Story of Rao Chandrasen - Maharana Pratap of Marwar

Story of Rao Chandrasen - Maharana Pratap of Marwar, it tells the life history of the forgotten Hero of Marwar Rao Chandrasen ruler of Marwar.

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Rao Chandrasen was one of the most famous rulers of Jodhpur. He was the youngest son of Rao Maldeo (1532-1562 CE) and was born in 1541 CE.

When Rao Maldeo was the ruler, Sher Shah Suri, the ruler of Delhi had invaded upon Marwar. In a battle of Giri-Sumerl (Pali) which took place in the year 1544 CE between both the armies. Sher Shah Suri could win due to treason and deception.

But two courageous commanders, Jaita and Kumpa from Maldeo’s side gave such stiff stock to Suri, that, according to Firishta, a historian, Sher Shah Suri got off from his horse and started to pray to God for his safety.

The fear of Sher Shah Suri could be known from his statement in which he had said, “I would have lost the kingship of India, for a handful of millet.”

According to the Khyat of Jodhpur state, Rao Maldeo was unhappy with his elder son Ram, while his younger son Udai Singh was deprived of royal succession by queen consort Swarupde (Chandrasen’s mother).

Because of all these reasons, after the death of Rao Maldeo, on 31st December 1562 CE, Chandrasen ascend the throne of Jodhpur as per his wish.

When Rao Maldeo was alive, Chandrasen was given the Jagirs of Bisalpur and Siwana to rule upon by Maldeo.

Initial Problems for Rao Chandrasen

Soon after becoming the ruler, Chandrasen once became angry and agitated, and he assassinated one of his servants. And because of this, Jaitmaal and some other similar chieftains got angry.

An alliance was made by the annoyed chieftains with Chandrasen’s rebel brother Udai Singh, Ram and Raimal and the chieftains invited them to punish Chandrasen.

Ram started terrorism and brutality in Sojat, while in Dunara province, Raimal started to make annoyance there and Udai Singh occupied Gangaani and Bavadi.

And as Rao Chandrasen got this information, he sent an army to take the terrorism prevailed by his brothers to an end.

Because of that Raimal and Ram returned to their respective jagirs, while Udai Singh fought against him at a place named Lohavat.

Chandrasen stood victorious and Udai Singh got injured in this battle. Another battle took place between both of them in 1563 CE at a place called Nadol.

Udai Singh figured that he could not win from Chandrasen in that battle. So, he fled away from there to the court of Emperor Akbar.

Rao Chandrasen Fight with Mugals

Because of the conflict between Rao Chandrasen and his unsatisfied brothers, Akbar got a chance to interfere in it.

After a short period of time, Akbar sent an army to conquer Jodhpur, under the leadership of Hussain Quli Khan, and the army occupied Jodhpur.

In Jodhpur Ki Khyat, it is said that the Mughal army invaded upon Jodhpur three times and after around ten months of enclosure, because of lack of food and water Chandrasen was forced to leave Jodhpur.

After leaving Jodhpur, Chandrasen went to Bhadrajun. After that, financial condition of Chandrasen started to decline ad to bear his daily expenses, he started to sell his gems and other precious items.

After a short period of time of organization of Nagaur court in around 1570 CE, the Mughal army invaded upon Bhadrajun, where Chandrasen was residing.

In February 1571 CE, Chandrasen left Bhadrajun and went away towards Siwana. On the one side, revolts were spreading in Gujarat in 172 CE.

And on the other side, Maharana Pratap became the ruler of Mewar and the threat of Mewar becoming aggressive had also emerged.

In those conditions, Akbar made Rai Singh of Bikaner as the ruler of Jodhpur and sent his towards Gujarat, so that Maharana Pratap could not provide any harm and could not block the road to Gujarat.

In the year 1573 CE, Akbar sent Jagat Singh, Keshavdas Medatia, Rai Singh of Bikaner along with Shah Quli Khan to vanquish Rao Chandrasen. The army reached Siwana after defeating Chandrasen’s nephew, Kalla in Sojat.

On the advice of his commanders, Chandrasen handed over the task of the protection of fort to Patta Rathore and himself went away in the hills.

And from the hills he started to cause harm to Mughal army from backside by using guerrilla method of warfare.

And because of the successful joint operation of Patta Rathore and Chandrasen, Rai Singh requested for additional army from Akbar.

Akbar sent a huge army, Chandrasen went towards the hills and the Mughal army followed him but remained unsuccessful in catching him up. On this disappointing failure, Akbar called his Emirs and rebuke them bitterly.

Akbar sent a huge army towards Siwana in 1575 CE to vanquish Chandrasen under the leadership of Jalal Khan and in the army Emirs such as Sayed Ahmad, Sayed Hashim, Shimal Khan and other were also included.

During this struggle, one day Chandrasen got the opportunity and he invaded upon the Mughal army with the assistance of his companion Devidas. In this attack Jalal Khan was killed.

The death of Jalal Khan gave a serious setback to the Mughal army. Then, Akbar sent Shahbaz Khan. Soon after, he conquered Dunada and Devkor and made an enclosure around Sivana.

And due to the scarcity of food items in the fort started, the protector of the fort was forced to come out and he got defeated. And in this way, Akbar conquered Siwana fort in the year 1575 CE.

After Siwana fort slipped from the hands of Chandrasen, Rawal Harrai of Jaisalmer invaded upon Pokhran in October, 1575 CE.

Anandram Pancholi was the fort keeper from Chandrasen’s side that time. After an enclosure of four months, Harrai put an offer in front of Chandrasen.

And the offer is, “In exchange of on lakh fadiyas, give me Pokhran, and after Jodhpur is occupied, return those one lakh fadiyas to me and take Pokhran back”.

Chandrasen accepted the offer presented by Rawal Harrai and granted him the fort of Pokhran to him in January 1576 CE and took one lakh fadiyas from him.”

For Chandrasen, Pokhran was the last ray of hope for him, but it was also taken from him. But after all these incidents, Chandrasen did not become disappointed.

After roaming for around one and a half year in Sirohi, Banswara and Dungarpur, Chandrasen looted the Sarwad Thana of Mughals in 1579 CE and occupied it.

After looting this, he started to invade upon province of Ajmer. As soon as Emperor Akbar got this news, he sent an army there under the leadership of Payanda Mohammad Khan.

In 1580 CE Chandrasen confronted this army but was forced to return back to hill after being unsuccessful.

After some time, on July 7, 1580 CE, Chandrasen reorganized his army and then he invaded upon Sojat.

After occupying Sojat, he made settlements in the hills of Saran. And at the same place he was died on 11th January, 1581 CE.

In Khyat of Jodhpur, it is written that, Virsal, one of his feudal lords, betrayed him and gave him poison in his food because of which he died.

Rao Chandrasen was the Mentor of Maharana Pratap

It is said that Chandrasen was the first ruler of Rajasthan in the time period of Akbar with independent thoughts and didn’t accepted the sovereignty of the Mughals.

His brothers were living a royal life after taking assistance from Akbar, but he sustained his life by selling gems and ornaments. He had to roam for day and night in the hills.

As Chandrasen did not receive due recognition in history, he is also called as “The Forgotten Hero of Marwar”.

The path of struggle which was taken by Chandrasen was after taken by Maharana Pratap, who became very famous later.

And because of this, Rao Chandrasen is also known as “The Mentor of Maharana Pratap” and “The Pratap of Marwar”.


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

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