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Maharana Pratap ( pronunciation (helpinfo)) or Pratap Singh (May 9, 1540

January 29, 1597) was a Hindu Rajput ruler ofMewar, a region in northwestern India in the present day state of Rajasthan. He belonged to
the Sisodia clan of Rajputs.[3][4] In popular Indian culture, Pratap is considered
to exemplify qualities like bravery and chivalry to which Rajputs aspire,
especially in context of his opposition to the Mughal emperor Akbar.

Accession
In 1568 during the reign of Maharana Udai Singh, Maharana Pratap's
father, Chittor was conquered by the Mughal Emperor Akbarafter the
third Jauhar at Chittor.[citation needed] However, Maharaja Udai Singh and the royal
family of Mewar had left before the fort was captured and moved to the
foothills of the Aravalli Range where Maharaja Udai Singh had already
founded the city of Udaipur in 1559.[5] The Bhatiyani Queen wanted her son
Jagmal to succeed Rana Udai Singh.[6] But the senior nobles wanted Pratap,
the eldest son, to be their king as was customary. During the coronation
ceremony, with Rawatji and other senior noble's help, Pratap Singh was made
the king of Mewar.

Conflict

Chittorgarh Fort which Rana wanted to reclaim. Also seen is Vijay Stambha along
with Gaumukh Reservoir.

Nearly all of Pratap's fellow Rajput chiefs had meanwhile entered into the
vassalage of the Mughals. Even Pratap's own brothers, Shakti
Singh and Sagar Singh, served Akbar. Indeed, many Rajput chiefs, such
as Raja Man Singh of Amber (later known as Maharaja of Jaipur) served as
army commanders in Akbar's armies and as members of his council. Akbar
sent a total of six diplomatic missions to Pratap, seeking to negotiate the same

sort of peaceful alliance that he had concluded with the other Rajput chiefs.
Each time, however, Pratap politely refused to accept Akbar's suzerainty,
arguing that the Sisodia Rajputs had never accepted any foreign ruler as their
overlord, nor will he. It is worth noting that both these rulers'
grandfathers, Rana Sanga and Babur, had previously fought against each
other. Thus the enmity was not only political, but was also a bit personal.

Battle of Haldighati
On June 21, 1576 (or June 18 in other calculations), the armies of Pratap and
Akbar (led by Syed Hashim) met at Haldighati, near the town of Gogunda.
Pratap's army had a contingent of Afghan warriors led by his commander,
Hakim Khan Sur. A small army of the Bhils, whom the Rana had befriended,
also joined the battle against the Mughals. On the other hand, the Mughal
forces led by Syed Hashim boasted of numerical superiority, which vastly
outnumbered the Rajputs.
At first, the Rajputs by their sheer bravery of orchestrating a full frontal attack
took the Mughals by surprise. However, the numerical superiority of the
Mughals and the efficiency of their artillery soon began to tell. Seeing that the
battle was favoring the opponents and with the huge amount of death of
soldiers on the Rajput side, Pratap's generals prevailed upon him to flee the
field so as to be able to fight another day. Myths indicate that to facilitate
Pratap's escape, one of his lieutenants, a member of the Jhala clan, donned
Pratap's distinctive garments and took his place in the battlefield. He was soon
killed. Meanwhile, Pratap was able to successfully evade captivity and escape
to the hills.
Pratap was riding his trusted horse, Chetak, which despite being seriously
wounded and utterly exhausted, carried his master till about 2 miles away
from the battle, eventually succumbing to its injuries while jumping a nallah
(stream). It is said, that Pratap's younger brother Shakti Singh, who until then
was fighting on behalf of the Mughal army, followed Pratap until this point, and
upon a change of heart, gave him his own horse to escape away. The other
lesser-known heroes of Haldighati were the Bhil Adivasis of the Aravallis,
whose valour, knowledge of terrain and intensive arrow showers made the

battle far from one-sided. In recognition of their extraordinary contribution to


Rajputana and to protecting these lands, a Bhil stands alongside a Rajput on
either side of the Royal Coat of Arms of Mewar.
The battle of Haldighati has commanded a lasting presence in Rajasthani
folklore, and the persona of Pratap Singh, is celebrated in a folk song O
Neele Ghode raa Aswaar[1] (O Rider of the Blue Horse)
With the large booty at his disposal, Pratap organized another attack
and Battle of Dewar followed in which army of Mewar was victorious and
Pratap was able to claim back much of the lost territories of Mewar and freed
much of Rajasthan from the Mughal rule .[7] The Bhil tribals of the Aravalli hills
provided Pratap with their support during times of war and their expertise in
living off the forests during times of peace.[8]

Personal life
Rana Pratap had 11 wives his first wife was Maharani Ajabde Punwar, Him
and Ajabde were known to love each other even before they were married.
Ajabde studied astrology to develop a 100 year calendar for Maharana
Prataps life. Maharana Pratap was married to Ajabde when he was 17.
Maharani Ajabde was the favourite wife of Rana Pratap. Maharani Ajabde was
the biggest support to Maharana Pratap during his hardship days. Maharana
Pratap loved Maharani Ajabde throughout his life. Maharani ajabade was
Maharana's true love and Maharana Pratap married to all other princesses
because of political alliances. Ajabde gave birth to Amar Singh Who was the
successor of Rana Pratap.[9] He had 17 sons[10] and 5 daughters. Of his
children, Amar Singh[11] was the eldest. Apart from Ajabde Punwar, he had 10
more wives [12] Solankhinipur Bai, Champabai Jhati, Jasobai Chauhan, Phool
Bai Rathore, Shahmatibai Hada, Khichar Asha bai, Alamdebai Chauhan,
Ratnawatibai parmar, Amarbai Rathore and Lakhabai. Maharani Ajabde was a
learned and level headed person. She always led Maharana Pratap to make
the right decisions using strategic wisdom and her core values. She was the
love of his life.

Final days

Maharana Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting


accident [13] at Chavand, which served as his capital,[14][15] on 29[16][17] January
1597, aged fifty-seven.[18] A chhatri, commemorating Pratap's funeral, exists at
Chavand and is an important tourist attraction.[19] It is recorded in historical
annals that as he lay dying, Pratap made his son and successor, Amar Singh,
swear to maintain eternal conflict against the Mughals.[20] Amar Singh
submitted Mewar to Akbar.Amar Singh conditionally accepted Mughals as
rulers. The subsequent treaty between Amar Singh and Mughal
King Jahangir had some obligations that fort of Chittor would not be repaired
and Mewar would have to keep a contingent of 1000 horsed in the Mughal
service.[21] Besides Amar Singh would not have to be present at any of the
Mughal Darbars.[22] At Amar Singh's laying down of arms, many members of
Maharana Pratap's family of Sisodias, band of loyal Rajputs became
disillusioned by the surrender and left Rajasthan. This group included
Rathores, Deora Chauhans, Pariharas, Tanwars, Kacchwaha and Jhalas.

Legacy
Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar on his horse Chetak, commemorating the Battle of
Haldighati, Moti Magri, Udaipur.

Most important of Pratap Singh's legacy was in the military field after
Haldighati, he increasingly experimented and perfected guerrilla
warfare and light horse tactics. His innovative military strategy- use of
scorched earth, evacuation of entire populations along potential routes of
enemy march, poisoning of wells, use of mountain forts in Aravallis, repeated
plunder and devastation of enemy territories along with harassing raids on
enemy baggage, communications and supply lines- helped him recapture
most of Mewar by time of his death and enabled him to successfully tackled
vastly stronger armies of Akbar. Harassing warfare perfected by Pratap Singh
would in due course was adopted by Malik Ambar of
Ahmednagar[23][page needed] who taught and deployed local Marathas to fight
invading Mughal armies, thus preparing them for future warfare against
Mughals.