Rana Kumbha was a Rajput ruler who belonged to the Sisodia clan in Rajasthan
. Kumbha was the son of Rana Mokal of Mewar and his wife Sobhagya Devi. Rana Kumbha was the forerunner of Rajput renaissance in the fifteenth century.
Rana Kumbha`s Ascension to the throne
Mewar had lost it significance after being invaded by the armies of Ala- ud- din Khilji
in the beginning of the 13th century. Rana Hammira grandson, Maharana Mokal was assassinated by his brothers Chacha and Mera in 1433. Lack of support, however, caused Chacha and Mera to flee and Rana Kumbha ascended the throne of Mewar. Initially, Rana Kumbha was ably assisted by Ranmal who was the Rathore of Mandore. However, Rana Kumbha assassinated him in 1438AD. In November 1442 Khalji (Khilji), Sultan of Malwa, commenced a series of attacks on Mewar. On April 26, 1443, Rana Kumbha attacked Sultan and he had to return to Mandu. The Sultan captured kingdoms nearby Mewar but did not attack Mewar for another ten years. Rana Kumbha erected Vijay Stambha
in order to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440 AD.
Rana Kumbha was aided by Ahmad Shah (ruler of Gujarat), and Muhammad Shah (ruler of Delhi) to oust Mahmud Khilji. Rana of kumbha was conferred the title of Hindu-suratrana by the rulers of Delhi and Gujarat. He was the first Hindu ruler to be given this honour by the Muslim Sultans.
Firuz(Firoz) Khan, the ruler of Nagaur, died around 1453-1454. Shams Khan his son initially sought help of Rana Kumbha against his uncle Mujahid Khan, who had usurped the throne. Shams Khan, refused to weaken his defences. Kumbha angered by this, captured Nagaur, Kasili, Khandela and Sakambhari in 1456. Rana kumbha was able to defend his kingdom against the attack of Mahmud Khilji and Qutb-ud-din Aibak
and Rao Jodha.
Construction of forts by Kumbha of Mewar
He built 32 fortresses that formed the defence of Mewar
. The chief citadel of Mewar, is the fort of Kumbhalgarh that was built by Kumbha which is the highest fort in Rajasthan.
Cultural achievements by Rana Kumbha
Art and culture flourished during Kumbha`s reign. He is credited with writing the Samgita-raja, the Rasika-priya commentary on the Gitagovinda, the Sudaprabandha, and the Kamaraja-ratisara. During his reign the scholar Atri and his son Mahesa wrote the prashasti of the Chittor Kirti-stambha and Kahana Vyasa wrote the Ekalinga-mahamatya.
Rana Kumbha commissioned the construction of a Victory Tower or Vijay sthambha at Chittor. It was completed in 1458 and is also referred to as Vishnu Stambha -- "Tower of Vishnu". It is covered with sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and depicts episodes from the epics of Ramayana
and the Mahabharata
The Ranakpur Trailokya-dipaka Jain temple, the Kumbhasvami and Adivarsha temples of Chittor and the Shantinatha Jain temple are some structures built during his rule.
Rana Kumbha was killed by his son Udaysimha.