ancient indian history

Maha Rana Pratap – The Great Hindu Warrior

Maharana-pratapMaha Rana Pratap
The Great Hindu Warrior
Maha Rana Pratap was one of the brightest on the firmament of Hindu Indias history. His exploits of in defence of this country have inspired countless generations of Indian patriots. He defied the might of Akbar, who was backed by the resources of the most extensive empire of the 11th century. He preferred a life of great privations and struggle to accepting a nominal subordination to an alien ruler.
Akbar spent better part of his life in trying to subdue the indomitable spirit of the Pratap. In fact Akbar started his campaigns against chittor as early as 23 Oct 1567, When Prataps father Maha Rana Uday Singh, ruled over Mewar. The Maharana, on the advice of the War Council, retired to the fastnesses of Aravalis along with his treasures, herms & best part of his Army. Leaving behind a garrison of 8000 men to defend Chittor fortress.
Akbar captured chittor after the Rajpoot marshals committed jauhar in a traditional manner viz women jumping into flames and men rallying out of the fort wearing Kesriya bana and fought to death of last man, fighting the mighty empire. And to the everlasting ignominy of the Moghuls, Akbar ordered massacre of 3000 hindu peasants, who had taken refuge in the fortress. Maha Raja Uday Singh died on 28 Feb 1572, at Kumbhalner. Thereafter the mantle of resistance fell on Pratap, who ascended the throne on 1st march 1572. Akbar resumed his aggression against Uddaypur in June 1576, after four years distraction in more urgent campaigns. He sent a huge Army, under the command of Maharaja Man Singh, assisted by Asaf Khan. On 21 June 1572, Pratap attacked the Moghuls force with a posse of 3000 horses in the narrow valley of Haldi Ghati. Maha Rana shattered therir vanguard and put tp flight their left wing under Rai karan and another division under kazi Khan. Man Singh had hair- breadth escape from the javeline of Maha Rana Pratap, while the formers elephant wielding a sword into its trunk, struck at pratap,s horse, Chetak, who had put its fore paws on the temple to facilitate javelin thrust. Chetak who was wounded badly, fled carrying his master to safety and thereafter died.
According to badauni, a total of 500 men were killed ie both sides loosing equal no of soldiers. Moghuls could not capture any treasure or any of Pratap,s men. Pratap continued to harass and destroy, Moghul forces from his fastness in Aravali hills and recovered almost all Mewar ( except Chittor ) before his death. Maha Rana Pratap died on 29 Jan 1597 at the age of 58 years from a wound received from his own bow, while hunting.
Now Let us know-Who Was Pratap ?
He was born in the Sisodia branch of the Guhil or Guhilat dynasity, founded by Guha Dutta on the disintegration of Gupta empire, in the 2nd half of 7th century AD. Numerous inscriptions issued by his descendents giving an un broken genealogy, have come to light. At the age, the gehlots, claimed themselves to be kshatriyas, tracing the pedigree to Lord Ram. And among the Rajpoots, they came to be recognized as as Rajpoots par excellence. But their inscriptions up to as late as 1285 AD call them as Vipra or Brahmins. The earliest record of geneaology is the Atpur inscription of Shakti Kumar the 18th King after the founder king Guha Dutta, dated vaisakha 10 34 Vikarama 977 AD ( Refer Epigraphia Indica XXXIX pp 186) The inscription commemorating the erection of temple of namga swami inter alia states-आनंदपुर-विनिग्रत – विप्र – कुलानान्द्नो महिदेवा : !
जयति श्री गुह दत्ता ” प्रभव : श्री गुहिल- वंशस्य !!
Epigraphia Indica XXXIX pp 186 states that “ Victorious is Shri Guha Dutta, the Brahmin who is founder of Guhila Dynasity & who is the cause of joy to the family of Brahmins hailing from Anandpur.
In another inscription dated 1274 AD, bappa Rawal the 9th king of the dynasity, is also called “Vipra” ie a Brahmin. Another record of his dated 1285 tells us that Bappa exchanged Brahma (ie Brahminical) for Kshatriya Splendor & he is one of the most celebrated rulers of the dynasty. He is credited with restabilizing the dynasty, after it was almost supplanted by the Arabs about 738 AD. Bappa Rawal was evidently a designation as the name does figure in Alipur inscription. He is identified with the 9th king, in the list named Khomanna I.
In Rasikpriya, a commentary of Gayadevas Gita Govinda, Bappa is referred to as a “dvija-pungava ie the best of brahminas and as belonging to vaijavapa gotra. (Indian Inscriptions XII pp10 off) The Brahmins of Mewar, while uttering Sankalpa belonging to vaijavapa gotra, three privaras and yajur veda sakha. The Gotra Pravara-nibandha-kadambha was givenvaijavapa as the name of the gotra, whose Rishis (ie Parivaras) are Atri, Govishtira and Paurva- titha.
They were all brahminas is also attested to by another inscription ie another branch of guhlots, discovered at Chatsu, about 40 Kms south of jaipur ie JASB 1909 pp 173. It is stated here in that Bhartripatta, the founder of this time, was like “Parshuram” endowed with both priestly ( Brahman like) and martial qualities. This highlights the fact that parshuram was Brahman by cast, while he performed the feats of a Kshatriya. The fourteenth successor of Shakti Kumar (the Atpur Inscription referred above) was Rana Singh alias Karna, who can be assigned to the second half of the 12th century AD. He was succeeded by Kshema Singh. A younger son of Karna namely Rahapa began to rule at Susoda as a vassal of the the main branch called Rajakula or Rawal. His successors are known to be Sisodias.
During 1303, Ala-ud- din suddenly attacked Chhitor and the then ruler Ratan Singh of the main branch treacherously escaped along with his family from the fort and later surrendered him self to Ala-ud- din, leaving behind lakshaman Singh & his eight sons ( who had come to help him) to their fate. In this perilous state of the rajpoots, the nobles dethroned Ratna Singh & proclaimed lakshman Singh as their King. Lakshman Singh & his seven Sons fought bravely defending the fort and later on died.
His only one Son Ajay Singh made to escape secretly by the war council. To safe guard against the extinction of the dynasty. Hence forth they were called Sisodia Gehlots, who ruled Mewar. Sangram Singh alias Singha and his grand son Pratap Singh belonged to this branch of the royal family.
The celebrated Padmini episode is believed to have occurred during the 1303 during siege of Chittor by Ala-ud- din. But many historians reject its veracity, because Amir Khusro does not refer to it through & later other writers do recognize this fact.

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