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Maharana Pratapa

Freeindia > Biographies > Great Kings And Queens > Maharana Pratapa
Maharana Pratapa

Extant in Kaliyuga's years from 3640 to 3698 (i.e. from 1539 to 1597 A.D.) Maharana Pratap, who struggled against slavery all through his life and kept aloft always the saffron coloured flag of Hindutva, through his character and conduct provided an example representing the Indian consciousness of retaliation and antagonism. At a time when many other Rajput kings, forgetting their righteous pride in their own Dharma, were seeking an alliance with the Mughal invader ruler and some were even offering their daughters to establish a relationship with him and the Hindus were being befooled by Deen-e-llahi ( the new fangled common Godly religion ) Maharana Pratap was the only brave person who was working for foiling the clever trick of Akbar and was hitting at his vain-glorious conceit. Crest jewel of the crown of Mewar, Pratap was born in the dignified family of Bappa Raval. He was the grandson of Rana Sanga ( Sangram Singh ) who is famous for receiving as many as eighty wounds on his body, in a battle, and yet continued fighting. In the sacred battle-field of Haldighati of Rajputana the extra-ordinary bravery that was shown by Maharana Pratap and his immortal self-sacrificing Bhil and Rajput soldiers in their fight with the Mughal, the glorious tale of the same has become the golden page of the History of the Hindu Race. Making a resolve to free Chittaud Gadh at his heart Maharana Pratap accepted staying in jungle and had to undergo limitless hardships ( and suffering ) for the sake of the freedom of his country. Having received unimaginable financial help from the great patriot Bhamashah, Maharana Pratap reorganised his army, and within his own life time regained as many as 77 out of 80 of his forts lost to the enemy.

Mewar was the Rajput kingdom which did not ally with Akbar. In fact, it offended him by giving shelter to Baz Bahadur of Malwa. However Akbar did not keep quiet. Taking advantage of the death of the king Rana Sanga and the weakness of his son Udai Singh, Akbar besieged the fort of Chittor in October, 1567. Udai Singh fled to the hills leaving his kingdom. But the noble followers of Rana Sanga especially Jaimall and Patta fought continuously for four months till Jaimall was shot dead by Akbar and Patta also died. The death of their leaders disheartened the people. Finally Akbar stormed the fort of Chittor.

With the fall of Chittor, the other Rajputs who avoided the alliance with Akbar submitted to him. In 1569, Rai Sarjana Hara of Ranthambhor, Raja Ramchand, chief of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand surrendered. In 1570 the rulers of Bikaner and Jaisalmer submitted and also gave their daughters in marriage. However Udai Singh maintained his independence though he lost his capital. After Udai Singh's death on March 3, 1572, his son Rana Pratap took over the charge. The people found a true leader in Rana Pratap.

Rana Pratap had a tough time fighting the Mughals with no capital and with his neighbouring chiefs allying with the Mughals. In April 1576, the Mughals led by Man Singh of Amber and Asaf Khan invaded Mewar and a battle at the pass of Haldighat near Gogunda was fought. Rana Pratap was defeated and managed to escape to the hills, with his devoted chief Jhala taking over the charge as Rana Pratap. Rana Pratap continued the wars and recovered most of the territories before he died in 1597. His son Amar Singh took over from his father and continued fighting for the territories and finally was defeated by Man Singh in 1599. After that Akbar did not undertake any invasion of Mewar due to his illness.

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Published on: 2003-02-01 (6522 reads)

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