Other early accounts of the Chittor siege, such as those by Ziauddin Barani and Isami, do not mention Padmini. Their records state that Alauddin seized Chittor, set up military governors there, then returned to Delhi after forgiving Ratansen and his family. The first uncontestable literary mention of Padmini is Malik Muhammad Jayasi's Padmavat (c. 1540 CE). According to Ramya Sreenivasan, "it is possible that Jayasi mixed-up Alauddin Khilji and Ghiyath al-din Khilji of Malwa Sultanate (1469–1500) who had a roving eye, and is reported to have undertaken the quest for Padmini (not a particular Rajput Princess, but the ideal type of woman according to Hindu erotology). Ghiyath al-din Khalji, according to a Hindu inscription in the Udaipur area, was defeated in battle in 1488 by a Rajput chieftain, Badal-Gora, which incidentally also happened to be the names of the twins, Badal and Gora, the vassals of Ratansen" Hemratan's Gora Badal Padmini Chaupai (c. 1589 CE) narrates another version of the legend, presenting it as based on true events. From then until the 19th century, several other adaptions of these two versions were produced. The 16th-century historians Firishta and Haji-ud-Dabir were among the earliest Writers to mention Padmini as a historical figure, but their accounts differ with each other and with that of Jayasi. For Example, according to Firishta, Padmini was a daughter (not wife) of Ratan Sen.
When the British Writer James Tod, who is now considered to be unreliable, compiled the legends of Rajasthan in the 1820s, he presented Padmini as a historical figure, and Padmini came to be associated with the historical siege of Chittor. In the 19th century, during the Swadeshi movement, Padmini became a symbol of Indian patriotism. Indian nationalist Writers portrayed her story as an Example of a heroic sacrifice, and a number of plays featuring her were staged after 1905. Ireland-born Sister Nivedita (1866–1971) also visited Chittor and historicised Padmini. The Rajkahini by Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951) popularised her as a historical figure among schoolchildren. Later, some history textbooks began to refer to Khalji invading Chittor to obtain Padmini. Jawaharlal Nehru's The Discovery of India (1946) also narrates Khalji seeing Padmini in a mirror; Nehru's narrative is believed to be based on recent local poets.
Rangalal Bandyopadhyay's patriotic and narrative poem Padmni Upakhyan based on the story of Rajput queen Padmini was published in 1858.
Yagneshwar Bandyopadhyay's Mewar (1884) vividly describes the jauhar (mass self-immolation) of Padmini and other women, who want to protect their chastity against the "wicked Musalmans".
Kshirode Prasad Vidyavinode's play Padmini (1906) is based on James Tod's account: The ruler of Chittor is Lakshmansinha, while Padmini is the wife of the Rajput warrior Bhimsinha. Vidyavinode's story features several sub-plots, including those about Alauddin's exiled wife Nasiban and Lakshmansinha's son Arun. Nevertheless, his account of Alauddin and Padmini follows Tod's version with some variations. Alauddin captures Bhimsinha using deceit, but Padmini manages to rescue him using the palanquin trick; another noted warrior Gora is killed in this mission. As the Rajput men fight to death, Padmini and other women immolate themselves. The lineage of Lakshmansinha survives through Arun's son with a poor forest-dwelling woman named Rukma.
Abanindranath Tagore's Rajkahini (1909) is also based on Tod's narrative, and begins with a description of the Rajput history. Bhimsinha marries Padmini after a voyage to Sinhala, and brings her to Chittor. Alauddin learns about Padmini's beauty from a singing girl, and invades Chittor to obtain her. Bhimsinha offers to surrender his wife to Alauddin to protect Chittor, but his fellow Rajputs refuse the offer. They fight and defeat Alauddin. But later, Alauddin captures Bhimsinha, and demands Padmini in exchange for his release. Padmini, with support from the Rajput warriors Gora and Badal, rescues her husband using the palanquin trick; Gora dies during this mission. Meanwhile, Timur invades the Delhi Sultanate, and Alauddin is forced to return to Delhi. 13 years later, Alauddin returns to Chittor and besieges the fort. Lakshmansinha considers submission to Alauddin, but Bhimsinha convinces him to fight on for seven more days. With blessings of the god Shiva, Padmini appears before Lakshmansinha and his ministers as a goddess, and demands a blood sacrifice from them. The women of Chittor die in mass self-immolation, while the men fight to death. The victorious Alauddin razes all the buildings in Chittor, except Padmini's palace and then returns to Delhi.
Several films based on the legend of Padmini have been made in India. These include Debaki Bose's silent film Kamonar Agun or Flames of Flesh (1930), and the Hindi language Maharani Padmini (1964).
Some scholars, such as Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava, Dasharatha Sharma, and Mohammad Habib, have suggested that Amir Khusrau makes a veiled reference to Padmini in Khaza'in ul-Futuh. Similarly, the Historian Subimal Chandra Datta in 1931 stated that the Khusrau's 14th-century poetic eulogy of his patron's conquest of Chitor, there is a mention of a bird hudhud that in later accounts appears as a parrot, and implies "Alauddin insisted on the surrender of a woman, possibly Padmini".
However, Alauddin had resolved to capture Padmini by treachery. The Sultan took Bhimsi hostage when they arrived at the Muslim army camp, and he demanded Padmini in return for Rajput king's release. Padmini plots an ambush with her uncle Gora and his nephew Badal, along with a jauhar – a mass immolation – with other Rajput women. Gora and Badal attempt to rescue Bhimsi without surrendering Padmini. They informed Alauddin that Padmini would arrive accompanied by her maids and other female companions. In reality, Soldiers of Chittor were placed in palanquins, and accompanied by other Soldiers disguised as porters. With this scheme, Gora and Badal managed to rescue Bhimsi, but a large number of the Chittor Soldiers died in the mission. Alauddin then attacked Chittor once again with a larger force. Chittor faced a certain defeat. Padmini and other women die from self-immolation (jauhar). Bhimsi and other men then fought to death, and Alauddin captured the fort.
The frightened nobles of Chittor considered surrendering Padmini to Alauddin. But two brave warriors — Goru and Badil (also Gora and Vadil/Badal) — agreed to defend her and rescue their king. The Rajputs pretended to make arrangements to bring Padmavati to Alauddin's camp, but instead brought warriors concealed in palanquins. The Rajput warriors rescued the king; Gora died fighting Alauddin's army, as Badil escorted the king back to the Chittor fort. Gora's wife committed self-immolation (sati). In heaven, Gora was rewarded with half of Indra's throne.
The life story of Rani Padmini appears in some Muslim Sufi, Hindu Nath and Jain tradition manuscripts with embedded notes that the legend is symbolic. Some of these are dated to the 17th-century, and state that Chittor (Chit-aur) symbolizes the human body, the king is the human spirit, the island kingdom of Singhal is the human heart, Padmini is the human mind. The parrot is the guru (teacher) who guides, while Sultan Alauddin symbolizes the Maya (worldly illusion). Such allegorical interpretations of the Rani Padmini's life story are also found in the bardic traditions of the Hindus and Jains in Rajasthan.
The 19th century British Writer James Tod compiled a version of the legend in his Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han. Tod mentioned several manuscripts, inscriptions and persons as his sources for the information compiled in the book. However, he does not name the exact sources that he used to compile the legend of Padmini in particular. He does not mention Malik Muhammad Jayasi's Padmavat or any other Sufi adaptions of that work among his sources, and seems to have been unaware of these sources. He does mention Khumman Raso in connection with the legend of Padmini, but he seems to have relied more on the local bardic legends along with Hindu and Jain literary accounts. Tod's version of Padmini's life story was a synthesis of multiple sources and a Jain monk named Gyanchandra assisted Tod in his research of the primary sources relating to Padmini.