According to the Hindu Alamanac (Panchang), Maharana Pratap was born at Kumbhalgarh fort on Jyeshtha Shukla Tritiya of Vikram Samvat 1597 (9th May 1560 AD). This year it happens to be on 25th May 2020.
Pratap’s grandfather was the great warrior Rana Sanga and grandmother was Maharani Karmavati. He was also known as Kika during his childhood. He got this name from the Bhils (a community), in whose company he spent the early days. Kika means ‘son’ in the dialect of Bhils. Maharana Pratap had a horse named Chetak which he loved most. Chetak has his place in Pratap’s heroic stories. He played an important role in winning many battles with agility, speed and bravery.
The most interesting fact in the reign of Maharana Pratap is that the Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to bring Rana Pratap under his control without war. Therefore, Akbar appointed four ambassadors to convince Rana Pratap, in which Jalal Khan first entered the camp of Rana Pratap in September 1582, in the same order Mansingh, Bhagwandas and King Todarmal also reached to convince Rana Pratap, but Rana Pratap disappointed all four. Rana Pratap refused to accept subjugation of the Mughals resulting in the historic War of the Haldi Ghati (valley).
Akbar declared Jihad and Maharana fought a historic war
The battle of Haldighati was fought between Mewar and the Mughals on 14 June 158 AD. In this war, the army of Mewar was led by Maharana Pratap. Rana Poonja, the chieftain of the Bhil army was Bhil. The only Muslim chieftain to fight on behalf of Maharana Pratap in this war was Hakim Khan Suri.
Mansingh and Asaf Khan led the Mughal army in this war. Abdul Qadir Badayuni narrated the eyes of this war. Asaf Khan termed this war as Jihad. Even in modern days, we have seen how jihadis treat kafirs. This is the same old mentality of the sixth century which is still endangering the entire humanity.
In the battle of Haldighati, he was confronted by the huge army of Akbar led by Mansingh. Maharana Pratap faced 70 thousand Mughal soldiers in this war in 1557 with about 20,000 soldiers. This is the most discussed war in medieval Indian history. In this war, Pratap’s horse Chetak was injured. After this war, Mewar, Chittor, Gogunda, Kumbhalgarh and Udaipur were captured by the Mughals. Most Rajput kings accepted the rules of Mughals but Maharana Pratap refused. He did not accept the subjection of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and struggled for many years.
Guerrilla warfare during the Dewar war
Akbar decided to fight Maharana Pratap in 1576. Akbar’s uncle was Sultan Khan, who led the Mughal army in this war. It was Vijayadashami day and Maharana split the newly organized army into two parts and triggered the war cry. One troop was commanded by Maharana himself, while the second contingent was headed by his son Amar Singh.
The Mughal army had 2 lakh soldiers, while the Rajputs were only 22 thousand. Maharana Pratap’s army, under the leadership of Maharaj Kumar Amar Singh, attacked the royal police station of Dewar. This war was so fierce that Pratap’s son Amar Singh attacked the Mughal commander with a spear which rammed into his body together with the horse into the ground.
On the other hand, Maharana Pratap attacked Bahlol Khan’s head with such force that he cut it into two pieces along with the horse. Local historians state that after this war, there was a saying that “The warriors of Mewar cut the rider with a horse in a single blow”.
In this war, Maharana adopted the strategy of guerrilla warfare. In the Battle of Dewar in 1582, Maharana Pratap’s army defeated the Mughals and left Chittor and re-occupied most of the land of Mewar.
Maharana Pratap was the first Indian king to use guerrilla tactics in a very planned manner and as a result forced the Mughals to kneel down. Maharana stood with full confidence in front of Akbar. There was a time when almost the whole of Rajasthan was under the occupation of the Mughal emperor Akbar, but Maharana fought with Akbar for 12 years to save his Mewar. Akbar used every tactic to defeat him, but Maharana remained undefeated till the end.
The Dewar war of 1572 is considered to be an important war in history, because in this war the lost kingdoms of Rana Pratap were recaptured. After this a long struggle between Rana Pratap and the Mughals took place, due to which the British East India officer and the Colonel James Tod called this war “Marathon of Mewar”. Colonel Tod has written the valor of the Maharana and his army, describing the war skills as heroic as the warriors of Sparta, that they were not afraid of an army even four times larger than theirs on the battlefield.
Fearing Maharana Pratap Singh, Akbar moved his capital to Lahore and came back to Agra only after Maharana died.
As a true Rajput, knight, patriot, warrior, of the Motherland, Maharana Pratap became immortal in the world forever.