Rakshabandhan Through The Ages
- August 2, 2020
By Samyukhtha Sunil
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated across the country to acknowledge the divine and inseparable bond between siblings in the Indian subcontinent. The name is derived from two Sanskrit words; Raksha signifies the protection the brother promises to his sister, and Bandhan indicates the irreplaceable bond between them. A sacred thread called a rakhi is tied by the sister around the brother’s wrists as a symbol of their bond.
While the tradition of Raksha Bandhan can be traced back to many Puranic tales, Indian history also has interesting legends associated with this festival.
Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun
Images: Wikimedia Illustration: ACK Design Team
Post the death of her husband, Rana Sanga, Chittor’s Rani Karnavati took over the reins of the kingdom under the name of her elder son, Vikramjeet. The fear of a possible invasion had begun to make rounds within the kingdom, and sure enough, soon, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Mewar for the second time. With hopes to garner support from other kingdoms, the Queen wrote a letter to Mughal emperor Humayun, attaching a rakhi with the letter.
Previously, In 1527, Rana Sanga and his men had faced Humayun’s father, Babur, in battle, with Babar walking away the victor. However, Humayun was so overwhelmed by Karnavati’s gesture that he decided to help the queen defend Mewar at all costs. Unfortunately, by the time Humayun reached Chittor, Karnavati had already immolated herself by practising jauhar, a custom that now stands abolished. Humayun later recaptured the kingdom and resto...