Akbar also cried after hearing the news of Maharana Pratap’s death. Although many brave and heroic kings have raised the status of Rajasthan by taking birth in the soil full of the virtues of resplendent and vigorous deeds, it is said that Maharana Pratap is one of the few rulers whose stories of bravery, and valor made him the great Rajput king of Mewar
Maharana Pratap And His Glorious Struggle Saga (9 Facts)
Maharana Pratap, the immortal national hero with a steadfast pledge fought against the Mughals throughout his life for independence, was allowed to wander in the forest, and eat bread made of grass, but it was not acceptable for him to bend his knee to the subordination of Akbar under any circumstances and temptation.
1. Early life:
Born on May 9, 1540, in the Kumbhalgarh fort of Rajasthan, the 33rd child of father Uday Singh and mother Jaivantabai, Mewar’s crown-gem Maharana Pratap, who was addressed as ‘Kika’ in his childhood, was known for his fearless attitude, discipline-love, and loyalty.
Maharana Pratap’s mother’s name was Jaivantabai, and she was the daughter of Sonagara Akhairaj of Pali.
With skilled leadership ability, a special respectful attitude towards elders and women, devoid of feelings of high and low, not attacking the unarmed, well versed in both arms and scriptures the young “Kika” was an expert in guerilla warfare.
2. Surprisingly, he was not the direct heir:
Rana Uday Singh II of Mewar had 33 children, among them Maharana Pratap Singh was the eldest. His specialty was being insolent and brave since childhood.
While Pratap Singh was older than Jagmal, the people of Mewar disagreed with his royal father Uday Singh declaring his youngest wife’s son Jagmal as his successor even before his death. Maharana Pratap decided to leave Mewar but after public persuasion he stayed and on March 1, 1573, he assumed the throne.
Finally, the coronation of Mewar and Delhi to Maharana Pratap was done in his name.
At that time, Mughal ruler Akbar was ruling in Delhi and many Hindu kings were making treaty-agreements to accept his subordination, while many were engaged in establishing their matrimonial relations with Mughal women.
The coronation of Maharana Pratap Singh took place in Gogunda, during which Rajkumar Pratap got the title of Maharana along with the 54th ruler of Mewar. When Rajkumar Pratap was made the successor in 1567, he was only 27 years old and the Mughal forces surrounded Chittor from all sides.
3. From Mewar to Udaipur:
As we mentioned above, the coronation of Maharana Pratap took place in Gogunda in the Udaipur district. Rana Pratap’s father Uday Singh, fearing Akbar, abandoned Mewar and camped on the Aravalli mountain and made Udaipur his new capital. Although then Mewar was also under him. Maharana Uday Singh had handed over the throne to his younger son at the time of his death, which was against the rules. After the death of Uday Singh, the Rajput chieftains together made Maharana Pratap sit on the throne of Mewar. Respecting the wishes of the Rajput chieftains and the common people, Pratap Singh agreed to take over the rule of Mewar and ascended the throne on March 1, 1573.
Thus, Maharana Pratap was the king of the Sisodia dynasty in Udaipur, Mewar. His family deity is Eklingji Mahadev. Ekalingji Mahadev, the deity of the Ranas of Mewar, has great importance in the history of Mewar. The temple of Eklingji Mahadev is situated in Udaipur. Bappa Rawal, the founder of Mewar, got this temple constructed in the 8th century and installed the idol of Eklingji.
4. Physical traits:
Maharana Pratap was unique in being a diplomat, and politician with mental and physical ability. His length was 7 feet and his weight was 110 kg. He used to carry 72 kg chest armor, 81 kg spear, and two heavy swords of 208 kg. He used to fight in the war carrying more than 262 kg of weight and in spite of that, he used to win the war.
5. He had the best horse of all time:
Along with the bravery of Rana Pratap, the bravery of his horse Chetak is also world famous. Maharana Pratap’s favorite horse was Chetak. It is said that when the Mughal army was following him during the war, Chetak carried Maharana Pratap on his back and crossed several feet long drain by jumping 26 feet high and attained Veergati. While the Mughal horse riders could not cross this drain. Like Maharana Pratap, his horse Chetak was also very brave. Turmeric of Chittor even today Chetak’s tomb is built in the valley.
6. Maharana Pratap did not accept Akbar’s slavery:
During the ancient times of Maharana Pratap, Delhi was ruled by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar, the Mughal emperor of Delhi, wanted to hoist the Islamic flag all over India by establishing the Mughal Empire by subduing all the kings and emperors of India. But Maharana Pratap, the great Rajput king of Mewar, did not accept Akbar’s subordination despite the continuous efforts of Akbar for 30 years.
Hurt by this, Akbar sent his army under the chairmanship of Mansingh and Jahangir to attack Mewar. On June 18, In 1576, the Battle of Haldighati took place between the Mughal army and Maharana Pratap.
7. The Battle of Haldighati:
This war took place on June 18, 1576 for about 4 hours. The Battle of Haldighati took place between Maharana Pratap and the Mughals.
On one side was Akbar’s huge, well-equipped army, and on the other side was Maharana Pratap’s army of fighting soldiers. After the historic battle of Haldighati, Akbar failed to subdue Maharana Pratap till his death. It is believed that neither Akbar could win nor Maharana Pratap could be defeated in this war. In this war, a total of 20000 Rajputs of Maharana Pratap were faced with a total of 80000 Mughal armies of Akbar, which is a unique thing.
Maharana Pratap’s army was led by the only Muslim Sardar Hakim Khan Suri and the Mughal army was under the leadership of King Mansingh and Asaf Khan of Amer.
Maharana Pratap Singh’s most beloved and loyal horse also showed amazing bravery in front of the enemies, although Chetak died due to injuries in this battle of Haldighati.
Ultimately, Maharana Pratap died on January 29, 1597, at the age of 57, in his capital, Chavand, at the age of 57, after being treated for an intestinal injury caused by drawing a bowstring. It is said that after hearing the news of Maharana Pratap’s death, tears welled up in Akbar’s eyes too, seeing Pratap’s steadfast patriotism. Because for the first time Mughal emperor Akbar got a brave warrior with more courage than him and the first brave warrior to defeat Akbar.
Maharana Pratap ruled for 57 years, but till his death, he did not accept defeat in front of anyone, nor did he enslave anyone.
Mughal court poet Abdur Rahman wrote, ‘Even if everything in this world is about to end, the qualities of a great man will live forever, despite his wealth”. Pratap alone maintained his honor among all the princes of Hind.
9. Legacy and tales of his greatness:
The story of Maharana Pratap has been on the pages of history for centuries. Let’s look at some anecdotes and interesting stories written about this great ruler:
Once the former US President Abraham Lincoln was visiting India and he asked his mother: “what should I bring for you from India?” Then his mother said that you should bring the soil of Haldighati from India, where the blood of a thousand heroes irrigated the soil.
Eating grass bread with tears:
After the battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap did not accept Akbar’s subordination and spent a few days in a forest between the Aravalli mountain range, where there was nothing to eat. Due to which his wife made grass bread. He gave half of the bread to his children to eat and kept the rest for another day.
But then suddenly there is a cry from Maharana Pratap’s daughter and it is known that a cat has snatched the bread from her daughter’s hand and ran away. His daughter started crying distraught with hunger. Maharana Pratap was overwhelmed to see tears falling from his daughter’s eyes and felt sorry for his daughter. Historians have expressed this small compassionate episode of Maharana Pratap’s life through poems.
But even in difficult circumstances, many states also urged him to give shelter in their state but Maharana Pratap took a vow that he would not eat delicious food until Mewar was free from the Mughals. Such was the history of Maharana Pratap and history will always remember a glorious king like Maharana Pratap.
King Akbar had to praise Maharana:
In his book, Akbar’s confidant Sardar Abdul Rahim Khankhana wrote that once Akbar also praised Maharana Pratap. In fact, when Maharana Pratap was wandering in the forest after losing to Akbar, Akbar sent a spy from his kingdom to spy on him. The spies returned after spying on Maharana Pratap and told Akbar that Maharaj Maharana was eating wild fruits, leaves and roots in the forest with his family and they all seemed happy, none of them was sad. Akbar was also very surprised to hear this and his heart melted and respect for Maharana Pratap was born in his heart.
At the same time, Akbar had praised Maharana Pratap, about whom Abdul Rahim Khanekhana, writing in his own language, said that his money, land, state everything is taken away from Maharana, and he has to wander in the jungles, suffering from hunger but still Maharana Pratap’s people do not bow their heads. He was probably the only king among the kings of India who maintained the pride of his caste.
Maharana Pratap’s horse could sprint faster than the wind:
Chetak was the favorite horse of Maharana Pratap and cannot be forgotten for he showed loyalty to his master, perhaps it is difficult to find such loyalty in humans. This horse was very intelligent and saved Maharana Pratap’s life. According to legends, Maharana Pratap stopped riding on Chetak and two Mughal soldiers were also behind him. Despite being injured, Chetak runs at a high speed to save the Maharaja’s life, in front of which the speed of both the soldiers also slows down. Even the mountain stream comes in the middle, which Chetak jumps across. But in the end, he gets completely exhausted, due to which he is unable to run, and in the end, he himself becomes a martyr while saving Maharana’s life. But his name is immortalized in history. Even today, when there is mention of Maharana Pratap, his favorite horse Chetak is also talked about.
The Bhil community loved Maharana Pratap:
As you know that Maharana Pratap was born in the Kumbhalgarh fort situated on the hill of the oldest mountain range Aravalli and there he was brought up by the Kachka caste of Bhils. They loved Maharana Pratap very much and Maharana Pratap also considered him dearer than his life. According to one story, when Akbar’s army surrounded the Kumbhalgarh fort from all sides, the people of the Bhil community confronted Akbar’s soldiers and prevented them from entering the fort for 3 months. But in the end due to some reason the water source of the fort became dirty, due to which Maharana Pratap had to leave this fort, which was then captured by Akbar.
Maharana Pratap’s own brother became his enemy:
Maharana Pratap was very dutiful to his vow and decided to make his half-brother Jagmal the king as per his father’s last wish. But Mewar’s confidant Rajpurohit told Jagmal that if Jagmal is given the throne of Mewar, it can prove to be disastrous for the people of Mewar, and with this Jagmal was interrupted to leave the throne. Jagmal was not willing to give up the throne and when he was released from the throne, he joined Akbar’s army in anger and told all the information about Mewar Akbar. In return, Jagmal was given the jagir of Jahajpur as a gift by Jalaluddin Akbar.
Maharana Pratap also had a brother, whose name was Shakti Singh. Shakti Singh’s Maharana did not get along with Pratap, there was often tension between the two. To take revenge on Maharana Pratap, Shakti Singh joined Akbar’s army during the Battle of Haldighati and was fighting against Maharana Pratap with Akbar’s army.
But during the war, a feeling of fraternal love for Maharana Pratap awakens in his heart and then when he sees two Mughal armies running after Maharana Pratap, he saves Maharana Pratap’s life by killing both the armies.
All we can say is that the circumstances in which Maharana Pratap struggled proved impossible for any other king to do so.