Maharana Pratap

16th century ruler of Mewar, India

Pratap Singh I (9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was a king of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present-day state of Rajasthan. He was titled as "Mewari Rana" and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire and was known for his participation in the Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair.


  • In June 1576 Maharana Pratap of Chittor had to face Akbar’s armies in the famous battle of Haldighati. Rana Pratap fought with exemplary courage and of his soldiers only a little more than half could leave the field alive. In the darkness of the evening, the wounded Rana left the field on his favourite horse Chetak. A little later, in October, Akbar himself marched in person in pursuit of the Rana, but the latter remained untraced and unsubdued. Later on he recovered all Mewar except Mandalgarh and Chittor. His nearest associates, the Bhil and Lohia tribals, had taken a vow that until their motherland was not freed, they would not eat in metal plates, but only on leaves; they would not sleep on bedsteads, but only on the ground; and they would renounce all comforts. The bravest among them even left Chittor, to return to it only when Mewar had regained independence. That day was not destined to come in their life-time. It was not to come for decades, for generations, for centuries.
    • Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Rana Pratap's defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitute a glorious saga of Rajput valour and the spirit of self sacrifice for cherished principles. Rana Pratap's methods of sporadic warfare was later elaborated further by Malik Ambar, the Deccani general, and by Shivaji Maharaj.
    • Chandra, Satish (2000). Medieval India. New Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training. p. 164.
  • One may very well ask the purveyors of this puerile propaganda that if the record of Islam in medieval India was so bright and blameless, where is the need for this daily ritual of whitewashing it. Hindu heroes like Chandragupta Maurya, Samudragupta, Harihar, Bukka, Maharana Pratap, and Shivaji, to name only a few of the notables, have never needed any face-lift.
    • Sita Ram Goel: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India
  • For 800 years Hindusthan waged a relentless freedom struggle - probably the most stirring saga of crusade for national freedom witnessed anywhere on the face of this earth. From Maharana Kumbha to Maharana Pratap Simha and Rajasimha in Rajasthan, from Hakka and Bukka to Krishnadevaraya in the South, from Chhatrapati Shivaji to the Peshwas in Maharashtra, from the various martyr Gurus of the Sikhs including Guru Govind Singh to Banda Bairagi and Ranjit Singh in the Punjab, from Chhatrasal in Bundelkhand to Lachit Barphukan in Assam, countless captains of the war of independence piloted the ship of freedom and steered her through perilous tides and tempests. As a result of their ceaseless and crushing blows, the conquering, sword of Islam lay in dust, shattered to pieces.
    • H.V. Sheshadri. The Tragic Story of Partition (1982)
  • Hindu society has been defended, during its days of distress, by such high-souled heroes as Chandragupta, Skandagupta, Vikramaditya, Yasodharman, Bapa Rawal, Jayapala, Bhojadeva, Prithiviraj, Prataparudra, Vir Pandya, Harihara and Rana Sanga.Hindu society has fought a long-drawn-out struggle for freedom against Islamic invaders under the leadership of such veterans as Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, Maharaja Surajmal, Banda Bairagi, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sardar Patel.
    • Sita Ram Goel: Defence of Hindu Society (1983)
  • Coming to the period following Islamic invasions, Hindu society did not bother to remember the Arabs, the Ghaznavids, the Ghurids, the Mamluks, the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs, the Sayyads, the Lodis, and the Mughals. But it took pride in Bapa Raval who had humbled the Arabs; in Maharani Nayakidevi of Gujarat and Prithivi Raj Chauhan who had defeated Muhammad Ghuri again and again; in Gora and Badal who had rescued Rana Ratan Singh from the camp of Alauddin Khalji and then laid down their lives in defence of Padmini and her Chittor; in Harihara and Bukka who had founded the Vijayanagar Empire which stood like a rock against Islamic imperialism for more than two centuries; in Rana Sangram Singh who had crossed swords with Babur; in Maharana Pratap who had defied the mightiest Mughal in the midst of great adversity; in Durgadas Rathor who had despised the wrath of Aurangzeb in defence of his right to give refuge to a rebellious Mughal prince; in Chhatrapati Shivaji who devised a new diplomacy and innovated a new art of warfare which finally worsted the most powerful Muslim empire and rolled back the Islamic invasion; in Chhatrasal Bundela and Maharaja Surajmal who revived Hindu rule in the north; in Banda Bairagi who avenged the wrongs done by Muslim despots to Guru Arjun Deva, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh; and in Maharaja Ranjit Singh who liberated the Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province from Islamic stranglehold.
    • Sita Ram Goel: Muslim Separatism – Causes and Consequences (1987)
  • It is this common consciousness of its history which prevents Hindu society from accepting the Mamluks, the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs, the Bahmanis, the Sharqis, the Sayyids, the Lodis, and the Mughals as native dynasties on par with the Mauryas, the Sungas, the Guptas, the Cholas, the Maukharis, the Pandyas, the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Yadavas, the Kaktiyas, the Hoysalas, the Sangamas, the Saluvas, the Marathas, the Sikhs, and the Jats. Hindu society can never concede that Jaypala Shahiya of Kabul, Maharani Nayakidevi of Gujarat, Prithiviraj Chauhan of Delhi, Jayachandra Gahadvad of Kanauj, Singhanadeva of Devagiri, Vikrama Pandya of Madura, Prolaya Nayak of Andhra, Harihar and Bukka and Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara, Maharanas Kumbha and Sanga and Pratap, Shivaji, Banda Bahadur, Maharajas Surajmal and Ranjit Singh, who resisted the Islamic invaders, were petty local chieftains conspiring for personal gains. Hindu society honours these heroes as freedom fighters against Islamic imperialism, in the same way as it honours its freedom fighters against British imperialism.
    • Sita Ram Goel: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)
  • The first need of the situation was a centre round which Hindus could rally, and from which Hindu resistance to the Islamic invasion could be directed. The effectiveness of such a centre was demonstrated first in Mewar under Maharana Pratap, secondly in the South under Vijayanagara, thirdly in Maharashtra under Shivaji, and lastly in the Punjab under Banda Bahadur. But these centres crystallised too late. A nationwide centre established earlier could have contained Islamic imperialism at the borders of Bharatavarsha, or defeated and driven it out from wherever it had secured a foothold. Chandragupta, Vikramaditya, and Skandagupta had headed such a centre, and saved the motherland by hurling back the barbarians as soon as they came.
    • Sita Ram Goel: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)
  • I have never read Max Weber and do not know how he has arrived at the conclusion that “more tribals joined the Hindu mainstream as a result of the Muslim shock than the number of Hindus who were converted to Islam”. Perhaps he had in mind the people of Assam whom Bakhtyar Khalji and a few other Muslim invaders tried to subjugate, or the hill people all over our northern borders whom Muhammad Tughlaq tried to conquer but failed, or the Gonds who fought Akbar under Maharani Durgavati, or the Bhils who fought for freedom under Maharana Pratap, or the Mavlas who joined Shivaji at a later date. But the very fact that these so-called “tribals” fought spontaneously against the Muslim marauders rather than walk over to the winning side goes to prove that they shared a common culture with the rest of the natives.
    • Sita Ram Goel: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)
  • This was the Swadeshi Movement led by Sri Aurobindo. It was renascent India’s first experiment in mass mobilization. Powerful mantras such as svadeshI and svarAjya, first invoked by Maharshi Dayananda, came to the fore and fired the people’s imagination. The struggle against Western imperialism in all its forms including Christianity became linked with the earlier struggle against Islamic imperialism. Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh and Banda Bairagi resumed their full stature as national heroes after having suffered an eclipse in the national memory.
    • Sita Ram Goel: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
  • It will not be long before MahãrãNã Pratãpa SiMha of Mewar becomes renowned as hindu-kula-kamala-divãkara, the Sun which brings bloom to the lotus that is the Hindu nation.
    • Goel, S. R. in in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R.(1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. (Second Enlarged Edition)
  • Akbar sent Raja Man Sing and Asaf Khan against Rana Pratap of Mewar in 1576. There were Rajput soldiers on both sides; those under Rana Pratap were fighting the ones under Raja Man Singh. At one stage in the fierce struggle, Badaoni asked Asaf Khan how he could distinguish between the friendly and the enemy Rajputs. Asaf Khan replied: “Shoot at whomsoever you like, on whichever side they may be killed, it will be a gain to Islam.”
    • Battle of Haldighati. Quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims who are they, 1990
  • [My soul] lingers for a pledge that this country shall not be abandoned to the Turk.
    • Maharana Pratap's reply to Salumber's question: "What aileth thee, Sire, that thy soul departeth not in peace?"
    • Quoted in Lal, K. S. (2001). Historical essays. New Delhi: Radha.(II.198)
  • The most powerful monarch of the world relentlessly attempted to destroy one man, and he braved all adversities to emerge triumphant.... Thus died the greatest hero of medieval India, the bravest of the brave whose sturdy frame was exhausted by almost two decades of constant fighting. We may here quote V. Smith’s fitting epitome of his reign: “The emperor desired the death of the Rani and the absorption of his territory in the imperial dominions. The Rana, while fully prepared to sacrifice his life if necessary, was resolved that his blood should never be contaminated by intermixture with that of the foreigner, and that his country should remain a land of freemen. After much tribulation he succeeded, and Akbar failed.”™ (338-9)
    • RC Majumdar,ed., Volume 7: The Mughul Empire [1526-1707]
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