Maharana Pratap History:
Maharana Pratap was born on May 9, 1540, A.D. His father Maharana Udai Singh and mother Sonagari Queen Jayawanti. He born on an auspicious day and the astrologers predicted that the child will bring glory to the name of the clan and treat him one of the famous Indian kings. The king Maharana Udai Singh had 33 children, among them the eldest was Maharana Pratap Singh. At the early age, he had mastered the skills in the use of arms and weapons. He was very efficient in horse riding and intelligent in education and brave right from the childhood.
Maharana Pratap Enthrone:
Maharaja Uday Singh appointed Jagammal the son of his youngest wife as his heir although Pratap Singh was elder to Jagammal. With the Raja’s decision Maharana Pratap Singh go away from the kingdom Mewar but the chieftains did not agree with the decision of Uday Singh and reveal their opinion about the lack of qualities of courage and self respect in Jagammal. The collective decision made Jagammal would have to sacrifice the throne. In this way, Maharana Pratap Singh respects the wish of Chieftains and accepted to become the ruler of the Mewar people.
Maharana Pratap Oath:
After his coronation as a king of Mewar, he faced a big problem from the Mughal emperor and his brothers. Sakthi Singh and Jagammal, his two brothers had joined Mughal Emperor Akbar, and the enemy had surrounded Mewar. Pratap Singh had not enough money and not enough soldiers to fight with the enemies face to face. His coffers empty whereas Akbar had a large army, a lot of wealth. But Maharana Pratap Singh never loses his heart. His main concern was to free his motherland from the fatal chains of the Mughals. One day he arranged a meeting among his trusted chieftains and said,
“My brave warrior brothers, our Motherland, this holy land of Mewar, are still under the clutches of the Mughals. Today, I take an oath in front of all of you that till Chittod is freed, I will not have food on gold and silver plates, will not sleep on a soft bed and will not stay in the palace; instead I will eat food on a leaf platter, sleep on the floor and stay in a hut. I will also not shave till Chittod is freed. My brave warriors, I am sure that you will support me in every way sacrificing your mind, body, and wealth till this oath is fulfilled.”
With the inspirational speech and oath, the other chieftains promised him to join him in fighting the Mughals. They said that ‘Rana, be sure that we all are with you; waiting only for your signal and we are ready to sacrifice our life.”
Maharana Pratap married eleven princesses from various kingdoms. He had seventeen sons and five daughters. Among his eleven wives, Maharani Ajabde Punwar was his favourite wife. The first marriage with Punwar held in 1557 and Amar Sing I, the first son born in 1559. In those days the kings follow the matrimonial relations with neighbouring kingdoms to strengthen their own kingdoms. So that Maharana Pratap Singh also married another ten princesses in order to strengthen the Rajput Unity. However, he spent many years in the forest to defy Mughal Empire in order to protect the Mewar Kingdom. During the period of spending in the forest, the family struggle even to get proper food to appease the starvation. Some scriptures said that his family made the chappatis with grass to survive in life.
Famous Battle at Haldighat:
Akbar declared the war against Rana Pratap Singh. Pratap Singh also started preparations for the war. He shifted his Capital to Kumbhalgad in the Aravalli range of Mountains and recruited tribal people and trained them how to fight in the battle. Maharana requested all the chieftains to unite in the battle for the sake of Mewar’s independence.
Akbar army was 2,00,000 soldiers and Rana Pratap’s had only 22,000 soldiers. Rana Pratap and his soldiers fought with great courage like a great warrior but Akbar’s army did not completely succeed in defeating Rana Pratap Singh. Rana Pratap’s horse named ‘Chetak’ also became immortal in this battle. ‘Chetak’ was seriously injured in this battle but it saves his master’s life by jumping over a big canal. As soon as the canal crossed, ‘Chetak’ fell down and died. Akbar himself participated in the war but in 6 months period of fighting the battle, he could not catch Rana Pratap and went back to Delhi. Again in 1584, Akbar sent a huge army to Mewar, that time also they did the fight for 2 years, even Akbar could not catch Rana Pratap Singh.
Maharana Pratap and Mughal Generals:
Akbar sent another army on 15 Oct 1577 under the command of Shahbag Khan and Mir Baksi, King Bhagwandas and prince Man Singh were also with them. This time, the army seized Khumbhalmer. Unfortunately, the shortage of food items caused Pratap Singh left the fort in the night later the fort was destroyed by the fire from a big cannon. Finally, in the war, Kumbhalmer was captured but not Pratap.
Later Rana Pratap left kumbhalmer and went to Ranapur and stayed in a village called choolye which was under the rule of Eedar. Then he was helped by Bhamashah to recapture Mewar. After heard the news Akbar again sent Shahabag Khan to invade Mewar with the warning that if you will not catch Rana Pratap, you will be headed.
The Battle of Dever and Victory of Maharana Pratap:
Pratap’s first target was to attack the Royal post at Dever. It was a village situated in Dever Valley of Aravali ranges. Dever Royal post commander Sultan Khan fought against the Pratap’s army. In this war Prince Amar Singh showed his great bravery and courage the Sultan’s soldiers, finally, Pratap got the triumphing victory in this battle.
Maha Rana Pratap Death and Last wish:
Maharana Pratap fought for 12 years against Mughal emperor Akbar to save Mewar. Akbar tried many times to defeat Maharana Pratap but failed to catch Pratap. Besides, Pratap freed a large portion of land in Rajasthan from the Mughals. But his dream of freeing Chittod was not still fulfilled. At the final days from the dying bed, he took his son Amar Singh’s hand and handed over the responsibility of freeing Chittod to his son and died in peace.