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The great warrior Maharana Partap

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Chirag Dhankhar
Chirag Dhankhar
Student of Foreign Language at Jawaharlal Nehru University. History Reading Writing

कब तक बोझ संभाला जाए द्वंद्व कहां तक पाला जाए दोनों ओर लिखा हो भारत

सिक्का वही उछाला जाए तू भी है राणा का वंशज फेंक जहां तक भाला जाए

In the turbulent times when the states of Rajputana were suffering from the attack of invaders motivated by the Islamic cruelty and religious extremism when the women and adolescent girls were committing Jauhar for escaping the horrors of capture and protecting their honour. In the honoured fort Kumbhalgarh as a ray of hope, a boy was born (9th May 1540) to the Rana of Mewar Uday Singh II and his wife Jaywanti Bai “The Great Maharana Partap”.  It is said that Rana Partap was brought up by the Bhils of ‘Kuka’ tribe and hence in childhood the name of Rana was ‘Kika’. His Guru was Acharya Raghvendra.

Maharana Partap was extremely talented from his childhood and he was so full of self-respect that people with the foresightedness saw a great warrior in him. He was not only well versed in battle techniques like guerrilla warfare, but also knew the intricate details of Aravali Rnages. In 1567 Mughals invaded Chittor but instead of fighting, Uday Singh decided to leave Chittor and move Golkonda. This step was despised by Pratap and he pressed for war.  His elders successful in persuading him and they left Chittor immediately. This decision proved viable and changed the course of history of Mewar. A temporary court for Mewar was setup in Golkonda by Uday Singh and his courtiers. During this time when the Mughal army(60,000) invaded Chittorgarh Fort stiff resistance was given to them by the Rathore Army(8,000). 

Official documents say that the death toll was 48,000 out of 40,000 were Mughals and a Jauhar took place in the fort of Chittorgarh. After watching this whole scenario Rana took pledge to conquer Chittorgarh back and re establish the old glory of Rajputana. In 1572 after the death of Uday Singh, queen Dheerbai wanted his son, Prince Jagmaal, to be the king. Rana Partap didn’t resisted but senior courtiers insisted that Rana can handle the situation better.  If he is not crowned as a king, the threat of Invasion on Rajputana would increase. Hence on 28 February 1572 was crowned king. Angry to this, Jagmal rebelled and joined the Mughal Army. The capital of Mewar, though was in control of the Mughals. But they could not subdue the whole of Mewar. Akbar sent 6 peace treaties for the consideration of the Maharana but it was declined each time as the Maharana refused to bow down in front of Mughals. On behalf of Akbar, one such treaty was led by Man Singh. But Maharna always despised Maan Singh and wondered how he could sell his motherland to foreign invaders.

When the efforts at peace failed, Akbar decided to assemble his army for war. For the preparation of war, Maharana made Kumbhalgarh as his capital and decided to fight in the Aravali Hills. After the failure of the treaty in 1573, Mewar was surrounded by Akbar and cut it off from Traditional allies many of whom shared blood with Maharana Partap. The main reason was that Akbar wanted a safe passage through Rajputana to Gujarat for trading with other Kingdoms of that time. Akbar appointed Sagar Singh for ruling the won over part of Mewar but to remorse his treason with his brother and motherland, Sagar Singh returned from Chittor and committed suicide in Mughal Court with dagger.  Partap younger brother Shakti Singh who had switched with Mughals realized his mistake, and he came back to Maharana. Then the Historical Battle of Haldighati was fought.  Rana Partap had resolution:

“Either I die of Hunger or thirst it doesn’t matter, Mewar should remain free, If I wander in lifeless lands, I should have the memory of my mother,Born to Rajput mother, I will repay the debt of Rajput blood, Even if my head falls to my feet, I will let Delhi’s ego submit in front of me. In Battle of Haldighati Partap had around 20,000 soldiers and Akbar had around 85,000 i.e., four time more than Partap.

If Akbar had number, then Maharana had Spirit. The main reason why Akbar attacked When Maharana left the Royal Palace, he was accompanied by the Blacksmith of Lohar caste. Who later worked day in and day out to make swords for the army of Mewar  This group is now called Gadia Lohar in M.P., Rajasthan, and Gujarat who supported Maharana till his death. The tribals of Mewar, the Bhils crushed the Mughal rank with their arrows. They thought Maharana as their son, and Rana without any prejudice lived with them. Even today on the Royal Emblem of Mewar Rajput one side and Bhils on other side. With the height of 7.5ft Maharana was so powerful that he used to carry a sword of two sheaths including a spear weighing 80kg and his armour was more than 72kg. 

One of the most famous Battle that is not told in our school books is the Battle of Dewair when an Army of 36,000 Mughals surrendered in front of Rana Partap. Rana was so powerful that during this Battle he sliced Behlol Khan into two equal halves along with his horse. टोप कटे बख्तर कटे, बेहलोल खान का हर अंग कटे। सुरंग रंग का अश्व कटे, तुर्कों का अभिमान कटे।

Maharana horse Chetak is known for his loyalty towards Rana Partap. The place where Chetak got injured has now a tamarind tree and Chetak temple at that place of his death. After winning this Battle the old Prosperity of Mewar came back which was as equal as the prosperity during the reign of Maharana Kumbha. During the testing circumstances, one of Maharana courtier Bhama Shah donated his entire possession to Rana. This was enough money for Military Expense of 12 years.

History can never forget Bahama Shah’s sacrifice for Dharma.Once, Pratap’s general Kunwar Amar Singh attacked the Mughal subedar Abdur Rahim Khan-I-Khana’s fort and took his begum and daughters as captive to be presented in the court. Furious of this behaviour, Pratap scolded Amar Singh and got the captives released respectfully, and made to reach home. Because Maharana believed “War with the enemy is in the battlefield. The abduction of women is taught by the theology of enemy. Our values don’t teach us this.”.

After the battle of Haldighati, Maharana kept pushing back the Muslim invaders from Mewar. Leaving the luxury of his royal palace, he wondered for 20 years in the wilderness. His resolve was such that, even if he had to eat the chapatis of grass, he will, but he would never let the flag of Mewar surrender. In the year 1597, Maharana got mortally wounded in a hunt, and the Maharana was separated from his people. At the end I have only one question to all of you, did we give the place that Rana Pratap deserve in history, did he get the place he was supposed to get in our history books?

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Chirag Dhankhar
Chirag Dhankhar
Student of Foreign Language at Jawaharlal Nehru University. History Reading Writing
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