Fainted Laila and Majnun-Based on the Khamsa of Persian poet Nizami

Unknown1740 AD - 1750 AD

National Museum - New Delhi

National Museum - New Delhi
New Delhi , India

a great musician. One day while hunting he saw the beautiful Rupmati in the dense forest singing melodious songs. Instantly he fell in love with her. In order to win her hand in marriage he requested Than Singh, a proud Thakur of the area and father of Rupmati. A fierce battle raged between them and Baz Bahadur ultimately defeated Than Singh and rode away with Rupmati and made her his queen.

Their love for each other and their mutual interest in music made their lives and their union idyllic. The forest drenched in pristine moonlight was their haunt. The king and queen used to ride together in the forests of Mandu composing and innovating new ragas and singing through these magical nights of their love. But their love was not a “happily ever afterwards” tale. Baz-Bahadur was defeated by the invading Mughal army of Emperor Akbar under Adham Khan and Rupmati became a captive. Adham Khan offered to marry her but she refused and preferred death. The brave and loyal queen eluded her captor through a lethal dose of poison. The lady of the lotus, as poets and bard singers called her, lies buried in her mausoleum at Sarangpur near Mandu with her beloved husband Baz-Bahadur, together in their final rest as they were in their lives.

Baz Bahadur built the ‘Rupmati Pavilion’ a palace for his beloved and for himself a palace called Baz Bahadur at Mandu. Both the palaces are considered a fine specimen of Pre-Mughal Indo-Islamic architecture. Abul Fazl wrote in the Akbarnama that the twin cultures were interwoven in Baz Bahadur.

The richly dressed lovers are shown riding beautifully caparisoned blue and white stallions. Rupmati turns around to look intently at her lover who is holding a spear in one hand and reigns of his horse in the other. The dark thick jungle in the background and a rivulet in the foreground are successfully creating a mystic atmosphere for both the lovers. Their love lasted only for seven years but it became a favourite subject for the artists of the Mughal, Deccan, Pahari and Rajasthani styles.


  • Title: Fainted Laila and Majnun-Based on the Khamsa of Persian poet Nizami
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1740 AD - 1750 AD
  • Physical Dimensions: w480 x h325 cm (without cover)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi
  • Style: Indian Paintings & Art

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