a village as a sheperd, hiding his true identity to save himself from his brothers.
It is stated that the main villain of their fights according to local folklore, was Suraj Mal.
When Raimal came to know of this conflict, he banished Prithviraj from Mewar. Later, Prithviraj was poisoned by his brother in law, whom he had earlier punished for allegedly mistreating his sister while, Jaimal was slain by the indignant father of the girl he had been courting.

The death of both elder brothers left Rana Sanga to ascend their father's throne.

Also read: Maharana Pratap - The Brave Warrior

Coronation Of Rana Sanga:

After the death of both elder brothers, Rana Sanga succeeded his father Rana Raimal as the 8th king of Mewar and as a 50th ruler in the lineage of Sisodia Rajputs in 1509.

Famous Battles Of Rana Sanga:

During the Rana Sanga's reign, Mewar was surrounded by the Muslim Kingdoms. In the north, Ibrahim Lodhi was ruling at Delhi where as in the south, Sultan Muzaffar Shah was ruling at Gujrat. And in the east Mahmud Shah Khilji was reigning at Malwa. To enlarge the boundaries of his kingdom Sanga had to fight various battles against the surrounding Muslim rulers.

Battle With Muzaffar Shah :

Rana's first encounter was with Muzaffar Shah II of Gujrat. Muzaffar Shah did not like the emerging king Sanga, thus he was looking for an opportunity to open hostility against Rana Sanga. Soon the opportunity came for him, when Sanga intervened in the affairs of Idar. In 1515, Raja Bhim Singh of Idar died, and there were two claimants of the throne, one was Bihari Mal, who was the son of Raja Bhim Singh (the legitimate claimant), and the other was Rai Mal, who was the cousin-german of Bihari Mal and brother in law of Sanga. Rana Sanga supported the pretender Rai Mal where as Muzaffar Shah II was supporting Bihari Mal. Thus started a battle between the Rana Sanga and Muzaffar Shah II, Rana Sanga defeated Muzaffar Shah and enthroned Rai Mal, expelling Bihari Mal from Idar.

Also read: Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (Hemu) - One of the Greatest Hindu Warrior -Recommended

Battle With Ibrahim Lodi ( Battle of Khatauli):

Ibrahim Lodi
Ibrahim Lodi
Rana Sanga's second encounter was with Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi. This Time Sanga wanted to enlarge the boundaries of his kingdom. Ibrahim Lodi who faced many rebellions during his reign, was facing a rebellion in Delhi and was busy in resolving the conflict. Seeing this opportunity Sanga invaded Lodi's territory and captured some key areas including the fort of Ranthambore. 

In response to this attack by Sanga, Lodi collected a large force and invaded Sanga's home province of Mewar after having put down the rebellion in Delhi. Then Sanga counterattacked Lodi and in a battle at Khatoli (popularly known as the Battle of Khatauli) , Sanga's troops fought valiantly with ethnic Afghans in 1517-1518. In this battle Rana Sanga lost his left arm and an arrow made him lame for entire life but finally Sanga won the battle and captured a large area of Ibrahim Lodi's Territory.

Battle With Mehmod Khilji:

After defeating Muzaffar Shah II and Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi, Rana Sanga was full of confidence, then Rana decided to extend the boundaries of his kingdom to protect his home province from Muslim invaders. Thus he started planning to attack the neighboring kingdom, Malwa.  Malwa was ruled by Mehmod Khilji, who was an Afgan ruler and a well known king of his time. But in the meantime, Malwa was torn by dissension and therefore Rana Sanga wanted to take the advantage of the situation.

On the other hand, Mehmod was wary of overgrown power of his Rajput Vizier (Wazir) Medini Rai and the Rajput rebels of Malwa. And on hearing the news that Mewar's king is looking to attack Malwa, potentially and politically weak Mehmod Khilji asked for help from other Afgan rulers mainly, Ibrahim Lodhi of Delhi and Muzaffar Shah II of Gujrat. Whereas, his vizier Medini Rai asked for help from Rana and joined his troops.

Rana's troops joined by the Malwa rebels and Medini Rai, launched an attack on Malwa in 1519. This was the beginning of prolonged war between Mewar and the Muslim Sultans of North India.The Battle was consist of various fascinating moments. Rana's forces beat back the Delhi and Gujrat troops, who came to support the Malwa king. Finally, after a series of battle Rana Sanga defeated Mehmod Khilji and took the control over Malwa.

He imprisoned Khilji and left him only after capturing his son as a hostage in Chittor, the capital of Mewar.

Battle With Babur ( The Battle Of Khanwa ):

Babur, who was a chieftain and a prince from Fergana invaded India in 1525, some sources say that he was called by Ibrahim lodi's nobels because Ibrahim Lodi replaced the old and senior nobels with the new ones who were loyal to him.

Babur came to India with only 12000 soldiers but with heavy guns and cannons and defeated Ibrahim Lodhi of Delhi at the first Battle of Panipat in 1526.

The news that Babur had defeated and slain Ibrahim Lodi reached to Sanga. Rana Sanga believed that Babur had plans to leave India and return to Kabul. But instead of leaving India, Babur did not return to Kabul and had Khutbah read out in his name in the Delhi mosque. This was an announcement of the new Muslim power in Delhi.

Rana Sanga knew that Babur was a big threat to his kingdom and he had to defeat and throw him out of India before he consolidate his position. Thus, Sanga started preparations for a heavy battle against Babur. As his first move, Sanga captured Kandar fort and forced some Afghan rulers like Mehmud Lodi and Hasan Khan Mewati to join him . He also asked other Indian rulers to join him for the same.

The news of Battle preparations reached to Babur, then Babur also girded himself for the battle. Babur had heard a lot about Rana Sanga's valor and heroism, Babur also knew that as long as Sanga remained unvanquished, his position was insecure.

After, all his preparations, Rana Sanga ordered Babur to leave India and for this he sent his vassal sardar Silhadi of Raisen as his emissary. Silhadi who went to Babur's camp was won over by Babur, Babur decided not to retreat and both of them hatched a plot to defeat Sanga. The plan was that Silhadi, who held a large contingent of 30,000 men would decamp Rajput troops and join Babur’s camp at critical moment of battle and thus defeat Rana Sanga. Then Silhadi went back to Chittor and told Rana that Babur had decided not to retreat and therefore war is the only option.

After all major preparations both army met at Khanwa near Fatehpur Sikri on 17th March, 1527. Rajput army was supported by Silhadi of Raisen, Hasan Khan Mewati of Mewat,  Mehmud Lodi, Medini Rai of Alwar, Udai Sing of Dungarpur, Narbad Hada of Bundi and some other Indian rulers whereas Mughal army was supported by Mahdi Khwaja and the troops of Bayna. With the support of major Indian kings and sardars, Rana Sanga had gathered a large army of around 80,000 men where as Babur had hardly 25,000 men on his side. Although Rana Sanga had a large army but Babur had something which Sanga did not have – heavy guns and cannons, the first proper Turkic style artillery seen in medieval India.

The decisive battle started at about 9:30 in the morning, first attack was launched by Rajputs. Rajput army fought valiantly with the Mughals but the Mughal artillery and canons did the fearful execution. The canon fire was new to the Rajputs and this caused the elephants in the Rajput army to stampede. Still the gallant Rajputs were not appalled and many valiant soldiers stuffed themselves into the Cannons to silence them but unfortunately that wasn't enough for them. At this critical moment when Mughals were charging up, Silhadi decamped the Rajput troops and joined the Babur's camp, the defection of Silhadi and his contingent caused a split in the Rajput forces.

The great Rajput army was soon disintegrated into the disordered crowed, seeing the discomfort of his troops, Rana Sanga himself advanced to the charge. But soon he was mortally wounded, thus the fate of the battle was decided.

The remaining Rajputs force, faithful to the tradition of dying in the battlefield, made a desperate charge on Babur's army but without a leader they were nothing and soon all of them were killed by the Mughals.

Rana Sanga escaped with the help of some of the followers and Rathore contingent from Marwar. When Rana became conscious he learnt of the defeat.

Death :

Although Rana was defeated by Babur, but he was not willing to admit his defeat. Rana started to rebuild his forces for another war with Babur and vowed that he would not set foot in Chittor till Babur was defeated by him.

In 1528, he once again set out to fight Babur at Chanderi to help his friend Medini Rai, who was attacked by Babur. But he fell sick at Kalpi and died in his camp.
It is widely believed that he was poisoned by some of his nobles who quiet rightly thought his renewal of war with Babur as suicidal.
Also read:

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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (Hemu) - One Of The Greatest Hindu Warrior.

Born: 1501
Died: 5 November 1556

A Brief Introduction:

Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya,popularly known as Hemu, was a Hindu emperor of north India during the sixteenth century AD, This was one of the crucial periods in Indian history, when the Mughals and Afghans were desperately vying each other for power to rule over India. He fought Afghan rebels across North India from the Punjab to Bengal and the Mughal forces of Akbar and Humayun in Agra and Delhi, winning 22 battles without a single setback.

In 1556, Hemu acceded the throne of Delhi, becoming the new King of Delhi for a short span of time. He was man who made the Hindus proud by liberating India from foreign invaders. Hemu re-established the native Hindu rule (Hindu Raj) in North India, after over 350 years of Muslim rule. Many writers refer to him as the Napoleon of India for his qualities of generalship. Hemu sacrificed his life fighting Mughals in the "Second Battle Of Panipat", which is also called as "The Last Stand Of The Hindus".

Birth and Early Life:

Hemu was born at Maccheri Devat village of Alwar District in Rajasthan in the year 1501. His father Rai Puran Das, a Brahmin, was a Purohit ( temple priest ), who performs marriage ceremonies as a profession. However, due to persecution of Hindus, who performed religious ceremonies, by Mughals, Rai Puran Das gave up as Purohit and moved to Qutabpur (now Hemu Nagar) in Rewari in Mewat,what is present day Haryana. Where Hemu was brought up and got educated.

After leaving Maccheri, Hemu's father started trading in salt in Qutabpur for their livelihood, and later he was beheaded by Akbar's forces on refusal to convert to Islam, at the age of 82, in the year 1556.

Hemu was brought up in a religious environment. Apart from learning Sanskrit and Hindi, Hemu was also educated in Persian, Arabic language. During his childhood, he was fond of exercise and wrestling and while crushing salt in an iron pot, he would monitor his strength. He was trained in horse-riding at his friend Sehdev's village. His friend Sehdev was a Rajput and he participated in all the battles that Hemu later fought except the Second Battle of Panipat.

Also read: Rani Lakshmibai - A Brave Queen Of Jhansi

Rise Of Hemu :

Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya
In 1530's, At a very young age, Hemu came in contact with the officers of Sher Shah Suri, where he started supplying food/cereals to Sher Shah Suri's army. Slowly he started supplying other important things to Suri's army like Saltpetre or Potassium Nitrate (Gunpowder). Hemu also laid the foundation of brass cannons casting and manufacturing industry in Rewari, which remains an important Brass/Copper manufacturing centre even today.

After Sher Shah Suri's death in 1545, his son Islam Shah became the new ruler of North India. Islam Shah recognised the calibre, and administrative skills of Hemu and made him his personal adviser. He consulted Hemu in a variety of matters like trade and commerce, statesmanship, diplomacy and general politics.

Islam Shah initially appointed Hemu as Shahang-i-Bazar, a Persian word, meaning ‘Market Superintendent', to manage commerce throughout the empire. This post gave Hem Chandra an opportunity to interact with the king frequently in order to apprise him of the trade and commercial situation of the kingdom.

After proving his abilities as 'Market Superintendent', Hemu rose to become Chief of Intelligence or Daroga-i-Chowki (Superintendent of Post). In 1552, Islam Shah's health started deteriorating and he shifted his base from Delhi to Gwalior, which was considered safer than Delhi. Hemu was then deputed as Governor to the Punjab to safeguard the region against the Mughal invasion. Hemu held this position until Islam Shah's death in October 30, 1553.

After Islam Shah's death, he was succedded by his 12 year old son Firoz Khan who was killed within three days by Adil Shah Suri, who was a nephew of Sher Shah Suri.Then Adil Shah ascended the throne as the last sultan of the united empire.The new king Adil was an indolent pleasure-seeker and a drunkard who faced revolts all around his kingdom. Adil Shah took Hemu as his Chief Advisor and entrusted all his work to him. Later, Adil Shah appointed Hemu as his Vazier (Wazir ). After some time, Adil Shah became insane and Hemu became the virtual king.

Many Afghan governors rebelled against the weak King Adil Shah and refused to pay the taxes, but Hemu quelled them. Ibrahim Khan, Sultan Muhhamad Khan, Rukh Khan Nurani, Taj Karrani and several other Afghan rebels were defeated one by one and killed by Hemu.

Since Hemu was a native Indian and at the time Afgans also considered themselves to be natives, Therefore, Hemu got support of both Hindus and Afghans against the Mughals, as Mughals were considered as foreigner at that time.

Also read: Ashoka The Great (Recommended)

Hemu's Army :

It is stated that Hem Chandra had a large army and his army was five times superior than the Akbar's army. However, recruitment of Hindus considerably increased during his rule. His army consisted of infantry, cavalry, artillery and large elephants.General Ram Chandra (Rammaya) and Shadi Khan Kakkar, the Afghan governor from Sambhal, were two of his most noted generals who commanded large forces in the Second Battle of Panipat.

Famous Battles Of Hemu :

Hemu faught various battles in his lifetime and won every single battle except the "Battle of Panipat", where fate didn't favour him.

The Battle Of Chapparghat :

In 1555, Hemu was sent to quell Ibrahim Shah Suri, who was brother in law of Adil Shah and a rebel. He was defeated by Hemu twice, once near Kalpi and again near Khanua. In the meantime, Adil Shah was attacked by Mohammed Shah of Bengal. The ruler of Bengal had conquered up to Jaunpur; intending to occupy Kalpi in order to proceed to Delhi.  Under such circumstances, Adil had to recall Hemu to Kalpi. Hemu led the army brilliantly, again showing his qualities of generalship. Muhammad Shah was defeated and killed at Chhapparghatta near Kalpi. Adil captured Bengal and appointed Shahbaz Khan as the Governor.

Capture Of Agra:

Agra Fort
Agra Fort won by Hemu before winning Delhi.
After the victory of the Mughal ruler Humayun over Adil Shah's brother Sikander Suri, Mughals regained Punjab, Delhi and Agra after a gap of 15 years on July 23, 1555. Hemu was in Bengal when Humayun died on January 26, 1556. Humayun's death gave Hemu an ideal opportunity to defeat Mughals. He started a winning march from Bengal through present day Bihar, Eastern UP and Madhya Pradesh. The Mughal fauzdars evacuated their positions and fled in panic. In Agra, an important Mughal stronghold, the commander of Mughal forces Iskander Khan Uzbeg ran away from Agra hearing about Hemu's invasion, without a fight. Ettawah, Kalpi, Bayana,the present day central and western UP, all came under Hemu's dominion.

Battle of Delhi:

Purana Qila Delhi
Purana Qila, Delhi, India
After Capturing Agra, Hemu served notice for a march on Delhi. Sensing the threat of being attacked by Hemu, the Moghul Governor of Delhi Tardi Beg Khan, wrote to Akbar that, "Hemu had captured Agra and intended to attack the capital Delhi, which could not be defended without reinforcements". Realising the gravity of the situation, Bairam Khan,who was Akbar's guardian and chief strategist, sent his ablest lieutenant, Pir Muhammad Sharwani, to helpTardi Beg Khan. A war council was held at Delhi and plans were made to face Hemu. The Moghul army decided to face Hemu at Tughlaqabad.
Tughlaqabad Fort
Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi around which 'Battle for Delhi 1556' took place.
In1556, as per the plan made by Mughals,Tardi Beg Khan and the Mughal Army battled Hem Chandra’s forces inTughlaqabad. In this battle, Hemu adopted the tactics of reserve and thrust, Hemu arranged 300 choice elephants and a force of selected horsemen as a reserve in the center with loosely guarded front and flanks. As the battle began, Mughal forces overcame the front and even attacked Hem Chandra’s flanks. At one point it looked like Mughals were easily going to win the battle, as Mughals had captured 400 elephants and slew 3000 Afghan men already. Sensing victory, Mughal armies dispersed to plunder the enemy camp and Tardi Beg was left in the field thinly guarded.

At that point Hem Chandra charged on Tardi Beg’s camp with his reserved forces in the center. Seeing a force marching directly towards them and without any armies to stop them, the Mughal commanders fled from the battle field. The result was chaos in the Mughal forces and it resulted in their total defeat.
In this battle,Hemu was helped by reinforcements from Alwar with a contingent commanded by Hazi Khan.
Also read: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Coronation Of Hemu : 

Coronation of Hemu
After winning the battle of Delhi, Hemu triumphantly entered Delhi and His Rajyabhishek (coronation) as Samrat ( Samrat is a Hindi word, meaning an unchallengeable warrior - one who has won all the battles fought ) was held at Purana Qila in Delhi on 7 October 1556 in the presence of all the Afghan Sardars and Hindu Senapatis (military commanders), assuming the title of "Vikramaditya", (King whose Effulgence is equal to the Sun's) that had been adopted by many Hindu kings since Vedic times.

After coronation Hemachandra Vikramaditya consolidated his position. He raised an army of 30,000 Hindu soldiers. He also won the loyality of Pathans by liberal treatment and distribution of cash awards which he gave to them from time to time. Due to this a large part of their artillery and nearly 500 elephants became part of his formidable force. With this army he prepared himself to drive the Mughals out.

Administration Under Hemu :

Coins minted by Hemu
Coins minted by Hemu
Because of long association with the Sur administration since the 1540s, first as a supplier of various items to Sher Shah Suri, then as Superintendent of Markets, Minister of Internal security and Governor of Punjab with Islam Shah, Prime Minister-cum-Chief of Army with Adil Shah, Hemu had great experience of administration and sound knowledge of how system works.

Although he did not have much time to rule, Hemu revitalized the administrative set-up that had flagged after the demise of Sher Shah Suri. With his thorough knowledge of trade and commerce he gave fresh impetus to commerce throughout the country. He spared no-one, indulging in black-marketing, hoarding, overcharging and under-weighing of goods. After his conquest of Agra and Delhi, he replaced all corrupt officers.He also introduced coinage bearing his image.

Second Battle Of Panipat : 

Second Battle Of Panipat
Second Battle Of Panipat
On hearing of Hemu's serial victories and the fall of large territories like Agra and Delhi, the Mughal army at Kalanaur lost heart and many commanders refused to fight Hemu. Most of his commanders advised Akbar to retreat to Kabul, which would serve better as a strong-hold. However, Bairam Khan, Akbar's guardian and chief strategist, insisted on fighting Hemu in an effort to gain control of Delhi.

On 5 November 1556, the Mughal army met Hemu's army at the historic battlefield of Panipat. Bairam Khan exhorted his army in a speech with religious overtones and ordered them to move for the battle. Akbar and Bairam Khan stayed in the rear, eight miles from the battleground, with the instructions to leave India in case of defeat. The Mughal army was led by Ali Kuli Khan, Sikandar Khan and Abdulla Khan Uzbeg. 

On the other hand Hemu led his army himself into battle, atop an elephant. His left was led by his sister's son General Ramiya and the right by Shadi Khan Kakkar. He was on the cusp of victory, but then providence took a hand and a stray arrow hit the eye of Hemu. Inspite of that, Hem Chandra pulled the arrow by his hands and exhorted his forces to charge ahead. Unfortunately, he soon collapsed unconscious due to severe bleeding. This led to confusion amongst the soldiers, with no supreme commander to coordinate decisions. Thus a sure victory was converted by a stroke of chance into defeat. According to Abul Fazl, 5000 soldiers of Hemu were slain.

Also read: Prithviraj Chauhan.

Death :

Unconscious and at death's door, Hemu was captured by Shah Qulin Khan (a follower and distant relative of Bairam) and carried to the Mughal camp for execution. According to Badayuni Bairam Khan asked Akbar to behead Hemu so that he could earn the title of Ghazi (warrior).

Akbar replied: "He is now no better than a dead man; how can I strike him ? If he had sense and strength I would try my sword (that is I would fight him)."

However, on the insistence of Bairam Khan, Hemu was first struck by Akbar, to earn the title of "Ghazi", then he was beheaded by Bairam Khan. Hemu's head was sent to Kabul in Afghanistan, where it was hanged outside the Delhi Darwaza,to bo shown to Afghans to prove that the great Hindu warrior is dead, while his body was placed in a gibbet outside Purana Quila in Delhi to terrorise the Hindus.

Aftermath Of War :

Skulls Minaret build by Akbar
'Beheaded Skulls Minaret built by Akbar of Hem Chandra's relatives and supporters after battle at Panipat.
After Hemu's death, a genocide was ordered by Bairam Khan of the community of Hemu (Hindus) and his main Afghan supporters. Thousands of persons were killed to create terror among Hindus and minarets were built of the skulls of the dead. At least one painting of such minaretts is displayed in "Panipat Wars Museum" at Panipat in Haryana. Such minarets were still in existence about 60 years later as described by Petre Mundy, a British traveler who visited India during the time of Jahangir.


Statue of Hem Chandra Vikramaditya at Panipat, India
Statue Of Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, at Panipat,India
Also read: Maharana Udai Singh II - The founder of Udaipur.
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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

King Vikramaditya - A Legendary King of India

A Brief Introduction :
Vikramaditya was a legendary 1st century BCE emperor of Ujjain, India, who was known for his bravery and courage. People loved him because he always rendered justice. He was the second son of Ujjain's King Gandharvasena of the Paramara dynasty.

The legendary Vikramaditya is a popular figure in both Sanskrit and regional languages in India. The two most famous tales, featuring him, in Sanskrit are Vetala Panchvimshati or Betal Pachisi ("The 25 (tales) of the Vampire") and Simhasana-Dwatrimshika ("The 32 (tales) of the throne").

Birth and childhood :

Vikramaditya was born in a hindu family, in 101 B.C, Ujjain, India. His father was Gandharvasena. As Vikramaditya was brave, courageous and magnanimous from his birth, he went to do austere penance for 12 years, when he was only 5 years old.

Bhavishya Purana:

The Bhavishya Purana is one of the eighteen major Hindu Puranas. It is written in Sanskrit and attributed to Rishi Vyasa, the compiler of the Vedas.

In the Bhavishya Purana Vikramaditya is portrayed as the first great Hindu King among the ten great kings. Gods showered flowers at his birth. At the age of five, he went to do austere penance (Tapasya) for 12 years. Bethala or Vethala who was sent by Goddess Parvati became his assistant as he sacrificed a treacherous mantrika to Kalika Devi. He received a throne from Indra as he settled a dispute between Rambha and Urvasi. In his Judgement Urvasi's dance was superior to Rambha's because Rambha lost confidence and her garland flowers became pale as she worried about victory while dancing. He received a boon that he and his descendants would rule the kingdom for 1000 years. His grandson was King Shalivahana of Paithan (Pratisthan). Vikramaditya performed a Yagna attended by all the gods except the Moon god. Hence he went to the Moon world (Chandra Loka) and asked for the reason. The Moon God replied that he did not come as it was kaliyuga.

Also read: Rani Durgavati - A valiant queen.

Evidence That Shows He Might Be A Historical Figure :
Vikram's era coin
Vikram's Era Coin.
There is no documentary evidence for his historical existence except fables or in story books but a gold coin recently found dated to the first century BC and said to carry his portrait is seen by researchers as definitive proof of his existence.

Read more about this coin.

Betal Pachisi or Vetala Panchavimshati (Twenty five tales of Baital) :

Vikram and Betal
Betal Pachisi was originally written in sanskrit by Mahakavi Somdev Bhatt, in the 11th century , are spellbinding stories told to the wise King Vikramaditya by the wily ghost Betaal. The tales of Vikram and Betaal possess a wealth of pageantry and splendor of long ago.

Betal flew
Read Stories of Vikram And Betal.

Simhasana Dwatrimshika :

Simhasana-Dwatrimshika, the tale of the throne link to the lost throne of Vikramaditya which king Bhoja, the Paramara king of Dhar, found after many centuries. Dhar become famous as well with a number of tales relating stories of how he attempted to sit on the throne.King Bhoja tries to ascend the throne of Vikramaditya. Thirty two female statues which adorn that throne challenge him to ascend the throne only if he has magnanimity equal to Vikramaditya as revealed by a tale she would narrate. This leads to 32 attempts (and 32 tales) of Bhoja to ascend the throne and in each case Bhoja acknowledges his inferiority. Finally, the statues let him ascend the throne when they are pleased with his humility.

Also read: Maharana Pratap - The Brave Warrior.  (Recommended)

The NAVARATNAS / Nine Gems Of Vikramaditya :
The famous personalities of the Vikram era like Great Dhanvantari, Kshapanaka, Amarasimha, Shankhu, Ghatakarpura, Kalidasa, Vetala Bhatta , Vararuchi, and Varahamihira were a part of Vikramaditya’s court in Ujjain. The king Vikaramaditya titled these great mens as " the NAVRATNAS of the court". These 9 mens are excellent in their respective fields, where Dhanvantri was expert in Ayurvedic science ,Kalidas in Poetry, Vararuchi in Vedic scriptures, Varahamira in Astronomy, Shankhu in Geography, Vetala Bhatta in black magic and tantric science, Ghatakpar in sculpture and architecture, Shapanak in Astrology and Amarasimha was the author of 'Sanskrit Amarkosh'.

Also read: Nine Gems of Akbar (Recommended)

Greatness OF Vikramaditya :

The Vikramarka Shaka era (or Vikrama era) is attributed to him. Many Indian kings took him as ideal and kept his name as their title. The Baital Pachisi and Dwatrimshati (Sanskrit for "32", a story about Vikramaditya's throne, supported by 32 dolls, each of which told Raja Bhoja a story about Vikramaditya's greatness) are popular stories about him. Vikramaditya, Shalivahana and Boja Kings are detailed in Bhavishya Purana. The first two kings had independent sakas or eras, while Shalivahana era continues to be followed in the Indian Calendar. Among these kings, Vikramaditya stands first.

Vikram samvat calender is followed after the Great king Vikramaditya.

Other Kings With The Same Name :

Many Indian kings considered Vikramaditya as their ideal and kept his name as their title, Some of the kings who took his name were King Chandragupta II Vikramāditya,who was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta empire in northern India and  Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (also known as Hemu), was a Hindu emperor of north India during the sixteenth century AD, a period when Mughals and Afghans were vying for power in the region. Hemu fought Afghan rebels across North India from the Punjab to Bengal and the Mughal forces of Akbar and Humayun in Agra and Delhi, winning 22 consecutive battles.

Read more about Legends of Vikramaditya and all Betal Pachisi stories.
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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Nine Jewels/Gems/Navratnas of Akbar

Abul Fazl:

Abul Fazl
Picture showing Abul-Fazl presenting Akbarnama to Akbar.
Shaikh Abu Fazal (January 14, 1551 – August 12, 1602) was the vizier (wazir) of the mughal emperor Akbar and brother of Faizi (another jewel of Akbar). He was a profound thinker and writer. Fazl authored the book Akbarnama, the official history of Akbar's reign in three volumes, (the third volume is known as the Ain-i-Akbari) and a Persian translation of the Bible.

It is stated that the book took seven years to be completed and the original manuscripts contained a number of paintings supporting the texts, and all the paintings represented the Mughal school of painting, and work of masters of the imperial workshop, including Basawan, whose use of portraiture in its illustrations was an innovation in Indian art.

He came to Akbar's court in 1575 and was influential in Akbar's religious views becoming more liberal into the 1580s and 1590s. He also led the Mughal imperial army in its wars in the Deccan.

Faizi (24 September 1547 – 5 October 1595) was the elder brother of Abul Fazl and a poet laureate of Akbar's court. Akbar considered him as a genius and appointed him as a tutor for his sons, Salim, Murad and Daniyal. Faizi is credited with the translation of Lilavati (Lilavati is Indian mathematician Bhāskara II's treatise on mathematics.) into Persian.

Raja Birbal:
Raja Birbal
Birbal (1528–1586) was was a Hindu advisor in the Akbar's court. His original name was Mahesh Das. He was one of the main advisor and a friend of Akbar. Birbal was appointed by the emperor as a poet and singer, but because of his unique qualities of being extremely clever and witty, later he formed a close association with Akbar, becoming an important advisor and soon being sent on military expeditions despite having no previous background. Birbal was talented in writing prose and in music and gained fame for his poetry and singing.

Birbal was given the title "Kavi Rai" (poet laureate) from the emperor within a few years of his appointment in the emperors court. Later when Birbal became one of the good friend of Akbar then Akbar bestowed him with the new name " Raja Birbal".

Read more about Birbal.

Raja Man Singh:
Raja Man Singh
Raja Man Singh
Man Sing (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614) was the Kacchwaha rajput King of Amber, a state later known as Jaipur. He was a trusted general of the Akbar and was the grandson of Akbar’s father-in-law. Mughal emperor Akbar bestowed him with the title "Mirza Raja".

Man Singh is credited with defeating Maharana Pratap, in the battle of Haldighati, and the Afghans.
On 17 March 1594, Raja Man Singh was appointed Subahdar (Governor) of Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha.

Mian Tansen:
Mian Tansen
Mian Tansen
Mian Tansen (1506 - 1589) was also known with the name Mohammad Ata Khan. he was born in a Hindu Gaur Brahmin family in a village near Gwalior, India and his original name was Ramtanu Pandey. Tansen was a prominent Hindustani classical music composer and musician. Akbar gave him the title Mian (an honorific, meaning learned man). Tansen learnt music from Swami Haridas (A legendary composer from Vrindavan ) and later from Hazrat Mohammad Ghaus. It is said that Tansen had no equal apart from his teacher.

Initially Tansen was a singer in the court of King Ramchandra Baghela of Reva, India and later was recruited by Akbar as his court musician.  His raga Deepak and raga Megh Malhar are famous. In some stories it is stated that Tansen could bring rain by singing the Raga Megh Malhar. Similarly he could start a fire by singing in the Raga Deepak. He has also composed several Ragas that have been the foundation of classical music like Miyan ka Bhairav known today as Bhairav, Darbari Todi, Darbari Kanada, Malhar, Sarang and Rageshwari.

Raja Todar Mal:
Raja Todar Mal
Raja Todar Mal
Raja Todar Mal,a Khatri Rajput, was a Finance Minister in Akbar's court. He started his career under Sher Shah Suri and later he joined the Akbar's court. He was not only a finance minister but also an able warrior who assisted Akbar in controlling the Afghan rebels in Bengal, who led various battles. Raja Todar Mal introduced standard weights and measures, a land survey and settlement system, revenue districts and officers.Todar Mal is known for his expertise in land revenue matters, his systematic approach to revenue collection became a model for the future Mughals, the Marathas as well as the British. He also introduced a new system of revenue known as zabt.

Faqir Aziao-Din:

Faqir Aziao-Din was one of Akbar's chief advisors, and belonged to his inner circle. Akbar regarded his advice in high esteem. He used to give the Emperor Akbar advice on religious matters.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana:
Rahim Das
Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana  (1556 – 1626)  was also known as Rahim Das. He was a poet in the times of Mughal King Akbar. Rahim is famous for his Hindi couplets and his books on Astrology.Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana was the son of Akbar’s trusted caretaker, Bairam Khan who had Turk ancestry.

After Bairam Khan was murdered, his wife became the second wife of Akbar, which made Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khan his stepson, and later he became one of his nine prominent ministers, the Navaratnas, or nine gems.

Although a Muslim by birth, Rahim was a devotee of Lord Krishna and wrote poetry dedicated to him. He was also an avid Astrolger, and the writer of two important works in Astrology Khet Kautukam and Dwawishd Yogavali are still popular.

The village of Khankhana, is named after him, which is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India.

Read popular Couplets(Dohe) of Rahim.

Mullah Do Piaza:
Mullah Do Piaza
Mullah Do Piaza
Mullah Do Piaza was also an advisor in the Akbar's court. He was also known for his wit and humour.

Note: Wikipedia and some other sources mention that Mullah Do Piaza is a fictional character.
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Monday, 5 August 2013

Birbal - An extremely clever minister of Akbar's Court.

Born: 1528
Died: 1586

A Brief Introduction :

Birbal was one of the navaratnas (nine jewels) of Akbar, who constituted Akbar`s inner committee of nine advisors. He was one of the main advisor and a friend of Akbar. Birbal was appointed by the emperor as a poet and singer, but because of his unique qualities of being extremely clever and witty, later he formed a close association with Akbar, becoming an important advisor and soon being sent on military expeditions despite having no previous background.

Early Life :

Birbal was born to Ganga Das and Anabha Davito, a brahmin family, in 1528, in a village near Kalpi, Uttar Pradesh, India. His original name was Mahesh Das. Birbal was educated in the Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian languages and specialized in music and poetry in the Braj language. He was talented in writing prose and in music and gained fame for his poetry and singing.

It is stated that before coming to Akbar, Birbal had spent some time in the service of Raja Ram Chandra of Reva, where he was known with the name "Brahma Kavi".

First Meeting with Akbar :

Akbar and Birbal
It is stated that Akbar met Birbal for the first time during a hunting expedition, where he was so impressed by this young man`s wit that he gave him a ring and asked him to visit his palace. After that he appointed him as a poet and singer, later he became on of his good friend as well as a one of the main advisor of the court.

Mahesh Das to Birbal:

Birbal was given the title "Kavi Rai" (poet laureate) from the emperor within a few years of his appointment in the emperors court. Later when Birbal became one of the good friend of Akbar then Akbar bestowed him with the new name "Birbal".

Birbal comes from Bir Bar or Vir Var which means courageous and great, but is unlikely the reason that the emperor bestowing it upon him since he was not known for his bravery or as a soldier.  For giving titles to his Hindu subjects, Akbar based it on their traditions and according to S.H. Hodivala, this could have been taken from a character in the folk tale Vetal Panchvinshati (Betal Pachisi). It featured a courtier called Vir Var who showed great loyalty to his king. Akbar also bestowed upon him the name 'Birbal' with the title "Raja" (which means a King).

Birbal's Position in Akbar's Court:

Birbal in Akbar's court
Birbal in Akbar's court.
Birbal's growing reputation led him to be made part of the emperor's nine advisers, known as the navaratna or nine jewels,with Todar Mal, Man Singh, Bhagwan Das, Rajahs Bhar who were some of the other members. Soon he played the role of a religious advisor, military figure and close friend of the emperor, serving him for 30 years.

In 1572, he was among a large army sent by the emperor to aid Husain Quli Khan against an attack from the emperor's brother, Hakim Mirza, this was his first role in the military. Later, he accompanied the emperor during his important Gujarat campaigns. Despite having no military background, he often participated in Akbar's campaigns and was given leadership positions, like the other advisor Todar Mal, who helped the emperor in economic matters.


In 1586, Birbal was sent to help the commander Zain Khan to fight against the Yousafzai tribes of Afghanistan, where Birbal along with 8000 soldiers were killed by the Afghans in the battle.

Read Akbar Birbal Stories in English | Read Akbar Birbal Stories in Hindi. | Watch Akbar Birbal Stories in English
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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Panna Dai - A symbols of loyalty, bravery, patriotism and sacrifice.

A Brief Introduction:

Panna Dai
Panna Dai was a Rajput woman and a nursemaid to Maharana Udai Singh II, the fourth son of  Maharana Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga),She was known for her sacrifice, loyalty and patriotism for her King and Mewar.

Full Story :

When Maharana Udai Singh II was a young child his father died in a battle against Mughal emperor Babur.He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Maharana Ratan Singh, who was assassinated in 1531 after ruling only four years. Then he was succeeded by his brother Maharana Vikramaditya Singh. During his reign, Panna Dai had been given charge of young Udai, she was like a second mother to him, breast - feeding him virtually from his birth in 1522, along with her own son Chandan (also known as Moti), who was of similar age and Udai's playmate.

One day in 1536, Vikramaditya physically abused a respected old chieftain at the Court. This proved to be the final straw for the Mewar nobles; they placed Vikramaditya under palace arrest, leaving the object of Panna Dai's love and loyalty, Udai Singh as heir-elect to the throne.

Udai Singh still only an infant and therefore the nobles give job of Regent (caretaker ruler) to Banbir, illegitimate and ambitious son of Maharana Sanga’s brother Prithvi Raj, who always wished to usurp the throne of  Mewar, and to make his position permanent, he assassinated the imprisoned Vikramaditya.

On the same day's evening after killing Vikramaditya, he hurried towards the rawala to get rid of the only remaining barrier to his ambition, the 14-year-old Maharana-elect, Udai Singh.

Panna Dai had already fed her beloved son and her royal charge, and put them to bed. A servant (vari) ran in to tell her of the nearby assassination. Immediately, the loyal nursemaid realized what Banbir was doing. She also knew that, for the future of Mewar, young Udai must be saved. Urgently, she instructed the servant to put the sleeping prince into a large basket and smuggle him out of the fort to a spot by the nearby river where she would join them later. As soon as the servant left with the basket and its precious royal contents, she summoned an amazing strength of will that is characteristic of so many Rajputs: she lifted her sleeping son, Chandan, from his bed and placed him on the prince's bed, covering him with a blanket.
Panna Dai sacrificing his son Chandan
Within moments, Banbir burst into the room, sword in hand. When asked the whereabouts of the infant Maharana, Panna Dhai pointed to the occupied bed ... and watched in horror as the murderer slew her son. Banbir then called a meeting of the Court, informed the gathered chiefs that both Vikramaditya and Udai were dead and, claiming his dubious right to the throne, proclaimed himself the new king of Mewar. Meanwhile, the grief-stricken Panna Dai watched as her son was hastily cremated.
Banbir Killing innocent Chandan
She then packed some clothing and meager supplies into a bag, and hurried from the fort. At the designated spot by the river, she took charge of the young king and urged the servant, in the name of Mewar, not to mention a word of what had transpired that night.

Panna Dai saving Maharana Udai Singh
Panna Dai and the young king then moved towards Kumbhalgarh fort, where Udai Singh lived in secret for two years, disguised as a nephew of the governer Asha Shah.

In 1540, backed by a large combined Mewar and Marwar force, Udai Singh, then aged 18, marched on Chittor to reclaim his throne. Hearing of their approach, Banbir the usurper mounted an army and rode out to repel them. They met at Mavli (northeast of Udaipur-southwest of Chittor) and Banbir was defeated and killed by Udai Singh. Maharana Udai Singh rode into Chittor acclaimed by the populace.

And at that point, Panna Dai, the humble nursemaid, disappeared from the pages of Mewar's history. However, her name and her deeds will live forever as symbols of extraordinary loyalty, patriotism and personal sacrifice.
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