Gora and Badal are legendary warriors, whose story appears in Gora Badal Padmini Chaupai (1589 CE) and its later adaptions. According to the legends of Marwar and Mewar including Muhnot Nainsi’s historical documents ‘Marwad ra pargana ri vigat ‘and
other documents they were an uncle-nephew duo who came from the ruling family of Jalore. Gora and Badal served Ratan Sen, the ruler of Chittorgarh. They fought the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji for the rescue of Ratan Sen at the request of his queen Maharani Padmini Guhila.
History as per Rajasthana Amantran:
The bards of Rajasthan sing of Gora and Badal,two legendary warriors of Chittorgarh, Mewar,whose marvellous potent and command over the army has been remembered since ages.History claims that Songara Chauhan generals Gora and Badal were uncle-nephew in relation and hailed from Jalore. Sultan Alauddin Khilji (1290-1316) took Rawal Ratan Singh as a prisoner of deceit after he denied the Sultan a chance to meet Queen Padmini in person and savour her beauty by looking at her in the flesh,instead of admiring her reflection in a mirror. The atonement demanded by Khilji for the rescue of Ratan Singh was Padmini. The objectification of woman as a show piece marked by her beauty is highlighted in proper through this incident. Khilji wanted to enhance the esteem of his harem by seizing Padmini from Chittor. Padmini’s unparallel beauty called despair for her husband, her kingdom and herself.
In the war council that was held immediately after Ratan Singh was taken into captive, Gora and Badal spiritedly planned out a strategy and accordingly acted. Words were sent out to Khijli camp that Padmini would be delivered the next morning and thereby it was asked that his army should be pulled out from the trenches. As the day dawned, one hundred and fifty palanquins (covered cases in which royal ladies were carried in medieval times) left the fort and entered the enemy camp.It was thought that Padmini’s entourage of female servants had accompanied her. But here the hook was- the palanquins were armed with the best Rajput warriors.This pretentious act of agreeing to the demand of the Sultan was in fact a noose for the rival army.When the palanquins reached, Gora gave a signal to the warriors and everyone descended from the palanquins and chopped off the heads of the Muslim soldiers.General Badal and Ratan Singh galloped away safely to Chittorgarh fort. While Gora fought bravely and reached Khiliji’s tent. He was about to kill the Sultan but Khilji moved his concubine in front of himself and Gora being a Rajput could not kill a guiltless woman. Consequently he laid down his life during the skirmish.
Padmini Mahal in Chittorgarh:
Two domed shaped houses have been constructed south of Padmini Mahal in Chittorgarh fort to commemorate these two heroic martyrs. This palace is known as Gora Badal Palace. The story is also depicted in a wall painting inside the Eklingji mandir in Udaipur. In the collection of Pandit Gaurishankar Ojha there is a reference of Gora and Badal being a single person. However, the bards still sing of them as two warriors and going with the age old oral tradition we can say that the present ruined citadel of Chittor has a glorious past and an extraordinary impulse of heroism and sacrifice, taken to matchless heights by legendary warriors.
History as per Wikipedia:
In 1298 Alauddin Khalji by deceit had taken Ratan Sen, ruler of Chittorgarh, as prisoner. In ransom Khalji wanted nothing else but Padmini. A war council was held in which Padmini herself decided that Ratan Sen had to be rescued. The heroics were left to Gora and his nephew Badal who devised a plan for Ratan Sen’s liberation. Word was sent out to the Khalji camp that Padmini would be delivered to him the day his army pulled out of their trenches. But there was a catch – her entourage of female servants and friends would accompany Padmini in 800 palanquins.
The palanquin’s were armed with the best of the Rajput warriors with two swords each. When Padmini’s palanquin, which was occupied by Gora reached Ratan’s tent, he asked Rawal to mount the horse and go back to the fort. Then Gora gave a signal and all the Rajput warriors came out of their palanquins and attacked the Muslim soldiers cutting them to pieces. Gora reached Khalji’s tent and was about to kill the sultan when Khalji moved his concubine in front of himself. Gora, being a Rajput, could not kill an innocent woman and these few seconds were enough for Khalji’s guards to kill Gora from behind.
The story of Gora Badal has been depicted on a wall painting in Eklingji temple in Udaipur. Two dome shaped houses have been constructed in their name known as Gora-Badal Mahal, south of Padmini Mahal, in Chittor Fort.
The history of the world is but the biography of great men”. Indeed it is! Rajasthan is embedded with the potent and bravery of many great men with varying degrees of influence. There is a lot more to know, a lot more to explore. A visit to Chittorgarh and Gora-Badal Palace shall introduce you to the specimen of glory implanted in every corner of the fort. The dead voices of the sharpening of the swords, clicking of the shields and redefining of the strategies are still there, waiting for you to listen and cogitate upon the triumph and brillianceThomas Carlyle