Maharana Pratap – The jewel of India, was born in Kumbhalgarh Fort, Mewar. He is the son of the king of Mewar, Udai Singh. He belongs to the Sisodiya clan of Rajput. The name of her mother was Maharani Jaiwanta bai. Although, being the elder son of his father and the rightful successor to the throne, maharani Dheer bai wanted her son Jagmal to be the next king of the Mewar.
Maharana Pratap was a man of character, bravery, chivalry and was preferred and recommended by the courtiers. After the death of King Udai Singh in 1572, the decision of the courtiers prevailed and Maharana Pratap became the king of Mewar. He was married to Ajabde pun war of Bijolia.
In 1568, the Mewar lost the Chittorgarh to the Mughals. The western fertile belt of land was in Chittorgarh and this loss was a major setback for the Mewar kingdom. However, other regions of Mewar were still under the rule of this Rajput clan.
Later, Akbar wanted Maharana to refuse the battle and give up. But Maharana refused to give up and the war became inevitable. In 1576, the great battle of Haldighati was fought between the Maharana Pratap and Akbar’s forces led by Man Singh – I of Amber. Mughal forces were the victors of the battle and Mewar suffered heavy loss. More than thousand of Mewar men were killed. Total of 1500 men of Mewar and 150 of Mughal forces was killed but the Mughals were not able to capture Maharana Pratap as he managed to escape. He escaped to the valley of Haldighati hills. This was an incomplete victory for the Mughals as they were not able to capture their chief threat. Later, when the Mughals shifted their focus to other places, Maharana Pratap and his few men came out of the valley and recaptured the western regions of his dominion.
After 1579, the Mughals relaxed the pressure on Mewar and in 1582; Mewar attacked and captured the Mughal post of Drawer. This win of Mewar was the indication of the beginning of Mewar advancements. In 1585, he attacked other Mughal ruled regions and captured Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, and Gogunda. During this period of victories and advancements of the Mewar kingdom, Maharana also built a new capital in Chavand near present-day Dungarpur.
Then in 1597, the time came when the life of this brave warrior came to an end. He died due to the injuries he sustained in a hunting accident. The lucky land that witnessed the demise of this great king was Chavand and the date was 19 January 1597. He died at the age of 56, and his throne was succeeded by his elder son Amber Singh – I.
Maharana Pratap was the only emperor who did not give up to the Mughals and fought with full spirit. His resistance against the huge Mughal kingdom with an army of few men shows the glorious saga of Rajputana valor and spirit of self-sacrifices for the Dharma. His warfare strategies were further elaborated by the general of Deccan Malik Ambar, King Shivaji and were appreciated by the whole country.