Historical Romance: Rupmati and Baz Bahadur

Mandu, the erstwhile capital of Malwa Sultanate (now in Madhya Pradesh), is famous as the city of two great lovers, Baz Bahadur (the brave falcon), the Afghan King of Malwa and his Hindu wife Rupmati (possessing beauty). If we go through a brief history of Malwa, in 1542, Sher Shah Suri conquered it after defeating Qadir Shah and appointed Shuja'at Khan as governor of Malwa. Bayazid Khan was the eldest son of Shuja'at Khan and succeeded his father in 1555. After defeating his brothers Daulat Khan and Mustafa Khan and also several other opponents, Bayazid declared himself as the independent ruler of Malwa assuming the title of Sultan Baz Bahadur (1555-1562). He tried to invade the Kingdom of Gondwana, but his army was totally destroyed by Rani Durgavati. Baz Bahadur was the most accomplished man of his day in the science of music. Rupmati was also a musician, singer and poetess.


The Love Story of Rupmati and Baz Bahadur According to Folklore: Rupmati was a Hindu Rajput princess of Dharmpuri. One day Baz Bahadur came to the valley of river Rewa (also known as Narmada or Narbudda) for hunting. While he was pursuing a deer, his ear was attracted by a melodious voice. He followed the sound and reached the spot where Rupmati was singing and playing bin (a musical instrument). Dazzled by her beauty and enchanted by her magical voice, he wished her to accompany him to Mandu. She replied that "When Rewa shall flow through Mandu, I will be your bride". Thus Baz Bahadur built the Rewa Kund, a beautiful reservoir, at Mandu. But when Rupmati's father heard of these doings, in pride of their caste, and in extreme love to his daughter, wanted her to take poison. She thus chanted the song of death. It is said that as she had finished the song and was about to drink poison, the Sultan rode up and took the bride to Mandu after defending her father.

The History of Rupmati, A Strange Tale of Faithfulness:

The true history of Rupmati, The Lady of the Lotus: Rupmati Queen of Mandu, was written in the 43rd year of Akbar's reign by Ahmad-ul-Umri. The story begins during the reign of Shuja'at Khan. Bayazid had got the province of Sarangpur as Jagir from his father. In that city was a Brahman named Jadu Rai, with whom Bayazid was joined in friendship. One day Jadu Rai invited Bayazid to his house and arranged a great feast. At Jadu Rai's house, his eyes fell upon the face of his beautiful daughter Rupmati. Bayazid had already learnt of her beauty from one of his companions and his heart was entangled in the net of love. After the death of his father, Bayazid became the Sultan of Malwa with the title of Baz Bahadur. Baz Bahadur summoned Jadu Rai to his court at Mandu and bestowed upon him, the province of Sarangpur, on the condition that he should give Rupmati in marriage to him. When Rupmati entered Bahadur's harem, the magic of her love held him in such enchantment that he passed his days in her company, abandoned himself to sensual pleasures and made over the affairs of the kingdom to his ministers. By this time, a series of events have occurred in Indian history: Humayun's return to India (1555), Humayun's death and accession of Akbar the Great (1556). When the news of Akbar's victories reached Mandu, Rupmati advised her lover to give up pleasure and luxury and took effort to set the affairs of the Kingdom in order.

Akbar's Conquest of Malwa: Death of Rani Rupmati (1561):

The first attack which the Mughals made on Malwa was led by Bahadur Khan in 1560, but he was soon recalled due to Bairam Khan's rebellion. In 1561, Akbar sent his foster-brother Adham Khan Koka and Pir Muhammad against Malwa. Baz Bahadur marched to Sarangpur to oppose them but was defeated and fled towards Khandesh. After Baz Bahadur's defeat, all his treasures fell into the hands of Adham Khan including the ladies of his harem. Adham Khan summoned Rupmati to his presence and demanded to transfer her love to him. Rupmati at first tried to advise Adham Khan, "It did not become the glory of the conqueror thus to seek to disgrace the name and fame of the broken Afghans: for in the day of recompense heaven might bring down that very shame on the head of the conqueror". Adham Khan now decided to use force to get her. When heard of Adham Khan's plan, she thought means to escape. It is said that she disguised herself as a flower-seller and fled from the palace. But Adham Khan after three days learnt that she fled from the palace. He sent his cavalry to capture her. In spite of lots of difficulties, Rupmati reached Sarangpur to seek help from her brothers. (Her father was already dead and her mother had become the wife of her husband’s brother) Adham Khan's men killed her brothers and took her back to Mandu. She believed that Adham Khan had slayed not only her beloved but also her brothers. She said, "My heart is tired of these your proposals. There is no hope that, what I gave to Baz Bahadur, the same I should give to you, to you, above all, who do commence thy wooing by the murder of my brothers". When she realized that there is no way to escape, she promised to become his wife after three days. She said that within those days her sorrow would lessen. Adham Khan, believing that she had surrendered to his importunate lust, arranged a feast of pleasure on the second night. Rupmati saw no chance of reunion with Baz Bahadur and had washed her hands of hope of saving her honour. On that night, she adorned herself in the very bridal dress which Baz Bahadur had given her. She took her bin and sang songs of sorrow for some time. After that she went to the bridal chamber and took poison of powdered diamond. In the morning, when Adham Khan reached the bridal chamber, he found her asleep. He took her hand and tried to awaken her; but his effort was in vain; she had already gone to the other world. She was buried in a tomb located at Sarangpur in the middle of a tank.

Account of Other Historians Regarding the Death of Rupmati:

Abul Fazl: "... Adham Khan sent people to search for Rupmati. When this news reached her ear her faithful blood became aglow, and from love to Baz Bahadur she bravely quaffed the cup of deadly poison and carried her honour to the hidden chambers of annihilation!"

Nizam-ud-din Ahmad: "As the fugitives were making off, a eunuch of Baz Bahadur's wounded Rupmati with a sword, to prevent her falling into the hands of strangers; and when Adham Khan summoned her to his presence, she took poison and killed herself".

Baz Bahadur Re-occupies Malwa (1561): Akbar recalled Adham Khan and handed over the command of Malwa to Pir Muhammad. After defeating Baz Bahadur, Pir Muhammad marched against Burhanpur and sacked the city. But when Pir Muhammad was retiring to Mandu, Baz Bahadur aided by Miran Mubarak Shah of Khandesh and Tufal Khan, governor of Berar, defeated him and in his retreat Pir Muhammad fell into Rewa and was drowned. Thus Baz Bahadur re-occupied Malwa for a short time.

Baz Bahadur Enters Akbar's Service: In 1562, Akbar sent Abdullah Khan Uzbak against Bahadur. This time he fled to the hills without offering any resistance. Bahadur wandered in exile and begged assistance from one state to another and finally took refugee in the court of Rana Udai Singh of Chittor. In 1571, Akbar sent Hassan Khan Khazanci to bring him to court. Thereon, he submitted to Akbar at Nagaur after a reign of sixteen years and was encompassed with princely favours. Baz Bahadur was the last Sultan of Malwa. Malwa was annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1562. Bahadur's last wish was to be buried by the side of Rupmati at Sarangpur, where she had awaited his coming for many long and lonely years. There each by other they yet sleep, those two great lovers once more united, the Lady of the Lotus and her Lord, in the middle of the lotus-spread waters. It is said that, if anyone call Rupmati at their tomb, the echo answers, Baz Bahadur!! Unfortunately, the tomb is now ruined!

Tomb of Rupmati & Baz Bahadur, Sarangpur, Rajgarh


  1. Thanks.. wanted to know about these people since quite some time... somehow didn't check wiki on them :)

    PS. is there a way to follow/like your blog (blogspot) for wordpress users

  2. Bhenchod jo real story hai woh chutye likhte nahi hai or aisi ghatiya love story dikha k rajput cast ko nicha dikhate ho chutiyo jo real books thina woh sab jaladi gayi thi warna asli itihas pata chalta rajput ladkiya tab johar karleti thi na ki aisa ghatiya love ye love nahi tha balki rani rupmati ne already poison le liya tha na ki unke pita ne bola isliye woh kabhi chahti hi nahi thi us bhenchod mulle ko bcz paheli bat ki maharana kabhi bahar nikalti hi nahi thiaryada thi rajputo me or tumne kya story banadi hai kaha ghant me se dekha hoga rani ko or rajput cast me ajtsk kisi ladki ne love nahi kiya us waqt bcz ku6 maryada thi tab abhi sab aisa hi lagega na sab ko bcz waha unki mahanta nahi dikhegi tum sabko ki rani ne poison leliya bt uske sath nahi gayi proud karna chahiye bt aap sab hindu ko olat ho hi nahi is liye aisi ghatiya story leke aate ho real books sab mughal me jala diya tha warna pata chalta real story kya thi or kya the Rajput.

    1. Stop spreading hatred. Some women burned themselves and some genuinely fell in love. End of story. And yes, many 'great' Rajputs also gave away (bargained) their daughters to keep their kingdom and money intact. So please come out of the small dark hole that you live in.

    2. I am agree with you

  3. Nice blog Anjana. And Mr. Rana kindly use full stop or comma in ur writing so that people can at least understand what u r trying to say..

  4. Good story it is but how authentic

  5. Nice story but so many confusion in your and other Hindi books.

  6. Great Story.. as it shows Rupmati's true love for her husband and on the other hand what to say about Baz Bahdur, who left her alone to fend for herself, in such a precarious situation..

    Anyway she was not a Rajput Princess as you state but a shepherdess as mentioned on WiKi

  7. इतिहास पुरतनकाल है नहीं बस एक लगभग तय की हुई तारीख, वो भी केवल इसवी लिखा होता है । इसके अलावा मध्कालीन भारत का इतिहास ग़ुलाम वंश से मुग़ल वंश बहादुर शाह जफर तक ही उप्लब्ध है वो भी उनके भाड़े के टट्टू जो लिख गये उनकी खैरात में दी गयी जागीरो के बदले लिखा हुआ है । अब अकबर जैसे अनेक बाद्शाह थे जो अंगूठा छाप थे वो क्या पढते और क्या लिखा हुआ पढ पाते ।जो इतिहास हम आज पढते हैं वो सब लिखवाया हुआ इतिहास है ना कि लिखा हुआ । अपना विवेक इस्तेमाल करें एक मनगढंत कहानी की तरह पढें और मस्त रहें । ये मुग़ल बादशाह इतने क्रूर थे कि इन्होने अपनी ही सगे लोगो के इतिहास को मिटा कर अपना इतिहास बढा चढा‌ कर लिखा है । इसमे मोहम्मद जलालुद्दीन बिन अकबर सबसे चतुर प्राणी था जिसने अपने धन और वर्चस्व के दम पर दरबारियों को भाडे पर रखा और उनसे जो मन आया लिखवाया और उसे हम आज इतिहास समझ कर पढ़ रहे हैं ।

  8. I feel like you could've done better :P

  9. Which historians are u talking about..? Those who served at their kings and jamindars court.... oh cm'n yaar...its simple that if some one is feeding their life by the bread thrown by you its natural that the so called historian wull write the fiction only to prove his lord right and please his feeder.the history whixh we read ...specially about mugals...is adulterated and is a work of fiction. U.may be u Talk about akbarnama or all those fictions of amir khusuru..those all were servents and only obey their masters when it came to writing history.


Post a Comment