Early Life and Marriage Proposal
Chonda was the eldest son of Maharana Lakha Singh. The old Maharana Lakha Rana had his sons and grandsons established in suitable domains.
Soon Rinmal, prince of Mandor, sent proposal of marriage of his daughter with the Choda, heir of Mewar. When the messanger announced marriage proposal, Chonda was absent.
The old Maharana Lakha Singh sat on his throne with his court official surrounding him. He received the messenger courteously, and drawing his fingers over his beard said, ” I don’t suppose you send marriage proposal to an old greybeard like me.” This little joke was, of course, applauded and repeated.
Chonda was offended and declined the marriage proposal. His son’s obstinacy greatly angered the the old Rana. Chonda rejection of marriage proposal was gross insult to Rinmal, so Maharana Lakha Singh decided to accept it himself.
The Oath of Chonda
Maharana made Chonda swear that, in the event of his having a son, he would renounce his birthright, and be to the child but “the first of his Rajputs”. Chonda swore by Eklinga, the presiding deity of the Sisodias, to fulfil his father’s wishes.
Within a year of his marriage, a son, Mokul, was born. He wants his peaceful succession. So, before Maharana set out on his crusade to Gaya, he performed the ceremony to install Mokul.
Chonda was the first to do homage and swear fidelity to the future sovereign. He only reserves for himself, as the recompense for his renunciation, the first place in the councils. He stipulated that in all grants to the vassals of the crown his own symbol, the lance, should be superadded to the signature of the chief, a practice which obtains to the present day.
After his father’s departure and death, he conducted the public affairs of the state with ability and success. But the queen-mother, the natural guardian of her infant’s rights, felt discontent at her loss of power, forgetting that, but for Chonda, she would never have been mother to the Rana of Mewar. She watched with a jealous eye all his proceedings, and made no attempt to conceal her suspicions that he was aiming at absolute sovereignty, and that if he did not assume the title of Rana, he would reduce it to an empty name.
Exile of Chonda
Chonda, knowing the purity of his own motives, for some time made allowances for maternal solicitude; but his position soon became unendurable. Soon he threw up the reins of government in disgust. He retired to the court of Mandu. The prince assign him the district of Hallar.
His departure was the signal for an influx of the family of the queen, amongst whom were her brother Joda (who afterwards gave his name to Jodhpur), and her father, the old Rao Rinmal. The queen-mother found that, instead of safe guarding her own position and her son’s interests, she had jeopardised both.
With his grandson on his knee, the old Rao would sit on the throne of Mewar, and when the boy quitted him for play, the royal ensigns continued to wave over his head. This was more than the Sisodia nurse could bear. One day, bursting with indignation, she demanded of the queen if her kin was to defraud her own child of his inheritance.
Thoroughly alarmed, the queen addressed a remonstrance to her father, the only reply to which was a hint threatening the life of her offspring. Soon Raghudeva, Chonda’s brother and a prince beloved was assassinated which increased the fear of her mother.
Return of Chonda and Revenge
In this extremity, the queen-mother turned her thoughts to Chonda. She wrote to him of the danger which threatened his race. The latter, on his departure from Chitor, had been accompanied by 200 huntsmen. Ancestors of these huntsmen had served the chiefs of Mewar from ancient times.
On the pretext of visiting their families, whom they had left behind, these men gained admission to the city. They succeeded in getting themselves enrolled among the keepers of the gates. The Chonda messenger counseled queen-mother to sent the young prince daily with a numerous retinue to give feasts to the surrounding villages. The prince without fail should to hold the feast at Gosunda.
The day arrived ; the feast was held at Gosunda ; but night began to close in, and no Chonda appeared. With heavy hearts the nurse, the purohit, or family priest, and others in the secret, moved homeward.
Attack on Chittor
They had reached the eminence known as Chitori, when forty horsemen passed them at a gallop, and at their head Chonda in disguise. Chonda secret sign paid homage as he passed to his younger brother and sovereign. The band reached the upper gate unchecked, and when challenged said that they were neighbouring chieftains who, hearing of the feast at Gosunda, had the honour to escort the young prince home. The story obtained credit; but the main body, of which this was but the advance, presently coming up, the treachery, was apparent.
Chonda unsheathed his sword, and, at his well known shout, his hunters were speedily in action. The huntsmen flung open the gates and killed the guards. In a few moments every Chonda killed and hunted out every Rathore out of the city.
The end of Rao Rinmal was more ludicrous than tragical. When the gates were rushed, he was in his palace, half intoxicated with wine. He was dallying with a Sisodia women whom force had compelled to his side.
The drunken old chief was no match for the little Rajputni, who, hearing the tumult without, dexterously bound him to his bed with his own Marwari turban. The messengers of death were at the door of his apartment before his dazed senses could realise what was taking place.
Wild with rage, he struggled to extricate himself, and got up on his his legs. With no arms but a brass vessel of ablution, he fought hard before a ball from a matchlock killed him.
War with Joda
But Chonda’s revenge was not yet satisfied. He pursued Rao Joda who managed to escape. Chonda followed Joda into the capital city f Mandor. Chonda entered the city of Mandor and captured it without difficulty. His two sons held the possession of the city for a period of twelve years.
Joda, with the assistance of the chieftains of Mewoh and Pabuji, succeeded in recovering his capital after twelve years. Joda killed the elder son of Chonda with many of his soldiers. Chonda younger son escaped on fast horse. However Joda soldier overtook him and killed him. Thus Joda took revenge of his father’s death.
However two sons of Chonda had fallen for one chief of Mandor. But wisely reflecting on the original aggression, and on the superior power of Mewar, Joda sued for peace. He agreed that the spot where Chonda’s younger son fell should be the future barrier of the two states to quench the feud.
Legacy of Chonda
Joda gave entire province of Godwar to Mewar. The province of Godwar remained in the possession of the Ranas for more than three centuries. Chonda’s name is one of the most famous in the annals of Mewar. He founded the famous clan called Chondawats, who played so prominent a part in the later history of the state.
Maharana Lakha Singh