History behind Raksha Bandhan


The significance of the festival can be gauged from the fact that it strengthens the relationship between a brother and sister, a defining character of Indian society. Raksha Bandhan is a festival marked since ancient times and there are several mythological stories that revolve around this custom. Indian history has several stories when brothers are said to have stepped up to protect their sisters during times of adversity. It is said that in the ancient times, queens used to send Rakhi to their neighbours symbolising brotherhood.


It is said that the festival gained popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a Rakhi to Mughal emperor Humayun when she was in need of his help. It is also believed that Draupadi tied Rakhi to Lord Krishna.


One of the most popular stories of Raksha Bandhan in India is linked to the Mughal period when there was a struggle between Rajputs and the Mughals. Folklore has it that when the widowed Empress of Chittor, Karnavati, saw crisis in her state, she sent a Rakhi to Mughal emperor Humayun and sought help to protect her state against the attack of Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. According due respect to the thread that Karnavati had sent, Humayun immediately sent his army to Chittor to protect her.