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A Poetic Record of the Rajput Rebellion, c. 1680

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2018

University of Texas at Austin,
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Through comparison of three poetic texts describing the career of Rana Raj Singh of Mewar (r. 1652–1680), this paper demonstrates how representations of Aurangzeb could vary dramatically even when they were produced for the same Rajput court. Much of the paper focuses on Rāj-vilās, a vernacular-language work with a lengthy account of conflict between Aurangzeb and the Rajput lords of Marwar and Mewar. Rāj-vilās is also noteworthy for its negative portrayal of the Mughal emperor, whom it castigates as a wicked killer of kin who was duplicitous and vengeful. Sometimes thought to be modern constructions, the criticisms of Aurangzeb found in Rāj-vilās reveal that certain ideas about Indian historical figures have continued to be deployed and repurposed over the centuries. Yet Rajput views during Aurangzeb's lifetime were not uniformly unfavourable, as the Sanskrit texts Rāja-ratnākara and Rāja-praśasti attest. Although these two works resembled Rāj-vilās in covering the reign of Rana Raj Singh and were written at roughly the same time, they cast Aurangzeb in a considerably more positive light. This difference can be attributed to the fluctuating political relationship between the Mughal empire and the Mewar kingdom in the decade between 1677 and 1687, underscoring the need to carefully identify the historical contexts within which representations of Aurangzeb were produced and circulated.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Asiatic Society 2018 

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*A much shorter version of this was presented at a panel organised by Heidi Pauwels and Monika Horstmann at the 2014 European Conference on South Asian Studies in Zurich; I am grateful to them and to Anne Murphy for their help and patience in shepherding the paper to publication. Additionally, I thank Allison Busch, Lindsay Harlan, and participants in the North Carolina Center for South Asian Studies Colloquium for their comments and assistance. Research for this article was supported by a Humanities Research Award (2013-2015) and Faculty Research Assignment (2014) from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a fellowship from the National Humanities Center (2016-2017).


1 dillīsa sāhi auraṃga diṭṭha, rukkeva pitā rajjahiṁ baiṭṭha |bisvāsa dei tina hanai baṃdhu, ai aisu duṣṭa ura rajja aṃdhu || niya gota sakala karikaiṁ nikaṃda, sulatāna bhayau chala bala suchaṃda | mannai na citta para buddhimaṃa, dasamukha samāna ahamevavaṃta || The first line of the first verse here is not entirely clear. I am grateful to Allison Busch for checking the translations from Pingal in this essay; any remaining infelicities are entirely my own.

2 Kavi, Mān, Rāj-vilās, (ed.) Menariya, Motilal (Kashi, 1958)Google Scholar. Kashi Nagaripracharini Sabha also published the text, edited by Bhagvandin, previously in 1912.

3 For an insightful and well-researched study of rebellions and succession disputes over the Mughal throne, see Faruqui, Munis D., Princes of the Mughal Empire, 1504-1719 (Cambridge, 2012), pp. 181273CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 In addition, Aurangzeb imprisoned Dara Shikoh's eldest son Sulaiman Shikoh and his own eldest son Muhammad (Sultan), who had briefly joined his uncle Shah Shuja's faction; both men died in prison. For details, see Sarkar, Jadunath, History of Aurangzib Vol. II: War of Succession (Calcutta, 1912)Google Scholar and Ghauri, Iftikhar Ahmad, War of Succession between the Sons of Shah Jahan (Lahore, 1964)Google Scholar.

5 Munis D. Faruqui, “Awrangzīb”, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three, edited K. Fleet et al., p. 69. Consulted online on 24 January 2017. <> First published online: 2011.

6 Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire, AD 1656-1668, translated by A. Constable, 2nd edition (London, 1914), p. 98Google Scholar. I have amended Bernier's spelling of personal names. By “Sultan Mahmud”, Bernier must have meant Muhammad Sultan, Aurangzeb's oldest son.

7 Ibid., p. 100.


8 See, for example, Richards, John F., The Mughal Empire (Cambridge, 1993), p. 172CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 Tod tells us that the text that he drew on most heavily for the history of Mewar was Khummāṇ-rāso (an eighteenth-century work that Tod may have believed was older). “Next in importance” were Rāj-vilās, Rāja-ratnākara (another text discussed in this article), and Jai-vilās (Tod, James, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, (ed.) Crooke, William [Delhi, 1990], p. 250)Google Scholar.

10 In the case of the War of Succession of 1658-1659, many Rajputs fought prince Aurangzeb in support of the reigning emperor, Shah Jahan, rather than out of any personal animosity toward Aurangzeb himself. This is particularly true of Maharaja Jasvant Singh of Jodhpur and his subordinates, since the emperor's mother was the sister of the Maharaja's paternal grandfather and Rajputs were expected to extend military support to their relatives through marriage. (On the various names of Shah Jahan's mother, see Hooja, Rima, A History of Rajasthan [Delhi, 2006], p. 536.)Google Scholar However, Aurangzeb also had some Rajput supporters, especially among the Bundela Rajputs (Ghauri, War of Succession, pp. 98-100).

11 For example, Tod's descriptions of the encounter between Khan Rohilla and Rathor Sambaldas/Sawaldas, covered in Canto 14 of Rāj-vilās, and minister Dayal Shah's incursions into Malwa taken from Rāj-vilās' Canto 17 (Tod, Rajasthan, p. 449).

12 The quote comes from Tod, Rajasthan, p. 453; the Rajput Rebellion in Mewar is covered in ibid., pp. 444-453, while the Marwar dimension of it appears on pp. 993-1004. Tod's aversion to Aurangzeb may have been encouraged by the emperor's bad reputation among earlier Western writers like François Bernier and Robert Orme, both of whom Tod cites.

13 For more on Tod, see Talbot, Cynthia, The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200-2000 (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 183199CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Freitag, Jason, Serving Empire, Serving Nation: James Tod and the Rajputs of Rajasthan (Leiden, Boston, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Peabody, Norbert, “Tod's Rajast'han and the Boundaries of Imperial Rule in Nineteenth-Century India”, Modern Asian Studies 30.1 (1996), pp. 185220CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14 There is virtually no scholarship on Rāj-vilās. Aside from the two introductions to the 1958 edition, the only article I am aware of is Mathur, Girishnath, “Rājvilās ka Aitihāsik Mahatva”, in Rājasthān ke Aitihāsik Bhāṣā Kāvya, (ed.) Sharma, Omprakash (Jodhpur, 1999), pp. 245249Google Scholar.

15 Vilās typically refers to a fun-filled and often sensual activity, but in Mughal-era Rajasthan the word was also sometimes applied to a long biographical poem about an elite warrior (e.g., Daḷpat-vilās, Ajīt-vilās).

16 I use Rana throughout this essay because that is the title used in Rāj-vilās, rather than Maharana.

17 Babur, Zahir al-Din Muhammad, The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, trans. Wheeler M. Thackston (Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 331Google Scholar.

18 The two Sanskrit poems named after Rana Raj Singh, Rāja-ratnākara and Rāja-praśasti, will be discussed later in this article; the third work is Kishordas's Rāj-prakāś, written in the bardic vernacular of western Rajasthan, Dingal. Several dynastic histories that include Raj Singh were also composed during his reign (Sharma, G. N., A Bibliography of Mediaeval Rajasthan (Social & Cultural) [Agra, 1965], pp. 6187)Google Scholar.

19 Saṃvat 1734 of the Vikram era (Rāj-vilās 1.38 & 1.58-59).

20 Some scholars assert that he was a Jain ascetic, while others believe he was a Caran or Bhat bard. See the differing opinions expressed in the two introductions to the 1958 edition of the text, by Motilal Menariya (“Bhūmikā”, Rāj-vilās) and Vishvanathprasad Mishra (“Sampādakīya”, Rāj-vilās).

21 These topics are covered in Cantos 1 through 4, which contain 535 verses or 33% of the total number of verses. Since the verses vary in length, I should make it clear that their quantity is not an exact measure of the extent of attention given to a topic. The three divisions to the text that I present here are of my own devising, and are in no way designated in the work itself.

22 Cantos 5 through 8 contain 412 verses or 26% of the total number of verses.

23 The incident is described in Rāj-vilās 6.28-38. See also, Sharma, G. N., Mewar and the Mughal Emperors (1526-1707 AD), 2nd edition (Agra, 1962), pp. 138139Google Scholar.

24 Cantos 9 through 18 contain 654 verses or 41% of the total number. Canto 9 is the longest, with 206 verses.

25 On the Marwar side of the Rajput Rebellion, see Bhargava, Visheshwar Sarup, Marwar and the Mughal Emperors (Delhi, 1966), pp. 115166Google Scholar; Hallisey, Robert C., The Rajput Rebellion against Aurangzeb: A Study of the Mughal Empire in Seventeenth-Century India (Columbia, MO, 1977), pp. 4758Google Scholar; and Chandra, Satish, “Hukumat-ri-Bahi and the Rathor War”, in Mughal Religious Policies, the Rajputs & the Deccan (Delhi, 1993), pp. 6371Google Scholar.

26 Hallisey, Rajput Rebellion, p. 60; Chandra, Satish, “Factors Leading to the Breach between Aurangzeb and Rana Raj Singh”, in Mughal Religious Policies, the Rajputs & the Deccan (Delhi, 1993), pp. 5462Google Scholar.

27 Chandra, Satish, Medieval India from Sultanat to Mughal, Part 2: Mughal Empire (Delhi, 1999), p. 311Google Scholar.

28 On the Mewar side of the Rajput Rebellion, see G. N. Sharma, Mewar and the Mughal Emperors, pp. 145-159; Hallisey, The Rajput Rebellion against Aurangzeb, pp. 59-66 and 69-72; Sharma, Sri Ram, Maharana Raj Singh and His Times (Delhi, 1971), pp. 7092Google Scholar.

29 For more on Rajput literature dealing with war, see Allison Busch's essay in this journal issue.

30 Talbot, Cynthia, “The Mewar Court's Construction of History”, in The Kingdom of the Sun: Indian Court and Village Art from the Princely State of Mewar, (ed.) Williams, Joanna (San Francisco, 2007), pp. 2024Google Scholar.

31 Pṛthvīrāj Rāso is one example of a text from Rajasthan in which turaka, mleccha, and asura all appear (Talbot, Cynthia, The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200-2000 [Cambridge, 2016], p. 168)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

32 A notable exception is Rāj-vilās 17.8, in which a Mewar minister attacking the Mughal territory of Malwa threatens to shave the moustaches of mlecchas, destroy mosques, seize Korans, strike the faces of asuras, and other violent acts.

33 This story features the Sisodiya repudiation of Rajput-Mughal marriages, one of the reasons it asserted its superiority over other Rajput lineages (Talbot, “Mewar Court's Construction of History”, p. 24; Taft, Frances, “Honor and Alliance: Reconsidering Mughal-Rajput Marriages”, in Idea of Rajasthan, Vol. 2: Institutions, (ed.) Schomer, K. et al. [New Delhi, 1994], pp. 217241).Google Scholar

34 sakala sahodara jara ukhāri; Rāj-vilās 9.15.

35 bāpa hanyau hani bandhu, putta hani sakala prabandhahiṁ; Rāj-vilās 9.176.

36 Aurangzeb may have been forced into deception by his father's blatant favoritism toward Dara Shikoh (Faruqui, Princes of the Mughal Empire, pp. 199-202).

37 jina mārai bandhava janaka, Allaha dai bici oṭa; Rāj-vilās 9.9.

38 ahi jyauṁ do jibhbhaha; Rāj-vilās 9.176.

39 ādi baira hiṃdū asura, dharani dharma duhuṁ kāma | koṭika ina bittai kalapa, sabala karata saṃgrāma; Rāj-vilās 9.5. I thank Heidi Pauwels for her help in translating this verse.

40 basumati Hiṃdū nṛpa baṛe, ilā Hiṃdu ādhāra | dharani sīsa Hiṃdū dhanī, bhāmini jyauṁ bharatāra; Rāj-vilās 9.6.

41 jora bhayai mahi mleccha jaba, taba hari jāni turaṃta | āpa dharai avatāra dasa, ānana asurani aṃta; Rāj-vilās 9.7. The last line could also be translated as: He incarnates himself to bring about the demon Ravana's end. Vishnu assumed his earthly incarnations in order to rid the earth of demons, a category that was sometimes equated with mleccha or barbarian.

42 ila tyauṁ hari avatāra iha, rājasiṃha mahārāṁṇa | auraṃga se asuresa sauṁ, jītai jaṃga ju āṁna; Rāj-vilās 9.8.

43 The main battles of the War of Succession are mentioned, as well as subsequent activies such as Aurangzeb's conquest of Assam and campaigns in the Deccan (Rāj-vilās 9.10-30).

44 Rāj-vilās 9.31. The text also mentions in the next verse that Jasvant Singh plundered crores of gold at the Battle of Dhawalpur (Dholpur, also known as Samugarh), although other sources do not place the Jodhpur king at this battle of May 1658.

45 Sarkar, History of Aurangzib Vol. II, pp. 146-48, 167-171; Bhargava, Marwar and the Mughal Emperors, pp. 100-105.

46 Rāj-vilās 9.41-52. Wearing a sirpāv sent by another was a clear sign of submission to that person (Flood, Finbarr B., Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter [Princeton, 2009], pp. 8284)Google Scholar. See also, Gordon, Stewart, (ed.), Robes of Honour: Khil'at in Pre-Colonial and Colonial India (New Delhi, 2003)Google Scholar.

47 A number of popular tales about gifts of poisoned robes involve Aurangzeb, including one relating to Maharaja Jasvant Singh's son Prithvi Singh, who died ca. 1677 (Maskiell, Michelle and Mayor, Adrienne, “Killer Khilats, Part 1: Legends of Poisoned ‘Robes of Honour’ in India”, Folklore 112 (2001), pp. 2931Google Scholar). This story about Aurangzeb's poisoning of Jasvant Singh's son also appears in Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (pp. 985-986).

48 ika kahi kṣatrī ūṁca, eka turakāna su akkhahiṁ |bidhi rakkhahiṁ ika beda, rāha kutabāhika rakkhahiṁ ||badhai ikka bārāha, ikka ura duṭṭha surahi uri |raṭaiṁ ikka mukha rāma, ikka rasanā rasūla rari ||mannai su ikka disi pubba mana, ika pacchima disi abhinamaya |

Jasavaṃtarāya Dillīsa yuga, rāti dyausa bādahiṁ ramaya || Rāj-vilās 9.63; see also the similar verses 9.54-55.

49 seṁmukha na kiya salāma, āna asapatī na akkhiya; Rāj-vilās 9.65. sirapāva sāhi auraṃga kau, pahiraiṁ nahiṁ kabahuṁ su pahu; Rāj-vilās 9.59.

50 Khan, Muhammad Hashim Khafi, Khafi Khan's History of ‘Alamgir (Being an English Translation of the Relevant Portions of Muntakhab Al-Lubub, trans. S. Moinul Haq (Karachi, 1975), p. 79Google Scholar. But Jasvant Singh had met with Aurangzeb in both September and November 1658, and received presents from him including a khil'at (Bhargava, Marwar and the Mughal Emperors, pp. 99-100).

51 Khafi Khan, History of ‘Alamgir, p. 79.

52 Bhargava, Marwar and the Mughal Emperors, pp. 107-110.

53 Khafi Khan, History of ‘Alamgir, p. 263. Basing his claim on remarks made in Ajitodaya and Ajīt-vilās, both poems about Jasvant Singh's son Ajit Singh that were composed in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, Satish Chandra asserts that “Aurangzeb had never forgiven Jasvant Singh for his disloyalty during the war against Shuja” (Mughal Religious Policies, p. 65). That is, the Maharaja's self-interested and disloyal behavior at the Battle of Khajwa was just as much a cause of distrust as his armed opposition to Aurangzeb at the Battle of Dharmat.

54 In Rāj-vilās 9.138, Jasvant Singh is said to have plundered Aurangzeb's harem at Dhawalpur or Dholpur (in an apparent reference to the Battle of Samugarh); a similar statement is made in Rāj-vilās 9.32. I have not come across any mention of such an incident in another text.

55 The Mughal emperors are sometimes referred to as Chagatai (here, cakatta) in Rajput courtly literature, because they claimed to be descendants of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan through his second son Chagatai Khan.

56 The first part of the sentence could also be translated as “I will save god's grace and boons”.

57 bistārauṁ bara beda, puhavi rakkhauṁ su purānaha | kājī sattha kateba, karauṁ saba chāra kurānaha || Cakattā karauṁ su cūna, thāna nija Dillī thappauṁ | rakkhauṁ Hiṃdū rīti, āsurī rīti utthappauṁ || īsvara prasāda bara uddharauṁ, mlecha tittha khaṃḍauṁ su mahi | rakkhauṁ su sakala Raṭṭhaura kauṁ, kopi Rāṇa Rājesa kahi || Rāj-vilās 9.198.

58 Maharaja Jasvant Singh was one of only six Mughal nobles holding the highest rank of 7,000/7,000 during Aurangzeb's reign; the only other non-Muslim among the six was Mirza Raja Jai Singh, the Kachvaha lord of Amer (Ali, M. Athar, The Mughal Nobility under Aurangzeb, revised edition (Delhi, 1997), pp. 175176)Google Scholar.

59 For an overview, see Talbot, Last Hindu Emperor, pp. 157-163. For more details, see the important work by Jennifer Joffee, “Art, Architecture and Politics in Mewar, 1628-1710” (PhD dissertation, University of Minnesota, 2005).

60 S. R. Sharma, Maharana Raj Singh, pp. 22-26. Chandar Bhan Brahmin, a Mughal official, wrote an acount of his mission to Udaipur to mediate this matter – see Kinra, Rajeev, Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary (Berkeley, 2015), pp. 9194CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

61 For information on the Rajsamand pavilions and their sculptures, see Vashistha, Neelima, “A Note on the Sculptures of the Raj Samudra Lake in Rajasthan”, in Art and Culture: Felicitation Volume in Honour of Professor S. Nurul Hasan, (ed.) Qaisar, A. J. and Verma, Som Prakash (Jaipur, 1993), pp. 111117Google Scholar.

62 Talbot, Last Hindu Emperor, p. 159.

63 Sadāśiva, Rāja-ratnākara-mahākāvya, edited and translated into Hindi by Pathak, Mulcandra (Jodhpur, 2001)Google Scholar.

64 Two editions of the text have been published: Chakravarti, N. P. & Chhabra, B. Ch., “Rāja-praśasti Inscription of Udaipur”, Epigraphia Indica XXIX (1951) and XXX (1953), Appendix pp. 1-123Google Scholar; and Bhaṭṭa, Raṇachoḍa, Rāja-praśastiḥ Mahākāvyam, edited and translated into Hindi Menariya, Motilal, (Udaipur, 1973)Google Scholar.

65 Pathak, Mulcandra, “Prākkathan”, in Rāja-ratnākara-mahākāvya, (ed.) Pathak, Mulcandra (Jodhpur, 2001), p. 1Google Scholar.

66 Chakravarti & Chhabra, “Rāja-praśasti”, p. 2; S. R. Sharma, Maharana Raj Singh, pp. 2-4.

67 Pathak, “Prākkathan”, p. 2.

68 Kinra, Writing Self, Writing Empire, pp. 241-251.

69 sahodarāḥ santi mama trayo ye te hindu-dharmāgama-rodhanotkāḥ |hindu-prabho dharma-nibaddha-cittakasteṣu te pāpiṣu hānurāgaḥ || Rāja-ratnākara 10.24.

70 tāte mama prāṇiti śāḥjahāne mayi sthite jyāyasi cānukūle | svadharma-niṣṭhasya hari-priyasya sīmotkramo 'bdheriva nocitaste || Rāja-ratnākara 10.25.

71 ito vaco satyam-avehi rajan-madīyam-etan-nija-rājadhānīm |prayāhi sauhārda-vaho hi yāvaj-jīvaṃ na muṃcāmi mitho 'nurāgam || Rāja-ratnākara 10.26.

72 For example, Rāja-ratnākara 15.2, 15.10, 16.33, in addition to the instances in Rāj-vilās already noted.

73 Rāja-ratnākara 10.7, 10.12, 10.19, 10.22.

74 Elsewhere in the poem, however, an occasional “othering” of Muslims does occur, as when Mewar is said to be a land free from (vyapagata) the depredations (upadrava) of Muslims (yavana; Rāja-ratnākara 1.15). Rana Raj Singh is sometimes called a Hindu lord (Rāja-ratnākara 15.2, 15.10, 16.33). That Mewar was a refuge from Muslims is also implied when we are told that attacks by asura demons made the god Govardhana move to the region, in an allusion to the migration of Srinathji from Brindavan to Nathdwara due to Aurangzeb's alleged oppression (Rāja-ratnākara 15.3). For more on Aurangzeb and Srinathji, see the essay by Heidi Pauwels and Emilia Bachrach in this issue.

75 atrāntare svaukasi śāhjahānaṃ ruddhvā kaniṣṭhaṃ pathi sodaraṃ ca | nirjitya cobhāvaparau cakatta-prabhutvam-auraṃga iti prapede || Rāja-ratnākara 10.50.

76 Chandra, Mughal Religious Policies, p. 58.

77 The letters sent by Aurangzeb to Raj Singh at this time are published in Shyamaldas, Kavi, Vīrvinod: Mevāṛ kā Itihās Vol. 2 (Delhi, 1986), pp. 415424Google Scholar. See also Bhargava, Rana Raj Singh, pp. 26-27, G. N. Sharma, Mewar and the Mughal Emperors, pp. 136-139.

78 E.g., Rāja-praśasti 8.2, 23.49, 6.24, respectively.

79 Mleccha is juxtaposed to hiṃdū in Rājapraśasti 7.14, 23.48, 23.51; mleccha appears by itself in Rāja-praśasti 7.10, 7.15, 23.15, 23.47. Terms meaning demon are not applied to Muslims in Cantos 6-8 and 22-23 of this poem.

80 rāja-maṃdiram-aṃhavaḥ . . . kalpitās, Rāja-praśasti 22.12.

81 devālaya-pāta-rushaḥ prakāśitā, Rāja-praśasti 22.29. See also the paper by Pauwels and Bachrach in this volume.

82 The fighting in Mewar is covered in Rāja-praśasti 22.10-46 and 23.11-31.

83 Raṇachoḍa Bhaṭṭa claims to have started composing it in 1662, on the same day that the work of constructing Rajsamand commenced (Rāja-praśasti 1.10; for the Gregorian calendar date, see Chakravarti & Chhabra, “Rāja-praśasti”, p. 3). This date seems suspiciously early; it may have been chosen because it implies that the poet personally witnessed all the stages of this complicated project.

84 Here I ignore Canto 24, which is a miscellaneous assortment of material, probably meant to fill up the last of the 25 stone slabs set up on the lake's embankment.

85 One verse states that the poem was completed on the date in 1676 that Rajsamand was consecrated (Rāja-praśasti 5.52), but this cannot be correct since events from later years are described.

86 Rāja-praśasti 22.10-46 & 23.1-62.

87 Several verses state that Jai Singh ordered the inscribing of the poem on stone (Rāja-praśasti 5.51, 8.53, 18.39), but another verse confusingly claims that the Rana who asked the poet to compose the poem also ordered that it be inscribed (Rāja-praśasti 10.43). The colophon to Canto 5 (appearing at the bottom of slab 6) lists the names of several masons and a Vikrama-era date of 1744 or ad 1687, which is assumed to be when the entirety of the poem was inscribed.

88 Only a few on the Mughal side are named, among them prince Akbar and Tahavvur Khan, whose rebellion against Aurangzeb in January 1681 is omitted from mention.

89 Rana Jai Singh's rank was 5000/5000, while Bhim Singh (who was given the title Raja) rose to a rank of 5000/2000 (Athar Ali, Mughal Nobility under Aurangzeb, pp. 220, 222). For more on Bhim Singh, see S. R. Sharma, Maharana Raj Singh, pp. 116-121.

90 As, for example, in Ahmad, Aziz, “Epic and Counter-Epic in Medieval India”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 83 (1963), pp. 470476CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

91 Freitag, Serving Empire, Serving Nation, pp. 103-129, 185-192; Mukherjee, Meenakshi, “History and Imagined History: Romesh Chunder Dutt's Construction of the Past”, in Elusive Terrain: Culture and Literary Memory (Delhi, 2008), pp. 138153Google Scholar.

92 This question has been raised previously by Allison Busch, in her discussion of Ratnabāvanī, a poem by Keśavdās about the Mughal takeover of Orcha which falsely claims that its prince Ratnasena died protecting the kingdom (“Literary Responses to the Mughal Imperium: The Historical Poems of Keśavdās”, South Asia Research 25.1 [2005], pp. 32-37).

93 For example, Morse, Ruth, Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reality (Cambridge, 1991)Google Scholar.

94 E.g., verses 11.46 & 11.76 in Vishvanatha, Śatruśalya-carita Mahākāvya, (ed.) B. Vyas (Jodhpur, 2006); for the date see Bholashankar Vyas, “Introduction”, in Vishvanatha, Śatruśalya-carita, p. 5.

95 Śatruśalya-carita 11.98. For more on this text, see Talbot, Cynthia, “Elephants, Hunting and Mughal Service: The Martial Lordship of Rao Ratan”, in Bundi Fort: A Rajput World, (ed.) Beach, Milo C. (Mumbai, 2016), pp. 8095Google Scholar.

96 Harbans Mukhia mentions several aspects of Mughal family life, such as Jahangir's love affair with Anarkali, that foreign travellers recorded in their accounts (The Mughals of India [Oxford, 2004], pp. 138, 143-145).

97 Bernier, Travels in the Mogul Empire, p. 10.

98 Rāj-vilās 9.176. The poet also uses words like “dissembling” (kapaṭa, 9.37), “deceived” (kiṁnau prapaṃca, 9.52), “set a trap” (racyau . . . phaṃda, 9.41), and “treachery” (visvāsaghāta, 9.51) in describing how Aurangzeb acted toward Jasvant Singh of Marwar.

99 See, for example, Vinay Lal, “Aurangzeb, Akbar, and the Communalization of History”,, accessed Jan. 23, 2017. For a more sympathetic take on Jadunath Sarkar's analysis of Aurangzeb, see Chakrabarty, Dipesh, The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar & His Empire of Truth (Chicago, London, 2015), pp. 167205CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

100 Orme, Robert, Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire, of the Morattoes, and of the English Concerns in Indostan (London, 1782), p. 101Google Scholar.

101 On Orme's life, see Dictionary of National Biography vol. 42, (ed.) Sidney Lee (NY, 1895), p. 256.

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A Poetic Record of the Rajput Rebellion, c. 1680
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A Poetic Record of the Rajput Rebellion, c. 1680
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A Poetic Record of the Rajput Rebellion, c. 1680
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