Hope you have enjoyed reading the love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur of Mandu and his Hindu wife Rani Rupmati, 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 (1299): 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 his capital Nahrwala, 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 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 Ramadeva (also known as 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 six months old at that time [according to Amir Khusru. But this is a mistake]. 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 Ramadeva, 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 (Ala-ud-din's brother-in-law) was ordered to advance with his army from Gujarat to join Malik Kafur. Rai Karan was successful in opposing Alp Khan's troops from advancing further for two months. At this time, Singhana or Shankaradeva, the eldest son of Ramadeva, who had long wished to marry Dewal Devi, sent his brother Bhimadeva 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 the Yadavas were not Rajputs. However, on this occasion he was compelled to accept the proposal and Dewal Devi was handed over to the care of Bhimadeva. On hearing this, Alp Khan, determined to secure the Princess before her departure. 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 Bhimadeva who was conveying his brother's bride to Devagiri. In the following engagement, Bhimadeva'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 Mahru or Mahhaq, entitled Malika-i-Jahan, mother of the prince, objected this since she wished to betroth him to the daughter of her brother Alp Khan.
Even after his marriage with Alp Khan's daughter Khizr Khan's love for Dewal Devi continued as before. The Malika-i-Jahan came to know about the prince's affair with Dewal Devi and thought means to separate them. She decided to sent Dewal Devi to the Red Palace at Siri. On that occasion, Khizr Khan in distress, "tore off his clothes and exhibited 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 Dewal Devi 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): Nevertheless the long separation affected his health and the Queen finally agreed to their marriage.
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. When Khizr Khan 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. Khusro adds that when Khizr Khan was ordered to go to Amroha, after spending 2-3 days he returned to his father in great distress. The Sultan, who was at the point of death, received him kindly.
Imprisonment of Khizr Khan: Malik Kafur persuaded the Sultan that till his recovery it would be wise to confine the prince in the fort of Gwalior. The Sultan consented, but bound Kafur by solemn oaths not to attempt the life of the prince. When the prince was taken to Gwalior, Malik Kafur told the commandant 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 then sent a malik to Gwalior to blind Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan. Mubarak, third son of Ala-ud-din, and the queen mother 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. Mubarak Shah finally decided to get rid of all his rivals and sent a malik to murder Khizr Khan, Shadi Khan and Umar. Dewal Devi was seized by the assassins and brought to Mubarak's harem. It is not known what happened to her after that.
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 Khusro 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.
Ala-ud-din Khilji was illiterate.
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