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Tribute to Maharana Pratap

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Tribute to Maharana Pratap on his Punyatithi. He breathed his last this day, the 19th of January, in 1597. Maharana never surrendered to Mughals nor accepted their friendship to be a vassal kingdom, but fought till his last breath for the motherland.

To quote from the book ‘Mewar and the Mughal Emperors’ (1st edition 1914) by Gopi Nath Sharma about Maharana Pratap: “He was a great captain of war, tall, almost full and majestic figure, with a high forehead, prominent mustaches and above all striking appearance with bright eyes which seemed to indicate great fire and determination within… His closely tied turban and a long coat of yellow colour with a scarf closely tied around his waist were familiar objects to his contemporaries. His character had been formed quite early in life during his wanderings in the midst of hills and forests. Adversity had taught him patience, perseverance, courage and determination. He had imbibed eternal love for his country and resolved to consider no sacrifice as too great for its defence.”

To quote from the book ‘History of Mewar’ (published in 1976) by Ram Vallabh Somani on the initial Battle of Haldighati wherein Mughal forces were disorganized and defeated, “Mansingh himself was in the Centre, the Saiyids of Barha were on the Right wing; Ghazi Khan Badakhshi Rai Lunakarana were in the Left wing; Jagannath, Khwaja Ghyasuddin and Asaf Khan were in the Van; Madhosingh and other distinguished men in the Altamsh; Mihar Khan and others were in the Rear. In its front line there were about 80 skirmishers called Chuza-i-Harawal.

In Mewar’s army the Rana was in the Centre, Tomar Rama Shah had the right wing, while the left was commanded by Bida Jhala; Ramdas son of Jaimal was in the Van… Hakim Khan Sur from the army of the Maharana suddenly appeared at the mouth of Haldighati pass in the morning of June 18, 1576 A.D. The Rana soon followed him. They made such a fierce invasion upon the Mughal army that it had disorganised the Chickens of the front line under Saiyid Hashim Barha, and advance guards under Asaf Khan and Jagannath. They mixed up together and suffered ‘complete’ defeat. According to Badaoni, it was due to the unevenness of the ground, the large quantity of thorns and the serpentine twistings of the roads. The Rajputs of the Mughal army led by Kachhawa Lunakarna also fled away. At this time Asaf Khan and most probably Badaoni also ran to the shelter of the Mughal centre. Kachhawa Jagnnath fought desperately and was about to fall but was rescued by the timely help of the Reserves sent under Kachhawa Madhosingh. However, they too could not stand the onslaught of the troops of Mewar and left their posts.”

Many historians have distorted the Haldighati battle story to show Akbar’s victory. But, the battle was a stalemate. Neither party won. Maharana Pratap involved in war with Mughals later and regained most of the Mewari territory. This episode is described in detail in Chapter 8 in Book 1 of #SaffronSwords (link: grpr.in/swa) along with 51 more chapters/episodes of valor of our warrior ancestors from the 8th century to independence.

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