Raisen is a town and a municipality in Raisen district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Raisen District. Raisen takes its name from the massive fort at the top of a hill. The town is located at the foot. The name is probably a corruption of Rajavasini or Rajasayan—the royal residence.
The origins of the fort go back to 1200 AD. Up to the 15th century it was under rulers of various Hindu lines, including the Rajputs. In 1543 Sher Shah Suri captured it from Puranmal. Subsequently in 1760 Fiaz Mohammad Khan, the third Nawab of Bhopal, occupied it. As a result, up to India’s independence in 1947, Raisen remained part of the Princely state of Bhopal. After India’s independence, it, along with most of the Bhopal princely state, became part of the new Bhopal state of India, which was merged into Madhya Pradesh on 1 November 1956. Raisen town was established by Rai Singh, a Hindu ruler in 1143 AD followed by the construction of a fort on the hill top during that period. However, remnants of an earlier fortification datable to the 6th century AD have also been encountered. In 1485 during the rule of Gayasuddin Ghouri, mosques, madrasas and several buildings were got constructed at Raisen. Another name which deserves mention is that of one Silhadi (Shiladitya) who had sway in the northern part of Malwa. He was a Tomar Rajput Chieftain. He along with the army of Rana Sanga of Mewar helped Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujrat to annexe Malwa Sultanate in 1531 AD. As promised by Bahadur Shah,Ujjain and Sarangpur were to go to Silhadi. realizing that it would make Silhadi too powerful to control, Bahadur Shah instead ordered Silhadi to handover Raisen fort and all his territory in Malwa and relocate to the town of Baroda. Bahadur Shah seemed to have learned his lessons from the fate of Silhadi’s previous allies. When Silhadi refused to agree to these terms, Sultan Bahadur Shah promptly took him in captivity and along with him proceeded to Raisen fort, which was being held by Silhadi’s brother Lakshman Rai. Ostensible cause of this expedition was given as to free some Muslim women in the household of Silhadi.
Sultan’s army could not make any headway against the Raisen fort even after many months of siege. Silhadi, however, persuaded Bahadur Shah to send him inside the fort so that he could convince his brother to vacate it. This was agreed to and Silhadi went inside. In an emotional family meeting, the two brothers weighed their options. Situation in the fort was hopeless because of dwindling food supplies. Durgavati, Silhadi’s wife who was also besieged in the fort, forcefully pleaded for Jauhar and Saka, a traditional Rajput victory-or-death stand. Martyrdom was decided upon. It can also be said that they had no other real choice. Nobody could realistically believe that Bahadur Shah really wanted to rehabilitate them in Baroda. In all probability he planned to put all of them to sword as soon as they came out of the fort. Rani Durgavati (not to be misconstrued as the Gond Rani), taking her daughter-in-law (daughter of Rana Sanga) and her two children by the hand jumped into the Chita, a fire-pit dug for the purpose. Seven hundred other women followed her in the Chita. Silhadi and Lakshman then armed themselves and died as consecrated warriors in a fight with sultan’s army at the foot of the fort. This happened in 1532 AD. During 1543 Sher Shah Suri attacked the fort and captured it from one Puranmal in whose custody it was. From 1760 onwards the fort remained with the Nawabs of Bhopal.
Places of interest
The most visited place in Raisen is the Shrine of Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah Baba who was a well know muslim saint. People have a strong belief that ones desires are fulfilled if asked to God via Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah Baba.
Visitors are also attracted to the sprawling Raisen fort which shows a great example of national and religious integrity with its temples and maszid and mazars situated in same campus and worshiped by both religion peoples. it has a very good water management and conservation system along with a large water reservoir and some 40 wells. In the vicinity of the fort there are also several caves with ancient wall paintings.
The region is predominantly agrarian.
As of 2001 India census, Raisen had a population of 35,553. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Raisen has an average literacy rate of 66%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 72%, and female literacy is 59%. In Raisen, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.