Pratap Singh I (Hindi pronunciation: [Mahārāṇā pratāp] ; c. 9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was a king of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present-day state of Rajasthan. He is notable for leading the Rajput resistance against the expansionist policy of the Mughal Emperor Akbar including the Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair which have turned him into a folk hero.

Maharana Pratap
Mewari Rana
Portrait of Maharana Pratap by Raja Ravi Varma
13th Rana of Mewar
Reign28 February 1572 – 19 January 1597[1]
Coronation28 February 1572
PredecessorUdai Singh II
SuccessorAmar Singh I
Jhala Man Singh
Born9 May 1540 (1540-05-09)
Kumbhalgarh, Mewar[1][2]
(present day: Kumbhalgarh 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 Bai Punwar
  • Phool Bai Rathore
  • Jaso Bai Chauhan
  • Alamde Bai Chauhan
  • Champa Bai Jhati
  • Asha Bai Khichar
  • Lakhi Bai Solankini
  • Shahmati Bai Hada
  • Ratnawati Bai Parmar
Issue22 (including Amar Singh I and Bhagwan Das) and 5 daughters[3]
Maharana Pratap Singh Sisodia
DynastySisodias of Mewar
FatherUdai Singh II
MotherJaivanta Bai Songara (Chauhan) of Jalore

Early life and accession edit

Maharana Pratap was born to Udai Singh II of Mewar and Jaiwanta Bai in 1540, the year in which Udai Singh ascended to the throne after defeating Vanvir Singh.[5][6][7] His younger brothers were Shakti Singh, Vikram Singh and Jagmal Singh. Pratap also had two stepsisters: Chand Kanwar and Man Kanwar. His chief consort was Maharani Ajabde Bai Punwar of Bijolia.[8] Their eldest son was Amar Singh I.[9] He belonged to the royal family of Mewar.[10] After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai Bhatiyani 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 and Pratap ascended the throne as Maharana Pratap, the 54th ruler of Mewar in the line of the Sisodia Rajputs.[12] He was crowned in Gogunda on the auspicious day of Holi. 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

Background edit

In stark contrast to other Rajput rulers who accommodated and formed alliances with the various Muslim dynasties in the subcontinent, by the time Pratap ascended to the throne, Mewar was going through a long-standing conflict with the Mughals which started with the defeat of his grandfather Rana Sanga in the Battle of Khanwa in 1527 and continued with the defeat of his father Udai Singh II in Siege of Chittorgarh in 1568.[14] Pratap Singh, gained distinction for his refusal to form any political alliance with the Mughal Empire and his resistance to Muslim domination. The conflicts between Pratap Singh and Akbar led to the Battle of Haldighati.[15][16]

Battle of Haldighati edit

The 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 I of Amer, entreating him to become a vassal like many other rulers in Rajputana. When Pratap refused to personally submit to Akbar and several attempts to diplomatically settle the issue failed, war became inevitable.[17][18]

The forces of Pratap Singh and Mughal and Rajput general Man Singh met on 18 June 1576 beyond a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda, modern day Rajsamand in Rajasthan. This came to be known as the Battle of Haldighati. Pratap Singh fielded a force of around 3000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers. Man Singh commanded an army numbering around 10,000 men.[19][20][21] 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.[22] The Mughals were victorious and inflicted significant casualties among the forces of Mewar but failed to capture Maharana Pratap.[19][20][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.[23] While the sources also claim that Pratap was able to make a successful escape, Man Singh 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.[23]

Post-Haldighati Mughal invasions edit

Shahbaz Khan Kamboh led multiple invasions that resulted in the subjugation of key areas in Mewar, such as Kumbhalgarh, Mandalgarh, Gogunda, and Central Mewar, bringing them permanently under Mughal rule. The Mughal Empire established its supremacy in Mewar after Shahbaz Khan's invasions. This ultimately led to a significant weakening of Pratap's power, forcing him to retreat to his hilly abode.

Reconquest of Mewar edit

Maharana Pratap Memorial in Dewair for the battle of 1582.[24]

Battle of Dewair (1582) 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 Jagannath Kachhwaha to invade Mewar in 1584. This time too Mewar army defeated Mughals and forced them to retreat. 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 some of his territories at Mewar (except its former capital), and Mandalgarh.[25]

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. He also had renowned artists like Nasiruddin in his court.[26]

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. The Mughals shifted their attention to Punjab and other north-western provinces after Jaganath Kachwaha's invasion of Mewar. Pratap took advantage of this situation to attack the Mughal occupied areas of Mewar and captured thirty-six Mughal outposts. Udaipur, Mohi, Gogunda, Mandal and Pandwara were some of the important areas that were recaptured from this conflict. According to the 1588 inscription near Jahazpur, the Rana gave the lands of Pander to a trusted follower called Sadulnath Trivedi. G.N. Sharma claims that the Pander inscription is proof that the Rana had occupied north-eastern Mewar and was granting lands to those who had been loyal to him.[27] 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.[28]

Death edit

Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident,[29] at Chavand[25] on 19 January 1597, aged 56.[30] 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.[31]

Legacy edit

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.[32]

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".[33][34]

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.[35]

In 2007, a statue of Maharana Pratap was unveiled by former President Pratibha Patil in the Parliament of India.[36]

In popular culture edit

Film and television edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "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. ^ Somani, Ramavallabha (1976). History of Mewar from Earliest times to 1751 A.D. pp. 169–176.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Sarkar 1960, p. 75.
  18. ^ Chandra 2005, pp. 119–120.
  19. ^ a b 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.
  20. ^ a b 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...
  21. ^ a b 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.
  22. ^ Sarkar 1960, p. 77–79.
  23. ^ a b Chandra 2005, pp. 121–122.
  24. ^ "Maharana Pratap – the Rajput Warrior who single-handedly fought Akbar's might". International Business Times. 9 May 2020.
  25. ^ a b Chandra 2005, p. 122.
  26. ^ Hooja, Rima (2018). Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior. Juggernaut. p. 158. ISBN 9789386228963. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  27. ^ Sharma, GN (1962). Mewar and the Mughal Emperors: 1526-1707 A. D. Shiva Lal Agarwala. p. 103.
  28. ^ Hooja, Rima (2006). A History of Rajasthan. Rupa & Company. pp. 473–474. ISBN 9788129115010.
  29. ^ Sharma, Sri Ram (2005). Maharana Pratap. Hope India Publications. p. 91. ISBN 978-8-17871-003-7.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Rana 2004, pp. 77–79; Nahar 2011, pp. 198–201.
  32. ^ Nahar 2011, p. 1.2.
  33. ^ Chandra, Satish (1983). "Medieval India". National Council for Educational Training and Research. p. 153. Archived from the original on 11 April 2023. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  34. ^ Meena, R. P. "Rajasthan Year Book 2021".
  35. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Brishti (2007). Maharana Pratap: Mewar's Rebel King. New Delhi: Rupa Co.
  36. ^ "Maharana Pratap's statue unveiled". Hindustan Times. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2021.

Sources edit

External links edit

Maharana Pratap
Born: 9 May 1540 Died: 19 January 1597
Preceded by Rana of Mewar
Succeeded by