Painter moved outside his favourite Maratha history for this story of the legendary Rajput queen Padmini of Chittor. At the .turn of the century, Rajput history, often drawn from the Rasosagas (corresponding to medieval European lays of prowess and chivalry), together with Maratha history were the most popular sources of screen historicals evoking pre-colonial grandeur. The story is set against the violent siege of Chittor, the Rajput capital, by the sultan of Delhi, Allauddin Khilji (Vedi), which temporarily saw the end of the Chauhan
dynasty (14th C.). According to legend, during a state visit to Chittor, Khilji caught sight of a reflection of Queen Padmini and became so infatuated that he attacked the Chittor fortress, defeating the Rajputs. However, Padmini, with her entire entourage, had committed sati (ritual suicide) by the time Khilji arrived. The film capitalised on its screening at the British Empire exhibition at Wembley and received some favourable reviews in the British press, a fact always mentioned in references to the film in autobiographies or film histories.