Maharana Pratap or Pratap Singh was the ruler of Mewar. A region in north-western India in the present day state of Rajasthan.
History is full with stories of courage and honour about leaders those who were rich of material resources, but it’s rare to find a leader like Maharana Pratap and his loyal followers who had only hardships to offer. The name “Maharana Pratap” has always been held in great honour and respect. Maharana Pratap has always been projected as the premier of patriotism, freedom and independence.
Here are the Wars that Maharana Pratap Fought
The First Battle Against the Vagadiya Chouhans
Maharana Pratap started his career as a warrior by repressing the Vagadiya Chauhans. The battle took place at the banks of River Som . The battle was won by Maharana Pratap and Karansi, the close relative of Rana Sanwaldas was killed in the battle. This victory of Pratap not only rose Pratap to fame but also brought majority of the Vagad area in Mewar.
Defeating the Rathors
Maharana Pratap’s coronation was not easy and effortless despite being the elder son of his father Udai Singh II. However, his noblemen made sure that he becomes the King and not Jagamal, his brother from another mother who according to the will of Udai Singh II had claim to be the next heir and Maharana of Mewar.
Nevertheless, Pratap became the Maharana and soon defeated the Rathors and acquired the Chappan region of Marwar. This was his first battle after he became the Maharana.
Gogunda and Kumbhalmer were the two main centers from where Pratap ruled the Mewar region. While, many of the rulers submitted themselves to Akbar, Pratap did not in spite of regular persuasion from Raja Man Singh, Raja Bhagwandas and even Raja Todar Mal. This led to the battle of Haldighati in June 1576, and then the capture of Gogunda by the Mughal troops.
While staying in the fort of Kumbhagarh, Maharana Pratap entered Gogunda through a small village Kolyari and recaptured it by forcing the Mughals to flee from his place. Mandana Kumpawat was then positioned there for Gogunda’s protection.
Re-Capture of Diwer
After Shah Baz Khan captured Kumbhalgarh fort, Gogunda and Udaipur all over again, Maharana Pratap with the financial support of Bhama Shah tropped towards the Chappan mountains from Banswara. This area was under the control of Sultan Khan from the Mughal army.
The Great War of Haldighati
The historic Battle of Haldighati, took place in the year 1576 AD between Rana Pratap Singh, the great Hindu Rajput ruler of Mewar in Rajasthan and Raja Man Singh of Amber, the great general of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. This battle is considered as one of the most significant events in the history of the Rajputs, and this battle was also one of the shortest battles in Indian history, which lasted for only 4 hours. Today, the Haldighati pass, in which the battle took place, stands as a tourist spot, with great memoirs of Raja Rana Pratap Singh and his brave horse Chetak.
Maharana Pratap or Pratap Singh, belonging to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs, became the ruler of Mewar in Rajasthan in 1572. In the meantime, by mid 1500s, the Mughal Emperor Akbar, due to his desire to rule all over India, continued his conquests of several Rajput kingdoms such as Chittor, Rathambor and others. In fact, nearly all Rajput kingdoms had surrendered to Akbar and his rule, except Mewar. This was the only Rajput kindom, under the able leadership of Rana Pratap, which was not willing to compromise on its independence. After waiting for almost 3 years for Mewar ruler’s submission, Akbar sent his general Raja Man Singh of Amber to have talks on peace treaties and persuade Rana Pratap Singh to submit. However, Rana Pratap agreed to sign the treaty on his own terms and conditions. His condition was that he would not come under or tolerate the leadership of any ruler, especially the foreigners.
On 21 June 1576, the forces of Rana Pratap and Akbar met at Haldighati pass. Akbar’s army was led by Man Singh. It was a fierce battle; both the forces put up a brave fight. Mughals were in fact taken aback by surprise by the attacks from Rana Pratap’s men. Many Mughals fled away without fighting. The Mewar army attacked the Mughal army in three parallel divisions. Realising the failure of the Mughals, Man Singh moved forward to the centre with full vigour to attack Rana Pratap, who at that time was commanding the centre of his small army. By this time, the Mewar army had lost their momentum. Slowly, the Mewar soldiers started falling. Maharana Pratap on his horse Chetak kept on fighting against Man Singh. But, Rana Pratap was heavily wounded by the continuous hit of the spear and arrows by Man Singh and his men. During this time, his aide, Maan Singh Jhala took the silver chattra from Pratap’s back and placed it in his back. Wounded Rana Pratap fled away from the Mughal army and was saved by his brother Sakta. Man Singh in the meantime killed Maan Singh Jhala thinking him to be Rana Pratap. He was taken aback when he came to know that he had actually killed one of Rana Pratap’s trusted men. Next morning, when he came back again to attack the Mewar army, no one was there to fight the Mughals.
Even today, the battle’s result is considered indecisive or it can be considered as a temporary victory for the Mughals. The battle was “a glorious defeat” for Mewar.