Story of Maharana Pratap - Life History of Maharana Pratap

Story of Maharana Pratap - Life History of Maharana Pratap, it tells the complete life history of great warrior Maharana Pratap of Mewar, Rajasthan.

Story of Maharana Pratap

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Maharana Pratap was born in the Kumbhalgarh fort on 9th May, 1540 CE (Vikram Samvat 1597, Jyeshta Shukla Tritiya).

His father’s name was Maharana Udai Singh and his mother’s name was Jaiwanta Bai. He was the eldest son of Maharana Udai Singh. Dheer Kanwar, another queen of Maharana Udai Singh convinced him to enthrone Jagmal on Mewar after him.

As Udai Singh died, Jagmal declared himself as the ruler of Mewar, but the feudal lords were in support of Pratap and they enthroned him on Mewar.

Then on the day of the Holi festival, coronation of Maharana Pratap was done on 28th February, 1572 CE in Gogunda.

And during this, the condition of Mewar was very bad. It is because of the extended battles with the Mughals. And due to all these battles, the political, social and economic system of Mewar was disturbed.

Akbar had conquered Chittor and most of the parts of Mewar that time and was willing to occupy the remaining region also.

After noticing the poor economic condition and the destruction of Chittor, the poets entitled Chittor as “A widow without ornaments”.

As Maharana Pratap became the ruler, he was offered to accept the sovereignty of Akbar and be under him just like Bikaner, Amer and Jaisalmer, but he denied that offer.

Because, he gave more importance to the independence of his motherland and the pride and prestige of his clan, so, he chose the path of struggle with Akbar.

Then the Mughals invaded upon Mewar and because of the invasion the bravery and courage of Pratap’s feudal lords declined.

In these conditions, Pratap called up all his feudal lords and convinced them that he would protect them from the Mughals.

And he also made a pledge that, he would not live in the royal palaces, he would not consume food in the vessels of “Panchdhaatu” (gold, silver, bronze, copper and nickel).

And also would not sleep on beds unless he made Mewar free from the invaders (Akbar and his army).

Then Maharana Pratap organized a strong army, including some of his patriot and trustworthy chieftains and the local tribes. And he also changed his capital from Gogunda to Kumbhalgarh.

Maharana Pratap was continuously making efforts against the Akbar’s rule in Mewar, and Akbar got this news.

Then finally, right from the year of the coronation of Pratap, Akbar sent his four ambassadors, one after the other to influence Maharana Pratap to be under him (Akbar) by accepting his sovereignty.

On September 1572, Jalal Khan Korchi, one of the cleverest orators of Akbar was sent by him to Maharana Pratap for a proposal of alliance.

Then again next year, three courtesans, Man Singh, Bhagwant Das and Todarmal were sent by Akbar to subjugate Pratap.

But still, Pratap was not ready to accept the sovereignty of Akbar at any cost and again he rejected the offer.

Because of the continuous negative result, Akbar became mad at Maharana Pratap and wanted to attack and vanquish him.

And all this led to a battle which is fought between Maharana Pratap and Akbar’s army and renowned by the name of “Battle of Haldighati”.

Battle of Haldighati

For making a plan to attack upon Mewar, Akbar himself reached Ajmer in March 1576 CE and declared Man Singh as the leader of the army which is appointed to attack upon Mewar.

Along with the army Man Singh proceeded to invade upon Mewar on 3rd April 1576 CE. After staying for two months in Mandalgarh, Man Singh reached near the Khamnor village after increasing his military power.

Sayed Hashim Khan, Sayed Ahmad Khan, Khwaja Giyasuddin Ali, Sayed Raju, Jagannath Kacchwaha, Gazi Khan Badakshi, Mihattar Khan, Madho Singh- the brother of Bhagwant Singh, Mujahid Beigh and other chieftains were present along with him that time.

It was the first time in the Mughal history that a Hindu ruler was made the chief commander of the Mughal army and at this the Muslim courtesans became angry at this.

Raja Ramshah of Gwalior and many other experienced warriors gave advice that most of the soldiers of the army had no experience of fighting in hilly areas.

So, they must stay in the open ground and should surround them in that hilly region and kill them.

But the soldiers of the Mughal army challenged this advice and said that the warriors of Mewar would be forced to come out of the hilly region and should be defeated in the open battlefield.

Then finally, near the Banas River in Molela the camp of Man Singh was established and exact six miles away from Molela, Pratap established his camp in Molela.

Then on 19th June 1576 CE, Maharana Pratap decided to defeat the enemy which was coming towards Gogunda in Haldighati and proceeded from Losing.

During the initial stage of the battle, to dismantle his enemy, Rana forwarded his elephant Luna but the attack of Luna was confronted by a Mughal elephant named Gajmukh.

The elephant of the Mughals, “Gajmukh” got injured and was about to flee, but just then the Mahaot of Luna became seriously injured by a blow of an arrow and Luna started to move back.

Because of this, Maharana Pratap was forced to sent the renowned elephant Ramprasad in the battlefield of Haldighati.

The battle started with an attack from the side of the Harawal army of Maharana Pratap. Because of the courageous warfare strategy and rapid attack, the Rajput army became successful in destructing the front line and the left back part of the Mughal army.

According to Badauni, the Mughal army became desperate and started to run away like a folk of sheep under the leadership of Lunkaran.

During the war it became very difficult to differentiate between the Rana’s Rajput soldiers and the Rajput soldiers of the Mughals.

Badauni enquired from Asaf Khan about this, who was the second commander of Mughal army, on this Asaf Khan said, “You just concentrate on blowing the arrows. Whichever side’s Rajput soldiers dies, this will in fact, only benefit Islam.”

Badauni was also one of them who were not happy by seeing Man Singh as the commander of the Mughal army, but after noticing Man Singh fighting against Pratap with extreme bravery, he became happy.

During the battle, Sayed Hashim fell down from his horse and Asaf Khan ran back and took refuge in the central park of the Mughal army.

Jagannath Kacchwaha would also be killed, but from the last line of the army (Chandawal) Madho Singh Kacchwaha came for his assistance.

For any situation of emergency, an army was arranged in the Chandawal (the last line) of the Mughal army under the leadership of Mihattar Khan.

After noticing his army running away, he declared that, “Emperor himself is coming along with a massive army.”

Listening this, the situation of the army changed and the running soldiers again came back to the battlefield with a new bravery.

In the fight, Man Singh was seated on an elephant named Mardana while Maharana Pratap was fighting, seated on his famous horse Chetak.

In the Sanskrit text, “Amar Kavya” written by Ranchor Bhatt, it is written that Maharana cam with an extreme force and put the front legs of Chetak on the head of the elephant of Man Singh and attacked Man Singh with a spear.

Man Singh saved himself from that blow of the spear by bowing down, but the Mahaot of the elephant died.

And in this attack, one of the front legs of the Chetak was cut off because of the swords attached to the trunk of the elephant.

Jhala Beeda of Badi Sadri saw Pratap in severe distress, so he (Jhala Beeda) himself attained the state flag and continued the fight. While Pratap diverted the battle towards the hills.

Chetak, the horse of Maharana Pratap died at a place named Balicha near Haldighati and there even today his platform exists.

Man Singh Songara, Jhala Beeda, Jaimal Medhatia’s son Ramdas, Ramshah and his three sons Shalivahan, Bhavani Singh and Pratap Singh died while fighting bravely from the side of Maharana Pratap in the battle of Haldighati

Rawat Krishnadas Churawat of Salumbhar, Gopaldas of Ghanerao, Bhamashah, Tarachand and others are some of those chieftains who were able to sustain their life in the battlefield.

Maharana Pratap diverted the battle from the open ground to the hills when the battle was at its extreme. Man Singh saw this, but not followed the army of Mewar.

Badauni has given three reasons for the Mughals not following the arm of Pratap:

1. The first reason is the sweltering heat of the month of June.

2. The soldiers of the Mughal army were not able to fight because they became excessive tiered.

3. The Mughals were in fear that, what if we Pratap was waiting in the hills and if he made a sudden attack, the lives of many of the Mughal soldiers would fall into danger.

And in this way, Emperor Akbar was not able to catch Pratap or nor could kill him and destroy the military power of Mewar.

This military campaign of Akbar against Maharana Pratap was a failure and because of that, Akbar stopped the “dyori” of Man Singh and Asaf Khan, which means banned both of them from appearing in the court.

Campaign of Shahbaz Khan against Maharana Pratap

Mir Bakshi Shahbaz Khan was sent to Mewar by Akbar three times to crush the power of Maharana Pratap. For the first time, on 15th October 1577 CE, Shahbaz Khan was sent to Mewar by Akbar.

During the first invasion of Shahbaz Khan, he occupied Kalwar village and surrounded Kumbhalgarh, but even after all this he remained unsuccessful in occupying it. And after some time, Maharana Pratap reoccupied it.

The son of Pratap Rao Akshayaraj, Bhan Songara was appointed as the fort keeper by Maharana Pratap and he himself move towards Idar along with his soldier and stayed in Chuliya village.

And there in Chuliya village, twenty-five lakh rupees and twenty thousand gold coins were presented to Maharana Pratap by Bhamashah and his brother Tarachand.

And immediately after noticing the military and administrative capability of Bhamashah. Maharana Pratap made him the Prime Minister of Mewar, replacing Rama Mahasahani.

In July 1582 CE, Maharana Pratap reorganized his army after getting financial support from Bhamashah.

Battle of Diver

As he got the opportunity, Pratap attacked upon various Mughal stations built at Diver (Rajsamand) pass.

That station was under Sultan Khan, uncle of the Emperor Akbar. During the fight Amar Singh (son of Maharana Pratap) threw his spear with such a force that tore off Sultan Khan as well as his horse.

After getting successful in the battle of Diver, this hilly part came under the occupancy of Maharana Pratap. Colonel Todd has called this battle as "The Marathon of Mewar".

The Final Campaign against Maharana Pratap

Jagannath Kacchwaha (younger son of Raja Bharmal of Amer) was appointed as the Subedar of Ajmer and sent to invade upon Mewar on 6th December 1584 CE.

But after becoming unable to do any significant, he became disappointed and went away from Mewar in 1585 CE.

This invasion of Jagannath Kacchwaha is regarded as the last Mughal invasion on Mewar during the reign of Pratap.

After all these campaigns, Akbar still became unsuccessful and he started to realize that catching Maharana Pratap and forcing him to accept his sovereignty was just a thought of his dreams.

Then Akbar also got engaged in the north-west problems. And because of which campaigns against Maharana Pratap was withdrawn forever.

Last 12 Years of Maharana Pratap in Chawand

He (Maharana Pratap) got a chance to enjoy peace and independence during his rule for around 12 years in Mewar.

He took advantage of that and invade upon various Mughal stations, which were present in the north-west, northeast and the central part of the Mewar.

Pratap occupied northeast part of Mewar and he was busy in reconstruction by granting various jagirs to his loyal followers. After 1585, Pratap’s full attention was on developing his capital.

There he built various temples and places. According to “Amar Ser” written by Jivdhar, Pratap had established such a strong rule that even the women and children did not fear anyone.

During tightening the string of his bow, Pratap got injured and died on 19th January 1597 CE at an age of 57. His final rituals were performed near Bandoli village.


Ramesh Sharma {M Pharm, MSc (Computer Science), PGDCA, MA (History), CHMS}

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