|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 a full fledged festival every year on the 3rd day of the Jyestha Shukla phase (ज्येष्ठ शुक्ल पक्ष तृतीया). He was the 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. The first three missions were led by Jalal Khan Qurchi, the fourth by Raja Man Singh, the fifth by Raja Bhagwan Das, and the sixth by Raja Todar Mal. The fifth mission of Bhagwan Das was fruitful in that the Rana agreed to put on a robe presented by Akbar and he sent his son Amar Singh to the mughal capital. The missions failed, however, since the Rana refused to personally present himself in the mughal court. Since no agreement could be reached at, all out war between Mewar and the Mughals became inevitable.
Battle Of Haldighati
In 1576, Akbar deputed Raja Man Singh to lead a force of 5,000 soldiers against Rana Pratap. The Rana advanced with a force of 3,000 soldiers and took a position near Haldighati which was at the entrance of a defile. The Rana's army included an Afghan contingent of Hakim Khan Sur; the Rana also had a small contingent of Bhil tribals fighting alongside him. Anticipating the mughal attack, the Rana had also devastated the entire region upto Chittor to prevent the mughal forces access to food and fodder. The Battle of Haldighati was fought on February 18, 1576. It was primarily fought in the traditional manner between cavalry and elephants since the mughals found it difficult to transport artillery over the rough terrain. In a traditional fight the Rajputs were at an advantage; their impetuous attack led to a crumbling of the mughal left and right wings and put pressure on the center until reserves, and a rumor of Akbar's arrival, turned the tide, and resulted in a Rajput retreat. The heat, and fear of ambush in the hills, resulted in the mughals deciding not to pursue the Rajputs into the hills. Thus this battle failed to break the existing stalemate. Considering that both the armies of Akbar and Rana Pratap included hindus and muslims, considering that Akbar's army was led by Raja Man Singh, and Rana Pratap's army included an afghan contingent led by Hakim Sur, it would not be correct to view this battle as a fight between hindus and muslims. Nor can it be viewed as a battle for Rajput independence, since influential sections of the Rajputs had already cast their lot with the mughals. At best, this fight can be viewed as an assertion of local independence arising from local and regional patriotism.
After the Battle of Haldighati
After the Battle of Haldighati, Akbar decided to personally lead the campaign against Pratap. In the process, Goganda, Udaipur, and Kumbhalmir were occupied by the mughals, forcing the Rana deeper into the mountainous tracts of southern Mewar. Mughal pressure was exerted on the Afghan chief of Jalor, and the Rajput chiefs of Idar, Sirohi, Banswara, Dungarpur, and Bundi. These states, situated on the borders of Mewar with Gujarat and Malwa had traditionally acknowledged the supremacy of the dominant power in the region. Consequently, the rulers of these states submitted to the Mughals. A mughal expedition was also sent to Bundi where Duda, the elder son of Rao Surjan Hada, had collaborated with Rana Pratap to take control over Bundi and adjacent areas. Both Surjan Hada and Bhoj, the father and younger brother of Duda, took part in this conflict in support of the mughals. After a mughal victory, Duda escaped to the hills and Bundi was conferred upon Bhoj. At this point Rana Pratap found himself isolated and marginalized in Rajput affairs.
Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim's incursion into the Punjab. In 1585, Akbar moved to Lahore and remained there for the next twelve years watching the situation in the north-west. No mughal expedition was sent to Mewar during this period. Taking advantage of the situation, Rana Pratap recovered many of his lost territories including Kumbhalgarh and the areas around Chittor (but not Chittor itself). During this period, he also built a new capital--Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.
Maharana Pratap's first and favourite wife was Maharani Ajabde Punwar. Maharana Pratap had 11 wives. He had 17 sons and five daughters. Of his children, Amar Singh, who was born to Ajabde, was the eldest.
Pratap 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.
Mughal Rajput peace agreement
After Pratap's death, his son and successor Amar Singh submitted Mewar to Akbar's son Jahangir, in the year 1613, conditionally accepting the Mughals as rulers. The subsequent treaty between Amar Singh and the Mughal king Jahangir included the obligation that Mewar would have to keep a contingent of 1500 horsemen in the Mughal service. It was stipulated that the Rana of Mewar would not have to be present at any of the Mughal darbars, although it was agreed that a son or brother of the Rana would wait upon the mughal emperor and serve him. Thus Prince Bhim, the younger brother of Amar Singh, served with Prince Khurram in the deccan. It was also agreed that the Ranas of Mewar would not enter matrimonial relations with the mughals. Finally, it was agreed that the fort of Chittor would never be repaired. The reason for this last condition was that the Chittor fort was a very powerful bastion and the mughals were wary of it being used in any future rebellion.
Maharana Pratap's 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.
- Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A History of Jaipur : c. 1503 - 1938. Orient Longman. p. 83. ISBN 9788125003335.
- Rana, Bhawan Singh (2004). Maharana Pratap. Diamond Pocket Books. pp. 28, 105. ISBN 9788128808258.
- Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A History of Jaipur. p. 48. ISBN 9788125003335.
- Daryanani, Mohan B. (1999). Who's who on Indian Stamps. p. 302. ISBN 9788493110109.
- Mathur, Pushparani (1994). Costumes of the Rulers of Mewar. p. 22. ISBN 9788170172932.
- Lal, Muni (1980). Akbar. p. 135. ISBN 9780706910766.
- Chandra, Satish (2006). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals (1206-1526) 2. Har-Anand Publications.
- Sharma, Dashrath (1990). Rajasthan Through the Ages: From 1300 to 1761 A.D 2. p. 274.
- Meininger, Irmgard (2000). Chittaurgarh. p. 38. ISBN 9788124601501.
- Shashi, S.S (1996). Encyclopaedia Indica: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Volume 100. p. 185. ISBN 9788170418597.
- Sharma, Sri Ram (2005). Maharana Pratap. p. 91. ISBN 978-8178710037.
- Chandra, Satish (2005). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals Part - II. p. 122. ISBN 8124110662.
- Niraj, Jaysimha (1991). Splendour Of Rajasthani Painting. p. 15. ISBN 8170172675.
- plaque at Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur
- 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 9788176258418.
- "Maharana Pratap Ki Chhatri". Indira Gandhi National Centre for the arts. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Sharma, Sri Ram (1971). Maharana Raj Singh and his Times. p. 14. ISBN 8120823982.
- Nicoll, Fergus (2009). Shah Jahan. Penguin Books India. p. 89. ISBN 9780670083039.
|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
- Maharana Pratap history in Hindi