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Hirkani(हिरकणि) – The Legendary Milkmaid

Raigadh, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s capital was situated on a top of a hill. Once there lived a milkmaid named Hirkani. She lived in a small village at the base of Raigadh fort. She would deliver milk once in a morning and evening to the people in the Raigadh fort. By sunset she would be free to play with her baby. Once during the Kojagiri festival in the fort Hirkani lost count of hours. She suddenly heard a sound which tells that the main door of the fort will close for the night. She ran towards the gate, but it was too late.

She argued with the guards but after a while she thought it was of no use arguing with them. She thought by any means I must reach to my home for my baby as he will be hungry and will not sleep without me and I must get out even If I must climb over the wall to do it. When she reached the eastern side of the fort, she hid her empty vessel behind the bushes and clambered up the wall and down the hill. She had to be very careful as once while getting down the steep hill she lost her balance and luckily there was a bush she could hang on then she slowly came down the hill and ran towards her village and finally reached home.

Raigadh

The next morning, guards were surprised to see Hirkani outside the fort. They asked her “you were inside the fort yesterday evening right, then how did you manage to go out.”
Hirkani replied, “I manage to go out from the eastern side of the fort.”
“Impossible!!! unless there is a secret passage. We must inform this to Shivaji Maharaj.”

They narrated the whole story to Shivaji Maharaj
“Can you show me the exact spot from where you went down the hill” said Shivaji Raje.
“Yes, I Can” said Hirkani
They reached the place from where she got down the hill. She also showed the vessel that she had hid behind the bushes.”
Shivaji Raje asked her to climb up the fort wall first.
She started climbing up the wall but was scared and came down.
“I can’t climb today.”
“That didn’t stop you yesterday” said Shivaji Raje
“Because I was only thinking of my baby and hence was able to do so” said Hirkani
“I believe in you Hirkani and you are a brave woman. Raise the hight of the wall as how Hirkani got out from here enemies would come in the same way.” Ordered Shivaji Raje
Hirkani and Shivaji Raje are no longer alive but “Hirkani’s Buruj”- the watch tower built by Shivaji Raje and named after Hirkani – Can be seen in Raigadh to this day.

About the Author


Anvi Bhalkikar

Anvi is 10 Years old, a Class V std. student at Sherwood High, Bangalore. She is passionate about Drawing and reading about the history and world geography.

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