Pratap Singh I ( pronunciation (help·info)) (9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597) popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was a Rajput king of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present day state of Rajasthan.
|12th Maharana of Mewar|
Pratap Singh I in a painting by Raja Ravi Varma
|Maharana of Mewar|
|Reign||1 March 1572 –
19 January 1597
|Predecessor||Udai Singh II|
|Successor||Amar Singh I|
9 May 1540|
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Mewar
|Died||19 January 1597 (aged 56) 
Chavand, Mewar 
|Spouse||Maharani Ajabde (consort)
|Issue||Amar Singh I
|Father||Udai Singh II|
|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
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.
Battle of HaldighatiEdit
The grim Siege of Chittorgarh in 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 was still under the control of the Rana. The Mughal emperor Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar; when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Rana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys entreating the Rana to become a vassal like many other Rajput leaders in the region. When the Rana refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Maharana Pratap and Akbar's forces led by Man Singh I of Amber. The Mughals were the victors and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture Pratap, who escaped. The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda in Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap fielded a force of around 3,000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers. The Mughals were led by Raja Man Singh of Amber, who commanded an army numbering around 5,000–10,000 men. After a fierce battle lasting more than three hours, Pratap found himself wounded and the day lost. While a few of his men bought him time, he managed to make an escape to the hills and lived to fight another day. The casualties for Mewar numbered around 1600 men. The Mughal army lost 150 men, with another 350 wounded.
Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to oust Maharana Pratap. While they were able to capture Gogunda and nearby areas, they were unable to hold onto them for long. As soon as the empire's focus shifted elsewhere, Pratap and his army came out of hiding and recaptured the western regions of his dominion.
Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim's incursion into the Punjab. In 1582 Maharana Pratap won the battle of Dewair against Akbar. 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 Western Mewar including Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur and Gogunda. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.
Death and legacyEdit
Historian Satish Chandra notes 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.
- 2011–2014: 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 Sharad Malhotra and Faisal Khan
- 2016: ABP News presented Bharatvarsh, in which episode 8 showcased the story of Maharana Pratap.
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- Maharana Pratap Singh
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- Chandra, Satish (2000). Medieval India. New Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training. p. 164.