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Statue of Maharana Pratap, Wikimedia

New Delhi, May 7, 2017: Maharana Pratap (1568-1597 C.E.) was a Hindu Rajput King of Mewar in Rajasthan, India. Maharana Pratap belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs to Maharani Jaiwanta Bai and Udai Singh II in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. Many royal families in Rajasthan regard and worship him for his valour and courage. He sacrificed his life to recapture Chittor from the Mughals. He was an extraordinary strategist and a fearless warrior.

As per historical records, Maharana Pratap was born on May 9th, 1540 according to Julian calendar. Julian calendar is redundant and it has been superseded by the Gregorian calendar. According to Proleptic Gregorian calendar, Maharana Pratap was born on May 19th, 1540.

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However, the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap is celebrated as per Hindu calendar. Either one follows Julian calendar or Gregorian calendar, the Hindu date of the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap falls on the same day. According to Hindu calendar, it was Tritiya, Jyeshtha, Shukla Paksha, 1597 Vikram Samvat when Maharana Pratap was born. In 2017, the 477th year of the birth anniversary will be marked. Maharana Pratap Jayanti will be observed on May 28.

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Maharana Pratap is well-known for the famous battle of Haldighati against Mughal Emperor Akbar. The battle, which was fought on June 18, 1576, is still commemorated by the people of Mewar. Maharana Pratap’s army was highly outnumbered but the warrior fought with bravery and by the end, he made an escape with his horse, Chetak. He successfully fought the Mughals to protect his people. Even when almost all of his fellow Rajput chiefs embarked on serving the Mughal Emperor Akbar, he refused to enter into the Mughal vassalage. He is hailed as an epitome of heroism, the spirit of freedom, pride and valour. Although he was unable to redeem Chittor from the clutches of Mughals, he fought the Mughals until his demise. Maharana Pratap died of injuries sustained during a hunting event on January 29, 1597, at the age of 57.

Last year, to commemorate the 476th birth anniversary of one the greatest warriors of Indian history Maharana Pratap, the Union Government released a Maharana Pratap commemorative and circulation coin of Rs 100 and Rs 10 respectively.

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On Maharana Pratap Jayanti, special processions and pujas are held. Several cultural events are also organised all over the country. Havan-Poojan is initiated at Maharana Pratap memorial located atop Moti Magri or Pearl Hill in Udaipur. A grand colourful procession is also organised with bedecked horses and Maharana’s portraits. People from all castes and creeds take part in this procession to showcase their reverence and love for the great king. Last year, Telangana’s Veer Kshatriya Rajput Samiti (VKRS) organised a procession on June 7, to celebrate the 476th Jayanti of Maharana Pratap. It began from Aghapura and go up to Begium Bazar in Hyderabad.

– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse


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