|Maharana Pratap Singh|
|The King of Mewar|
|Coronation||1 March 1572|
|Predecessor||Udai Singh II|
|Successor||Amar Singh I|
|Spouse||Maharani Ajabde Punwar|
|Father||Maharana Udai Singh|
|Mother||Maharani Jaiwanta Bai|
9 May 1540|
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
Maharana Pratap ( pronunciation (help·info)) or Pratap Singh (9 May 1540 – 29 January 1597) was the ruler of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present day state of Rajasthan. His birth anniversary (Maharana Pratap Jayanti) is celebrated as full fledged festival every year on 3rd day of Jyestha Shukla phase (ज्येष्ठ शुक्ल पक्ष तृतीया). He was son of Maharani Jayantabai and King Udai Singh II founder of Udaipur. He belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. Maharana Pratap Singh is widely regarded as a fearless warrior and ingenious strategist, who successfully fought the Mughals and safeguarded his people until his death. In popular Indian culture, he is hailed as an inspirational figure for exemplifying gallantry and resourcefulness.
In 1568 during the reign of Udai Singh, Maharana Pratap's father Chittorgarh Fort was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar after the third Jauhar at Chittor. However, Udai Singh and the royal family of Mewar had left before the fort was captured and moved to the foothills of the Aravalli Range where Singh had already founded the city of Udaipur in 1559. Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed Udai Singh but the senior preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed.
Nearly all of Pratap's fellow Rajput chiefs had meanwhile entered into the vassalage of the Mughals. Even Pratap's own brothers, Shakti Singh and Sagar Singh, served the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Indeed, many Rajput chiefs, such as Raja Man Singh of Amer (later known as Maharaja of Jaipur) served as army commanders in Akbar's armies and as members of his council. Akbar sent a total of six diplomatic missions to Pratap, seeking to negotiate the same sort of peaceful alliance that he had concluded with the other Rajput chiefs. Each time, however, Pratap refused to accept Akbar's suzerainty, arguing that the Sisodia Rajputs had never accepted any foreign ruler as their overlord, nor will he. The enmity was long-standing: the grandfathers of Pratap and Akbar - Rana Sanga and Babur, respectively — had previously fought against each other.
Battle Of Haldighati
After almost waiting for 3 years for Rana Pratap’s submission, Akbar finally sent Maan Singh with an army of four times more than Maharana Pratap’s army, and moved towards Ajmer. While, Akbar and his army underestimated Pratap initially due to his lack of men, resource and allies, they forgot that Rana Sanga’s Mewar commanded numerous small Muslim and Hindu states. Also, even though the Mughals were on the conquering end, there were rulers and clansmen who sided Maharana Pratap as he was their only hope to defeat the Mughal army. ( Maharana Pratap’s supporters present in the battle of Haldighati were the Tanwars of Gwalior, the Rathores of Merta and even Hakim Khan Suri, a Pathan from south. Those who supported Rana and were not present in the fight were Deora Chauhans of Sirohi and Rathores of Idar along with several other states that bordered Mewar. )
On hearing that Maan Singh has entered Khamnor with the Mughal army, Rana Pratap left his capital and reached Khamnor. Pratap’s camp was positioned in the Haldighati Pass which was only route to Gogunda, his capital. On 18 June 1576, Mewar army was ordered to take upon the enemy’s army from a distance. The skirmishers and vanguard were slowly moving towards the hill when the Mewar cavalry came roaring, the Mughal troop was defeated, many even did not stand to fight.
When Maan Singh sitting on his elephant got the panoramic view of the situation, seeing his right wing and left wing getting defeated, he moved forward with his centre commanding Mehtar Khan. Rana Pratap was commanding the center of his army, while the left wing was under his vassal Maan Singh Jhala, and right under Tanwar Rajputs. His vanguard was led by Hakim Khan Sur and Ramdas Rathore. In addition, there was also a force of Bhil archers. Mewar army though strong had little or only few gun for their defense as all the artillery was lost in the siege of Chittor and Ranthambor.
Although Maharana Pratap’s last gamble failed, neither he nor his other members gave up. Maharana Pratap on his horse Chetak continued warring against Maan Singh. At one point of time, Chetak even bounced at Maan Singh’s elephant so that Maharana Pratap could hurl the spear, but it was missed. However, Maharana Pratap was heavily wounded since the spear and arrows hit him continuously. Meanwhile, Maan Singh Jhala saw the degrading condition of Mewar’s army. He thought as long as Mewar’s leader Maharana Pratap will be alive, there will always be a hope of freedom against the Mughals. He quickly took the silver chattra (a sign of royalty) from wounded Maharana Pratap’s back and placed in his back
The Mughal army thinking him as Maharana Pratap surrounded him and even killed him. Meanwhile, Maharana Pratap’s horse Chetak took the wounded warrior far away from the battleground (roughly 2 miles) finally succumbing to death while crossing a river stream.
Pratap was eventually defeated in the Battle Of Haldighati but he continued Guerilla warfare against Akbar. His Son Amar Singh fought 17 wars with the Mughals but he conditionally accepted them as rulers in 1615. This was the terminating end of Freedom of Mewar. Other Conquests of Akbar, made him the undisputable King of most of the Northern India. The Bhils of the Aravalli hills provided support to Pratap.
Maharana Pratap's first and most favorite wife was Maharani Ajabde Punwar. Maharana Pratap altogether had 11 wives. All of Pratap's other marriages were conducted for political reasons. He had 17 sons and five daughters. Of his children, Amar Singh, who was born to Ajabde, was the eldest.
Akhbar died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident at Chavand, which served as his capital, on 29 January 1597, aged fifty-seven. A chhatri, commemorating Pratap's funeral, exists at Chavand and is an important tourist attraction.
It is recorded that as he lay dying, Pratap made his son and successor, Amar Singh, swear to maintain eternal conflict against the Mughals. Amar Singh submitted Mewar to Akbar, conditionally accepting the Mughals as rulers. The subsequent treaty between Amar Singh and the Mughal king Jahangir included obligations that fort of Chittor would not be repaired and that Mewar would have to keep a contingent of 1000 horses in the Mughal service. It also stipulated that Amar Singh would not have to be present at any of the Mughal Darbars. At Amar Singh's laying down of arms, many members of Pratap's family of Sisodias became disillusioned and left Rajasthan. This group included Rathores, Deora Chauhans, Pariharas, Tanwars, Kacchwaha and Jhalas. Amar Singh himself regretted letting down his people so much that he was never publicly seen outside his palace again.[full citation needed]
Maharana Pratap Birth Anniversary
A signature campaign has been initiated demanding that 9 May, Maharana Pratap Jayanti (En. Birth Anniversary) be celebrated as the Rashtriya Swabhiman Diwas (En. National Self-Respect Day) in India. This movement is led by a campaign committee consisting of Ranjan Kumar Singh (Author and Film Maker), Dr. Sanjay Paswan (Former Union Minister of States), Nagmani (Former Union Minister of States), Akhlaq Ahmed (Former Minister, Bihar) and Ajay Nishad (Member of Parliament). The campaign got a kick start in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telengana with more than forty thousands signatures obtained in support of this initiative.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maharana Pratap Singh of Mewar.|
- Official Website for the Royal Family of Udaipur
- महाराणा प्रताप: कुछ गौरवशाली तथ्य
- Maharana Pratap: Some illustrious facts