This week’s Sunday Story (post no. 2437) in the favorite Blog ENVIUS THOUGHTS of more than three lac from more than two hundred countries of the globe, brings the life of a great son of India that is Bharath our holy Motherland.
I am particularly happy to write about a RAJASTHAN great, as thanks to my Alma mater- the great premier public sector organization LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION OF INDIA where I learnt the art and science of life and living, I had the opportunity of spending a part of my career in Rajasthan! l
Maharana Pratap Jayanti 2021
Maharana Pratap (1568-1597 C.E.) was a Hindu Rajput King of Mewar in Rajasthan. He belonged to the Sisodiya clan of Rajputs. He is revered and worshipped by many royal families in Rajasthan for his bravery and courage.
As per historical records, Maharana Pratap was born according to Gregorian calendar Maharana Pratap was born on May 19th 1540.
However, the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap is celebrated as per Hindu calendar. Either one follows Julian calendar or Gregorian calendar, the Hindu date of birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap falls on the same day. According to Hindu calendar it was Tritiya, Jyeshtha, Shukla Paksha, 1597 Vikram Samvat when Maharana Pratap was born.
Maharana Pratap is best known for Battle of Haldighati against Mughal emperor Akbar to defend his kingdom.
Pratap Singh I ( 9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), popularly known as Maharana Pratap was Hindu king of Mewar. He was titled as “Mewari Rana” and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire and was known for his participation in the Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair.
Early life and accession:Maharana Pratap was born into a Hindu Rajput family to Udai Singh II and Jaiwanta Bai. His younger brothers were Shakti Singh, Vikram Singh and Jagmal Singh. Pratap also had 2 stepsisters: Chand Kanwar and Man Kanwar. He was married to Ajabde Punwar of Bijolia. He belonged to the Royal Family of Mewar. After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him but senior courtiers preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed. Udai Singh died in 1572, and Prince Pratap ascended the throne as Maharana Pratap, the 54th ruler of Mewar in the line of the Sisodia Rajputs. Jagmal swore revenge and left for Ajmer, to join the armies of Akbar, and obtained the town of Jahazpur as a Jagir as a gift in return for his help.
Battle of Haldighati
The bloody Siege of Chittorgarh in 1567-1568 had led to the loss of the fertile eastern belt of Mewar to the Mughals. However, the rest of the wooded and hilly kingdom in the Aravalli range was still under the control of Maharana Pratap. Mughal Emperor Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar; when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Maharana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys entreating him to become a vassal like many other Rajput leaders in the region. When the Pratap refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Pratap Singh and Akbar’s forces led by Man Singh I of Amer. The Mughals were victorious and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture the Pratap. The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda, modern day Rajsamand in Rajasthan. Pratap Singh fielded a force of around 3000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers. The Mughals were led by Man Singh of Amber, who commanded an army numbering around 5000–10,000 men. After a fierce battle lasting more than three hours, Pratap found himself wounded and the day lost. He managed to retreat to the hills and lived to fight another day.
Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to kill or capture Pratap Singh, or any of his close family members in Udaipur. As soon as the empire’s focus shifted north-west, Pratap and his army recaptured the western regions of his dominion. While the sources also claimed that Pratap was able to make a successful escape, the battle failed to break the deadlock between the two powers. Subsequently, Akbar himself led a sustained campaign against the Rana in 1576-77, and soon, Goganda, Udaipur, and Kumbhalgarh were all under his control.
Reconquest of Mewar
After Akbar Mewar campaign in 1576-77 failed . Akbar sent his Genral Sahbahz Khan 3 times to invade Mewar in 1577, 1578 and 1579 but he was neither able to establish Mughal rule in Mewar or capture Pratap each of his invasion failed. During this time Pratap also captured the areas of Vagad ( Dungarpur, Banswara ). Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim’s incursion into the Punjab.But after this Akbar sent Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan to invade Mewar but when he was defeated by Pratap’s son Amar Singh. He returned back to Ajmer. In 1582, Pratap Singh attacked and occupied the Mughal post at Dewair (or Dewar) in the Battle of Dewair. This led to the automatic liquidation of all 36 Mughal military outposts in Mewar. After this Akbar sent Jagannath Kachhwa to invade Mewar but he also failed in front of Pratap warfare. After this Invasion, Akbar stopped his military campaigns against Mewar. The victory of Dewair was a crowning glory for the Maharana, with James Tod describing it as the “Marathon of Mewar”. In 1585, Akbar moved to Lahore and remained there for the next twelve years watching the situation in the north-west. No major Mughal expedition was sent to Mewar during this period. Taking advantage of the situation, Pratap recovered almost whole Mewar (except its former capital, Chittorgarh) and Vagad regions by defeating Mughal forces there. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.
Patronage of art
Maharana Prataps court at Chanvand had given shelter to many poets, artists, writers and artisans. The Chavand school of art was developed during the reign of Rana Pratap.
Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident, at Chavand on 19 January 1597, aged 56. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Amar Singh I. On his death bed, Pratap told his son never to submit to the Mughals and to win Chittor back.
Historian Satish Chandra notes –
“Rana Pratap’s defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitute a glorious saga of Rajput valour and the spirit of self sacrifice for cherished principles. Rana Pratap’s methods of guerrilla warfare was later elaborated further by Malik Ambar, the Deccani general, and by Emperor Shivaji”.
Bandyopadhyay also seconds Satish Chandra’s view with the observation that Pratap’s successful defiance of Mughals using guerrilla strategy also proved inspirational to figures ranging from Emperor Shivaji to anti-British revolutionaries in Bengal
In 2007, a statue of Maharana Pratap was unveiled in the Parliament of India.
With this, Sunday story comes to a close and it is hoped that our esteemed viewers would have appreciated. We shall meet tomorrow as usual and till then BYE!
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