Rani Durgawati was the daughter of Raja Salivahan of Rath, a king of Chandela dynasty. She marked her name in the history of India by combining beauty and grace with courage and wisdom. Rani married Dalpat Shah who was the ruler of Gondwana Empire in central India.
After the death of her husband, she took up the control of the province on behalf of her minor son Bir Bahadur and ruled from 1548 to 1564. She was a good administrator, great warrior, and liberal patron of learning. The empire flourished during her reign. She extended her frontier and accomplished the political unification of Gondwana. Durgawati won great success against Baz Bahadur, the Sultan of Malwa.
In 1564, the Mughal Emperor Akbar attacked the empire. A vigorous battle was fought between the queen and the aggressors. Durgavathi was seriously wounded and her son was killed. She lost the war and committed suicide by plunging her dagger into herself to escape from dishonor.