Greatest Rajput Warrior Maharana Pratap Chittorgarh Rajasthan

Greatest Rajput Warrior Maharana Pratap Chittorgarh Rajasthan

Greatest Rajput Warrior Maharana Pratap Chittorgarh Rajasthan

Maharana Pratap Singh- a name that is written with golden letters in the history of India, a name that in itself contains the story of greatness and a name that is embraced by every Indian heart and shall be embraced for centuries to come. He was truly a great ruler who had courage in his blood and justice in his nerves. Maharana Pratap, the son of Maharana Udai Singh II and Maharani Jaiwanta Baiji was born on May 9, 1540. He was the eldest of all the sons of Maharana Udai Singh II. Where his father taught him discipline, his mother taught him to balance it with happiness and it was just because of these two that Kunwar(prince) Pratap grew up to be not just a great warrior but also a kind-hearted soul. At a very young age, stories of his courage and justice were inspiration for people. After assuring that Kunwar Pratap is independent and can look after himself and others, his family decided to choose a suitable bride for him. Their search ended and Kunwar Pratap was married to Ajabde Punwar. Maharani Ajabde Punwar was the daughter of the Samanta(vassal) of Bijolia, which was a small kingdom in Mewar. She is said to be the love, best friend and the greatest support of Maharana Pratap throughout his life. They had two sons- Maharana Amar Singh, who was born after two years of their marriage and Bhagwan Das. She was the queen consort throughout Maharana’s reign and it is also said that she was the shadow of his mother Maharani Jaiwanta Baiji. Other than Maharani Ajabde, Maharana Pratap had 10 more wives. After marriage, he accended the throne of Mewar. Although, his step-mother, Rani Dheer Baiji wanted her son- Kunwar Jagmal, to become the king but the senior nobles wanted Kunwar Pratap, as the eldest son, to become so and this is what was done. Kunwar Pratap was crowned as the Maharana of Mewar. Throughout his life, he had Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar as his biggest enemy. He always opposed the rule of Mughals over India and on the other hand Akbar was alarmed by the popularity and courage of Maharana Pratap. Almost all of his neighbouring Rajput rulers had gave up against Akbar and entered into vassalages. Even Maharana Pratap’s own brothers- Kunwar Jagmal, Shakti Singh and Sagar singh were three such Rajputs. To avoid war and prove his supremacy, Akbar sent six diplomatic missions to Maharana Pratap. Akbar’s idea of a peaceful alliance failed as all the six missions proved to be a faliure, leaving war as the only option left for the two to expand and protect their empire. This gave birth to the historical ‘Battle of Haldighati’. Battle of Haldighati was fought in June, 1576 for approximately four hours. Begining with the chances of Maharana Pratap’s victory, it ended with his defeat and his most beloved and loyal horse, Chetak’s death. After this, Maharana Pratap lived in forests. In 1579, when Akbar’s focus shifted from Mewar, Maharana reoccupied many of the kingdoms including Kumbalgarh and Udaipur and made Chavand his capital, the place where he lived. Maharani Ajabde’s death brought a major shock to Maharana Pratap. He then spent most of his time in hunting, political affairs or with his son Kunwar Amar Singh. After some years, even he died due to some injuries. His age was 57 when he died and was accended by Maharana Amar Singh. Maharana Pratap did not live long, but made those 57 years look like a century and inspiration. He did not gave up and run away, instead, he reoccupied whatever he had once lost. Satish Chandra, a prominent historian who had specialized in history of medieval India opines that: “Maharana Pratap’s defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitutes a glorious saga of Rajput valour and the spirit of self- sacrifice for cherished principles.” A great ruler, that’s what Maharana Pratap Singh was throughout his life and still manages to remain an inspiration for so many. His courage, justice, loyalty, kindness and love truly justify the glory of Rajputana and India.

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