Maharana Pratap was a man of strong Rajput character; he was far more brave and chivalrous than any of his siblings. He was known for his kind-heartedness and just decision making and won him hearts of even his enemies. Maharana Pratap was the only ruler of India that did not give in to the Mughal invasion and for the same reason; he is credited as the most celebrated ruler of the country to this day.
Battle of Haldighati
During the famous battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap's own brother, Shakti Singh, helped him in escaping the battlefield. The heroic Battle of Haldighati was fought in June 1576 saw 22,000 Rajput warriors fighting against more than two lakh Mughal soldiers led by Raja Man Singh and Asaf Khan. It is believed that this battle between Maharana Pratap and Akbar proved to be devastating like the Mahabharata war. However, in this war neither Maharana Pratap was defeated nor Akbar could win. In spite of their strength, the Mughals were not able to imprison Rana who fled through a 40-kilometre long pass. The Mughal continued with their attacks on the Rajput army even after Haldighati war and it weakened Pratap's army. Gradually, Pratap was left with no money to support his army and it was his minister Bhama Shah who came to his rescue and gave all his wealth to Maharana Pratap.
Chetak had blue eyes and that is why Maharana is often referred as 'Rider of the Blue Horse'. Wikimedia Commons
Brave Horse chetak
It was in this battle that his beloved and trusted horse Chetak was wounded in his hind leg. Chetak jumped over the 26 feet long groove. Before breathing his last, Chetak delivered Maharana Pratap to safe ground.
After that, he took refuge in the Aravalli hills and the Bhil tribals of the Aravallis supported Maharana during the time of adversity. While in exile, Maharana Pratap perfected his art of war tactics like guerrilla warfare, harassing the enemy and light horse tactics which eventually helped him win back Mewar. Records also state that during his exile, Maharana Pratap was once at breaking point.
His name goes in the immortal history of heroism and determination.
During his fight against Akbar, Maharana Pratap told his soldiers, "My brave warrior brothers, our Motherland, this holy land of Mewar, are still under the clutches of the Mughals. Today, I take an oath in front of all of you that till Chittor 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-plate, sleep on the floor and stay in a hut. I will also not shave till Chittor is freed. My brave warriors, I am sure that you will support me in every way by sacrificing your mind, body and wealth till this oath is fulfilled."
Take a look at some of the facts that dignify the life of one of the immortal king of India:
The heroic Battle of Haldighati was fought in June 1576 saw 22,000 Rajput warriors fighting against more than two lakh Mughal soldiers led by Raja Man Singh and Asaf Khan. Wikimedia Commons