Maharana Pratap ( pronunciation (help·info)) or Pratap Singh (9 May 1540 – 29 January 1597) was a ruler of Mewar, a region in not-eastern India in the present day state of Rajasthan. He belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. In popular Indian culture, Pratap is considered to exemplify qualities like bravery and chivalry to which Rajputs aspire, especially in context of his opposition to the Mughal emperor Akbar.
In 1568 during the reign of Udai Singh, Maharana Pratap’s father was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar after the third Jauhar at Chittor. However, Udai Singh and the royal family of Mewar had left before the fort was captured and moved to the foothills of the Aravalli Range where Singh had already founded the city of Udaipur in 1559. Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed Udai Singh but the senior preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed.
Nearly all of Pratap’s fellow Rajput chiefs had meanwhile entered into the vassalage of the Mughals. Even Pratap’s own brothers, Shakti Singh and Sagar Singh, served Akbar. Indeed, many Rajput chiefs, such as Raja Man Singh of Amber (later known as Maharaja of Jaipur) served as army commanders in Akbar’s armies and as members of his council. Akbar sent a total of six diplomatic missions to Pratap, seeking to negotiate the same sort of peaceful alliance that he had concluded with the other Rajput chiefs. Each time, however, Pratap refused to accept Akbar’s suzerainty, arguing that the Sisodia Rajputs had never accepted any foreign ruler as their overlord, nor will he. The enmity was long-standing: the grandfathers of Pratap and Akbar – Rana Sanga and Babur, respectively — had previously fought against each other.
Battle of Haldighati
On 21 June 1576 (or 18 June in other calculations), the armies of Pratap and Akbar led by Sayyed Hashim Barha son of Sayyed Mahmud Khan met at Haldighati, near the town ofGogunda. Pratap’s army was defeated but Pratap organised another attack, known as the Battle of Dewar, in which the Mewar army was victorious. Pratap was able to claim back much of the lost territories of Mewar and freed much of Rajasthan from the Mughal rule. The Bhils of the Aravalli hills provided support to Pratap.
Pratap had 11 wives, the first of whom and favourite was Ajabde Punwar, who he married when he was aged 17.
All of Pratap’s other marriages were conducted for political reasons. He had 17 sons and five daughters. Of his children, Amar Singh, who was born to Ajabde, was the eldest.
Maharana Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident  at Chavand, which served as his capital, on 29 January 1597, aged fifty-seven. A chhatri, commemorating Pratap’s funeral, exists at Chavand and is an important tourist attraction.
It is recorded that as he lay dying, Pratap made his son and successor, Amar Singh, swear to maintain eternal conflict against the Mughals. Amar Singh submitted Mewar to Akbar, conditionally accepting the Mughals as rulers. The subsequent treaty between Amar Singh and the Mughal king Jahangir included obligations that fort of Chittor would not be repaired and that Mewar would have to keep a contingent of 1000 horses in the Mughal service. It also stipulated that Amar Singh would not have to be present at any of the Mughal Darbars. At Amar Singh’s laying down of arms, many members of Pratap’s family of Sisodias became disillusioned and left Rajasthan. This group included Rathores, Deora Chauhans, Pariharas, Tanwars, Kacchwaha and Jhalas. Amar Singh himself regretted letting down his people so much that he was never publicly seen outside his palace again.
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- Jump up^ Niraj, Jaysimha (1991). Splendour Of Rajasthani Painting. p. 15. ISBN 8170172675.
- Jump up^ plaque at Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur
- Jump up^ http://www.chittorgarh.com/maharana-pratap.asp
- Jump up^ Bakshi, S.R. (2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages The Heritage Of Rajputs (Set Of 5 Vols.). p. 46. ISBN 9788176258418.
- Jump up^ “Maharana Pratap Ki Chhatri”. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the arts. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Jump up^ Dutt, Romesh Chandra (1943). Pratap Singh, the last of the Rajputs: a tale of Rajput courage and chivalry. p. 180.ASIN B0006AVRDI.
- Jump up^ Sharma, Sri Ram (1971). Maharana Raj Singh and his Times. p. 14. ISBN 8120823982.
- Jump up^ Nicoll, Fergus (2009). Shah Jahan. Penguin Books India. p. 89. ISBN 9780670083039.
- Jump up^ Maharanas by Brian Masters
24. Maharana Pratap: The First Freedom Fighter (2012) mentions Prataps victory of battle of Gorwar located in the plot.