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Hamir of Mewar

Hamir of Mewar

Hamir of Mewar
The basics

Quick Facts

Gender male
Birth 1314
Death 1378 (aged 64 years)
Children: Kheta of Mewar
The details


Rana Hammir (1314–78), or Hammir, was a 14th-century ruler of Mewar in present-day Rajasthan, India. Following an invasion by the Delhi sultanate at the turn of the 13th century, the ruling Guhilot clan had been displaced from Mewar. Hammir Singh, who was a commanding officer of cadet branch of that clan, regained control of the region, re-established the dynasty after defeating the Tughlaq dynasty, and became the first of his dynasty to use the royal title 'Rana'. Hammir also became the progenitor of the Sisodia clan, a branch of the Guhilot clan, to which every succeeding Maharana of Mewar has belonged. Mewar during Rana Hammirs reign, was one of the few ethnic Indian states that had withstood the Turkic invasions. According to John Darwin "Only in Mewar and in Vijaynagar had Hindu states withstood the deluge".

He built the Annapoorna Mata temple located in the Chittor Fort in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.

Legendary account in bardic chronicles

Rana Hammir (not to be confused with Hammir of Ranthambore), the 14th century ruler of Mewar in present-day Rajasthan, was the first ruler using the title Rana before his name. He belonged to the Guhilot dynasty. After an invasion by the Delhi sultanate at the turn of the 13th century, the ruling Guhilot dynasty had been removed from Mewar. Rana Hammir belonged to a cadet branch of that clan; however regained control of the region, re-established the dynasty, and also became the propounder of the Sisodia dynasty clan, a branch of the Guhila dynasty, to which every succeeding Maharana of Mewar belonged.

A distant kinsman of Rawal Ratan Singh, by name 'Laksha' or Lakshman Singh, joined Rawal Ratan Singh against invasion of Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji. He died along with his seven sons performed saka (fighting to death), while their women committed jauhar (self-immolation in preference to becoming enemy captives). Laksha was descended in direct patrician lineage from Bappa Rawal, and hence belonged to the Gehlot(Guhilot) clan. Laksha came from the village of Sisoda near the town of Nathdwara and thus his children came to be known as 'Sisodia'. Laksha had nine(or Eight) sons, of whom the eldest, Ari, married Urmila, a pretty lady from the nearby village of Unnava, who belonged to a poor Rajput family of the Chandana clan. Rana Hammir was the only child of this couple.

Both Laksha and Ari died while defending Chittor under leadership of Rawal Ratan Singh and left behind young Hammir. He was almost an infant, however grew up under the guidance of his uncle Ajay (who himself fought in the same war), the second son of Laksha. Rana Hammir gave his uncle an initial proof of his bravery when, at a young age, he killed a treacherous King of Kantaliya named Munja Balecha (Chauhan of Bali State) who was causing chaos in the nearby area. It is said that this event impressed his uncle that he immediately bestowed on Hammir with the claims of rulership.

The Khaljis had allocated their newly acquired territories to the administration of Maldev, ruler of the nearby state of Jalore, who had associated with them during the war years. In a requirement to settle and co-opt the citizens of the land to his rule, Maldev arranged for the marriage of his widowed daughter Songari with Rana Hammir, the scion of an impoverished cadet branch of the erstwhile ruling dynasty. Rana Hammir Singh thus re-established the state of Mewar in 1326 and engineered a coup d'état against his father-in-law. The dynasty thus founded by Hammir came to be known as Sisodia after the mountain village where Rana Hammir belonged..

Conflict against the Tughluq dynasty

The Rajput bardic chroniclers such as Nainsi (17th century) claim that amid the turmoil caused by the end of the Khalji dynasty in Delhi, Hammir Singh gained control of Mewar. He evicted Maldev's son Jaiza, the Chauhan vassal of the Delhi Sultantate, from Mewar. Jaiza fled to Delhi, prompting the Delhi Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq to march against Hammir Singh. According to Muhnot Nainsi, Hammir Singh defeated Tughluq near the Singoli village, in the Battle of Singoli and imprisoned the Sultan. He then released the Sultan three months later, after the Sultanate ceded to him Ajmer, Ranthambor, Nagaur and Sooespur; and paid 50 million rupees and 1000 elephants as ransom.

However, Nainsi's claim is inaccurate, and in reality, Hammir Singh and Muhammad bin Tughluq never met. The narrative given in the Rajput bardic chronicles is not corroborated by any other evidence. That said, the claims of Hammir's successes are not entirely baseless: a 1438 Jain temple inscription attests that his forces defeated a Muslim army; this army may have been led by a general of Muhammad bin Tughluq. It is possible that subsequently, Muhammad bin Tughluq and his successors did not assert their authority in the present-day Rajasthan, and Hammir Singh's authoritiy was recognized by other Rajput chiefs, making Mewar practically independent of the Delhi Sultanate till Pashah Jehangir and Rana Amar Singh came to terms in 1615.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 24 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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