16 Jun 2015

Historical Romance: Dewal Devi and Khizr Khan

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I hope you have enjoyed reading the love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur of Mandu and his Hindu wife Rani Rupmati in one of my earlier posts. It is one of the famous love stories in Indian history. Here is another Hindu-Muslim love story from the course of history—the love story of Khizr Khan, son of Ala-ud-din Khilji, and the Rajput Princess Dewal Devi (or Dewal Rani). The story dates back to the early 1300s. Ala-ud-din Khilji was the Sultan of Delhi from 1296 to 1316. The story begins with Ala-ud-din's conquest of Gujarat. In those days, Gujarat was ruled by Rai Karan Dev (1296-1297) of Vaghela dynasty, who was the last Hindu ruler of Gujarat.

Ala-ud-din Khilji's Conquest of Gujarat (1297): Ala-ud-din Khilji sent a large army under his brother Ulugh Khan and his general Nusrat Khan to conquer Gujarat and to destroy the idol of Somnath (which had been again set up after the time of Mahmud of Ghazni). Unable to withstand them, Rai Karan fled from Nahrwala (his capital), while all his treasures fell into the hands of Mohammedans, including his beautiful wife Kamla Devi. Nusrat Khan then proceeded to Cambay (Khambhat) and collected a large booty. Kafur, a handsome slave, who afterwards gained great distinction under the title of Malik Kafur (Mallik Naib Kafur Hazar-dinari), was a part of that booty. Ala-ud-din, on seeing the beautiful Kamla Devi, took her into the harem. When Rai Karan was defeated, he took refuge at the court of Raja Ram Deo (Ramachandra Yadava) of Devagiri (also known as Daulatabad; now in Maharashtra) with his two daughters. The eldest daughter died soon; and the second daughter Dewal Devi was four years old at that time. Kamla Devi, now the favorite wife of Ala-ud-din, begged him that Dewal Devi should be made over to her.

Capture of Dewal Devi (1306): With the aid of Ram Deo, Rai Karan reoccupied the district of Buglana in Gujarat. Ala-ud-din sent Malik Kafur to the Deccan and demanded the custody of Dewal Devi from Rai Karan, but he refused. Alp Khan was ordered to advance with his army from Gujarat to join Malik Kafur. Rai Karan was successful in opposing Alp Khan's (Ala-ud-din's brother-in-law) troops from advancing further for two months. At this time, Sanker Deo, the eldest son of Ram Deo, who had long wished to marry Dewal Devi, sent his brother Bhim Deo to Rai Karan and persuaded him that if he would deliver Dewal Devi over to him, the Delhi troops in despair would return to their own country. Rai Karan had not given consent for the marriage since Sanker Deo was not a Rajput. However, on this occasion he was compelled to accept the proposal and Dewal Devi, who was in her thirteenth year, was handed over to the care of Bhim Deo. Alp Khan on hearing this, determined to secure the Princess before her departure. His army entered the mountains in several directions and gave Rai Karan a total defeat. He again fled to Devagiri. While Alp Khan was halting among the mountains to refresh his army, some of the soldiers went to see the famous Ellora Caves that was near to Devagiri. Then they came across some Maratha troops. It was the retinue of Bhim Deo who was conveying his brother's bride to Devagiri. In the following engagement, Bhim Deo's troops were defeated and Dewal Devi was seized and made over to her mother at Delhi.

Romance of Dewal Devi with Khizr Khan: Khizr Khan was the eldest son of Ala-ud-din Khilji. We first hear of him on the occasion of Ala-ud-din Khilji's conquest of Chittorgarh in 1303. We are told that when Chittor was reduced, Ala-ud-din conferred the government of it on Prince Khizr Khan, and the place was renamed as Khizrabad. A few days after the arrival of Dewal Devi at Delhi, the prince became enamored of her beauty and they fell in love with each other. The Sultan wished to betroth her to Khizr Khan. But Mallika Jahan, mother of the prince, objected this since she wished to betroth him to the daughter of her brother Alp Khan. When she came to know about the prince's affair with Dewal Devi, she thought means to separate them. Afterwards they were placed in different apartments, but still they met occasionally. The queen mother was anxious of these meetings and decided to sent Dewal Devi to the Red Palace of Siri fort. On that occasion, Khizr Khan in distress, "tore off his clothes and exhibited other signs of frantic grief". But when he became normal, the queen mother again determined to sent Dewal Devi to the Red Palace. On her way she met Khizr Khan; he presented her with a lock of his hair to preserve as a memento, and she gave him a ring.


Marriage of Dewal Devi with Khizr Khan (1312): The queen mother arranged the marriage of Khizr Khan with the daughter of Alp Khan. But, seeing her son in deep distress, she finally gave her consent to his marriage with Dewal Devi.

Malik Kafur's Plots:

Towards the end of Ala-ud-din's reign, various disorders affected him; including ill-temper, and suspiciousness. He fell under the influence of Malik Kafur and placed the government entirely into his hands. Malik Kafur, who had long aspired to the throne, began his schemes for the destruction of the Sultan's family. He poisoned the Sultan's ears by saying that Khizr Khan, his mother Mallika Jahan and Alp Khan had conspired against his life. In 1312, when the Sultan was taken extremely ill, the prince took an oath that if God should spare the life of his father, he would proceed bare-footed on a pilgrimage to the holy men of Delhi (Khizr Khan was a disciple of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya. Khusro and Badaoni tells us that, when the prince had such a spiritual teacher as Nizamuddin Auliya, he should have performed his pilgrimage to him). When he heard that his father's health began to recover, he fulfilled his vow and set out for Delhi bare-footed. During this pilgrimage the prince's feet got blistered and he was persuaded by his attendants to mount on horseback. Malik Kafur acted craftily and represented that this non-fulfillment of his vow was a personal insult to the Sultan. He turned the Sultan's mind against Alp Khan and got orders for his execution.

Imprisonment of Khizr Khan: Malik Kafur induced the Sultan to sent orders to the prince to go to Amroha (now in Uttar Pradesh) telling him not to return to his presence without orders. But he in great agitation, wrote to his father that he had never committed any breach of trust which could cause the Sultan to be so angry with him. Thereafter he returned to Delhi without summons. The Sultan, who was in his death bed, received him with great affection. Malik Kafur went to the Sultan and filled his ears with lies saying that the prince's disobedience of coming without the Sultan's orders was with evil intentions. He instigated the Sultan to imprison Khizr Khan and his full brother Shadi Khan in the fort of Gwalior. When the prince was taken to Gwalior, Malik Kafur told the commander of the fortress that not to treat Khizr Khan well on account of being the Sultan's son, but keep him in custody like the greatest enemy of the Sultan. At the prison, Dewal Devi became "the companion to and solace of his miserable imprisonment."


Death of Ala-ud-din Khilji (1316): When the Sultan's illness grew worse he told Malik Kafur, to send somebody to bring his son Khizr Khan, so that he may declare him the heir-apparent. Malik Kafur said, "Very well"; but he delayed the matter. And whenever the Sultan inquired about him he replied, "He is just coming"; and he continued to do so till the Sultan died.

Death of Prince Khizr Khan (1318): After the death of Ala-ud-din Khilji, Malik Kafur placed the Sultan's youngest son Shahab-ud-din Umar (1316), a child of seven years, upon the throne and himself became his regent. He married the prince's mother, who was Ala-ud-din's third wife. He then sent a person to Gwalior to blind Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan. Mubarak, third son of Ala-ud-din, and Mallika Jahan were put in close confinement. (Malik Kafur had intended to blind Mubarak also, however, he did not succeed.) Some time afterwards Malik Kafur was murdered by Ala-ud-din's guards. They released Mubarak from prison and appointed him as the regent of Umar. Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah (1316-1321) then ascended the throne after displacing his brother. He demanded Dewal Devi from Khizr Khan, who refused it. Mubarak Shah finally decided to get rid of all his rivals and sent a person to murder Khizr Khan, Shadi Khan and Umar. Amir Khusro says that, "the devoted Dewal Rani, in clinging to the body of her husband, was wounded in the face and had her hands cut off by the assassins", but according to Ferishta and Badaoni, she was brought to Mubarak's harem and after the death of  Mubarak, Mallik Khusru (1321) took the possession of her.

Amir Khusro was the great Persian poet of India. In the historical poem "Ashiqa", he describes the tragic love story of Khizr Khan and Dewal Rani. One day, when Khusru went to visit the Prince Khizr Khan, the Prince told him about his love affair with Dewal Devi and asked him to turn them into verses.

Notes:

Ala-ud-din Khilji was illiterate.

Reference:

Amir Khusro's Ashiqa
History of the Rise of Mahommedan Power in India by Ferishta
The Travels of Ibn Batuta
Muntakhab al-Tawarikh By Badaoni

5 comments:

  1. Very tragic love story and quite an interesting read ....

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  2. If you do not know hindi then please have acknowledgement of my comment in english
    I am amazed to see that a sister of my motherland BHARAT is supporting the traitors
    Now if anyone kill one woman then everyone hates
    But who killed and exploited a lot of women they are good now
    A great hoax of history

    And the worst thing is that a sister who seems to be very well educated and knows very well that those ladies who were victim at that time were actually grand mothers of ours
    However she is not has tears for grand mothers and mothers

    Now about the mothers of BHARAT

    MAY BE YOU HAVE HEARD THE HOLLYWOOD MOVIE 300 AND PERHAPS YOU HAVE SEEN IT ALSO

    BUT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE BATTLE OF CHAMKAUR
    ONLY 40 WARRIORS VS 1000000 TRAITORS

    THE BATTLE OF SARAGRAHI IN AFGHANISTAN UNO IS CONCERNED ABOUT THAT BUT WE......

    THE BATTLE OF ANANDPUR SAHIB

    2000WARRIORSVS40000TRAITORS AND 2000 WINS

    THE MARRIGE WITH DEATH IN KASHMIR PLEASE KNOW ABOUT ALL THEASE
    BATTLES WHICH WERE FOUGHT FOR LOVE FOR OURS MOTHER LAND
    BRAVE SHIVA JI MAHARANA PRATAP AND MANY MANY MORE ARE THE LOVERS NOT TRAITORS TO USE WAR BOOTIES WHICH WERE OURS SISTERS AND MOTHERS

    DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS THE CONSPIRACY THAT THEASE BATTLES ARE NOT IN OUR TEXT BOOKS
    CAN YOU TELL ME WHY

    जो बोले सो निहाल सत् श्री अकाल

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very nice beautiful and painful love story

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  4. If u are aware what happened to kamala devi after alauddin khilji death

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  5. According to V S Naipaul 1857 was the last flare up of Muslim energy in India.

    ReplyDelete