Pratap Singh I (pronunciation (help·info)) (9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was the 13th king of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present-day state of Rajasthan. He was titled as "Mewari Rana" and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire and was known for his participation in the Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair. He was ruler of Sisodias of Mewar from 1572, until his death in the year 1597.
|13th Maharana of Mewar|
Portrait of Pratap by Raja Ravi Varma
|Reign||1 March 1572 – |
19 January 1597
|Predecessor||Udai Singh II|
|Successor||Amar Singh I|
|Born||9 May 1540|
(present day: Kumbhal Fort, Rajsamand District, Rajasthan, India)
|Died||19 January 1597 (aged 56)|
(Present day:Chavand, Udaipur District, Rajasthan, India)
|Spouse||Maharani Ajabde (consort)|
|Issue||Amar Singh I|
|Father||Udai Singh II|
|Mother||Maharani Jaiwanta Bai|
|Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar II|
|Udai Singh I||(1468–1473)|
|Ratan Singh II||(1528–1531)|
|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)|
|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)|
Early life and accessionEdit
Maharana Pratap was born in a Hindu Rajput family. He was born to Udai Singh II and Jaiwanta Bai. 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 and he had married 10 other women and was survived by 17 children including Amar Singh I. He belonged to the Royal Family of Mewar. After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him 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. 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.
Battle of HaldighatiEdit
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 . The 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 Maharana refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Pratap Singh and Akbar's forces led by Man Singh I of Amer. The Mughals were victorious and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture the Maharana. 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 5000–10,000 men. After a fierce battle lasting more than six hours, the Maharana found himself wounded and the day lost. He managed to retreat to the hills and lived to fight another day.
Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to kill or capture Pratap Singh, or any of his close family members in Udaipur. As soon as the empire's focus shifted north-west, Pratap and his army recaptured the western regions of his dominion. While the sources also claimes that Pratap able to make a successful escape, the battle failed to break the deadlock between the two powers. Subsequently, Akbar led a sustained campaign against the Rana, and soon, Goganda, Udaipur, and Kumbhalgarh were all under his control.
Reconquest of MewarEdit
Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim's incursion into the Punjab. 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 defeat, 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". 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 Western Mewar including Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur and Gogunda. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.
Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident, at Chavand on 19 January 1597, aged 56. 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.
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 Shivaji".
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 Shivaji to anti-British revolutionaries in Bengal.
In popular cultureEdit
- 1925: Rana Pratap
- 1929: Mewad Nu Moti
- 1946: Maharana Pratap
- 1958: Chetak Aur Rana Pratap, about the bonding with his warhorse Chetak.
- 1993: Chetak
- 1997–1998: Maharana Pratap
- 2010: Chetak - The Wonder Horse
- 2012: Maharana Pratap: The First Freedom Fighter
- 2012–2015: Jodha Akbar, broadcast on Zee TV, where he was played by Anurag Sharma
- 2013–2015: Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap, broadcast by Sony Entertainment Television (India), where he was portrayed by Faisal Khan and Sharad Malhotra
- 2016: ABP News presented Bharatvarsha, in which episode 8 showcased the story of Maharana Pratap.
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- "Tourist Places". rajsamand.rajasthan.gov.in. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
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- "Director's Biography: V G Samant". cfsindia.org. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
- "Big-budget serial 'Maharana Pratap - The Pride of India' ready to go on air". India Today. 1 December 1997. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
- "Chetak - The Wonder Horse". Disney+ Hotstar.
- Sarkar, Jadunath (1960). Military History of India. Orient Longmans. pp. 75–81. ISBN 9780861251551.
- Chandra, Satish (2005). Medieval India (Part Two): From Sultanat to the Mughals. Har-Anand Publications. ISBN 9788124110669.
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- Nahar, Vijay (2011). हिंडुआ सूरज मेवाड़ रतन [Hindua Suraj Mewar Ratan] (in Hindi). Jaipur, Rajasthan: Pinkcity Publishers. ISBN 978-93-80522-45-6.
Maharana PratapBorn: 9 May 1540 Died: 19 January 1597
Udai Singh II
| Sisodia Rajput Ruler
Amar Singh I