Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Rani Padmavati - The Concubine of Sultan Alauddin Khilji!

A couple of weeks back, the trailer of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's new movie, "Padmavati", was released. For those few who are unaware of the movie, it is releasing on December 1 2017, and is going to be a historical account of the legend described in Malik Muhammad Jayasi's epic poem, Padmavat (1540). For those who have not yet seen the released trailer of that movie, below is the trailer:


I intended to share my thoughts on this trailer a while back, however, I was unable to do so, as I was busy over the past few weeks. Anyways, now that I have the time, I have dedicated a post to review this trailer and discuss the authenticity of the poem Padmavat (1540), by Malik Muhammad Jayasi.

Overall, I enjoyed the extravagance shown in the sets, costumes, and production. The costumes really give the Rajput feeling to the movie trailer. Another aspect of the trailer I liked was how beautifully the trailer gave a glimpse of the movie, using as minimal words as possible. In fact, Ranveer Singh says not a single word in the trailer, yet is able to convey the feeling that his character, Alauddin Khilji, is the "epitome of evilness", with the scenes of him being self-conceited, gluttonous, etc... However, there were many issues with the trailer that I had. One such issue I had was that the background of most of the scenes of the trailer give an overall theme of "darkness" that intensifies greatly in Ranveer Singh's scenes, as he plays Alauddin Khilji's role in the movie. Of course this is justified to some extent. However, I felt that the directors overdid that aspect of the trailer, thereby reducing how appealing it was for me. Another aspect I disliked was their attempt to show Alauddin as a complete villain and Ratnasimha (according to the Padmavat poem, the ruler's name was Ratansen, however, since in most other historical records he is addressed as Ratnasimha, I will stick with that name in this article) as a complete hero. For example, as I mentioned above, Alauddin Khilji was depicted as self-conceited, gluttonous, and overly indulging in material pleasures... However, we have no actual historical evidence to back such character traits in Alauddin Khilji. Depicting Alauddin Khilji in such a manner is merely an imagination of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and perhaps a way to satisfy his Rajput audience. As a matter of fact, Alauddin Khilji was a man who made tax reforms to his kingdom, judged people based on their qualities, as opposed to birth, and even was brave and disciplined enough to repulse several Mongol invasions. However, we see no trace of such behavior and personality of Alauddin Khilji in this trailer. Furthermore, Ratnasimha was depicted as an absolute hero in this trailer, with the flaws in his character removed. For example, consider these dialogues of his from the trailer:
Chinta ko talwar ki nokh pe rakhe, wo Rajput!
Reth ki navh lekar samundar se sharth lagaye, wo Rajput!
Aur jiska sar kate, phir bhi dhad dushman se ladta rahe, wo Rajput!
Any  sort of translation would do injustice to this beautiful soliloquy. However, at the end of the day, these words do not suit his personality. Of course there were many Rajputs like Rana Kumbha, Rana Sanga, and Rana Pratap whose personality suits such siloloquy. However, the personality of Ratnasimha does not exactly match with such words. An analysis of the earliest Rajput sources would reveal that despite all the exernal haughtiness and pride that Ratnasimha displayed, deep within, he was nothing more than a coward who abandoned Chittorgarh. However, the valiant resistance of the other Rajputs of Chittor, headed by Laksmasimha ensured that Allaudin Khilji did not get his hands on the fort that easily. I will elaborate on this point, later in this post! Hence, my issue with this trailer is the whitewashing of history to show characters as either black or white. Of course, this is just a trailer, and hence there is a limit to how much a director can show in it. However, I do hope this depiction does not translate into the personality of the characters shown in the actual movie.  I hope a less biased presentation is shown in the actual movie.

That being said, Padmavati was shown to have a unibrow in this trailer. However, the poem Padmavat mentions no such thing. Instead, the Padmavat poem uses a metaphor comparing Padmavati's eyebrows to a bow:
‘Her black eyebrows are like strung bows; whomever she sees, she strikes with a poisoned arrow.’
‘That bow that is mounted on her brows, for whom did Death craft such a weapon?’
‘It is the very bow that Kṛṣṇa took along; it is the very bow that was in the hands of Rām.’
‘It is the very bow that destroyed Rāvan; it is the very bow that killed the demon Kaṃsa.’
‘It is the very bow with which Rāhu was split [by Vishnu]; with it Sahasrabāhu was killed [by Arjuna].’
‘It is that very bow that I saw on her; that archer took the whole world as its target.’
‘Nothing can beat these eyebrows; even the apsarās and the gopīs went into hiding.’
‘No archer can produce a bow that compares to the eyebrows of that lady; when the bow of Indra [the rainbow] rises in the sky, it quickly hides for shame.’
Sanjay Leela Bhansali interpreted these verses from Padmavat (1540) as Padmavati having a unibrow (see image on right). However, it need not be interpreted in such a manner. The comparison of Padmavati's eyebrows to a bow simply illustrates how curved Padmavati's eyebrows were. Just like how Cupid shoots the arrow of Love to captivate its victims, so did Padmavati's beautiful eyebrows shoot symbolic arrows at its victims, to evoke attraction in them for her. These symbolic arrows were described as being "poisonous" and eventually led to the death of these victims. In other words, the symbolism of the poisonous arrow suggests that Padmavati's eyebrows were so enticing for the male/female gaze, that they led to the kama-based demise of whoever saw them. Men/women, after seeing her beautiful eyebrows, would be attracted to her, and as a result, would do anything they could to obtain her, even if it meant risking their own lives. As a result, from such endeavors, many of her lovers lost their lives. Hence, the symbolic, poisonous arrow... Bhansali erroneously took this poisonous arrow literally, and assumed that Padmavati had sported a unibrow in real life.

For a brief moment, lets just ignore all these verses and think logically... If Padmavati had a unibrow, would she have appeared as beautiful as she was described?

Doubtful...

Perhaps due to the unibrow, the appearance of Deepika Padukone (Padmavati) was not up to  the mark in the trailer. The last point that I would like to criticize is the choice of Deepika Padukone for the role. I feel that a better actress for the role would be someone like Sunny Leone or Sonakshi Sinha.

Historical Accuracy of Padmavat (1540)


That being said, it is still necessary to address whether the Padmavat poem is authentic when we look at it from a historical perspective. In this article, I plan on addressing this issue. However, prior to doing so, it is good to have a good idea of the sequence of events in the poem. Hence, below, I am reproducing a brief summary of Malik Muhammad Jayasi's Padmavat (1540),  from Wikipedia:
Padmavati, the princess of the Singhal Kingdom, is close friends with the talking parrott Hiraman. Her father disapproves of their closeness, and orders the parrot to be killed. The parrot flies away to escape the punishment, but is captured by a bird catcher, and ultimately ends up as a pet of the Chittor ruler Ratansen
Inspired by the parrot's description of Padmavati's beauty, Ratansen decides to visit the Singhal kingdom. Joined by his 16,000 vassals and princes, and with the parrot as his guide, he reaches Singhal after crossing the seven seas. There, he tries to win Padmavati by performing austerities in a temple. Informed by the parrot, Padmavati visits the temple and returns without meeting Ratansen, although she begins to long for him. Meanwhile, at the temple, Ratansen decides to commit suicide for having missed her. The deities Shiva and Parvati intervene, and Shiva advises him to attack the fortress of Singhal.
Disguised as ascetics, Ratansen and his followers attack the fortress, but are captured by Gandharvsen. As Ratansen is about to be executed, his bard reveals his identity. Gandharvsen then marries Padmavati to Ratansen, and also arranges 16,000 padmini women for his companions. (Padmini is best among the four types of women, typically found only in Singhal.)
As Padmavati and Ratansen consummate their marriage in Singhal, Ratansen's first wife Nagmati longs for him in Chittor. She uses a bird to send a message to Singhal, following which Ratansen decides to return to Chittor. Ratansen has excessive pride in being married to the most beautiful woman on the earth, for which he is punished by a sea storm during the return journey. He and Padmavati are rescued by the Ocean, but all their followers die in the storm. Lacchmi, the daughter of the Ocean, tests Ratansen's love for Padmavati by appearing before him disguised as Padmavati. Ratansen passes the test, and is rewarded with gifts by the Ocean and Lacchmi. With these gifts, he recruits a new entourage at Puri, and returns to Chittor.
In Chittor, Padmavati and Nagmati rival for Ratansen's attention. Initially, he placates them by spending nights with them alternately, but then establishes peace by reprimanding them. Meanwhile, he banishes the Brahmin courtier Raghav Chetan for fraudulently winning a contest. Padmavati gifts Raghav her bangle in order to placate him. Raghav goes to the court of Alauddin Khalji in Delhi. When asked about the bangle, he describes the unmatched beauty of Padmavati. Alauddin then besieges Chittor, and demands Padmavati for himself. Ratansen rejects the demand, offering to pay a tribute instead. Alauddin rejects the offer, and the siege continues. Finally, as part of fresh terms of peace, Ratansen invites Alauddin as a guest inside the fort, against the advice of his vassals Gora and Badal. Alauddin deceitfully catches a glimpse of Padmavati, captures Ratansen, and returns to Delhi. Padmavati asks Gora and Badal to help her free Ratansen. The two men and their followers enter the fortress of Delhi, disguised as Padmavati and her companions. They free Ratansen, but Gora is killed fighting during the escape, while Badal takes Ratansen to Chittor.

During Ratansen's absence, the Kumbhalner ruler Devpal proposes marriage to Padmavati. On his return, Ratansen learns about this insult, and decides to punish Devpal. In the ensuing single combat, Ratansen and Devpal kill each other. Nagmati and Padmavati commit suicide by sati (widow's self-immolation) on Ratansen's pyre. Meanwhile, Alauddin's army reaches Chittor. Facing a certain defeat, the women of the fort commit suicide by jauhar (mass self-immolation), while the men fight to death. Alauddin captures an empty fortress, thus denied victory although Chittor "becomes Islam".
For those interested in reading the actual Padmavat poem, which itself is very lengthy, it can be done so using the translation by A.G.Shirreff over here.

Many historians have concluded that since no contemporary historian of Alauddin Khilji's time directly mentioned Padmavati, or that she was the reason for Alauddin Khilji's attack on the Chittor fort, the Padmavat poem is nothing but a work of fiction. Some like Kishori Saran Lal, have found many inconsistencies in the Padmavat poem. For example, the Padmavat poem says that after Ratnasimha became king, he spent 12 years in the search for Padmavati and then another 8 years in war with Alauddin Khilji. However, Ratnasimha actually ascended the throne of Chittor in 1301 and was defeated by Alauddin in 1303. Also, Jauhar of the Rajput women in the Chittor fort, upon Alauddin conquering the fort, was mentioned in Padmavat (1540). However, Amir Khusrau, Alauddin Khilji's court poet cum historian, and therefore a contemporary of Alauddin Khilji, mentions no such Jauhar at Chittor. We cannot reason, however, that Amir Khusrau did not know of the practice of Jauhar, because 2 years prior to the siege of Chittor, when Alauddin Khilji captured the fort of Ranthambore, Amir Khusrau narrates the Jauhar that transpired in the fort. Hence, the mention of Jauhar in Chittor is yet another discrepancy in the Padmavat poem. Most likely, the presence of Jauhar in the poem Padmavat was due to extraneous influences when Malik Muhammad Jayasi was writing the poem. Just a decade prior to the completion of the poem, Chittor had experienced her conquest at the hands of Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, and the associated Jauhar. It was perhaps from the influence of this Jauhar, and due to the need to please the Rajputs whom he was narrating this poem to, that Malik Muhammad Jayasi added in the poem that the females in the Chittor fort performed Jauhar, upon its capture by Alauddin Khilji!

That being said, although many historians disregard the Padmavati poem as fiction, many Hindu nationalists and Rajputs consider it a sacred part of their history, as they have converted the 14th century princess, Padmavati, into a female divine figure, after her Jauhar. However, the claims of such people are based on hearsay and emotion, as opposed to actual research on the subject, and are therefore not taken seriously by historians. For example, what many of these folks forget, or perhaps are unaware of, is the fact that according to Padmavat (1540), Padmavati did Sati, not Jauhar. Sati involves a devoted wife burning herself alive, on her dead husband's pyre when her husband's funeral rites occur. On the other hand, Jauhar involves a female burning herself alive, when her fort is nearly captured by the enemy, and her husband goes out to perform Saka. The former is to show devotion to the husband, whereas the latter is to satisfy the husband's possessiveness and ensure that after his death, the invaders are not able to lay their hands on, and have sex with his dear wife. Often times, if a Rajput female was unwilling to do Jauhar, her bodyguards, employed by her husband, would thrust her forcibly, against her will, into the fire.

However, from my research on this topic, I have come to conclude that both sides have some truth to their claims. The poem Padmavat is both fictional and non-fictional. That is to say, it is a work of fiction, based on a historical event. This means that its minute details may be fictional, however the gist of the story is indeed history (i.e. non-fiction)! To show this, I will analyze contemporary historical records in the next few paragraphs... That being said, the name of the wife of Ratnasimha was likely not Padmavati. Padmavati is a sanskrit name, derived from the sanskrit word पद्म (padma), meaning "lotus-hued". Hence, Padmavati was likely a name coined by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, based on the beauty of Ratnasimha's wife. Her real name would have been something else. But since we have no information on her real name, I will address her as Padmavati in this article.

An Analysis of Contemporary Historical Records

The first person to mention the siege of Chittor by Alauddin Khilji was his court historian cum poet, Amir Khusrau, who accompanied him in the siege. Amir Khusrau details the siege of Chittor in his Khazain-ul-Futuh. I have a copy of this text, translated in English by Dr. Wahid Mirza, as well as the translation by Prof. Muhammad Habib. Since the translation by Dr. Wahid Mirza contains some translation mistakes/typos, I will also refer to the translation of Prof. Muhammad Habib in my analysis below. For those that are interested in reading both translations, I have reproduced both of the translations below, for the portions that deal with the siege of Chittor.


Translation by Dr. Wahid Mirza



Translation by Prof. Muhammad Habib
On Monday, the 8th Jamadius Sani, 702 A.H. the Conqueror of the World, resolved on the conquest of Chitor, ordered his high-sounding drums to be beaten. The crescent-banner was moved forward from Delhi and the imperial canopy was raised up to the smoky clouds; the sound of the drum reached the bowl of the sky and conveyed to it the good news of the Emperor's determination. Finally, the confines of Chitor were reached. The imperial pavilion of which the clouds may be considered the lining, was pitched up in that territory between two rivers. The enthusiasm of the army shook the two seashbres like an earthquake, while the dust raised by the feet of the troops rendered the two deep rivers fordable. The two wings of the army were ordered to pitch their tents one after the other on the two sides of the fort. It seemed that water-laden clouds had alighted at the foot of the hill. For two months the flood of the swords went up to the 'waist' of the hill but could not rise any higher. Wonderful was the fort, which even hailstones were unable to strike! For if the flood itself rushes from the summit, it will take a foil day to reach the foot of the hill.
Nevertheless, the celestial fort, which raised its head above the clouds, would have bowed to the ground at the strokes of the maghribi stones. But Jesus from the Baitul Ma 'mur (Mecca) sent the good news of the building of Muhammad's Faith; consequently, the stones of the building remained intact and kept their secret to themselves. On a hill, named Chatarwari, the Emperor raised his white canopy every day like the sun, and as is the custom of rulers, attended to the administration of the army. He ordered the eastern wrestlers (pahlawans) to draw the westerners (maghribis). Other warriors began to place heavy stones in the 'arm' (palla) of the maghribi- for, except the arm of the maghribi, nothing else could measure their strength. Every warrior, as he raised the stone with his strength, made his hand a pillar for the hill that had no pillars.
The army of Solomon dealt strokes, like those of David, on the fort that reminded them of Seba. On Monday, 11 Muharram, A.H. 703, the Solomon of the age, seated on his aerial throne, went into the fort, to which birds were unable to fly. The servant (Amir Khusrau), who is the bird of this Solomon, was also with him They cried, 'Hudhud! Hudhud!' repeatedly. But I would not return; for I feared Sultan's wrath in case he inquired, 'How is it I see not Hudhud, or is one of the absentees?' and what would be my excuse for my absence if he asked, 'Bring to me a clear plea'?. If the Emperor says in his anger, 'I will chastise him', how can the poor bird have strength enough to bear it?
It was the rainy season when the white cloud of the ruler of land and sea appeared on the summit of this high hill. The Rai, struck with the lightning of the Emperor's wrath and burnt from hand to foot, sprang out of the stone-gate as fire springs out of stone; he threw himself into the water and flew towards the imperial pavilion, thus protecting himself from the lightning of the sword. Wherever there is a brazen vessel, the Hindus say, there lightning falls; and the Rai's face had turned as yellow as brass through fear. Surely he would not have been safe from the lightning of the arrow and the sword, if he had not come to the door of the royal pavilion. On the day the yellow-faced Rai sought refuge on the red canopy from fear of the green swords, the great Emperor (May his prosperity continue!) was still crimson with rage. But when he saw the vegetarian Rai trembling with fear, like the trampled and withered grass under the imperial tent- though the Rai was a rebel, yet the breeze of royal mercy did not allow any hot wind to blow upon him. All the storm of the Emperor's wrath vented itself against the other rebels. He ordered that wherever a green Hindu was found, he was to be cut down like dry grass. Owing to this stem order, thirty thousand Hindus were slain in one day.
It seemed that the meadows of Khizrabad had grown men instead of grass. After the wind of imperial wrath had uprooted all the muqaddams, he rid the land of its two colours, and helped the raiyats, the cultivators of the land, among whom no thorn raises its head, to grow. The roots and branches of this azure edifice were assigned to the grand tree of the grand Empire, Khizr Khan and given the name of 'Khizrabad'. The red canopy was placed over Khizr Khan's head, like the red heaven over the blue sky. He wore a robe of honour ornamented with jewels, as the sky is inlaid with stars. Two banners, black and green, were raised so high above his threshold that the Saturn and the Sun were struck with melancholy and bile. Further, his court was adorned by a baton (dūrbāsh) of two colours, each of which seemed a tongue from the solar lamp. Thus by scattering rubies and diamonds and roses, the Emperor made the existence of his son prosperous and honourable. Then freed from the affairs of Khizr Khan and Khizrabad, he took hold of his successful bridle and brought his stirrups from the green meadows (of Khizrabad) to Siri. After the 10th of Muharram, the banner of the successor of the Prophet (May it rise higher and higher!); having wonderfully predominated over the head of the Hindus, was ordered to be moved to the City of Islam, Delhi. He (the Emperor) made the killing of all Hindus, who were out of the pale of Islam, such an obligation on his infidel-smiting sword (zulfiqar) that should Muslim schismatics (rafizis) in these days even nominally demand their rights, the pure Sunnis would swear in the name of this rightful Caliph of God. 
Now that you have read the entire chapter on Alauddin's invasion of Chittor, from Khazain ul Futuh, translated into English, by Dr. Wahid Mirza and Prof. Muhammad Habib, I will analyze select passages to show the indirect mention of Padmavati in this record, and how Padmavati's story deviates from that shown in the poem, Padmavat (1540), by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Just to avoid any translation mistakes that Dr. Wahid Mirza (green) may have made, I will use Prof. Muhammad Habib's translation (blue) in this analysis as well.

As shown in the Introduction to this chapter (i.e. first three paragraphs of Dr. Wahid Mirza's translation; first two paragraphs of Prof. Muhammad Habib's translation), Alauddin Khilji departed from Delhi on Monday, the 8th Jumda II 702 A.H. (January 27 1303). Although the date when Alauddin Khilji reached Chittorgarh is not explicitly mentioned, it can be taken to be a maximum of 1 week from the date when Alauddin Khilji departed from Delhi, given the distance from Delhi to Chittorgarh (~580 km). Upon reaching the Chittor fort, Alauddin Khilji set up tents for his army, and then attacked the fort on both sides, using the left and right wings of his army. For the first two months, Alauddin Khilji's army attempted to assault the fort using swords, and then, when that failed, they tried to hurl stones at the fort. However, these initial endeavors to capture the fort were in vain, as the fort was up on a very high elevation, giving the Rajput defenders a geographical advantage! Anyone who has seen Chittorgarh can attest to how difficult it must be for any invader to conquer that tremendous fort! Seeing this failure in the first 2 months, Alauddin Khilji then decided to use catapults. Every day, Alauddin Khilji, stood on the mountain named Chitrori/Chatarwari, and himself took a proactive role in the conquest of the fort, by monitoring the way the Eastern portion of his army drew the catapults towards the fort.

After these Introductory paragraphs, Amir Khusrau then goes on to say:
Dr. Wahid Mirza Translation: 
In this way the army detailed by the Solomon-like king, put on daily the armour of David and gathered around the rampart which reminded one of Saba, till the count of the month of Muharram was nearly in the middle and the day dawned with the last of the night, while the year was the one in which Solomon sitting on the throne travelled on the eastern breeze, that is Monday, the 11th of Muharram in the year 703 of the Prophet's hijra. On this date the Solomon of his time mounted the back of his fleet-footed horse and climbed up to the rampart which even a bird could not overfly. I, who am the bird of this Solomon, accompanied him and although they asked me frequently to turn back (hud hud), I did not do so, fearing that the king may exclaim in his anger. "How is it that I do not see the hoopoe ? Is he, then, of the absent ones?" and fearing also what I could reply concerning my absence, if the king said : "He shall bring me a clear argument." "How can a weak bird have the strength to keep composed if the king says about him. I shall certainly punish him."
Prof. Muhammad Habib Translation: 
The army of Solomon dealt strokes, like those of David, on the fort that reminded them of Seba. On Monday, 11 Muharram, A.H. 703, the Solomon of the age, seated on his aerial throne, went into the fort, to which birds were unable to fly. The servant (Amir Khusrau), who is the bird of this Solomon, was also with him. They cried, 'Hudhud! Hudhud!' repeatedly. But I would not return; for I feared Sultan's wrath in case he inquired, 'How is it I see not Hudhud, or is one of the absentees?' and what would be my excuse for my absence if he asked, 'Bring to me a clear plea'? if the Emperor says in his anger, 'I will chastise him', how can the poor bird have strength enough to bear it?
As shown by the above text, Alauddin Khilji's continued to use catapults to assault the fort till 11 Muharram A.H. 703 (August 24 1303). In other words, the siege of the Chittor fort continued on for approximately 6 months. If we read the above passage carefully, we would notice a series of beautiful metaphors that, when completely understood, have great significance in developing the series of events that transpired during the conquest of Chittorgarh. The above narrative involves metaphors comparing Alauddin Khilji to Solomon, Amir Khusrau to Solomon's pet HudHud bird (also called the Hoopoe), and the Chittor fort to the Sheba/Saba kingdom. To understand the significance of these metaphors, we will momentarily have to delve into Islam and the Qur'an, where the story of Solomon, his pet HudHud burd, and the Sheba kingdom are mentioned!

This story is mentioned in the Qur'an 27.16-44. To summarize, Solomon was the son of David, and inherited his kingdom. His army consisted of men, along with jinn and birds. One day, when he took attendance of the birds in his army, he noticed that his HudHud bird was missing. As a result, he got very angry and said that unless the HudHud bird gave a solid reason for his absence, he would have him punished severely, or perhaps even killed. However, the HudHud bird soon returned and told Solomon that he had been to the kingdom Sheba, and noticed that its queen, named Bilqis (according to the Islamic tradition), was worshiping the Sun, along with the rest of the people in the kingdom. There was no worship of Allah in that kingdom. Hearing this, Solomon was skeptical regarding the truthfulness of these words of the HudHud bird. So, he sent a letter to Queen Bilqis, via the HudHud bird, ordering her to submit to him and accept Islam. After obtaining this letter, she had consultation with the eminent men of her kingdom, and they told her that they are prepared for war, but the final decision is on her. Hearing this reply, she started thinking of the dangerous consequences of war. She realized that upon conquest of a kingdom, the invaders destroy the kingdom and the honor of its people. To avoid this, Queen Bilqus turned to diplomacy and via her messengers, sent Solomon a gift, and awaited his reply. Upon receiving the gift, Solomon was not satisfied, and sent a message back to the queen, via her messengers, demanding that she personally submit to him. He politically pressurized her into personal submission by saying that if she decided otherwise, he would invade her country. After these messengers departed to Sheba, he ordered a jinn to create a throne that is a replica of what Queen Bilqis had back in her kingdom. When Sheba personally arrived for submission, she saw this throne that was the exact same as what she had back home in Sheba, and hence, out of her own will, submitted to Solomon, converted to Islam and worshiped Allah instead of the Sun God. After that moment, Allah was worshiped in the Sheba kingdom, as opposed to the Sun God.

For those that are interested in reading the actual narrative present in Qur'an 27.16-44, please read the passage below:
And Solomon inherited David. He said, "O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty." And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows. Until, when they came upon the valley of the ants, an ant said, "O ants, enter your dwellings that you not be crushed by Solomon and his soldiers while they perceive not." So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants."And he took attendance of the birds and said, "Why do I not see the hoopoe - or is he among the absent? I will surely punish him with a severe punishment or slaughter him unless he brings me clear authorization." But the hoopoe stayed not long and said, "I have encompassed [in knowledge] that which you have not encompassed, and I have come to you from Sheba with certain news. Indeed, I found [there] a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of Allah, and Satan has made their deeds pleasing to them and averted them from [His] way, so they are not guided, [And] so they do not prostrate to Allah, who brings forth what is hidden within the heavens and the earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare - Allah - there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Great Throne."
[Solomon] said, "We will see whether you were truthful or were of the liars. Take this letter of mine and deliver it to them. Then leave them and see what [answer] they will return." She said, "O eminent ones, indeed, to me has been delivered a noble letter. Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: 'In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].' " She said, "O eminent ones, advise me in my affair. I would not decide a matter until you witness [for] me." They said, "We are men of strength and of great military might, but the command is yours, so see what you will command." She said, "Indeed kings - when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do. But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what [reply] the messengers will return." So when they came to Solomon, he said, "Do you provide me with wealth? But what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Rather, it is you who rejoice in your gift. Return to them, for we will surely come to them with soldiers that they will be powerless to encounter, and we will surely expel them therefrom in humiliation, and they will be debased." [Solomon] said, "O assembly [of jinn], which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?" A powerful one from among the jinn said, "I will bring it to you before you rise from your place, and indeed, I am for this [task] strong and trustworthy." Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, "I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you." And when [Solomon] saw it placed before him, he said, "This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful - his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful - then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous." He said, "Disguise for her her throne; we will see whether she will be guided [to truth] or will be of those who is not guided." So when she arrived, it was said [to her], "Is your throne like this?" She said, "[It is] as though it was it." [Solomon said], "And we were given knowledge before her, and we have been Muslims [in submission to Allah ]. And that which she was worshipping other than Allah had averted her [from submission to Him]. Indeed, she was from a disbelieving people." She was told, "Enter the palace." But when she saw it, she thought it was a body of water and uncovered her shins [to wade through]. He said, "Indeed, it is a palace [whose floor is] made smooth with glass." She said, "My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to Allah, Lord of the worlds."
The fact that Bilqis disregards the fact that Solomon was already a Muslim, and instead goes on to say that "I submit with Solomon to Allah", shows that deep within, Bilqis associated herself with Solomon, thereby strongly suggesting that mentally, she had formed an intimate bond with him by virtue of attraction/love for him. Taking this bond she felt with Solomon into account, it is quite likely that Bilqis subsequently went on to have some sort of a consensual, intimate, sexual relationship with him. This is supported by the fact that Solomon desired "personal submission" of Bilqis, which in those times, when it came to females, would have had a sexual connotation. Furthermore, when Bilqis submits to Allah, she submits to Him along with Solomon, as a couple would do, thereby suggesting a romantic relationship between the two. As a matter of fact, a 9th century Islamic Scholar cum historian, al-Tabari (839-923 ACE), asserts in his tafsir (interpretation) of the Qur'an that after Bilqis converted to Islam, she willingly married Solomon (extracted from "The History of al-Tabari, Volume 3"):



However, it is the opinion of other scholars that Bilqis did not marry Solomon, but simply was his concubine and had sexual relations with him. These scholars assert that the name Bilqīs (Arabic: بلقيس‎‎), is derived from the Greek word παλλακίς (pallakis) or perhaps the Hebrew word pilegesh,  both of which mean "concubine", thereby suggesting that Bilqis was the concubine of King Solomon. This theory of Bilqis being the concubine of Solomon gained popularity in the 12th and 13th centuries, and as a result, in the 14th century, Ethiopian account, Kebra Nagast, Bilqis was depicted as a concubine of Solomon, who had one son from him. Hence, it is fair to conclude that Amir Khusrau, who lived in the 13th and 14th centuries, had his views on Bilqis and Solomon shaped by this popular account, in addition to the Islamic account that mentions that Bilqis personally submitted to Solomon, converted to Islam, and then became his concubine and had sexual relations with him.

That being said, with this knowledge, it makes it easier to understand what Amir Khusrau was trying to say, regarding the conquest of Chittorgarh, when he used the three metaphors comparing Alauddin Khilji to Solomon, himself to the HudHud bird, and the Chittor fort to the Sheba kingdom...
"Very poetically, Amir Khusrau said that he (i.e. the HudHud Bird) was the one who informed Alauddin (i.e. Solomon) of the Chittor fort (i.e. Sheba kingdom) and how the queen of that fort (i.e. Bilqis), Padmavati (i.e. the wife of Ratnasimha), along with the people of Chittor (i.e. Sheba) were infidels and did not worship Allah. As we all know today, the royalty of Chittor trace their ancestry from the Sun God, just like how the population of Sheba worshiped the Sun God. Upon hearing that Chittor (i.e. Sheba) was plagued by religious infidelity, Alauddin Khilji (i.e. Solomon) demanded, using Amir Khusrau (i.e. the HudHud bird) as his messenger, that Padmavati (i.e. Bilqis) personally submit to him. Padmavati (i.e. Bilqis) tried to employ diplomacy and offered gifts to the Sultan (i.e. Solomon)... But to no avail... Alauddin Khilji (i.e. Solomon) was not ready to accept anything less than the personal submission of Padmavati (i.e. Bilqis). As a result, Padmavati (i.e. Bilqispersonally submitted to the Sultan (i.e. Solomon), in Delhi, and then willingly converted to Islam. Due to her love for Alauddin (i.e. Solomon), she then willingly became his concubine. Following this, Chittor (i.e. Sheba) also converted to Islam."
The aforementioned paragraph details a rough framework of events that would have transpired, based on the metaphors used by Amir Khusrau. But more importantly, it gives some solid evidence that the queen of Chittor played an important role in the conquest of Chittorgarh. This queen of Chittor was the wife of Ratnasimha, the ruler of Chittorgarh, whom Malik Muhammad Jayasi had named "Padmavati", based on her beauty. It is this interpretation of the metaphors used by Amir Khusrau that has led some scholars, such as Prof. Muhammad Habib, Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava, Dashratha Sharma, and Submial Chandra Dutta, to conclude that Padmavati was a historical figure. That being said, we should not jump the gun and make a conclusion in haste that the poem Padmavat (1540) is completely historical simply because the existence of Padmavati has been proven. The existence of Padmavati does not imply that the entire sequence of events, as mentioned in Padmavat (1540) is historically correct. For example, neither Amir Khusrau, nor any other individual contemporary to Alauddin Khilji mentions the legendary Rajput warriors, Gora and Badal. Hence, we must discard this component of the story as fictional and historically incorrect.

That being said, it is important to keep in mind that the paragraph (in red) above is merely a rough framework of the events that would have transpired during the conquest of Chittorgarh. The general Solomon-Sheba story would find a parallel in the Alauddin-Chittor story. However, we cannot expect the minute details of both stories to be the same, since the context of both stories differ (i.e. both deal with different kingdoms and different sociopolitical environments)! To determine the minute details of the Alauddin-Chittor story, and therefore generate a more complete version of the sequence of events that transpired in Chittor, analyzing the passages in the chapter of Khazain-ul-Futuh that deals with the conquest of Chittorgarh is necessary. Hence, I will return to the passage that I was analyzing earlier, before I had delved into the metaphors involving Solomon, his HudHud bird, and Sheba:
Dr. Wahid Mirza Translation: 
In this way the army detailed by the Solomon-like king, put on daily the armour of David and gathered around the rampart which reminded one of Saba, till the count of the month of Muharram was nearly in the middle and the day dawned with the last of the night, while the year was the one in which Solomon sitting on the throne travelled on the eastern breeze, that is Monday, the 11th of Muharram in the year 703 of the Prophet's hijra. On this date the Solomon of his time mounted the back of his fleet-footed horse and climbed up to the rampart which even a bird could not overfly. I, who am the bird of this Solomon, accompanied him and although they asked me frequently to turn back (hud hud), I did not do so, fearing that the king may exclaim in his anger. "How is it that I do not see the hoopoe ? Is he, then, of the absent ones?" and fearing also what I could reply concerning my absence, if the king said : "He shall bring me a clear argument." "How can a weak bird have the strength to keep composed if the king says about him. I shall certainly punish him."
Prof. Muhammad Habib Translation:

The army 
of Solomon dealt strokes, like those of David, on the fort that reminded them of Seba. On Monday, 11 Muharram, A.H. 703, the Solomon of the age, seated on his aerial throne, went into the fort, to which birds were unable to fly. The servant (Amir Khusrau), who is the bird of this Solomon, was also with him. They cried, 'Hudhud! Hudhud!' repeatedly. But I would not return; for I feared Sultan's wrath in case he inquired, 'How is it I see not Hudhud, or is one of the absentees?' and what would be my excuse for my absence if he asked, 'Bring to me a clear plea'? if the Emperor says in his anger, 'I will chastise him', how can the poor bird have strength enough to bear it?
From this narrative, we are told that roughly after 6 months of beseiging the fort, on 11 Muharram A.H. 703 (August 24 1303), Alauddin Khilji, along with Amir Khusrau, entered the Chittor fort on horse. However, one important thing to take note of is the fact that at this time, the Chittor fort was not yet conquered, since the surrender/conquest of the fort is yet to be described in the subsequent paragraphs. That being said, how was Alauddin Khilji able to enter the Chittor fort when it was not yet under his control? He would not have been able to ride into an unconquered fort, on his horse, as if it was his own fort, right?

The poem Padmavat (1540) attempts to give an answer to this question, and therein lies the historical aspect of that poem. According to Padmavat (1540), after beseiging the fort of Chittor for a long time, Alauddin makes peace with Ratnasimha and enters the fort of Chittor, with his permission, for peace discussions and to see a glimpse of Padmavati. Later on, when exiting from that fort, he captures Ratnasimha alive, and then takes him to Delhi. Following this, he demands that Padmavati personally submit to him, by coming to Delhi.

Now...

Not all of this may be true, but the gist of this is likely true. For example, when Alauddin Khilji departed from Delhi to go to Chittor, Amir Khusrau said "the crescent-banner was moved forward from Delhi". The crescent is an islamic symbol; hence Amir Khusrau says, very poetically, that Alauddin attacked Chittor to impose Islam on its populace. Likewise, the metaphor by Amir Khusrau, comparing Alauddin to Solomon, suggests that just as Solomon invaded infidel lands solely to spread Islam, so did Alauddin Khilji attack Chittor, solely for the purpose of spreading Islam in Chittor, as opposed to capturing the queen of Chittor, Padmavati. Since the purpose of the invasion of Chittorgarh was not to capture Padmavati, it seems highly unlikely that Alauddin Khilji would have asked Ratnasimha to have a glimpse of his wife. It is also highly improbable that a Rajput in those days would have allowed a stranger to catch even a single glimpse of his beautiful wife. Hence, the portion of the story where Alauddin catches a glimpse of Padmavati is likely fiction. However, the rest of the story would suggest the following:
"After 6 months of besieging the Chittor fort, Alauddin Khilji decided to make peace with Ratnasimha, and hence was allowed entry into the Chittor fort for peace talks. After the peace talks, Ratnasimha guided Alauddin out of the Chittor fort. As he was doing so, Alauddin captured Ratnasimha and took him to Delhi. After doing so, he demanded that Padmavati come to Delhi and personally submit to him."
Of course one can argue that the above theory is heavily based off of Padmavat (1540), and therefore not historically accurate. Historians generally look at the events in Padmavat (1540) with skepticism. Hence, we would ideally need references from sources written by contemporaries of Alauddin Khilji to back this theory. I will first start off by saying that the above theory makes most sense when looked at from a logical perspective. The only reason why an invader besieging a fort would enter the fort when it is still unconquered would be for peace discussions with the ruler of the fort. For example, in 1569, Akbar proceeded to besiege the Ranthambore fort. After 1 month of besieging the fort, Akbar then entered it, despite not having captured it, in order to negotiate peace terms with the ruler of the Ranthambore fort, Rai Surjan Hada. As a result, Rai Surjan Hada came up with several special terms beneficial for Ranthambore, when creating the peace treaty with Emperor Akbar. These special terms can be found in Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod's "Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan" and Vincent Smith's "Akbar the Great Mogul", for those that are interested. 

If we refer back to the Solomon-HudHud Bird-Sheba story, we would notice that the HudHud bird was the messenger of Solomon, and had a big role in peace negotiations between King Solomon and Queen Bilqis of the Sheba kingdom. Since Amir Khusrau uses metaphors comparing Alauddin Khilji to Solomon and himself to the HudHud bird, it is apt to look for parallels between the Solomon-HudHud Bird-Sheba story and the conquest of Chittorgarh. Doing so, would suggest that just like how the HudHud bird was the messenger that took part in peace negotiations between Solomon and the Sheba kingdom, so was Amir Khusrau the messenger that took part in peace negotiations between Alauddin Khilji and Chittorgarh. Hence, if Alauddin Khilji had entered the fort for peace negotiation purposes, it seems apt that he would have taken this messenger of his (i.e. Amir Khusrau) along with him. This is supported by the text in Khazain-ul-Futuh, where Amir Khusrau says "The servant (Amir Khusrau), who is the bird of this Solomon, was also with him. They cried, 'Hudhud! Hudhud!' repeatedly. But I would not return; for I feared Sultan's wrath in case he inquired, 'How is it I see not Hudhud, or is one of the absentees?' and what would be my excuse for my absence if he asked, 'Bring to me a clear plea'? if the Emperor says in his anger, 'I will chastise him', how can the poor bird have strength enough to bear it?" This makes it very clear that Alauddin Khilji entered Chittorgarh, prior to conquering it, for peace negotiations purposes, with its ruler, Ratnasimha!

However, the fact that Alauddin Khilji entered the fort for peace negotiations does not directly suggest that on his way out of the fort, he had captured Ratnasimha. Hence, evidence from contemporary sources is required to support the claim that Ratnasimha had been captured by Alauddin Khilji, when the latter was leaving the Chittor fort, after peace negotiations. One such contemporary source, that provides us the evidence we are looking for, is a record written by a Jain scholar, Kakka Suri, in 1336. In Kakka Suri's "Nabhinandana-Jinoddhara-Prabhanda", he includes nine verses describing Alauddin Khilji's military accomplishments. The fourth verse is of interest to us, as it deals with Ratnasimha and the Chittor (Citrakuta) fort:
"He captured the lord of Citrakūṭa fort, took away his property, and made him move like a monkey from one city to another"
The above verse clearly mentions that the ruler of the Chittor (Citrakuta) fort (i.e. Ratnasimha) was captured by Alauddin Khilji. However, what we also want to know is whether Ratnasimha's capture happened during the Saka, that is to say, during the final war with Alauddin when Alauddin overpowered the Rajputs and took control of Chittorgarh, or perhaps prior to Saka, during peace negotiations, when Alauddin entered the Chittor fort. The above verse does mention that Alauddin took away the property of Ratnasimha; however there is still some ambiguity regarding whether or not Kakka Suri considered Chittorgarh as part of this property. If Chittorgarh is part of this property, it would imply that Ratnasimha was captured during the Saka, along with the fort of Chittor. However, if the Chittor fort is not part of this property, it would imply that Ratnasimha was captured prior to the fort of Chittor, possibly during peace negotiations. The latter would be in sync with the theory I proposed earlier.

To resolve this confusion regarding when actually Ratnasimha was captured, lets turn to the earliest Rajput record of the siege of Chittor, which is in the form of an inscription at Kumbhalgarh, dated to 1460 CE. This inscription was issued by the legendary Rana Kumbha. The translation of this Kumbhalgarh Prahasti (eulogistic inscription) reads:
That ruler [Samarasiṃha] with all his sins removed by the worship of Maheśa became the lord of svarga, after entrusting the defence of Mount Chitrakuta to his son Ratnasiṃha. When he [Ratnasiṃha] had departed, Lakṣmasiṃha of the family of Khummana defended that excellent fort, (for) even though the established traditions of the family be forsaken by cowards, those who are valorous and steady do not give up their pursuit. Having thus destroyed his enemies in battle, he [Lakṣmasiṃha] died purified by weapons while defending Chitrakuta.
Some things to note from the above text are that it is explicitly mentioned that Samarasimha and Laksmasimha died. However, in the case of Ratnasimha, it is mentioned that he "departed", but did not die. Furthermore, the text mentions "(for) even though the established traditions of the family be forsaken by cowards, those who are valorous and steady do not give up their pursuit" in the context of Ratnasimha's departure and Laksmasimha defending the fort of Chittor. This should make it clear that the inscription addresses:
1. Ratnasimha as the one that departed (from the fort of Chittor), thereby forsaking the family traditions, like a coward.
2. Laksmasimha as the valorous and steady one that defended the fort of Chittor after Ratnasimha's departure.
In addition, note that it is explicitly mentioned that prior to dying, Samarasimha entrusted the defence of the fort of Chittor to his son Ratnasimha. Had Ratnasimha died defending the fort in the first wave of Saka, he would have entrusted the defence of the fort of Chittor to Laksmasimha prior to going for Saka. However, no such thing is mentioned in the inscription. The inscription, instead, gives the feeling that Ratnasimha's departure was unexpected and that it drove Chittorgarh to a state of instability, which was stabilized by the steady and valorous Laksmasimha, who took the reins of the defence of Chittorgarh in his own hands. For these reasons, it must be concluded that Ratnasimha departed from Chittor, had forsaken the defence of the Chittor fort and therefore did not participate in the subsequent Saka that took place in Chittorgarh. Historians such as R.C. Majumdar have agreed with such a conclusion. With this knowledge that Ratnasimha did not participate in the Saka at Chittor, it should be crystal clear that his capture took place prior to the Saka. This is in sync with the theory I earlier mentioned, thereby establishing that the Padmavat (1540) does have some historical basis, despite the poem not being fully historical!

However, one issue still remains...

The above inscription mentions that Ratnasimha departed from Chittor, thereby forsaking the family traditions of defending the fort till death. This shows his proactive role in abandoning the fort. However, my theory, and the verse I provided above, written by the Jain scholar, Kakka Suri, mention that Ratnasimha was captured and thereby prevented from defending the Chittor fort. This suggests a less active role of Ratnasimha in abandoning Chittor. So how would I explain this discrepancy? My answer to this would be to revisit what Kakka Suri says. Kakka Suri says that after capturing Ratnasimha, he was eventually released and then Alauddin "made him move like a monkey from one city to another". In other words, despite being freed from captivity, Ratnasimha took a proactive role of abandoning the Chittor fort, and moving to various other cities. It was this behavior of his that likely led the royalty of Chittor to conclude that Ratnasimha had proactively departed from the Chittor fort, and forsaken the family traditions of protecting the fort till death.

Returning to the Padmavat (1540)...

Padmavat (1540) says that after Ratnasimha was captured by Alauddin Khlji, he was taken to Delhi and held captive over there. The evidence presented thus far, from contemporary sources, supports that Alauddin Khilji had captured Ratnasimha when he was exiting Chittorgarh, after peace negotiations. However, the evidence I have provided so far does not suggest that Alauddin Khilji had taken Ratnasimha to Delhi after capturing him. To show that Alauddin Khilji had taken Ratnasimha to Delhi, I would like to refer back to the Solomon-HudHud Bird-Sheba story present in the Qur'an. According to the story, Solomon sent a message to the queen of Sheba, via his HudHud bird (i.e. his messenger), pressurizing her to personally submit to him, in his own capital. So, she personally went to his capital, and upon reaching there, willingly submitted to him, converted to Islam, and became his concubine. Since Amir Khusrau uses metaphors in Khazain-ul-Futuh, comparing Alauddin to Solomon, himself to the HudHud Bird, and Chittor to Sheba, he very subtly suggests that after capturing Ratnasimha, Alauddin had sent a message to the queen of Chittor, Padmavati, via his messenger Amir Khusrau, pressurizing her to personally submit to him in his capital, Delhi. Upon reaching Delhi, she would have willingly submitted to him, converted to Islam, and became his concubine. Since Padmavati traveled all the way to Delhi to meet Alauddin, it implies that by this time, Alauddin had returned from Chittor to Delhi. For this reason, it is fair to conclude that Alauddin had taken Ratnasimha along with him to Delhi and held him captive there. That may have been one of the reasons why Alauddin asked Padmavati to present herself in Delhi, so that she could have seen her husband for that last time, and noted that Alauddin spared his life and did not kill him. After this, as we know from Kakka Suri's record, Alauddin let Ratnasimha go free on the condition that he will roam from one city to another, like a monkey, and not interfere with the affairs of Chittor.

Padmavat (1540) mentions that when Alauddin demanded that Padmavati submit to her, she sent palanquins of warriors, headed by the legendary Gora and Badal, and that upon entering Delhi, they released Ratnasimha from captivity in the Delhi fort, and returned to Chittor. In the process, Gora got killed, but Badal returned safely to Chittor along with Ratnasimha. However, this incident must be rejected as fictional since we have no evidence of the existence of Gora and Badal in any of the records contemporary to Alauddin and Ratnasimha. Furthermore, the facts presented in the Kumbhalgarh Prahasti (1460) and Kakka Suri's "Nabhinandana-Jinoddhara-Prabhanda" (1336) directly contradict Ratnasimha returning to Chittorgarh. That being said, even if we look at the issue from a logical standpoint, this incident seems very far-fetched. For example, everyone entering Delhi would have to undergo a security check by the guards employed by Alauddin Khilji. Hence, the fact that Rajput warriors were hiding in the palanquins would have been known back then itself, with the security check. With that information, these palanquins would not have been permitted to enter Delhi. Even if they managed to enter Delhi, what about the security check at the entrance of the fort at Delhi, where Ratnasimha was held captive? Even if we somehow assume that they passed this security check, how would the Rajputs know where exactly in the Delhi fort, Ratnasimha was held captive? With minimal acquaintance in the fort, it would not have been long till the Rajputs would have been lost in the fort, and therefore easy prey for Alauddin's army. It would not have been long before they were hacked to pieces by Alauddin's army. Furthermore, even if they managed to find Ratnasimha and somehow escape from the Delhi fort, would they have been able to successfully escape from Alauddin's army? Doubtful, considering how the quality of Alauddin's horses at the time were superior to anything the Rajputs possessed. With faster horses than those possessed by the Rajputs, the batch of Alauddin's army deployed to chase these Rajputs would have easily chased and captured them prior to their escape from Delhi. For these reasons, we should reject this aspect of the Padmavat (1540) as fictional.

Based on the information presented thus far, the rough framework of events I had earlier presented can be modified to illustrate a more realistic picture of the events that transpired in Chittor:
"Amir Khusrau informed Alauddin of the Chittor fort and how the queen of that fort, Padmavati, along with the people of Chittor were infidels and did not worship Allah. Upon hearing that Chittor was plagued by religious infidelity, on 8th Jumda II 702 A.H. (January 27 1303), Alauddin Khilji took his crescent banner (i.e. Islamic banner) from Delhi to Chittor with the intention to conquer the fort and convert it to Islam. Upon reaching Chittor, Alauddin Khilji. Upon reaching the Chittor fort, Alauddin Khilji set up tents for his army, and then attacked the fort on both sides, using the left and right wings of his army. For the first two months, Alauddin Khilji's army attempted to assault the fort using swords, and then, when that failed, they tried to hurl stones at the fort. However, these initial endeavors to capture the fort were in vain, as the fort was up on a very high elevation, giving the Rajput defenders a geographical advantage! Seeing this failure in the first 2 months, Alauddin Khilji then decided to use catapults. Every day, Alauddin Khilji, stood on the mountain named Chitrori/Chatarwari, and himself took a proactive role in the conquest of the fort, by monitoring the way the Eastern portion of his army drew the catapults towards the fort. After approximately 6 months of the siege, Alauddin and Ratnasimha decided to enter peace negotiations so that they could find a way to end the siege. For the purposes of peace negotiation, Alauddin Khilji entered the fort of Chittor, along with his messenger, Amir Khusrau, on 11 Muharram A.H. 703 (August 24 1303). The details of the peace negotiations that went on in the fort are not known to us. However, after these discussions were over, and Alauddin was leaving the fort of Chittor, he captured Ratnasimha and took him to Delhi, where he was held captive in his fort. He then sent Amir Khusrau as his messenger, to Chittor, ordering Padmavati to submit to him personally, in Delhi, where her husband was held captive. Padmavati tried to employ diplomacy and offered gifts to the Sultan... But to no avail... Alauddin Khilji was not ready to accept anything less than the personal submission of Padmavati. As a result, Padmavati personally submitted to the Sultan, in Delhi, and then willingly converted to Islam. Following this, due to her love for the Sultan, she then willingly became his concubine. Subsequently, Alauddin Khilji freed Ratnasimha, on the condition that he would roam from one city to another, like a monkey, and not interfere in the affairs of Chittor."
The above sequence of events only involves everything that happened till Padmavati submitted to Alauddin in Delhi. As we know from the text from Khazain-ul-Futuh, even after the submission of Padmavati, Saka did happen, and in the Saka, as many as 30 000 Rajputs were slain. Hence, to complete the sequence of events provided above, it is necessary to analyze the rest of the passages in Khazain-ul-Futuh.
Dr. Wahid Mirza Translation:
It was still the rainy season when the white cloud of the ruler of the land and the sea appeared on that high mountain, and the hellite Rai, struck with the lightning of the king's wrath, burnt all over from head to foot, leaped out of the stony gate like the fire from the stone plunged himself into the river and fled towards the royal camp and thus saved himself from the lightning, of the sword. The Hindus say that whenever there is a brass tray the lightning strikes, there the face of the Rai which had become yellow like a brass plate due to fear "it is certain that it could not been safe from the lightning of arrows and daggers if it had not sought shelter in the royal camp.
On the day when that yellow-faced Rai, due to the fear of the green dagger bought refuge in the auspicious camp, the tree of the kingdom—may he remain green in the famous lap of good fortune from the azure sky, was still full of anger since he saw the grass-eating green-hued Rai crawling beneath the royal tent like the trampled grass. Although he was a rebel, the king's good nature did not allow a hot wind to blow upon him, but he let the Simoon of his wrath blow towards the other rebels and ordered that wherever they may find greenhued-Hindu they should cut him down like the green and dried up grass. On the strength of this strict order they cut into two with the leaf of nearly the thousand faggots of hell so that all the green land of Khidrabad looked as if grown over with. When the wind of the royal wrath had uprooted forthwith all the deep-rooted notables of that land and had gladdened the hearts of the dependent subjects who could cause no trouble, the king handed over that blue coloured garden, root and branch to the, tall tree of the exalted kingdom, Khidr Khan—may the branch of his youth always remain green—and named the city Khidrabad. A red canopy like the azure heaven over the green sky, was unfurled over his head, and bestowed on him a bejewelled robe of honour like the sky full of stars. Two flags, yellow and black were raised up so high from him, threshold that the flags of Sun and the Saturn were struck with black and yellow bile. His cavalcade was further decorated with a "durbash" of two colour the tongue of each of which was a flame of the sun's candle. Then by scattering rubies and emeralds the king made the rose-bush of the prince green-headed and red-faced. When he had done with all these arrangements for the ranks of Khidr Khan , victory held his royal rein so that he may let the green horse of his cavalcade graze on the pastures of Siri.
After the ten days of Ashur, the standard of the Caliphate of Muhammad— may God the Exalted extend his shadow, by a happy coincidence, having subdued all the Hindu chieftains returned to Delhi, the city of Islam "and the return is more praiseworthy." Wonderful lion of God who imposed on his infidel-slaying sword the slaughter of all the Hindus who were outside the pale of Islam to such an extent that if they seek out in his reign a real rafids, the virtuous Sunnis should swear before this rightful caliph that "By your life no disobedient one is to be seen in our time : if anyone revels in disobedience he is to be dealt with by your sword."  
Prof. Muhammad Habib Translation:
It was the rainy season when the white cloud of the ruler of land and sea appeared on the summit of this high hill. The Rai, struck with the lightning of the Emperor's wrath and burnt from hand to foot, sprang out of the stone-gate as fire springs out of stone; he threw himself into the water and flew towards the imperial pavilion, thus protecting himself from the lightning of the sword. Wherever there is a brazen vessel, the Hindus say, there lightning falls; and the Rai's face had turned as yellow as brass through fear. Surely he would not have been safe from the lightning of the arrow and the sword, if he had not come to the door of the royal pavilion. On the day the yellow-faced Rai sought refuge on the red canopy from fear of the green swords, the great Emperor (May his prosperity continue!) was still crimson with rage. But when he saw the vegetarian Rai trembling with fear, like the trampled and withered grass under the imperial tent- though the Rai was a rebel, yet the breeze of royal mercy did not allow any hot wind to blow upon him. All the storm of the Emperor's wrath vented itself against the other rebels. He ordered that wherever a green Hindu was found, he was to be cut down like dry grass. Owing to this stem order, thirty thousand Hindus were slain in one day.
It seemed that the meadows of Khizrabad had grown men instead of grass. After the wind of imperial wrath had uprooted all the muqaddams, he rid the land of its two colours, and helped the raiyats, the cultivators of the land, among whom no thorn raises its head, to grow. The roots and branches of this azure edifice were assigned to the grand tree of the grand Empire, Khizr Khan and given the name of 'Khizrabad'. The red canopy was placed over Khizr Khan's head, like the red heaven over the blue sky. He wore a robe of honour ornamented with jewels, as the sky is inlaid with stars. Two banners, black and green, were raised so high above his threshold that the Saturn and the Sun were struck with melancholy and bile. Further, his court was adorned by a baton (dūrbāsh) of two colours, each of which seemed a tongue from the solar lamp. Thus by scattering rubies and diamonds and roses, the Emperor made the existence of his son prosperous and honourable. Then freed from the affairs of Khizr Khan and Khizrabad, he took hold of his successful bridle and brought his stirrups from the green meadows (of Khizrabad) to Siri. After the 10th of Muharram, the banner of the successor of the Prophet (May it rise higher and higher!); having wonderfully predominated over the head of the Hindus, was ordered to be moved to the City of Islam, Delhi. He (the Emperor) made the killing of all Hindus, who were out of the pale of Islam, such an obligation on his infidel-smiting sword (zulfiqar) that should Muslim schismatics (rafizis) in these days even nominally demand their rights, the pure Sunnis would swear in the name of this rightful Caliph of God. 
The text above clearly mentions that the Rai of Chittor, Ratnasimha turned yellow (i.e. pale) due to fear of Alauddin Khilji and his army, and subsequently rushed out of his fort and surrendered to Alauddin Khilji. Hence, this directly contradicts the theory I proposed earlier, of Ratnasimha being captured by Alauddin Khilji. Had Ratnasimha surrendered to Alauddin Khilji, why would the Jain Scholar Kakka Suri say that Ratnasimha was captured by Alauddin Khilji?

My answer to this would be that Ratnasimha surrendering to Alauddin Khilji, as mentioned in Khazain-ul-Futuh, is simply Amir Khusrau's blatant bias when writing the record. Note that how, unlike a neutral (or perhaps, less biased) reporter, he goes on to mock Ratnasimha's vegetarian lifestyle, and then says that Ratnasimha "sprang out of the stone-gate as fire springs out of stone" and subsequently "threw himself into the water and flew towards the imperial pavilion, thus protecting himself from the lightning of the sword". This entire passage seems to point towards frustration and hatred towards Ratnasimha, perhaps due to the valiant resistance offered by the Rajputs of Chittor. We get some insight into this frustration at the valiant resistance provided by Ratnasimha, when Amir Khusrau mentions in his "Dawal Rani Khizr Khan" (translation by Prof. Muhammad Habib):
Then he [Alauddin] marched against Chitor in state and reduced it in a single expedition. There, also, was a Rai with a large army, who, to speak the truth, was the most exalted of all Hindu rulers. But the Emperor did not waste much time; the fort was reduced in two months with such effect that Saturn became anxious about the safety of his own constellation. It was named Khizrabad and presented to Khizr Khan. Chitor, the paradise of the Hindus, is a wonderful fort and has springs and meadows on every side.
In this passage, Amir Khusrau says that the Rai of Chittor, Ratnasimha, was powerful, had a large army and in his own words, was "the most exalted of all Hindu rulers", thereby providing some insight regarding his frustration at the valiant resistance provided by Ratnasimha, the Rai of Chittor, and his Rajput warriors. Due to this frustration, arising from the valiant resistance provided by Ratnasimha and his Rajputs, he found the need to try to suppress their bravery by saying that "he [Alauddin] marched against Chitor in state and reduced it in a single expedition" and that "the fort was reduced in two months with such effect that Saturn became anxious about the safety of his own constellation". We can see the exaggeration of Alauddin's prowess throughout the entire passage; especially in the way Amir Khusrau says "with such effect that Saturn became anxious about the safety of his own constellation". Of course there is always exaggeration in poetry, and hence, Amir Khusrau, being a poet was bound to use such exaggerations in his work. However, involving planets like Saturn and its constellation in this exaggeration is just too much, and amounts to simply flattery of his Sultan.

Furthermore, we know from Khazain-ul-Futuh that it took much longer than 2 months to conquer the fort. It took around 6 months itself before Alauddin engaged in peace negotiations with Ratnasimha. The full conquest of Chittorgarh would have taken much longer. By limiting the conquest of Chittor to a mere 2 months, Amir Khusrau tries to hide the fact that the conquest of Chittor was very tough and took a long time to accomplish. Hence, one should be skeptical when he says, in the same passage that Chittor was conquered in a single expedition. Given Amir Khusrau's writing style in this passage, it seems highly probable that more than one expedition was launched against Chittor, and that Amir Khusrau was trying to suppress this fact by saying that the fort was conquered in a single expedition. I will get back to this point later on in the article...

That being said, the point I was trying to make is that, what resonates throughout the above passage from "Dawal Rani Khizr Khan", is frustration, and anger on the part of Amir Khusrau, arising from the valiant resistance provided by the Rajputs and Ratnasimha. Hence, the passage in Khazain-ul-Futuh, where Amir Khusrau makes a mockery of Ratnasimha as well as the associated surrender to the Sultan needs to be taken with a grain of salt...

In the above passage from Khazain-ul-Futuh, we see the color green being used to symbolize energy, freshness, vitality, activeness, valor, bravery, etc... Amir Khusrau addresses Alauddin Khilji's dagger, that actively strikes down the enemies of Islam, and in this case, struck fear in the Rajputs as "green". He also prays to god that Alauddin remain "green-hued", and therefore brave, valorous, full of energy, and active in all his military exploits. Furthermore, he also addresses Ratnasimha as "green hued", thereby indirectly suggesting that Ratnasimha was full of energy and active as a warrior when he reached the Imperial tent. This makes it highly unlikely that Ratnasimha surrendered to Alauddin Khilji, like a coward. Had Ratnasimha surrendered to Alauddin Khilji, he would not have been described, using the color green, as being full of energy and active. Since Ratnasimha was addressed as a "rebel" and "green-hued Rai crawling beneath the royal tent like the trampled grass", it suggests that he was full of energy and active as a warrior, but was "trampled" (by Alauddin and his army) and therefore forced to bow down and crawl before the Emperor, beneath the royal tent. This passage contradicts what Amir Khusrau earlier said about Ratnasimha proactively surrendering to Alauddin Khilji. Instead, the passage supports the theory I postulated above, about Alauddin capturing Ratnasimha! For this reason, it is apt to conclude that Ratnasimha never surrendered per se, to Alauddin Khilji. He was rendered unable to provide further resistance to Alauddin, upon his capture at the hands of Alauddin Khilji.

That being said, the overall passage from Khazain-ul-Futuh seems to give the impression that the Chittor fort was conquered in one expedition. However, as I earlier mentioned, the style in which Amir Khusrau was speaking, in "Dawal Rani Khizr Khan", suggests that more than one expedition to conquer Chittor was taken, and that Amir Khusrau was trying to hide the fact that more than one expedition to Chittor was taken, in his attempt to suppress the valiant resistance provided by the Rajputs. However, there is more direct evidence of this bias in Khazain-ul-Futuh. For example, lets consider the dates provided in Khazain-ul-Futuh. We are told that Alauddin departed from Delhi to besiege Chittorgarh, on 8th Jumda II 702 A.H. (January 27 1303). For the first two months, there was no progress in the siege. However, after 2 months, Alauddin started using catapults, and as a result, by the 6th month, both sides agreed for peace negotiations. On 11 Muharram A.H. 703 (August 24 1303), Alauddin entered the Chittor fort and Amir Khusrau accompanied the Sultan (against the wish of some of Amir Khusrau's companions) for peace discussions. Then, the next date we are given in Khazain-ul-Futuh is 10 Muharram (no year provided in text). The text says that after Ashur (i.e. 10th day of Muharram), the Imperial army departed from Chittor to return to Delhi.

However, this introduces a huge discrepancy!

If the fort was not yet conquered and peace negotiations were still occurring on 11 Muharram A.H. 703, then how could Alauddin have conquered the fort by 9 Muharram A.H. 703, and be ready to depart from Chittor to go back to Delhi after 10 Muharram A.H. 703?

[Note: I said above that the fort was conquered by the date of 9 Muharram A.H. 703 because 10 Muharram is a fasting day for Sunni Muslims. Hence the fort was likely conquered on the day before the fasting day (i.e. 9 Muharram), and then the Islamic army stayed in Chittor for the fasting day, and departed the very next day.

The fact that the text mentions that they departed after Ashur, instead of just "they departed after 10 Muharram" suggests that they conquered the fort before Ashur, but stayed back in Chittor specifically for the fast of Ashur, which was very special for them, and only left Chittor after the completion of this fast.]

The only logical explanation for this is that this date of Ashur (10 Muharram) corresponds to not A.H. 703, but instead a later year. In other words, Chittorgarh was conquered by Alauddin Khilji, not on 9 Muharram A.H. 703, but instead on that date of a subsequent year, in a second expedition to Chittor.

On 11 Muharram A.H. 703 (August 24 1303), after approximately 6 months of besieging the fort of Chittor, Alauddin entered the fort for peace negotiations with Ratnasimha. On his way out of the fort, he captured Ratnasimha, and then retreated from Chittor, back to Delhi, taking Ratnasimha along with him. He then pressurized Padmavati to submit to him. So she went to Delhi, willingly submitted to Alauddin, converted to Islam, and became his concubine. After this, Alauddin Khilji freed Ratnasimha, on the condition that he would move from one city to another and not interfere in the affairs of Chittor. Since Ratnasimha did not return to Chittor even after being freed by Alauddin Khilji, the royalty of Chittor felt that he had abandoned the defence of the Chittor fort, like a coward. As a result, the defense of the fort was taken up by Laksmasimha. At this time, although Alauddin had dealt with Ratnasimha and had Ratnasimha's queen in his harem, he still did not have control of the Chittor fort. Hence, in one of the subsequent years, he again attacked Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh was successfully conquered on the 9 Muharram of that year, and then the Islamic army halted on Ashur (10 Muharram) in Chittor for their fast, and then after that day, departed from Chittor to return to Delhi.

The translations of the passages I provided above, from Khazain-ul-Futuh, by Dr. Wahid Mirza and Prof. Muhammad Habib suggest varying accounts of the numbers of Hindus slain upon the conquest of Chittor. Dr. Wahid Mirza's translation says that only 1000 Hindus were killed, whereas Prof. Muhammad Habib's translation puts this number at 30 000. I am inclined to believe that Dr. Wahid Mirza made a translation mistake/typo and hence wrote "the thousand" instead of "thirty thousand". This is supported by the fact that the translation by Elliot and Dowson in "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period (Vol 3.)", which was completed prior to that by Dr. Wahid Mirza and Prof. Muhammad Habib, puts the number of Hindus slain at 30 000:



That being said, I have come across many Hindu nationalists saying these 30 000 people that were slain, were civilians. This is incorrect. According to Prof. Muhammad Habib's translation, it was the muqaddams among the Hindus that were slain. Prof. Muhammad Habib defines "muqaddams" in his footnote as "village headmen, who among the Rajputs were also officers of the army". Hence the 30 000 Hindus killed refers to the army, led by Laksmasimha, that resisted the invasion of Alauddin Khilji. This is supported by Dr. Wahid Mirza's translation, as he translates the word "muqaddams" as "rebels", meaning those warriors that resisted Alauddin's army. Furthermore, Alauddin ordered that the "green Hindus" only be killed. As I mentioned earlier, green symbolizes energy, freshness, vitality, activeness, valor, bravery, etc... Hence, Alauddin ordered his army to kill the Hindus that were full of energy, and exerting their valor in actively resisting him. That being said, considering the fanatic nature of Amir Khusrau and his hatred for infidels, it is fair to say that this 30 000 number is likely an exaggeration. Mewar never had a standing army of over 20 000, even when it was at the peak of its power, during Rana Sanga's time.

As I already mentioned in this article, no Jauhar was performed by the Rajput females during this invasion since no sources contemporary to Alauddin Khilji mention that the females in Chittorgarh did Jauhar. The female Rajput royalty may have been taken captive, however nothing can be said with certainty because Amir Khusrau does not explicitly mention whether or not any slaves were taken from the invasion, as well as the fate of the female Rajput royalty after the fort was captured by Alauddin Khilji. After crushing the Rajputs and razing the glory of Chittor to dust, Alauddin gave control of Chittorgarh to his eldest son, Khizr Khan, and then returned to Delhi.

Kamala Devi was the queen of Gujarat, who was captured in 1296 by Alauddin and married to him. 8 years later, in 1304, she wanted her daughter, Devala Devi, from her first marriage to be with her in Delhi. So, Alauddin sent an army and the army captured Devala Devi and brought her to Delhi. Amir Khusrau says, in his "Dawal Rani Khizr Khan" that at that time, Devala Devi was 8 years old and Khizr Khan was 10 years old. One year prior to that, in 1303, when Alauddin besieged Chittor for the first time, Khizr Khan would have therefore been 9 years old. We know from Khazain-ul-Futuh that after capturing Chittorgarh, its control was entrusted to Khizr Khan. Hence, Khizr Khan must have been mature enough to handle the responsibilities of the fort - minimum of 15 years old - when his father entrusted him with such an important fort. This implies that the second invasion of Chittor must have taken place in 1309 (i.e. 6 years after the first invasion of Chittor), at earliest.


Summary


With this knowledge, the sequence of events that transpired in the conquest of Chittorgarh can be updated:
"Amir Khusrau informed Alauddin of the Chittor fort and how the queen of that fort, Padmavati, along with the people of Chittor were infidels and did not worship Allah. Upon hearing that Chittor was plagued by religious infidelity, on 8th Jumda II 702 A.H. (January 27 1303), Alauddin Khilji took his crescent banner (i.e. Islamic banner) from Delhi to Chittor with the intention to conquer the fort and convert it to Islam. Upon reaching Chittor, Alauddin Khilji. Upon reaching the Chittor fort, Alauddin Khilji set up tents for his army, and then attacked the fort on both sides, using the left and right wings of his army. For the first two months, Alauddin Khilji's army attempted to assault the fort using swords, and then, when that failed, they tried to hurl stones at the fort. However, these initial endeavors to capture the fort were in vain, as the fort was up on a very high elevation, giving the Rajput defenders a geographical advantage! Seeing this failure in the first 2 months, Alauddin Khilji then decided to use catapults. Every day, Alauddin Khilji, stood on the mountain named Chitrori/Chatarwari, and himself took a proactive role in the conquest of the fort, by monitoring the way the Eastern portion of his army drew the catapults towards the fort. After approximately 6 months of the siege, Alauddin and Ratnasimha decided to enter peace negotiations so that they could find a way to end the siege. For the purposes of peace negotiation, Alauddin Khilji entered the fort of Chittor, along with his messenger, Amir Khusrau, on 11 Muharram A.H. 703 (August 24 1303). The details of the peace negotiations that went on in the fort are not known to us. However, after these discussions were over, and Alauddin was leaving the fort of Chittor, he captured Ratnasimha and took him to Delhi, where he was held captive in his fort. He then sent Amir Khusrau as his messenger, to Chittor, ordering Padmavati to submit to him personally, in Delhi, where her husband was held captive. Padmavati tried to employ diplomacy and offered gifts to the Sultan... But to no avail... Alauddin Khilji was not ready to accept anything less than the personal submission of Padmavati. As a result, Padmavati personally submitted to the Sultan, in Delhi, and then willingly converted to Islam. Following this, due to her love for the Sultan, she then willingly became his concubine. Subsequently, Alauddin Khilji freed Ratnasimha, on the condition that he would roam from one city to another, like a monkey, and not interfere in the affairs of Chittor.
Since even after being freed by Alauddin Khilji, Ratnasimha did not return to Chittor, the royalty of Chittor concluded that he had abandoned the defence of the Chittor fort, like a coward, and hence the defence of the fort was taken up by Laksmasimha. At this time, although Alauddin had done away with Ratnasimha and had Ratnasimha's queen in his harem, he still did not have control of the Chittor fort. Hence, in a subsequent year, likely A.H. 708, he again attacked Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh was successfully conquered on the 9 Muharram of the next year (i.e. 9 Muharram A.H. 709 - June 18 1309), and the 30 000 Rajput warriors of Laksmasimha that resisted Alauddin were slain. No Jauhar was performed by the Rajput females, and hence chances are there that the female Rajput royalty were captured by Alauddin Khilji. However, there is no guarantee that this was the fate of the females in Chittorgarh, because Amir Khusrau does not explicitly mention the fate of the Rajput females in the fort. Neither does he mention whether or not any slaves were taken after the fort was captured. After conquering the fort, it was entrusted to Alauddin Khilji's 15 year old eldest son, Khizr Khan. Subsequently, the fort was named Khizrabad, and Chittor was converted to Islam. Then, the Islamic army halted on the day of Ashur (10 Muharram) in Chittorgarh for their fast, and subsequently, after that day, they departed from Chittor to return to Delhi."
So, this is the true story of Padmavati!

Of course, I don't expect that any director in the future would dare to depict this in the form of a movie, considering how intolerant some Indians have become. We can already see the violence perpetrated by Rajput groups, based on mere rumors that Bhansali was planning on inserting a dream sequence involving Padmavati romancing Alauddin Khilji into the movie. God knows what would have happened if they had shown a full fledged love story between Padmavati and Alauddin. After all, according to the Solomon-Bilqis narrative, Bilqis saw an illusion of her throne/palace with Solomon, which evoked, in her, attraction towards him, and as a result, she willingly submitted to him, converted to Islam, and became his concubine. The fact that Solomon accepted her despite her ugly, hairy shins (acc. to al-Tabari) would have enhanced the tender love she possessed for Solomon. Since Amir Khusrau compares Alauddin to Solomon and Chittor to Sheba, he suggests that the queen of Chittor's fate was similar to that of the queen of Sheba. Hence, Padmavati, the queen of Chittor, found something appealing/attractive in Alauddin, just as Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, did in Solomon, and as a result of this attraction/love, Padmavati willingly accepted Alauddin as her Lord!

Just as Bilqis fell in love with Solomon, so did Padmavati fall in love with Alauddin!