Inspirational Woman – Rani Bhavanishankar Roy

Bhavashankari, was the ruler of Bhurishrestha Kingdom, who defeated the Pathan resurgence in Bengal and again established Hindu sovereignty. Bhavashankari in her reign brought power, prosperity and grandeur to Bhurishrestha (Bhurshut).

Her father Dinanath Chaudhuri was a Nayak under the commander of the Pendo fort. Dinanath was a tall and well-built soldier, supremely skilled in the art of warfare. He himself commanded a troop of more than a thousand soldiers. He held a huge estate and encouraged his subjects to get themselves trained in warfare. Dinanath was considered among the respected nobilities of Bhurishrestha. Bhavashankari was born in Pendo, the first of two children of Dinanath.

From an early age, her father began to train her in horse riding, swordsmanship and archery. She was also dressed up in military armour and accompany her father on horseback. She grew up into a brave young soldier of Bhurishrestha. Then she took lessons in war, diplomacy, politics, sociology, philosophy and theology.

Soon Bhavashankari gave birth to prince Pratapnarayan. King Rudranarayan granted land and gold to the scholars and silvers, garments and food. Rudranarayan, however, died when Pratapnarayan was only five. Bhavashankari attempted to commit sati, but she was persuaded by the royal priest to act otherwise. However, she took a break from the affairs of the State to lead a life of a brahmacharini, for a period of three months.

Bhavashankari entrusted the affairs of the State with Durlabh Dutta, the revenue minister and Chaturbhuj Chakravarti, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and left for the Shiva temple at Kastasangrah along with prince Pratapnarayan, accompanied with her most trusted female bodyguards. She however used to remain in clad in war attire throughout most part of the day and carried her sword and firearm with her. At the temple, the Lord was being worshipped every day; Brahmins, monks and beggars were being fed and Shiva kirtan was being held every evening. Bhavashankari used to engage herself in Shiva sadhana every night, when she meditated alone inside the temple, with only a handful of bodyguards outside.

In the meanwhile, Chaturbhuj Chakravarti entered into a secret pact with Pathan general Osman Khan, where he along with his forces would join the Pathan forces in a battle against the Mughals and upon the Pathan victory he would become the new ruler of Bhurishrestha. The Pathan forces, fed with intelligence inputs from Chaturbhuj Chakravarti, set out to capture Bhavashankari and her son alive. Osman Khan himself, along with twelve of his well-trained, experienced and most trusted soldiers infiltrated into the territory of Bhurishrestha in the guise of Hindu monks. Another contingent of 200 Pathan soldiers would follow them in disguise. However, Osman’s advanced forces were spotted at Amta and as the news reached the queen, she summoned a detachment of 200 guards from the nearest garrison. At nightfall, she put on svetapatta over her armoured attire and engaged herself in worship. Her female bodyguards took guard outside the temple and the soldiers spread themselves along the jungles.

The battle ensued when one of the Pathan soldier tried to enter the temple complex by breaching the security. The female bodyguards swung into action and a swordfight ensued. Soon the royal guards joined the fight. The Pathans were miserably defeated and as they tried to escape, the royal guards chased and killed them. The second detachment of Pathan mercenaries were killed by the warrior monks of the Shaiva akhara in the nearby jungles in the wee hours. Osman fled.

Bhavashankari returned to the capital early next morning and assumed control of the affairs of the State. In absence of hard evidence, she couldn’t try Chaturbhuj Chakravarti, she instead demoted him in the pretext of security breach. Raja Bhupati Krishna Ray, the commander of the Pendo fort, was promoted to the post of Sarbadhinayak, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Apart from that she took immediate steps to strengthen the army in terms of numbers as well as infrastructure. She herself took the responsibility of their training.

In the meanwhile, the Pathans regrouped and once again bought Chaturbhuj. The latter declined to directly join the Pathan forces against the Queen, but assured of sabotage. Osman Khan and Chaturbhuj conspired to capture Bhavashankari on the night of her coronation, when she would be guarded only by a few of her female bodyguards. Accordingly, Osman led a contingent of five hundred Pathan soldiers and infiltrated into Bhurishrestha territory. After travelling throughout the night, they camped in a jungle near Khanakul on the morning of the D-Day.

The Pathan army was spotted in the jungle by Kalu Chandal, a hunter, who reported it to the police at Khanakul. The officer in duty immediately dispatched a Dandanayak with the news to Garh Bhawanipur. At that time Raja Bhupati Krishna Ray was away at Pendo fort, and the acting commander Chaturbhuj dismissed the incident as a false alarm. The Dandanayak not impressed with Chaturbhuj’s complacency, dispatched the news to Pendo. In the afternoon, Chaturbhuj advanced with his forces towards Khanakul. In the evening he sent a message to Osman Khan, suggesting him to launch the attack towards the end of the night. The Pathans emboldened by Chaturbhuj’s support started moving towards Bashuri, crossing the Damodar near Pursurah.

After the coronation ceremony was over, she received a message from Raja Bhupati Krishna Ray, updating her on the recent developments. She immediately deployed the troops from Chhaunapur, Basdingagarh, Lashkardanga and the female battalion. An elephant brigade of 100, a cavalry of 500 and an infantry of 500 readied for the battle. The royal advisor Haridev Bhattacharya arranged irregulars from the local Bagdi and Chandal population. On the other hand, Raja Bhupati Krishna Ray led the troops from Pendo and Dogachhia to confront the renegade battalion of Chaturbhuj Chakravarti.

As the Pathan forces approached they were cornered into a battle ground surrounded with trenches on the three sides. The Pathan forces initially mistook the Bhurishrestha army as the renegade army of Chaturbhuj. In the resulting confusion, they lost the initial edge. Osman tried desperately to turn on the tables but in vain. Bhavashankari herself led the battle atop an elephant, and armed with her hand cannon Rudragnishakti she accounted for a sizeable Pathan casualty. The superior warfare skills of Bhurishrestha soldiers coupled with the strategic advantage, led them to victory. Osman Khan, wounded and defeated, fled the battle ground. After a lot of hardship he reached Orissa in the guise of a fakir.

Mughal emperor Akbar, who was always wary of a Pathan resurgence in Bengal, decided to strengthen the alliance with Bhurishrestha. He sent Man Singh, the then governor of Bengal to the court of Bhurishrestha as the representative of the Mughal Empire. Man Singh arrived at Garh Bhawanipur with the Mughal seal. In a special ceremony, the charter of alliance was signed between the Kingdom of Bhurishrestha and the Mughal Empire. Through this treaty, the sovereignty of Bhurishrestha was formally accepted by the Mughal empire. The treaty required the former to send a gold coin, a goat and a blanket to the latter as a token of alliance. Maharani Bhavashankari was bestowed with the title of Raybaghini and the Mughals never ever interfered with her Kingdom of Bhurshut.

Two years after prince and heir apparent Pratapnarayan’s marriage, the queen abdicated her throne in favour of the prince. She however, acted as the supervisor and mentor to her successor son. Few years later when Pratapnarayan began to prove his ability as a ruler, she handed over to him all the other royal duties and retired to a spiritual life. She left for Kashi and spent the rest of her life there.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

You may also like to read:

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

You may also like to read:

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

You may also like to read:

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