Who was Rani Kamalapati: All about Gond queen after whom Habibganj Railway Station has been renamed

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Who was Rani Kamalapati: All about Gond queen after whom Habibganj Railway Station has been renamed

The “most modern” Habibganj railway station in Bhopal has been renamed after Gond queen Rani Kamlapati, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Saturday and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this decision.

Chouhan hailed Rani Kamlapati as the pride of the Gond community and the last Hindu queen of Bhopal, whose kingdom was usurped by Afghan commander Dost Mohammed by deceit.

People of Madhya Pradesh are thankful to the Prime Minister for renaming the Habibganj railway station after Rani Kamlapati, the Gond queen of Bhopal, the CM said in a statement.

Rani Kamlapati railway station is located in Bhopal city and part of the West Central Railway.

Who was Rani Kamlapati? 

Rani Kamlapati, the Gond queen of the region in the 18th century,  was the widow of Ginnorgarh’s chief, Gond ruler Nizam Shah.

Rani Kamlapati (or Kamlavati) was one of Nizam Shah’s seven wives and daughter of Chaudhari Kirpa-Ramchandra. Queen was well-known for her beauty and abilities and was often praised.

According to reports, she built the seven-storey ‘Kamlapati Palace’, which presently serves as an ASI-protected monument and overlooks the Upper and Lower Lakes. 

Rani Kamlapati Palace is a secular architecture of the 18th century built of Lakhauri bricks, cusped arches over crumpled pillars. The merlons are shaped as water lotuses honouring the name of the Queen.

A Times of India report citing Gond legend said on moonlit nights, Rani Kamlapati would emerge from her waterside castle and float on the lake, borne afloat by a lotus flower and attended to by 500 maidens in rowing boats.

According to Gond tale, she avenged her husband’s death by killing Alam Shah, Nizam Shah’s nephew. Alam Shah had poisoned his uncle.

Nizam Shah was poisoned to death by his nephew, the Raja of Chainpur-Bari, Alam Shah (also known as Chain Shah), who wanted to marry Kamlapati. 

Dost Mohammad Khan was offered a hundred thousand rupees by Kamlapati to safeguard her dignity and kingdom, as well as to avenge her husband’s death. Khan accepted the offer, and Kamlapati tied rakhi on his wrist. Khan led an Afghan and Gond army to fight and assassinate Alam Shah . The realm of the deceased king was annexed by Kamlapati.

However, later Queen lacked a hundred thousand rupees, so she paid him half the amount and gave the rest to the village of Bhopal. Khan was also named the administrator of Kamlapati’s state, thereby making him the head of the little Gond kingdom.

According to the history of the palace, Queen Kamlapati died of suicide by jumping into the lake in 1723.

With more than a 1.2 crore population, the Gond community is one of the largest tribal groups in India. Linguistically, the Gonds belong to the GondiManda subgroup of the South Central branch of the Dravidian language family.

PM Modi to address tribal convention to mark ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to dedicate this renamed railway station, redeveloped with modern airport-like amenities, on November 15, when he is visiting the MP capital to address a tribal convention to mark ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ in remembrance of tribal icon and freedom fighter Birsa Munda.

ALSO READ:  ​Ahead of PM Modi’s visit, Habibganj railway station renamed after Gond queen Rani Kamlapati

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