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Half Jauhar

The Dark History of Half Jauhar in Rajasthan

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jauhar representation

handprints proof jauhar

handprints proof jauhar

Most people are aware of the golden history of the golden city Jaisalmer. However, as it happens, this golden history is not entirely without blemishes. In the almost completely glorious past, there were some incidences, which everyone wishes that they rather would not have happened. One such incidence was that of the unfortunate half-jauhar.

Some say the sad incident was prophesied years ago, before even the foundation of Jaisalmer. As per the prophecy, which by the way even included that of the foundation of Jaisalmer,  it was fated that the royal palace of Jaisalmer would be sacked two and a half times. 

Prophecy or not, the ill-fated tragedies had happened and the most devastating one among them was of half-jauhar. 

It had happened in some year of 16th century, when the ruler of Jaisalmer was Rawal Lunakaran. Once, the Rawal had received a request from an Afghan chieftain Amir Ali that the ladies of Afghan are desirous of meeting the noblewomen of Jaisalmer. Since there was nothing harmful in the scheme, and perhaps even a potential opportunity of establishing friendly terms with the other’s kingdom, Rawal agreed with it. 

At the stipulated time, numerous palanquins entered the royal palace of Jaisalmer sans hassle. The ladies of the royal court were all prepared to welcome the guests of different kingdom. But as soon as the litters had passed through all the security gates, the armed warriors, who had come in the disguise of the Afghani ladies, got out of their palanquins creating uncontrollable panicky situation for the Rawal. 

It was clear that the Afghani soldiers were going to win if the inevitable combat would happen. That means the Jaisalmer’s soldiers had to commit Saka (the final battle of their life) and the ladies had to do Jauhar (an act of self-immolation). 

Apparently, there was not enough time to make any preparations for the pre-rituals of Jauhar. Indeed there was not enough time to even light a pyre. So, Rawal had no option but to kill all the ladies himself. He ran amok amongst them with his naked sword, running it through the throats of the ladies who have already resigned themselves to their fates.

Afterwards he ran outside, prepared to die in the combat, sworn to kill as many Afghan soldiers as possible. He started fighting valiantly and almost immediately afterwards the reinforcements of Jaisalmer’s warriors had arrived, saving the soldiers of the palace from committing Saka. 

As a matter of fact, very few of the Jaisalmer’s warriors had died in that combat. They all easily triumphed over the Afghan army leaving the chieftain for the last. It is mentioned that Amir Ali was blown up by a cannonball for his deceitful attack. 

That day, the army of Jaisalmer had won undoubtedly, but no one is ever going to count that as a victory. It was the day when the last part of the prophecy was realized (two Jauhars had already been committed in the 14th and 15th century), it was the day when the infamous half-Jauhar had happened.


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