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.
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.
Thomas Carlyle has said -“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 brilliance.
When to visit : Gora Badal Palace
Best time to visit: August - February
Opening hours:8:00 AM - 7:30 PM