Pratap Singh I popularly known as Maharana Pratap was a renowned Rajput Warrior and first freedom fighter of the Nation. Maharana Pratap is an Idol for the whole country and is known for his courage, fearlessness, valor, and sacrifice for his people. He bravely fought against the mighty forces of Akbar in the Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair.
Pratap Singh I was born on May 9, 1540, was born in Kumbhalgarh fort as the eldest son of Rana Udai Singh II and Maharani Jaiwanta Bai. He had ten wives including Ajabde Punwar his first and favorite wife from Bijolia and seventeen children. Ajabde Punwar was a love interest of Maharana Pratap and married the rest of his wives only to strengthen the bond with several other Rajput rulers to fight against the Mughal’s.
Maharana Pratap is also recognized as like as Rana Sanga (Sangramsingh) on the battlefield. Rana’s Of Mewar are only true passionate and pledged rivals of the Mughal’s as they don’t want to surrender by sacrificing their dignity. The Mewari’s were truly obedient to their motherland to protect it from the invaders like Mughal’s and Khilji’s.
In 1572, during the demise of Rana Udai Singh II, one of the prominent wife Rani Dheer Bai insisted him to make Jagmal Singh ruler of Mewar but, the senior Courtiers felt that Pratap Singh was a better choice to rule the kingdom. Maharana Pratap ruled Mewar for around 25 years and recognized as 54th and one of the great rulers of the Sisodia Dynasty.
Administration and Justice System of Maharana Pratap:
Maharana Pratap was no doubt a great ruler but was a fine administrator also. He was called the light and life of Hinduism and the Hindu Community. He was so benevolent towards his subjects and at the time when he was residing in the Jungle along with his ministers, he uses to eat Bread made by grass (Ghass Ki Roti) along with his followers. The administrative unit of Maharana Pratap was very enthusiastic and passionate about their work which includes Jhala Maan Singh, Hakim Khan Soor, Bhilu Raja, and Bhama Shah.
“Time is so strong; it can even let the king eat grasses”
Maharana Pratap Singh was also interested in religion, art, architecture, and creative work. His architectural achievements were Ubheshwar, Chavand, Kamal Nath and under his guidance, the beautiful city of Udaipur was being made in the name of Udai Singh II. He was a benefactor of the art of Padmavat Charita and poems like Dursa Ahada were commemorated during his reign. He was a great devotee of “Mahadev” (Eklingji) a famous temple near Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan.
Pratap Singh respected every religion, following, and ideology in his Kingdom. His main focus was to make his kingdom “Ram Rajya” where no one is deprived of their rights and prejudiced on any basis.
He respects and upholds the dignity of women as when his son Amar Singh I captured women from an enemy camp as a hostage, he immediately sent her back and reprimanded his son over the incident. It is also said that when Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khana gets to know about this incident he got filled up with respect towards the Maharana Pratap and called off his forces as he was earlier planning to attack him.
Maharana Pratap and his love for animals:
Maharana Pratap’s love for animals was very famous as he had a horse named Chetak and an elephant Ramprasad. It is also said that no one can ride Chetak except Maharana Pratap.
Chetak is recognized as a symbol of loyalty in the Battle of Haldighati where Chetak got severely wounded as the elephant’s tusk tore the Chetak’s one leg and crippled it. But he didn’t give up as his master was in danger and to save his master he crossed a river(width-wise) in only one jump even with three legs and collapsed.
Ramprasad an elephant of Maharana Pratap was also very strong and obedient towards his master. Ramprasad solely killed 13 elephants of Mughal forces in the Battle of Haldighati and later was captured by the Mughal force as Akbar want that elephant to be in his force and given a lot of sugarcane and heavy diet but Ramprasad martyr without eating or drinking anything for 18 days as the elephant didn’t want to betray Maharana Pratap.
Akbar on that said that “Maharana Pratap whose elephant couldn’t bow in front of me, I’ll never be able to bow Maharana Pratap”
Maharana Pratap in Battlefield:
Maharana Pratap fought several wars to protect his kingdom and his people. He even sacrifices his crown and lived in Jungle to ensure the dignity of his kingdom and his people.
The bloody Siege of Chittorgarh in the year 1567-68 where Rao Jaimal, Patta Sisodia, Kalla Rathore, and Sahib Khan sacrifice their life against the cruelty of Mughal Emporer Akbar were around 7,000 Mewari Soldiers killed and women of those martyrs committed Jauhar (self-immolation) in huge force of around 80,000. After winning the war, Akbar entered the Chittorgarh premise and result in a huge massacre by killing 28,000 innocent lives.
In order to avenge the massacre at Chittorgarh Maharana Pratap rebuilt his military with prominent leaders like Hakim Khan Soor, Rana Ponja, Jhala Maan Singh and announced open rebellion against Mughal’s. This results in the Battle of Haldighati.
Battle of Haldighati was held 100 KM away from Udaipur, the Haldighati was a one KM narrow pass or the entrance point at the Aravali Mountains and is a bit advantageous to the Mewari’s that’s why Mughal forces stopped approaching forward.
In the battle, Maharana Pratap with 3000 soldiers and Mughal’s with around 25,000 began the fight which shows the excellence of Maharana on the Battlefield by cutting Bahlol Khan half whereas due to the betrayal of Shakti Singh (Brother of Maharana Pratap) the Rajput’s lose the war. The war is remembered for the Sacrifice of loyalty of men and horse for Maharana Pratap.
In order to retake the throne, Maharana Pratap along with Bhama Shah and Bhil’s after 6 years attacked the territories of Mewar in the Battle of Dewair in which Maharana retained everything except Chittorgarh fort. This war made Akbar frightened of Maharana and as a result, he stopped his campaign of Mewar.
Interesting facts about Maharana Pratap:
- Maharana Pratap was 7 feet 5 inches and weighed 110 kg.
- The total weight of the military equipment of Maharana Pratap was 208 kg which includes Spear, armor, shield, and two swords.
- Maharana Pratap was very efficient in holding the Guerrilla warfare tactics. While residing with Bhil’s he is also known as “Rana Keeka.”
- Chetak had blue eyes and due to which Maharana is also revered as the “Rider of the Blue Horse.”
Death of Maharana Pratap:
Maharana Pratap left the world for the heavenly adobe on 29th January 1597 at the age of 56. It is believed that he was suffering from an incurable injury which he got while saving his son Amar Singh I from the attack. His eldest son Amar Singh I succeeded him to the throne. It is also stated that even his major enemy Akbar cried over his demise and bow towards his panting.
Therefore, the invincibility of Hindutva and its presence is still the same many beloved sons’ of mother earth have taken birth to protect the earth from enemies of humanity and peace in their language.
“Apart from himself and his family, one who thinks about his nation is a true citizen.”