Birth 9 May 1540
Death 19 Jan 1597
Pratap Singh popularly known as Maharana Pratap was the 13th king of Mewar and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire.
Maharana Pratap was born to Udai Singh II and Jaiwanta Bai. After the death of his father Udai Singh II in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal Singh to succeed him but the senior courtiers preferred Pratap the eldest son to be their king. The desire of the senior courtiers prevailed.
The Mughal emperor Akbar won the fort of Chittorgarh, but Rana Udai Singh was ruling Mewar from other places. After the death of Udai Singh his son Maharana Pratap, sat on the throne at Gogunda. He vowed that he would liberate Mewar from the Mughals: until then he would not live in a palace, not sleep on a bed, and not have food on a plate.
With an eye on political alliances, Maharana Pratap had 11 wives. He had 17 sons and 5 daughters from his 11 wives.
The names of his wives are as follows. Maharani Abjade Punwar was his favorite.
- Mahararani Abjade Punwar 7. Ratnawatibai P
- Phool Bai Rathore 8. Champabai Jhati
- Alamdebai Chauhan 9. Solankhinipur Bai
- Amarbai Rathore 10. Jasobai Chauhan
- Shahmatibai Hada 11. Khichar Asha Bai
Akbar sent a number of envoys to Maharana Pratap entreating him to accept his dominance and to become a vassal like many other Rajput kings of those times. But Maharana Pratap refused to submit to Akbar, the war became inevitable between Maharana Pratap and Emperor Akbar. The battle of Haldighati was fought between Pratap Singh and Mughal forces led by Raja Man Singh of Amber, the brother-in-law of Akbar himself. Haldighati is a mountain pass situated at the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan that connects the Rajsamand and Pali districts. The name Haldighati originated from the yellow soil of the area. The battle commenced on 18 June 1576. Rana’s army was commanded by Hakim Khan Sur and was 20,000 while Man Singh had an army of 80,000 soldiers.
The Mughals were victorious in the war but Maharana Pratap managed to escape from the battlefield. The brave horse of Pratap, Chetak did not give up even after being hurt in the battle carried Pratap to a safe place and collapsed. Today there is a Samadhi of Chetak in Haldighati. Although the Mughals emerged victorious the victory was futile as they failed to capture Pratap Singh or any of his close family members.
Following the rebellions in Bengal and Bihar, Mughal pressure on Mewar was relaxed after 1579. In 1582, Maharana Pratap Singh attacked and occupied the Mughal post at Dewair.
In January 1597, Maha Rana Pratap Singh was seriously injured in a hunting accident and he left his body on January 29.
He was succeeded by his eldest son Amar Singh I. He told his son never to submit to the Mughals.
He always remembered in history for his endless battle throughout his life for independence of himself and the independence of Mewar. Throughout life, he fought for his nation, for his subjects, and most importantly for his honor. He remembered for his strong willpower, courage, valor, and principles. Despite the small number of forces and manpower he managed to outmaneuver the Mughal army with his guerilla techniques. In later years his war technique of guerilla warfare inspired kings like Shivaji Maharaj who skillfully adopted and efficiently used it in establishing the Hindavi Swaraj.
|9 May 1540
|Udai Singh II
|7 feet 5 inches
|Battle of Haldighati
|18 June 1576
|Victory of Dewair
|19 Jan 1597
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