Maharana Pratap

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Maharana Pratap
Mewari Rana
RajaRaviVarma MaharanaPratap.jpg
Portrait of Pratap by Raja Ravi Varma
13th Rana of Mewar
Reign1572 – 1597[1]
Coronation28 February 1572
PredecessorUdai Singh II
SuccessorAmar Singh I
Born9 May 1540 (1540-05-09)
Kumbhalgarh, Mewar[1][2]
(present day: Kumbhal Fort, Rajsamand District, Rajasthan, India)
Died19 January 1597(1597-01-19) (aged 56)[1]
Chavand, Mewar[1]
(Present day:Chavand, Udaipur District, Rajasthan, India)
Spouse11[3][4] including:
  • Ajabde Punwar
  • Phool Bai Rathore
  • Amarbai Rathore
  • Jasobai Chauhan
  • Alamdebai Chauhan
  • Champabai Jhati
  • Lakhabai
  • Khichar Asha Bai
  • Solankhinipur Bai
  • Shahmatibai Hada
  • Ratnawatibai Parmar
Issue22 (including Amar Singh I and Bhagwan Das) and 5 daughters[3]
Maharana Pratap Singh Sisodiya
DynastySisodias of Mewar
FatherUdai Singh II
MotherMaharani Jaiwanta Bai

Pratap Singh I, popularly known as Maharana Pratap (c. 9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), was a king of Mewar from the Sisodia dynasty. Pratap became a folk hero for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire under Akbar through guerrilla warfare which proved inspirational for later rebels against Mughals including Shivaji.

Early life and accession[edit]

Maharana Pratap was born to Udai Singh II of Mewar and Jaiwanta Bai.[5][6][7] His younger brothers were Shakti Singh, Vikram Singh and Jagmal Singh. Pratap also had 2 stepsisters: Chand Kanwar and Man Kanwar. He was married to Ajabde Punwar of Bijolia[8] and he had married 10 other women and was survived by 17 sons and 5 daughters including Amar Singh I.[9] He belonged to the Royal Family of Mewar.[10] After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him[11] but senior courtiers preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed. Udai Singh died in 1572, and Prince Pratap ascended the throne as Maharana Pratap, the 54th ruler of Mewar in the line of the Sisodia Rajputs.[12] Jagmal swore revenge and left for Ajmer, to join the armies of Akbar, and obtained the town of Jahazpur as a Jagir as a gift in return for his help.[13]

Military career[edit]


In stark contrast to other Rajput rulers who accommodated and formed alliances with the various Muslim dynasties in the subcontinent, the state of Mewar, led by Pratap Singh, gained distinction for its refusal to form any political alliance with the Mughal Empire and its resistance to Muslim domination. The conflicts between Pratap Singh and Akbar led to the Battle of Haldighati.[14][15]

Battle of Haldighati[edit]

The bloody Siege of Chittorgarh in 1567-1568 had led to the loss of the fertile eastern belt of Mewar to the Mughals. However, the rest of the wooded and hilly kingdom in the Aravalli range was still under the control of Maharana Pratap. Mughal Emperor Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar; when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Maharana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys, including one by Raja Man Singh of Amer, entreating him to become a vassal like many other rulers in Rajputana. When Pratap refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.[16][17]

The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Pratap Singh and Mughal forces led by Man Singh I of Amer. The Mughals were victorious and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture the Pratap.[18][19][20] The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda, modern day Rajsamand in Rajasthan. Pratap Singh fielded a force of around 3000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers. The Mughals were led by Man Singh of Amber, who commanded an army numbering around 10,000 men. After a fierce battle lasting more than three hours, Pratap found himself wounded and the day lost. He managed to retreat to the hills and lived to fight another day.[21]

Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to kill or capture Pratap, or any of his close family members in Udaipur.[22] While the sources also claim that Pratap was able to make a successful escape, Mansingh managed to conquer Gogunda within a week after Haldighati then ended his campaign. Subsequently, Akbar himself led a sustained campaign against the Rana in September 1576, and soon, Gogunda, Udaipur, and Kumbhalgarh were all under Mughal control.[22]

Reconquest of Mewar[edit]

Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim's incursion into the Punjab. After this, Akbar sent Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan to invade Mewar but he stopped at Ajmer. In 1582, Pratap Singh attacked and occupied the Mughal post at Dewair (or Dewar) in the Battle of Dewair.[23] This led to the automatic liquidation of all 36 Mughal military outposts in Mewar. After this Akbar sent Jagannath Kachhwaha to invade Mewar in 1584. In 1585, Akbar moved to Lahore and remained there for the next twelve years watching the situation in the north-west. No major Mughal expedition was sent to Mewar during this period. Taking advantage of the situation, Pratap recovered most of Mewar (except its former capital), Chittorgarh and Mandalgarh regions by defeating Mughal forces there. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.[24]

Patronage of art[edit]

Maharana Pratap's court at Chavand had given shelter to many poets, artists, writers and artisans. The Chavand school of art was developed during the reign of Rana Pratap.[25]

Revival of Mewar[edit]

Maharana Pratap took refuge in the Chappan area and started attacking the Mughal strongholds. By 1583 he had successfully captured western Mewar, which included Dewar, Amet, Madariya, Zawar and the fort of Kumbalgarh. He then made Chavand his capital and constructed a Chamunda mata temple there. The Maharana was able to live in peace for a short time and started establishing order in Mewar. From 1585 till his death, the Rana had recovered a large part of Mewar. The citizens who had migrated out of Mewar started returning during this time. There was good monsoon which helped to revive the agriculture of Mewar. The economy also started getting better and trade in the area started increasing. The Rana was able to capture the territories west of Chittor but could not fulfill his dream of capturing Chittor itself.[26]


Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident,[27] at Chavand[24] on 19 January 1597,[1] aged 56.[28] He was succeeded by his eldest son, Amar Singh I. On his death bed, Pratap told his son never to submit to the Mughals and to win Chittor back.[29]


Statue of Maharana Pratap in City Palace, Udaipur.

Maharana Pratap is a prominent figure in both folk and contemporary Rajasthani culture and is viewed as a celebrated warrior in that state, as well as in India as a whole.[30]

Historian Satish Chandra notes –

"Rana Pratap's defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitute a glorious saga of Rajput valour and the spirit of self sacrifice for cherished principles. Rana Pratap's methods of guerrilla warfare was later elaborated further by Malik Ambar, the Deccani general, and by Emperor Shivaji".[31][32]

Bandyopadhyay also seconds Satish Chandra's view with the observation that

Pratap's successful defiance of Mughals using guerrilla strategy also proved inspirational to figures ranging from Emperor Shivaji to anti-British revolutionaries in Bengal.[33]

In 2007, a statue of Maharana Pratap was unveiled by former President Pratibha Patil in the Parliament of India.[34]

In popular culture[edit]

Film and television[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Rana Pratap Singh – Indian ruler". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ Köpping, Klaus-Peter; Leistle, Bernhard; Rudolph, Michael, eds. (2006). Ritual and Identity: Performative Practices as Effective Transformations of Social Reality. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 286. ISBN 978-3-82588-042-2. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Maharana Pratap Jayanti: Know the Real-life Story of the brave Rajput warrior". News18. 6 June 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  4. ^ Nahar 2011, p. 7.
  5. ^ Rana 2004, pp. 28, 105.
  6. ^ Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A History of Jaipur. Orient Blackswan. p. 48. ISBN 978-8-12500-333-5.
  7. ^ Daryanani, Mohan B. (1999). Who's who on Indian Stamps. p. 302. ISBN 978-8-49311-010-9.
  8. ^ Bhatt, Rajendra Shankar (2005). Maharana Pratap. National Book Trust, India. ISBN 978-81-237-4339-4.
  9. ^ Sharma, Sri Ram (2002). Maharana Pratap: A Biography. Hope India Publ. ISBN 978-81-7871-005-1.
  10. ^ Sharma, Gopi Nath; Mathur, M. N. Maharana Pratap & his times. Udaipur State: Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti. p. 29.
  11. ^ Lal, Muni (1980). Akbar. University of Michigan: Vikas Publishers. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-70691-076-6.
  12. ^ Augustus 1890, p. 190; Rana 2004, p. 17.
  13. ^ Majumdar 1974, p. 234.
  14. ^ DeNapoli, Antoinette Elizabeth (1 April 2014). Real Sadhus Sing to God: Gender, Asceticism, and Vernacular Religion in Rajasthan. Oxford University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-19-994002-8.
  15. ^ Talbot, Cynthia (2016). The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Cauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000. Cambridge University Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-107-11856-0.
  16. ^ Sarkar 1960, p. 75.
  17. ^ Chandra 2005, pp. 119–120.
  18. ^ de la Garza 2016, p. 56One year later the Rajputs attempted a similar all-out charge at Haldighati. The result was an even more decisive Mughal victory.
  19. ^ Raghavan 2018, p. 67Although most of the other Rajput rulers soon entered the Mughal alliance system, the kingdom of Mewar continued its resistance. Udai Singh was followed by his son, Pratap Singh, whose continued opposition to Mughal expansion – despite military defeats, most notably in the battle of Haldighati in 1576...
  20. ^ Jacques, Tony (2006). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 428. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  21. ^ Sarkar 1960, p. 77–79.
  22. ^ a b Chandra 2005, pp. 121–122.
  23. ^ Saraswat, Akshay (9 May 2020). "Maharana Pratap – The Rajput Warrior who single-handedly fought Akbar's might". Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  24. ^ a b Chandra 2005, p. 122.
  25. ^ Hooja, Rima (2018). Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior. Juggernaut. p. 158. ISBN 9789386228963. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  26. ^ Hooja, Rima (2006). A History of Rajasthan. Rupa & Company. pp. 473–474. ISBN 9788129115010.
  27. ^ Sharma, Sri Ram (2005). Maharana Pratap. p. 91. ISBN 978-8-17871-003-7.
  28. ^ Gupta, R.K.; Bakshi, S.R. (2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages The Heritage of Rajputs (Set Of 5 Vols.). p. 46. ISBN 978-8-17625-841-8.
  29. ^ Rana 2004, pp. 77–79; Nahar 2011, pp. 198–201.
  30. ^ Nahar 2011, p. 1.2.
  31. ^ Chandra, Satish (1983). "Medieval India". National Council for Educational Training and Research. p. 153.
  32. ^ Meena, R. P. "Rajasthan Year Book 2021".
  33. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Brishti (2007). Maharana Pratap: Mewar's Rebel King. New Delhi: Rupa Co.
  34. ^ "Maharana Pratap's statue unveiled". Hindustan Times. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  35. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema. British Film Institute. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5.
  36. ^ Screen World Publication's 75 Glorious Years of Indian Cinema: Complete Filmography of All Films (silent & Hindi) Produced Between 1913–1988. Screen World Publication. 1988. p. 65.
  37. ^ "Director's Biography: V G Samant". Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  38. ^ "Big-budget serial 'Maharana Pratap – The Pride of India' ready to go on air". India Today. 1 December 1997. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  39. ^ "Chetak – The Wonder Horse". Disney+ Hotstar.
  40. ^ "Bharatvarsh: Episode 8: Watch inspirational story of Maharana Pratap, who stood against all odds". YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)



External links[edit]

Maharana Pratap
Born: 9 May 1540 Died: 19 January 1597
Preceded by Sisodia Rajput Ruler
Succeeded by