How Marriage Proposal for Alauddin Khilji’s Daughter Led to Jauhar of Jalore Rajput Women
Not many are familiar with the one-sided love story of Firoza and Jalore Rajput prince Biram Dev. Firoza was the illegitimate daughter of Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi. Biram Dev was the son of Rajput (Songara clan) king Kanhadadev of Jalore, Rajasthan. It was a one sided love affair by Firoza. The Sultanate princess’ mother Aasmani Khavas was a female attendant at the Sultan’s harem.
Once, Alauddin Khilji invited Kanhadadev to his court on some occasion. During that time, Khilji annexed few small and big kingdoms into his empire. But he could not annex Jalore though it was a small kingdom. Kanhadadev sent his son Biram Dev on his behalf. Khilji welcomed Jalore Rajput prince Biram Dev, but his intentions were dire. Biram Dev was an arm wrestler par excellence; he was known far and wide for his skills in the game. Khilji provoked Biram Dev for a wrestling match with his ace wrestler Punju. The Rajput prince agreed.
Khilji authorized Punju to injure Biram Dev to death during the game. The arm wrestling match started. The handsome, striking, and valorous Jalore Rajput prince easily defeated Punju, who was the strongest court wrestler of the Sultan. Meanwhile, Firoza, who was witness to the game, fell in love with the Rajput prince. After the game was over, she approached Biram Dev and proposed him for marriage. Biram Dev refused the proposal. Firoza then approached her father and made it clear that she would either marry Biram Dev or remain unmarried.
Alauddin Khilji asked for Biram Dev’s hand in marriage with his daughter Firoza. At the same time, Khilji also pointed out that to marry Firoza, Biram Dev should convert to Islam. The Jalore Rajput prince pretended to agree and said he would come back with a marriage procession. He sought some time for the preparations.
Jalore, also known as Suvarngiri, was ruled by different dynasties over time. Worth mentioning are Gurjar Pratihars in 8th-9th centuries, Parmars in the 10th century, followed by Rajput Chauhans. Songara Rajput prince Kirtipal (the youngest son of Alhana, the Chahamana ruler of Nadol) captured Jalore from the Parmars in 1181. His grandson Uday Singh recaptured Nadol and Mandor from the Muslims besides giving a stiff resistance to Iltutmish’s invasion of Jalore in 1228. After two more successive generations, Kanhadadev became king of Jalore. His sons Biram Dev and Maldev helped him in the administrative affairs of Jalore.
Here is a saying about Jalore: “Let the sky be torn, the earth turned upside down, let the iron armor be cut to pieces, body fighting alone, but Jalore would not surrender.”
Biram Dev denounced Khilji’s marriage proposal as soon as he reached Jalore. During the same time, Ulugh Khan, one of Khilji’s generals was returning to Delhi with an army after sacking the Shiv Ling of Somnath. They were carrying the booty including the Shiv Ling. Biram Dev attacked Ulugh Khan, defeated him, and snatched the booty along with the Shiv Ling.
An irate Alauddin Khilji sent a huge army under the commandment of Kamaluddin Gurg to besiege the fort of Jalore. The Rajputs valiantly resisted the attack. The battle continued for 2 long years without fail.
Kanhadadev and Biram Dev breathed their last in the battle, defending Jalore. Many Rajput women performed Jauhar, following the king’s death. Instead of getting dishonored in the enemy’s hands, the brave and virtuous Rajput women preferred to be burnt to ashes.
Khilji’s army ransacked the entire fort of Jalore, killed all Hindus and razed temples to the ground. He searched for the Somnath Temple booty and the Shiv Ling, but could not locate them. Later, Khilji converted the ruined fort into a Muslim monument.
Do you know Maharana Pratap’s mother Jeevant Kunwar was a Songara Rajput from Jalore? Our homage to the Songara Rajputs who perished defending Jalore and the brave Rajput women who performed Jauhar.
Featured battle image representation courtesy: Bharatuntoldstory; Firoza image courtesy: rightlog.in.