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Maharana Pratap

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Maharana Pratap
13th Maharana of Mewar
RajaRaviVarma MaharanaPratap.jpg
Portrait of Pratap by Raja Ravi Varma
Reign1572 - 1597[1]
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 (including Maharani Ajabde)[3][4]
Issue22 (including Amar Singh I and Bhagwan Das)[3]
DynastySisodias of Mewar
FatherUdai Singh II
MotherMaharani Jaiwanta Bai
Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar II
Hammir Singh (1326–1364)
Kshetra Singh (1364–1382)
Lakha Singh (1382–1421)
Mokal Singh (1421–1433)
Rana Kumbha (1433–1468)
Udai Singh I (1468–1473)
Rana Raimal (1473–1508)
Rana Sanga (1508–1527)
Ratan Singh II (1528–1531)
Vikramaditya Singh (1531–1536)
Vanvir Singh (1536–1540)
Udai Singh II (1540–1572)
Pratap Singh I (1572–1597)
Amar Singh I (1597–1620)
Karan Singh II (1620–1628)
Jagat Singh I (1628–1652)
Raj Singh I (1652–1680)
Jai Singh (1680–1698)
Amar Singh II (1698–1710)
Sangram Singh II (1710–1734)
Jagat Singh II (1734–1751)
Pratap Singh II (1751–1754)
Raj Singh II (1754–1762)
Ari Singh II (1762–1772)
Hamir Singh II (1772–1778)
Bhim Singh (1778–1828)
Jawan Singh (1828–1838)
Sardar Singh (1828–1842)
Swarup Singh (1842–1861)
Shambhu Singh (1861–1874)
Sajjan Singh (1874–1884)
Fateh Singh (1884–1930)
Bhupal Singh (1930–1955)
Bhagwant Singh (1955–1971)

Pratap Singh I, popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was a Hindu Rajput king of Mewar.[5] He was titled as "Mewari Rana" and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire and is known for his participation in the Battle of Haldighati and the Battle of Dewair.

Early life and accession

Maharana Pratap was born in Hindu Rajput family to Udai Singh II of Mewar and Jaiwanta Bai.[6][7][8] 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[9] and he had married 10 other women and was survived by 17 sons and 5 daughters including Amar Singh I.[10] He belonged to the Royal Family of Mewar.[11] After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

Military career

Battle of Haldighati

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 entreating him to become a vassal like many other Rajput leaders in the region. When the Pratap refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.[15][16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Reconquest of Mewar

After Akbar Mewar campaign in 1576-77 was failed . Akbar sent his Genral Sahbahz Khan 3 times to invade Mewar in 1577, 1578 and 1579 but he was neither able to establish Mughal rule in Mewar or capture Pratap each of his invasion failed. During this time Pratap also captured the areas of Vagad ( Dungarpur, Banswara ). Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim's incursion into the Punjab.But after this Akbar sent Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan to invade Mewar but when he was defeated by Pratap's son Amar Singh. He returned back to Ajmer. In 1582, Pratap Singh attacked and occupied the Mughal post at Dewair (or Dewar) in the Battle of Dewair. This led to the automatic liquidation of all 36 Mughal military outposts in Mewar. After this Akbar send Jagannath Kachhwa to invade Mewar but he was also failed infront of Pratap warfare. After this Invasion, Akbar stopped his military campaigns against Mewar. The victory of Dewair was a crowning glory for the Maharana, with James Tod describing it as the "Marathon of Mewar".[21][22] 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 almost whole Mewar (except its former capital, Chittorgarh) and Vagad[citation needed] regions by defeating Mughal forces there. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.[23]

Patronage of art

Maharana Prataps court at Chanvand had given shelter to many poets, artists, writers and artisans. The Chavand school of art was developed during the reign of Rana Pratap.[24][self-published source?]

Revival of Mewar

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 contructed 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 around Chittor but could not fulfill his dream of capturing Chittor itself.[25]


Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident,[26] at Chavand[23] on 19 January 1597,[1] aged 56.[27] 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.[28]


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.[29]

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".[30][31]

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.[32]

In 2007, a statue of Maharana Pratap was unveiled in the Parliament of India.[33]

In popular culture

See also


  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. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  4. ^ Nahar 2011, p. 7.
  5. ^ "MAHARANA PRATAP JAYANTI: 'महाराणा प्रताप' वह वीर, जिस से कांप गई थी मुगलिया भीड़". Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  6. ^ Rana 2004, pp. 28, 105.
  7. ^ Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A History of Jaipur. Orient Blackswan. p. 48. ISBN 978-8-12500-333-5.
  8. ^ Daryanani, Mohan B. (1999). Who's who on Indian Stamps. p. 302. ISBN 978-8-49311-010-9.
  9. ^ Bhatt, Rajendra Shankar (2005). Maharana Pratap. National Book Trust, India. ISBN 978-81-237-4339-4.
  10. ^ Sharma, Sri Ram (2002). Maharana Pratap: A Biography. Hope India Publ. ISBN 978-81-7871-005-1.
  11. ^ Sharma, Gopi Nath; Mathur, M. N. Maharana Pratap & his times. Udaipur State: Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti. p. 29.
  12. ^ Lal, Muni (1980). Akbar. University of Michigan: Vikas Publishers. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-70691-076-6.
  13. ^ Augustus 1890, p. 190; Rana 2004, p. 17.
  14. ^ Majumdar 1974, p. 234.
  15. ^ Sarkar 1960, p. 75.
  16. ^ Chandra 2005, pp. 119–120.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Sarkar 1960, p. 77–79.
  19. ^ Chandra 2005, pp. 121–122.
  20. ^ Chandra 2005, pp. 121-122.
  21. ^ "Tourist Places". Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  22. ^ A. N. Bhattacharya (2000). Human geography of Mewar. Himanshu. p. 71. ISBN 9788186231906.
  23. ^ a b Chandra 2005, p. 122.
  24. ^ Hooja, Rima (2018). Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior. Juggernaut. p. 158. ISBN 9789386228963. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  25. ^ Hooja, Rima (2006). A History of Rajasthan. Rupa & Company. pp. 473–474.
  26. ^ Sharma, Sri Ram (2005). Maharana Pratap. p. 91. ISBN 978-8-17871-003-7.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Rana 2004, pp. 77-79; Nahar 2011, pp. 198-201.
  29. ^ Nahar 2011, p. 1.2.
  30. ^ Chandra, Satish (1983). "Medieval India". National Council for Educational Training and Research. p. 153.
  31. ^ Meena, R. P. "Rajasthan Year Book 2021".
  32. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Brishti (2007). Maharana Pratap: Mewar's Rebel King. New Delhi: Rupa Co.
  33. ^ "Maharana Pratap's statue unveiled". Hindustan Times. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  34. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema. British Film Institute. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ "Director's Biography: V G Samant". Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  37. ^ "Big-budget serial 'Maharana Pratap - The Pride of India' ready to go on air". India Today. 1 December 1997. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  38. ^ "Chetak - The Wonder Horse". Disney+ Hotstar.

Further reading

External links

Maharana Pratap
Born: 9 May 1540 Died: 19 January 1597
Preceded by
Udai Singh II
Sisodia Rajput Ruler
Succeeded by
Amar Singh I