Maharana Pratap was a Rajput king of Mewar a region in north-western India present state of Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap is also is known as pratap Singh was born on 9 May 1540. Maharana Pratap was born to Udai Singh II and Jiwanta Bai.
After the Depth of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him but senior courtiers preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed.
The grim Siege of Chittorgarh in 1568 had led to the loss of the fertile eastern belt of Mewar to the Mughals. However, the rest of the wooded and hilly kingdom was still under the control of the Rana. The Mughal emperor Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar;
when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Rana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys entreating the Rana to become a vassal like many other Rajput leaders in the region. When the Rana refused to personally submit to Akbar, the war became inevitable.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Maharana Pratap and Akbar’s forces led by Man Singh I of Amber. The Mughals were the victors and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture Pratap, who escaped.
The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda in Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap fielded a force of around 3,000 cavalries and 400 Bhil archers. The Mughals were led by Raja Man Singh of Amber, who commanded an army numbering around 5,000–10,000 men.
After a fierce battle lasting more than three hours, Pratap found himself wounded and the day lost. While a few of his men bought him time, he managed to make an escape to the hills and lived to fight another day. The casualties for Mewar numbered around 1600 men. The Mughal army lost 150 men, with another 350 wounded.
Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to oust Maharana Pratap. While they were able to capture Gogunda and nearby areas, they were unable to hold onto them for long. As soon as the empire’s focus shifted elsewhere, Pratap and his army came out of hiding and recaptured the western regions of his dominion.
Reportedly, Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident at Chavand on 19 January 1597 aged 56. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Amar Singh I.
Historian Satish Chandra notes that
Rana Pratap’s defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitutes a glorious saga of Rajput valor and the spirit of self-sacrifice for cherished principles. Rana Pratap’s methods of sporadic warfare were later elaborated further by Malik Ambar, the Deccani general, and by Shivaji.
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