Culture

Rana Chunda! The Brave Prince Who Is Known As The ‘Bhishma Of Mewar’

Rana Lakha was the 3rd Maharana of Mewar, he won back all the cities of Mewar, making it a whole kingdom as was established by his ancestor the founder of Mewar Bappa Rawal. Rana Lakha also restored all the buildings including temples and palaces that had suffered severe damages under the rule of Ala-ud-din Khilji.

He had eight sons, the eldest one being the Rana Chunda. As were the traditions at the time, the eldest legitimate son of ruler has the apparent right over the throne after the decease of his father. Rana Chunda was the crowned prince of Mewar.

Rana Chunda is known as the ‘Bhishma of Mewar. He is being compared to the Bhishm Pitamaha of  Mahabharatha. For those who are not  aware of the story, Devvrat was the son of the emperor Shantanu, and Ganges. Devvrat was a mighty warrior and an able administrator. Despite having these virtues, Devvrat became renown because of his devotion towards his father. He renounced his rightful throne, and even took the terrible oath of lifelong celibacy for mere assurance purpose, in favor of the progeny of Satyavati ( stepmother).

This was the story of the Bhishma, whose sacrifice led to the “Mahabharata”. Well, now here is a story of the Bhishma of Mewar, whose sacrifices led to many historical incidents.

It was known to the entire kingdom that Rana Chunda will be the king of Mewar. The then crowned prince of Marwar, Rao Ranmal, travelled all the way to Mewar to fix the match of soon to be the ruler of Mewar- Rana Chuda with his sister- Hansabai. He reached the royal palace of Mewar to hand the sacred coconut to the prince (as was the tradition of fixing marital engagements back then). But, as the prince was not in the palace at the time, the king himself accepted the coconut on behalf of his son. Well, the king had no idea of the consequences.  When Rana Chunda returned to the palace, he was made aware of the offer presented by Rao, but when he came to know that his father has accepted the proposal on his behalf, he declined the proposal. Rao Ranmal on the other hand was a powerful    ruler with a quick temper.  Rao Ranmal at that time held many surrounding territories.

The situation would have gotten Ranas in a glitch if the Rao had taken offence for the rejection. But before anything of the sort could happen, Rana Lakha proposed to marry the young princess himself.

Rao had an ulterior motive, he wanted to have a direct influence over the rule of Mewar, which he thought was possible by marrying his sister with the future Maharana, whereby marrying her with the Rana himself would make her a queen for some time, but since the future throne was set in the hands of Rana Chunda, he sensed failure of his objective.

Hence, Rao said that he will agree to the proposal only if it was secured that the future throne will go in the hands of the  children of Hansabai and Rana Lakha, without any interference from Rana Chunda or his descendants.

Rana Chunda actually agreed to the condition. Then and there he took the similar oath that had made Bhishma Devvrat immortal in the history. He renounced the throne and pledged that he would never interfere in the rule of Mewar and neither will his progeny.The marriage took place soon after.

After which, Hansabai gave birth to the noble prince Kunwar Mokal, who became the Rana of Mewar after the death of his father Rana Lakha in 1741.

Rana Chunda kept his promise and even helped young Rana Mokal in the administration of Mewar. He left Mewar when the then Rajmata Hansabai accused him of plotting against the Rana Mokal. He then went to the capital of Malwa and there originated a new dynasty –Chundawat.

Well, it is said that the oath of the Bhishma of Mewar led to many other incidences in the history, which otherwise wouldn’t have happened.


Sharanya Alva

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