While the barbaric Mughal invaders who tortured, raped innocent Hindu women and who were responsible for the biggest holocaust of Hindus are glorified by the left wing historians, some of the bravest Indian warrior kings who fought till death saving their people are lost in the history. While the propagandist left historians have largely ignored the true lion hearts of the country, today we will speak about one such ruler of mewar who sent shivers down the spine of the invading forces.
Maharana Pratap Singh was born on 9 May 1540 in a Hindu Rajput family to Uday Singh II and Jaiwanta bai in the royal family of mewar. Young Pratap Singh was courageous, brave and fearless person who was interested in sports and wielding weapons.
The barbaric mughal rule of Akbar was at its peak and Akbar used the might of Hindu rulers to bring other Hindu rulers under his control. Akbar used to call daughters of these kings into his harem and reward the kings if they did so. Uday Singh II had appointed his youngest wife’s son Jagammal as the heir to the throne. Pratap Singh, although being the eldest accepted the decision and decided to go away from mewar, The elders did not agree with him because Jagammal did not have the bravery nor the courage which are the essential qualities of a leader, of a king. Hence, Jagammal had to step aside and give the throne to the rightful heir, maharana pratap singh.
Maharana pratap’s Rule
When maharana pratap became the king of mewar in 1572 AD, Akbar sent envoys asking Maharanaa Pratap Singh to submit himself to Akbar’s barbaric mughal rule or face the consequences. Maharana Pratap being the brave king with high self-respect, refused to bow down to an invading terror army. The growing disagreements between the the king of mewar and the mughal invader Akbar resulted in a war.
The battle of Haldighati
Lakhs of barbarian army of mughals, led by Maan Singh of Ajmer had surrounded Mewar. Maharana pratap’s brothers Jagammal and shakti singh had joined hands with the mughals and had betrayed the throne.
Now, maharana pratap had to gather soldiers to fight a war against the barbarian army which needed lot of money but, the treasury was empty. On the other hand Akbar had enough money in his treasury and a large army at his disposal.
Maharana Pratap called in a meeting of his trusted ministers and appealed to them. He took an oath saying ” My courageous warriors, Our Motherland, the holy land of Mewar is under the clutches of the Mughals. Now, I take an oath in front of all of you that till Chittod is free, I won’t eat food in gold or silver plates, won’t sleep on the bed and will not stay in my palace; instead I’ll eat food on a leaf plate, sleep on the floor and stay in a hut. I will also not shave till Chittod is free. My courageous warrior brothers, I request your support in every way sacrificing your mind, body and wealth till this oath is fulfilled “
Mewar’s ministers were impressed by the kings bravery, devotion and dedication to the motherland and promised support to maharana pratap singh this their last breath and fight to death to free chittod from the indaving mughals.
Maharana Pratap shifted his capital to Kumbhalgad in the aravali range from mevar thereby making it difficult for the invading forces to advance further and trained the tribal and village fold who had no experience in fighting a war. He also appealed to all rajputs to come together and fight for the cause of mewar’s independence.
Maharana Pratap’s army of 22,000 strong force met with 200,000 strong mughal army at haldighat. The mewar army though outnumbered, fought relentlessly against the mughals. Maharana pratap Fought with extreme valor and in one encounter with a Moghul general Behlol Khan, he cut him along with the generals horse into two with a single blow of his sword.
Maharana pratap’s faithful horse by the name chetak was seriously injured in the battle but, to save the life of his master chetak jumped over a big canal and lay dead after the canal was crossed. Deeply saddned by the death of his horse, Maharana Pratap cried and mourned the death. a beautiful garden was made at the place in the memory of chetak.
Though Maharana Pratap had to retreat, he was not defeated. This enraged Akbar who himself attacked Maharana Pratap and couldn’t defeat him in over six months time. Enraged by the defeat, Akbar sent another general with a huge army to capture and kill Maharana Pratap but the attempt remained unsuccessful even after constantly trying for 2 years.
Maharana pratap – The unstoppable force
Maharana pratap started to build his army again from the funds received by one of mewar’s minister Bhamashah. Maharana pratap with a 25,000 strong army started to fight against the enemy once again and freed mewar along with most of Rajasthan. Maharana pratap was heavily injured in an accident and lay on a bed of grass because chittod wasn’t free yet. He called his son amar Singh held his hand and handed over the responsibility of freeing chittod from the mughal rule.
Maharana Pratap fought continuously for 12 years against mughals and remained unstoppable and died the death of a hero. He had also freed a lot of land (Rajasthan) under mughal control.