Pratap Singh, popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was a great king of Shishodiya dynasty of Rajasthan. He was born on 9th May, 1540. Pratap was the eldest son of Udai Singh II and Maharani Jaiwanta Bai. Pratap was the only (fearless) king who never accepted the aggression of Akbar. His biggest enemy was the emperor of the Mughal Empire, Akbar. During Maharana Pratap’s time, ‘terrorist’ Akbar was the Mughal Ruler in Delhi. The Rana was immersed in safeguarding the prestige of the Hindu sect. Akbar sent six diplomatic missions to Pratap, seeking to strike a deal for a peaceful relationship, like he had concluded with other Rajput Chiefs. The fifth of these, led by Bhagwan Das was fruitful in which Pratap agreed to put on a robe presented by Akbar and sent his son, Amar Singh. However, the mission ultimately failed because Pratap refused personally to present himself to the Mughal Court.Akbar felt offended and headed for the battle. After the blusterous Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair, Akbar announced ‘NO WAR’ scheme for Mewad in 1587.
Maharana Pratap was not only a great warrior but also had great cultural values. Maharana Pratap freed almost whole of Rajasthan including Mewad (his motherland), Marwar i.e. one of the biggest states in Rajputana, Bundi, Ajmer which constitutes 85% of total landscape of present Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap used to eat ‘ghas ki roti’ on leaf plates during the financial depletion of Mewad. He took an oath, ““My brave warrior brothers, our Motherland, this holy land of Mewad, is still under the clutches of the Mughals. Today, I take an oath in front of all of you that till Chittod is freed, I will not have food in gold and silver plates, will not sleep on a soft bed and will not stay in the palace; instead I will eat food on a leaf-platter, sleep on the floor and stay in a hut. I will also not shave till Chittod is freed…” unfortunately he could not free Chittod, a former capital of Mewad and hence Maharana Pratap never entered Rajmahal as per his oath of capturing of Chittod Fort. He made Chavand his capital, which is eminent for its socio-cultural development by Maharana Pratap. He used to live in tents near Rajmahal of Chavand. Maharana Pratap, the greatest soul of Rajasthan, passed away on 19th January, 1597 in Chavand due to severe injuries. His last words (translated) were…
“If the fact of rebirth is true, I will insist God to give me one chance on the same land to make my land truly independent..Jai Mewad..Jai Maa Bharti..!”
Maharana Pratap was the saviour of Rajputana and Hinduism. He underwent so much of hardship but he preserved the name of his family and his Motherland from facing defeat.