Story of Panna Dhai

In spite of a lineage rich in the respectability and the valor of Sisodias, Vikramaditya, who ascended the throne of Mewar was a very insolent and arrogant king. Many self-respecting nobles found his behavior intolerable and left Chittor never to return till Vikramaditya was on the throne.

Rani Karnavati, Vikramaditya’s mother entrusted her maidservant- Panna “dhai”(nanny)- for upbringing of her sons- Vikramaditya and Uday Singh. She was also distressed by behavior of Vikramaditya and confided in Panna “dhai” her worries.

Invited by nobles to be the guardian of Vikramaditya, Banvir, exploited the situation to fulfill his own ambitions. He felt that there were only two obstacles between him and the throne-Vikramaditya and his brother, Uday Singh. He secretly conspired to kill both. After he had assassinated Vikramaditya, Banvir was spotted by a maidservant and seeing his crimson sword, she promptly informed Panna of the cruel deed and said that Banvir was now coming for Uday Singh.

Panna’s mind began racing. She had to save the only living heir to the throne of Mewar. She concealed Uday Singh in the basket and covered him with fruits and the future Maharana of the Mewar was smuggled out of the reach of Banvir. Panna placed her own sleeping son Chandan, on the bed of Uday Singh. When Banvir came, he unknowingly slew Chandan, thinking that it was Uday Singh sleeping in his bed.

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Banvir Slew Chandan
Banvir Slew Chandan

Soon Panna, who could not even mourn for her son, was hurrying away from Chittor with Uday Singh in search of help from other chieftains. The Rao Asha Shah of Kumbhalgarh was ready to give them shelter. Four year passed and Uday Singh was married to a Rajput princess. Panna then contacted the Rajput chieftains and revealed to them the story of Uday Singh’s escape. The Rajput chieftain, on coming to know the truth, considered their duty to restore the throne to the rightful owner. They joined Uday Singh in the revolt against Banvir and in a battle fought near Maholi; Banvir’s entire army was routed.

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At last Uday Singh returned to Chittor and was later crowned as the Maharana of Mewar. He was much indebted to Panna for her great sacrifice, yet Panna in the same Rajput tradition felt that it was her duty and all her sorrow was washed away on seeing Uday Singh on the throne.


Story of Panna Dhai – Rajasthani Folktales

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