Rana Sanga

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Maharana Sangram Singh
राणा सांगा
The ruler of Mewar
Maharana Sangram Singh Riding a Prize Stallion.jpg
Depiction of Maharana Sangram Singh on horseback, 18th century.
Rana of Mewar
Reign 1508-1528 (20 years)
Predecessor Rana Raimal
Successor Ratan Singh II
Born (1484-04-12)12 April 1484
Malwa, Rajasthan, India
Died 17 March 1527(1527-03-17) (aged 42)
Kalpi, India
Spouse Rani Karnavati
Issue Bhoj Raj
Ratan Singh II
Vikramaditya Singh
Udai Singh II
Full name
Sangram Singh
House Sisodia
Father Rana Raimal
Religion Hindu
Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar II (1326–1884)
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)
Maharana Pratap (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)
Shambhu Singh (1861–1874)
Sajjan Singh (1874–1884)
Fateh Singh (1884–1930)
Bhupal Singh (1930–1947)
Succeeded by ? (?)

Maharana Sangram Singh (12 April 1484 – 17 March 1527) commonly known as Rana Sanga, was the Sisodiya Rajput ruler of Mewar, which was located within the geographic boundaries of present-day India's modern state of Rajasthan. He ruled between 1508 and 1528.[1]

Rana Sanga succeeded his father, Rana Raimal, as king of Mewar in 1508. He defeated the Khalji sultan of Malwa and took him prisoner in Chitor. The Rana was thus emerging as another formidable Rajput contender for supremacy in north India. Meanwhile, Bābur, a descendant of Timur, was knocking at the gates of India. Rana Sanga fought against the Mughals in the Battle of Khanwa, which ended with Mughal victory, and died shortly thereafter on 17 March 1527.

He was married to Rani Karnavati who later committed Jauhar on 8 March 1535 A.D. inside Chittorgarh Fort. This was the second of the three Jauhars performed at Chittor. She was the mother of the next two Ranas, Rana Vikramaditya Singh and Udai Singh II, and grandmother of the legendary Maharana Pratap.

Succession to throne[edit]

Chittorgarh Fort, Chittor

Rana Sanga, a grandson of Kumbha, succeeded to the throne of Mewar after a prolonged power struggle against his brothers.[2]

Conquest of Malwa[edit]

Ibrahim Lodi, the Afghan king of Delhi sultanate.

After consolidating his position in Mewar, Sanga moved his army against the neighbouring kingdom of Malwa, which was suffering from internal dissension under the rule of Mehmod Khilji. Wary of the power of Medini Rai, his Rajput wazir, the politically weak Mehmod sought outside assistance from both Sultan Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi and Bahadur Shah of Gujarat; whereas Rai, on his part, requested Sanga to come to his aid.[3][page needed] Thus began the prolonged war between Mewar against the Muslim sultans of North India.[citation needed]

Joined by Rajput rebels from within Malwa, Sanga's troops beat back invading armies from Delhi and defeated the Malwa army in a series of battles. Khilji was himself taken prisoner, only to be freed after leaving his sons as hostages in Mewar's capital, Chittor. Through these events, Malwa fell under Sanga’s control.[4][page needed]

Victories over Ibrahim Lodi[edit]

After conquering Malwa, Sanga turned his attention towards north-eastern Rajasthan, which was then under the control Khilji's ally, Lodi. He invaded the region when a rebellion in Delhi had diverted Lodi's attention, gaining several victories and capturing some key strategic assets in the process, including the fort of Ranthambore. In retaliation, Lodi invaded Mewar after having put down the rebellion in Delhi.[5][page needed]

Jain temple at Ranthambore fort.

Sanga counterattacked, fighting the ethnic Afghans under Lodi at Khatoli (Gwalior) in 1517-18. During this period Sanga lost his left arm and was crippled in one leg but gained land.[citation needed]

Lodi, reportedly stunned by this Rajput aggression (the extent of which was unprecedented in the preceding three centuries), once again moved against Mewar in 1518-19 but was humbled at Dholpur. Lodi fought Sanga repeatedly, only to be defeated each time, losing much of his land in present-day Rajasthan, while the boundaries of Sanga's military influence came to extend within striking distance of Agra.[6][page needed][7][page needed]

War Between Sanga and Babur[edit]

Main article: Battle of Khanwa

After his initial gains Rana Sanga became recognized within north India as a principal player in the power struggle to rule the northern territories of princely India. His objectives grew in scope – he planned to conquer the much sought after prize of the Muslim rulers of the time, Delhi, and bring the whole of India under his control.

He had crushed Gujarat and conquered Malwa and was now close to Agra. It was at this juncture that he heard that Babur had defeated and slain Ibrahim Lodi and was now master of the Delhi Sultanate.[citation needed]

Rana Sanga decided, in a miscalculation of Babur's strength and determination, to wage a war against the Mughal invader.[citation needed] As a first move, he coerced Afghan fugitive princes like Mehmud Lodi and Hasan Khan Mewati to join him. Then he ordered Babur to leave India. Initially he hoped to attain this by sending his vassal Sardar Silhadi of Raisen as his emissary.[8][page needed] Silhadi who went to Babur’s camp was won over by Babur. Babur accepted that to rule North India he may have to engage in battle with Rana Sanga and hence had no desire for retreat. Babur and Silhadi hatched a plot. Silhadi, who held a large contingent of 30,000 men would join Babur’s camp at critical moment of battle and thus defeat Rana Sanga. Silhadi who went back to Chittor, told Rana that war is a must.[9][page needed]

The Rajput forces of Rana Sanga, supplemented by the contingents of Hasan Khan Mewati and the Afghan, Mehmud Lodi and Raja Medini Rai of Alwar, met Babur’s army at Khanwa near Fatehpur Sikri in 1527. The battle, which lasted for not more than 10 hours, was bitterly contested and became an exceedingly brutal affair. At a critical moment of battle, the defection of Silhadi and his contingent caused a split in the Rajput forces. Rana Sanga while trying to rebuild his front was wounded and fell unconscious from his horse. The Rajput army thought their leader was dead and fled in disorder, thus allowing the Mughals to win the day.[10][page needed][11][page needed]

Rana Sanga was whisked away to safety by the Rathore contingent from Marwar and once he became conscious he learnt of the defeat. But Rana Sanga, unwilling to admit defeat, set out once more to rebuild his military and renew war with Babur. He vowed not to set foot in Chittor till Babur was defeated by him. In 1528, he once more set out to fight Babur at Chanderi to help Medini Rai who was attacked by Babur. But he fell sick at Kalpi and died in his camp. It is widely believed that he was poisoned by some of his nobles who quite rightly thought his renewal of war with Babur was suicidal.[citation needed]

It is suggested that had it not been for the cannon of Babur, Rana Sanga might have achieved victory. Pradeep Barua notes that Babur's cannon put an end to outdated trends in Indian warfare.[12]


  1. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  2. ^ Chandra, Satish (2004) [1997]. Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206-1526) 1 (Revised ed.). Har-Anand Publications. p. 224. ISBN 978-8-12411-064-5. 
  3. ^ L. P. Sharma, History of Medieval India
  4. ^ Satish Chandra, Medieval India
  5. ^ L. P. Sharma
  6. ^ LP Sharma
  7. ^ BR Verma and SK Bakshi, Rajput Role in History
  8. ^ Upendra Nath Day, Medieval Malwa: A Political and Cultural History
  9. ^ Upendra Nath Day
  10. ^ Refer LP Sharma, Bakshi & Verma, Upendra Nath Day
  11. ^ Nilakanta Sashtri and Srinivasachari, Advanced History of India
  12. ^ Barua, Pradeep (2005). The State at War in South Asia. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-0-80321-344-9. 
Rana Sanga
Born: 12 April 1484 Died: 17 March 1527
Preceded by
Rana Raimal
Sisodia Rajput Ruler
Succeeded by
Vikramaditya Singh