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Pratap Singh (About this sound pronunciation ) (9 May 1540 – 29 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. Pratap was the son of Udai Singh II (King of Mewar) and his mother Maharani Jaiwanta Bai. Maharana Pratap's birth anniversary, known as Maharana Pratap Jayanti, is celebrated annually on the third day of the Jyestha Shukla phase. He was the eldest son of Maharani Jaiwanta Bai and Udai Singh II.[2][3][4] He was succeeded by his eldest son, Amar Singh I. Maharana Pratap's biggest enemy was Mughal Emperor Akbar (Abu'l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar, popularly known as Akbar I and later Akbar the Great).

Maharana Pratap
Maharana Pratap
RajaRaviVarma MaharanaPratap.jpg
Maharana Pratap-the great Rajput king
Maharana of Mewar
Reign 28 February 1572 – 29 January 1597
Predecessor Udai Singh II
Successor Amar Singh I
Born (1540-05-09)9 May 1540
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan[1]
Died 29 January 1597(1597-01-29) (aged 56)
Chavand, Rajasthan
Burial Cremated in Vandoli village
Spouse Maharani Ajabde Queen Consort and 10 other wives
Issue Amar Singh I
Bhagwan Das
Father Udai Singh II
Mother Maharani Jaiwanta Bai
Religion Hinduism
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)
Sardar Singh (1828–1842)
Swarup Singh (1842–1861)
Shambhu Singh (1861–1874)
Sajjan Singh (1874–1884)
Fateh Singh vinjuda (1884–1930)
Bhupal Singh

Contents

AccessionEdit

In 1568 during the reign of Pratap's father, Udai Singh II, Chittorgarh Fort was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar after the third Jauhar.[citation needed] Udai Singh and his family had left before the capture and moved to the foothills of the Aravalli Range where Udai Singh had already founded the city of Udaipur in 1559.[5] Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed Udai Singh[6] but senior courtiers preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed.[citation needed]

Conflict with the MughalsEdit

Pratap's biggest enemy was the emperor of the Mughal Empire, Akbar. Nearly all of Pratap's fellow Rajput chiefs had meanwhile entered into the vassalage of the Mughals. Pratap's own brothers – Shakti Singh, Jagmal and Sagar Singh – served Akbar,[citation needed] and many Rajput chiefs, such as Man Singh I of Amer, served as commanders in Great 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.[citation needed] The fifth of these, led by Bhagwan Das, was fruitful in that Pratap agreed to put on a robe presented by Akbar and he sent his son, Amar Singh, to the Mughal capital.[citation needed] The missions ultimately failed, however, because Pratap refused personally to present himself to the Mughal court. Since no agreement could be reached, all-out war between Mewar and the Mughals became inevitable.[7][page needed]

Battle of HaldighatiEdit

In 1576, Akbar deputed Man Singh I and Asaf Khan I to lead a force against Pratap.[citation needed] Pratap advanced with a force numbering almost half the Mughal numbers and took a position near Haldighati which was at the entrance of a defile.[citation needed] In Pratap's army the main commanders were Gwalior's Ram Shah Tanwar and his three sons, Rawat Krishnadasji Chundawat, Maan Singhji Jhala and Chandrasenji Rathore of Marwar. His army also included Afghans led by Hakim Khan Sur and a small contingent of Bhil tribals headed by Rao Poonjaji fighting alongside him.[8]

The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 for around four hours.[9] 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 attack led to a crumbling of the Mughal left- and right-wings and put pressure on the centre until reserves of the Mughal army arrived, and resulted in a Rajput retreat. Later, the Mughal army attacked the Rajputs hiding in hills. The pressure of Mughal army was so much that the Rana had to retreat from the battlefield. The battle resulted in a defeat for the Rajputs and Rana Pratap.

After the Battle of HaldighatiEdit

On the third day after the Battle of Haldighati, on 23 June 1576, Man Singh I conquered Gogunda[10] which was later recaptured by Pratap in July 1576.[11] Pratap then made Kumbhalgarh his temporary capital.[12] After that, Emperor Akbar decided to personally lead the campaign against Pratap.[citation needed] In the process, Gogunda, Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh were occupied by the Mughals, forcing the Rana deeper into the mountainous tracts of southern Mewar.[citation needed] 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 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 Pratap found himself isolated and marginalised in Rajput affairs.[7][page needed]

ResurgenceEdit

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, Pratap recovered many of his lost territories including Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur, Gogunda, Ranthambore and the areas around Chittor, although not Chittor itself. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.[7][page needed] His successful defiance of Mughals using guerrilla strategy also proved inspirational to figures ranging from Shivaji to anti-British revolutionaries in Bengal.[13]

Death and legacyEdit

Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident[14] at Chavand, which served as his capital,[15] on 29[16] January 1597, aged 57.[17] A chhatri (monument) at the site of Pratap's funeral in Chavand is an important tourist attraction.[18] Satish Chandra, the prominent historian who had specialized in history of medieval India opines that:

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 sporadic warfare was later elaborated further by Malik Ambar, the Deccani general, and by Shivaji.[19]

Television depictionsEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Rana 2004, pp. 28, 105.
  3. ^ Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A History of Jaipur. p. 48. ISBN 978-8-12500-333-5. 
  4. ^ Daryanani, Mohan B. (1999). Who's who on Indian Stamps. p. 302. ISBN 978-8-49311-010-9. 
  5. ^ Mathur, Pushparani (1994). Costumes of the Rulers of Mewar. p. 22. ISBN 978-8-17017-293-2. 
  6. ^ Lal, Muni (1980). Akbar. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-70691-076-6. 
  7. ^ a b c Chandra 2005.
  8. ^ Rana 2004, p. 54.
  9. ^ Chundawat (9 December 2014), Haldi Ghati War 
  10. ^ Rana 2004, p. 69.
  11. ^ Rana 2004, p. 72.
  12. ^ Rana 2004, p. 76.
  13. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Brishti (2007). Maharana Pratap : Mewar's Rebel King. Rupa Co. 
  14. ^ Sharma, Sri Ram (2005). Maharana Pratap. p. 91. ISBN 978-8-17871-003-7. 
  15. ^ Chandra 2005, p. 122.
  16. ^ "Maharana Pratap – History of Chittorgarh". chittorgarh.com. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ "Maharana Pratap Ki Chhatri". Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  19. ^ Chandra, Satish (2000). Medieval India. New Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training. p. 164. 

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Maharana Pratap
Born: 9 May 1540 Died: 29 January 1597
Preceded by
Udai Singh II
Sisodia Rajput Ruler
1572–1597
Succeeded by
Amar Singh I