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The Heroic Death in Battle of Rani Durgavati, 1564
from the Akbarnama


Left painted by Mughal court artists Kesav Kalan and Nar Singh.
This shows Asaf Khan leading the Mughal forces in 1564 against Rani Durgavati, the ruler of the Gond Kingdom of Middle India. Asaf Khan was vizier to the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) and a highly effective military leader. The female ruler of the Gond tribe fell to Mughal forces after a fiercely contested battle, leading Akbar to admire her extraordinary bravery.

Right painted by the Mughal court artists Kesav and Jagannath.
This depicts the heroic death in battle of Rani Durgavati, ruler of the Gond Kingdom of Middle India, in 1564. She was a princess of the renowned Chandel dynasty of Mahoba, and ruled Gondwana (now included in the state of Madhya Pradesh) as regent for her son Bir Narayan. She was a capable and benevolent ruler as well as being a courageous leader. Her army consisted of 20,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants, and had repelled other attacks on the kingdom, but her forces were easily defeated by the overwhelming size of the Mughal army.
V&A Museum

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Mughal Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers in the Akbarnama