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A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil

Joined his brother in law against Shabudin


Some

centuries later the Crusaders brought to Europe from the plains of Palestine the novel device of armorial bearings.

Chitor itself appears to have been in possession of the Mori princes until, in A.D. 728, it was taken by Bappa, who, though of royal race, was brought up in obscurity by the Bhils as an attendant on the sacred kine. This shepherd prince, ancestor of the present Rana of Mewar, became a national hero, and many legends are still current concerning him and his romantic deeds. The story of his "amazing marriage," by which he succeeded in wedding six hundred damsels all at once, is one of the most curious. Bappa, while still a youth, was appealed to, one holiday, by the frolicsome maidens of a neighbouring village, who, led by the daughter of the Solankini chief of Nagda, in accordance with the custom upon this particular saint's day, had come out to indulge in swinging, but who had forgotten to supply themselves with a swinging-rope. Bappa agreed to get them one if they would play his game first. This the young ladies readily agreed to do; whereupon, all joining hands, he danced with them a certain mystic number of times round a sacred tree.

"Regardless of their doom, the little victims played,"

and finally dispersed to their homes, entirely unconscious that they were all as securely married to Bappa as though they had visited Gretna Green with him.

justify;">Some time afterwards, upon the engagement of the Solankini maiden to an eligible young man, the soothsayer, to whom application had been made with regard to fixing a favourable and auspicious wedding-day, discovered from certain lines in her hand that the girl was already married! Thus the whole story came out, and no less than six hundred brides assumed the title of Mrs. Bappa.

He seems to have had a passion for matrimony, for when an old man he left his children and his country, and carried his arms west to Khorassan, where he wedded new wives and had a numerous offspring. He died at the age of a hundred!

From the days of the very much married Bappa, until the time of Samarsi, who was Prince of Chitor in the thirteenth century, the city continued to flourish and increase in power and importance. Samarsi, having married Pirtha, sister of Prithi Raj, the lord of Delhi, joined his brother-in-law against Shabudin. For three days the battle raged, until the scale fell finally in favour of Shabudin, and the combined forces of Delhi and Chitor were almost annihilated. "Pirtha, on hearing of the loss of the battle, her husband slain, her brother captive, and all the heroes of Delhi and Cheetore 'asleep on the banks of the Caggar in a wave of the steel,' joined her lord through the flames."

From that time forward the history of Chitor is but a tale of sack and slaughter, relieved in its murkiest days by flashes of brilliant heroism and self-sacrificing devotion while the chivalrous Rajputs struggled vainly against the successive waves of the Mohammedan invasions, which in a fierce flood for centuries swept over India, and deluged it with blood.


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