Haldighati Battle: How Maharana Pratap challenged Akbar!

Last Updated on January 8, 2022 by asoulwindow

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Haldighati Battle of Rajasthan

Haldighati Battle of Rajasthan was fought between brave heart Maharana Pratap and Akbar. Having served as the famous Battle of Haldighati, the historical Haldighati once stood witness to one of the most important wars of India. This fierce battle made Maharana Pratap one of the true heroes of India. Being a Rajput myself, I am proud of his legacy!

I have explained in great detail about what happened in the battle of Haldighati. Here is all you wanted to know about Haldighati Battle.

Let us find out who fought against whom in the Battle of Haldighati what happened in the end?

When was Haldighati battle started?

So, when was the Haldighati Battle fought? Haldighati battle was fought on 18th June 1576 in medieval India.

Between whom was the battle of Haldighati fought?

Between which two rulers was the Haldighati battle fought? The Haldighati battle was fought between Maharana Pratap, the brave Rana of Mewar and Akbar, an Islamic invader.

Where was Haldighati battle fought?

Haldighati battle was fought in Haldighati near Udaipur. Both are located in the North Indian state of Rajasthan.

What is history of Haldighati

History of Haldighati speaks volumes of valor of Rajput warrior Maharana Pratap. Gone through several twists and turns, the rich history of Haldighati still echoes when you visit here.

Even at present, when I visited Haldighati, I could not escape the turbulent history of Haldighati staring at me from all corners. The history of Haldighati involves a fierce standoff between the Mughal invaders and indigenous Rajput and Bhil tribal warriors. This is the most comprehensive guide to Haldighati Battle of Rajasthan.

Great warriors of Mewar

Mewar was famous for producing fearless warriors such as Rana Kumbha, Rana Sangha, Udai Singh II and Maharana Pratap etc. These great sons of Indian soil, time and again resisted foreign Islamic invasions and protected like territory like a lion would.

It was easy for them to cave in to Mughal atrocities like other Rajputs did and live a lavish comfortable life under their patronage. But it was beyond the Veer Rajputs to kowtow to invaders. The word ‘subservient’ was absent from their dictionary! Swaraj (Independence) was their Dharm. And war was their Karm.

When a Rajpoot fights for his home and self-respect, the echoes of his clanging sword stay around for centuries. A true Rajput sacrifices all he has in a mission to save his Dharm!

My Rajput Connection

Since we were not properly educated about Maharana Pratap and his exploits in school, what I know of him is mostly through my Nanaji or maternal Grandfather. I had grown up seeing a huge portrait of Maharana Pratap, a replica of famous Raja Ravi Varma painting, in his living room. That portrait still exists in my mausi’s (maternal aunt) home!

Even today, you will be shocked to see so little taught about him in Indian NCERT textbooks. It’s a shame!  Neither has the ‘Oh So responsible’ Bollywood ever given a thought to make a movie on the life and times of Maharana Pratap. What can be more embarrassing for the big writers, directors and producers of Bollywood? I wanted to find out more about this slice of medieval Indian history, so visited Haldighati battleground with my parents.

“None of his ancestors had bowed down and kissed the ground.”, Abul Fazal, mentioned about the Mewar ruler Udai Singh II.

Also read: Zorawar Singh of Jammu

Among whom the battle of Haldighati was fought?

The Haldighati battle was fought between the courageous Rana of Mewar known as Maharana Pratap and Akbar, the descendent of Mughal invader Babur who looted and plundered across India for several centuries.

Unfortunately, the Mughal army was led by a Hindu called Man Singh I of Amber. It was common in those days for Hindus to serve in Mughal Court for personal benefits and prosperity. But not everyone is made of a weak fabric. Some Hindus stood against the tyranny! Maharana Pratap was the most famous one of them.

It can be said that the battle of Haldighati was fought between outsiders and indigenous people of India. The fearless Maharana Pratap stood his ground against the political heavy weight Akbar, who gained his fortune by plundering India.

Personality of Maharana Pratap

His chest armour alone weighed 72 kilograms. It was a child’s play for him to carry heavy spears weighing 81 kgs. The combined weight of his 2 swords, shield, armour and spears was a whooping 208 kgs. Don’t believe me? Visit the museum in City Palace, Udaipur and see for yourself! His sword, armour, shield etc is well preserved and displayed publicly.

What was the height and weight of Maharana Pratap?

The Mewar King Maharana Pratap – the great was known for his impressive personality. He was well built and one of India’s strongest warriors. He was 7 feet, 5 inches tall. His weight was 110 kgs.

Army Size of Mewar and Mughals

The army of Maharana Pratap was built with local talent rather than trained professionals. The valorous Rajput Pratap was backed by 3,000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers who are the fierce tribal men still living in Indian states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Now let us juxtapose this with the Mughal army! Led by Raja Man Singh from Amber, their imperial army comprised of 10,000 men with sophisticated weapons. Despite the unfair ratio, Maharana Pratap didn’t chicken away and rather fought a battle which has been immortalized in the annals of Indian history for Independence! Story of Haldighati war is like no other!

The above numbers are from the Persian source. As per the Mewari accounts the Haldighati battle was fought between 20,000 strong Mewari army versus 80,000 Mughal men. It doesn’t matter which numbers are accurate. What everyone agrees to is the fact that the Mughals Army was four times stronger in numbers than the Rajput army.

The Haldighati battle, by all means, was definitely an unfair war in which Mughals were numerically overwhelming. As per the claims of Abul Fazl in Akbarnama, around 150 Mughals were killed and 500 soldiers from Mewar army were martyred in the battle of Haldighati.

In the initial stages of the Battle of Haldighati, the Rajputs were playing well, overpowering the stringer Mughal Army. Eventually, it all boiled down to numbers. The Mughal army, who had an unfair advantage of more men fighting for them, started taking control of the war.

Maharana Pratap, the beloved warrior of Mewar, was soon injured. Through a tactical retreat, managed by Jhala Man Singh, he escaped unscathed from the battle ground of Haldighati, still high in spirits and audacity.

Who won Haldighati war?

Even though the Mughals won, it was a lost battle which didn’t lead to any benefit. With all their military muscle and political might, they still failed to capture the brave heart Maharana Pratap. Knowing fully well that the Mughal Army is stronger, the lionhearted Rajput warrior still went ahead in the war and this is why he has a demi God status in not only Rajasthan but all of India. People almost worship him even after so many years of his existence.

The official battle of Haldighati winner might have well been an outsider, but in people’s heart it was the daredevil Maharana Pratap who fought and won the Haldighati war! Centuries down the line Maharana is still winning hearts of crores of people! We can conclude that neither Mughals won nor Mewar was defeated!

History of Haldighati war

By the year 1568 C.E., all the monarchs of Rajasthan had caved in to the tyranny of Mughal invader Akbar. Thanks to his strategic guile, Akbar’s ruled area included what is now known as Pakistan and Punjab in North West, much of central India and West Bengal in the East. The Mughals either ruled on these lands directly or turned the Monarchs into mere vassals or subordinates. These so-called Hindu Rajpoot kings and chieftains accepted becoming mere puppets of Mughals.

Rebel of Udai Singh II

One man refused! Udai Singh II from Mewar was the only king who refused to succumb to the diplomatic handouts of so-called Mughal emperor Akbar. While the other Hindu Kings prospered under the Mughal patronage, only Udai Singh II and Maharana Pratap had the courage to stand up to him. Udai Singh II, who was the father of Maharana Pratap, was also the founder of one of my favorite city Udaipur.

The kingdom of Mewar was a dot in the captured areas of Mughal Map of 16th century. However, winning over Udaipur was still important to Akbar. A military giant, Akbar was perturbed about a little Kingdom, refusing to pander to his ego! He was desperate to crush this resistance movement.

Interesting facts

Did you know that Nepal has a connection with Chittor? As Muslim forces brutally invaded Chittor for many years, many Rajputs migrated to Himalayan regions, including Nepal. The Hindu Rajpoots mixed with the Khas community of Nepal under the patronage of Khas Malla rulers. The Nepali Rajputs are called as Khas Rajputs.

Siege of Chittorgarh

Fed up of the failures of his army, Akbar had decided to personally lead the wars and conquer his adversaries.

Thus, under the reign of Udai Singh II, Chitrakuta Durga or Chittorgarh, still the largest fort of India, was sieged beginning 20th October, 1567 C.E. by the invasive Mughal forces.

It was not until 22nd February, 1568, however, that Mughals succeeded and mercilessly stormed inside the massive fort of Chittorgarh. It is commendable that Chittorgarh stood up to Mughals, who were more powerful and gave a tough fight for 4 months.

All those who call Akbar as great need to explain the ruthless massacre of thousands of artisans and peasants who lived peacefully inside the safe walled fort of Chittorgarh. The bloodshed deserves no justification. It was only right for Maharana Pratap to fight for his Kingdome and Swaraj (Freedom)!

Not satisfied with the destruction, the Mughals also killed almost 25,000 more people who once lived peacefully in the fort premises. Maharaja Udai Singh II had luckily retreated to nearby Gogunda before the siege of Chittorgarh happened. He lived rest of his life in Gogunda.

Did you know?

The Chittorgarh fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was formerly known as Chitrakut. The fort is home to many palatial buildings, huge water tanks, still practicing Hindu temples, Jain temples and commemorative towers. I was amazed at the grandeur during my visit to Chittorgarh.

Devastating Jauhar of Chittorgarh

After the ruthless Mughals, led by Akbar personally, entered the imposing Chittorgarh Fort and killed Jaimal, the Hindu Rajput commander, the women residing in the fort committed Jauhar or mass suicide to save themselves from the torture and the loss of honor.

It was the supreme sacrifice which only the people from Mewar had the courage to do.

I have visited Chittorgarh Fort and was crestfallen seeing the Jauhar grounds or mass funeral pyres. The parallels can be seen in wars of gallic tribes with Caesar. During the Cimbrian wars in Roman era, the women preferred to kill themselves and their children to avoid sexual exploitation and slavery.

The women would first kill the approaching soldiers and then kill themselves off. Same happened with Teutons.

The Jauhar was performed by women during the first two sieges as well, viz, Alauddin Khilzi led siege of 1303 (Led by Queen Padmavati) and the siege of 1535 led by another Mughal Bahadur Shah.

Also read: Bhavya Deepotsav at Ayodhya on Diwali’s eve.

Resistance of Mewar

Due to the immense military and monetary power acquired by plundering India, Mughals exercised an easy control over most Kings and chieftains who either accepted being subordinate to the, or simply fled the battlefield.

They hardly faced resistance, whether it was Bengal or Punjab or current Pakistan. The Sisodias of Mewar, however, gave them a tough fight. They were the only ones who dared to resist and this annoyed Akbar.

Dealing with Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap turned out to be even more courageous and self-respecting than his predecessor. While Akbar was setting into comfortable complacency, thinking he had conquered the territories, Maharana Pratap was rising and took charge of things.

Who betrayed Maharana Pratap?

Maharana Pratap was the eldest son of Jaiwanta Bai and Maharaja Udai Singh II of the erstwhile Mewar state.  After, Udai Singh II passed away in 1572, his step mother Rani Dheer Bai aspired to see her son Jagmal Singh next on the throne. He was promised the throne of Mewar by the Mughals. However, he was ceased from access to the throne after a political coup led by advisers and senior courtiers of Udai Singh II.

Maharana Pratap, thus became the 54th ruler of Mewar. Jagmal Singh, theelder half-brother of Maharana Pratap succumbed to Mughals and betrayed the latter.

Though Jagmal Singh fled the scene with his army but predictably was rewarded with title and Jahazpur town- land known as Jagir. While Maharana Pratap ascended the throne, Jagmal Singh vowed to take revenge on his own brother.

Also read: Mysteries of Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram revealed.

Peace Offers and dole outs by Akbar

Now that Maharana Pratap took over the reins of Mewar, cunning Akbar tried all tricks in the trade to subjugate him by reducing him to a mere vassal- a subordinate like other Rajpoot Kings. This was his non-negotiable approach with all territories he conquered by force. However, all the deceitful moves of Akbar were falling flat in front of Pratap.

Akbar is known for marrying Rajput women with him or with his family members, which is shown in sub-standard Bollywood films as his true love. It was actually his political acumen to marry into powerful Rajput royals to ensure expansion of his kingdom without investing in a war.

He tried this shrewd tactic with Maharana Pratap as well, offering him to marry into Rajputs of Mewar and become relatives. Pratap, the wise ruler that he was predictably refused the offer. He was made up of sterner stuff.

Maharana Pratap also chided the Kings of Bundi, Bikaner and Jaipur, for trading their sisters and daughters by marrying them with Mughals for political gains and material prosperity.

This alienated him with other powerful Kings of Rajasthan, who sided with Mughals. This left Maharana alone in the Haldighati battle. But he was still committed to freedom!

As a final offer to control Maharana Pratap, Akbar, sent Raja Man Singh, as his diplomat or emissary. He was a Rajput who served in his court.

As per some claims, Maharana Pratap took offense, saw this as an insult and refused to appear in the court of Akbar. He also did not meet Raja Man Singh. As per the Mughal records though, they did meet cordially.

Interesting facts: Maharana Pratap was born as Pratap Singh I. His nickname in childhood was Kika.  

The march of Haldighati Battle

Even as Man Singh arrived in Haldighati in preparation of the war, the sophisticated army of Akbar approached Haldighati from Delhi. They had thought that Maharana Pratap would chicken out and surrender. However, little idea did they have that the brave Rajpoot emperor was still holding on to his guns, quite literally. After all, it is only Maharana Pratap we still fondly remember the most from the history of Rajasthan!

War of Haldighati knocks on door

Haldighati war date: 18th June 1676 C.E.

When all tricks to tame him failed, Akbar decided to wage a war against Maharana Pratap. Exercising his monetary muscle, gained after years of looting India, Akbar, bought out some of the leading allies of Mewar. Akbar bribed them and diplomatically made Maharana Pratap their enemies. And thus began the march towards Mewar and Chittorgarh.

To this Maharana Pratap reacted with tact. He offered help to the Kings of what is now Pakistan and Gujarat. He offered the refuge to the rulers who were deprived of their owned lands. In this way he balanced the loss of some former allies with new ones.

Maharana instead fearlessly approached Raja Man Singh and his army, with a strategy to attack the weaker army first before locking horns with the mighty Mughal army, which had more men and weapons. The idea was to wage a war with Mughals in a region which is geographically disadvantageous to them.

Also read: Mahaprasadam of Puri Jagannath Temple

The battle of Haldighati begins

As soon as Raja Man Singh got the news that the army of Maharana was approaching, he ordered his army to take positions. The Mughals has camped on a plain ground known now as Badshah Bagh (Garden of King).

With Rai Lonkarn and Ghazi Khan on his left and Barha Saiyids, a Mughal vassal team on his right, Raja Man Singh took the center position. His army was further buttressed with Ucqi, the cavalry archers and generals on Altamash.

Akbar war with Maharana Pratap

Juxtapose this with army of Maharana Pratap, which was less in numbers but super high in spirits and valor. Maharana was flanked by indigenous tribal people, the gallant Bhil archers and Raja of Gwalior on either side. As a part of Raja Man Singh’s army started approaching the hilly battlefield from their campsite on a plain, the army of Maharana navigated the treacherous valley. The Mewar army thundered down on the Mughals and knocked them down with ease.

Hence army led by Maharana Pratap, the powerful force that he was, was clearly winning in the initial part of battle of Haldighati. The Mewar army inflicted heavy casualty on the army of Mughals.

The deep ravine echoed with, “Bajrang Bali Ki Jai” in praise of Hindu God Hanuman ji. That is the war cry still used by Indian Rajput regiment. The Rajputs continued to teach lessons to Mughals by defeating them. The Mughals were highly demoralized.

Chetak: The Wonder Horse of Maharana Pratap

What followed was a blood curdling war which involved fights with men sitting on elephants and more bloodshed.

It is a known legend that Maharana Pratap had covered the face of his horse Chetak with an elephant mask to confuse the elephants of the opponent team of Raja Maan Singh. The mask even had fake elephant teeth and trunk.

This clever ploy aided Maharana in coming in close proximity of Maan Singh. Unfortunately, the famous Chetak horse could not survive the war and succumbed to his wounds. The faithful Chetak jumped on 3 legs on a wide river and survived only till he made sure his master was in safe land.

Even a fierce warrior like Maharana Pratap was reduced to tears at the loss of his beloved horse. It is said that skies cried with Maharana as rains, which formed the Rakt Talai or pool of blood. Needless to say, the loyal steed Chetak is the most famous horse of India and world. Read for more Battle of Haldighati facts.

The Escape of Maharana Pratap

On spotting Man Singh, Maharana approached him fiercely and until now it looked like he and Mewar was winning. But Raja Man Singh had what Maharana Pratap lacked. A life-saving reserve of more men and weapons! Just as he was losing the battle, Man Singh introduced more of his surplus men into the Haldighati battle.

By this time, the news spread that Akbar himself led the reserves. This boosted the morale of the Mughal army of Man Singh and gave them unfair advantage over the more talented and braver Rajputs. Sensing that it is a lost and unfair battle, Maharana took the sensible decision of retreating.

The Haldighati war aka Haldighati ka Yudhh also turned out to be a lost and failed battle for Akbar as Maharana Pratap and his core team members escaped without any major harm. The cunning Mughals were never able to enslave or kill the lionhearted Maharana.

How long did Haldighati battle last?

By some accounts the Haldighati battlelasted just between 4-6 hours only. It was a short war, with long lasting impact in the history of both Mewar and Mughals.

Also read: Mysteries of Rath Yatra in Puri

What happened after Haldighati battle?

Ever since childhood, growing up in a proud Rajpoot family, I have heard tales of the vows of post Haldighati war penury and penance of Maharana Pratap. He had now changed his strategy of open warfare into a guerilla style war and let a simple life.

He retreated deep into Aravali Hills and announced that he would follow strict austere lifestyle till he got back full control of his beloved Mewar. The vows of Maharana Pratap included below:

Eat simple food

Live off the land

Not shave

Stay celibate

To eat from the floor

To sleep on the floor

The tales of survival of Maharana in the wild are legendary. He would struggle for basic survival for years. He and his family were forced to depend on wild berries and below basic food. I remember my elders telling me that Maharana Pratap used to eat Rotis/Chapattis made from grass seeds.

Till he breathed his last in the year 1597 C.E., he never slept on a proper bed. Pratap, even on his death bed asked his son to never crumble under the pressure from Mughals and win Chittorgarh back.

Even though Maharana Pratap and his family were starving, he refused to bow under the pressure of Mughals. Salute to such spirit and sacrifice!

Even as Maharana battled a guerilla warfare with the Mughals, he continued to re build Haldighati, reformed alliances which he had lost, re organized his army who had suffered major blows at the Siege of Chittorgarh and Haldighati Battle. Maharana continued fighting for fraternity and equality all his life.

Pratap, after all was preceded by another valiant Rajpoot warrior Sanga Singh ji who had locked horns with Babur, the first Mughal invader.

Debunking myths on Maharana Pratap

However, I saw a video by famous historian Shri Omendra Ratnu ji in which he claims that Maharana Pratap ji never lived in penury. The stories of ghas ki rotis could have been mere folklores. According to him, Maharana Pratap and his team were not some oppressed and downtrodden people as they are often presented in popular culture.

In reality, Maharana Pratap was a fierce warrior who valiantly fought for his women, his independence, his Gods and his dharma. Not for a single day, did he bow down to the timid Mughals.

Shri Omendra Ratnu ji has written a book on battle of Dewair! He dismisses such stories as mere ‘civilisational lies’ which are doing major damage by shaping our thoughts in an untrue manner.

Battle of Dewair

On the auspicious occasion of Hindu festival Dashehra, on 16th September, 1582, Maharana motivated his army men to gain back control of their land and bring independence to their beloved Mewar. Maharana was successful in chasing away the Mughals from much of Mewar except Chittorgarh, Mandalgarh and Ajmer which remained under Mughal control.

The decisive victory at the battle of Dewair was historical. It resulted in the social and cultural progress. Chawand became his new capital in the year 1585. Maharana Pratap was born on 9th May, 1540 C.E. at Kumbhalgarh.

What is the significance of the battle of Haldighati

Haldighati war was the first battle for freedom which Maharana Pratap fought for. Having won over as many as 36 check posts of Mughals such as Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur etc, Maharana Pratap continued to resist against the Mughal advances. This is how the veer Maharana Pratap reclaimed much of his precious homeland, Mewar, from the Mughal invaders. The battle of Haldighati thus proved to be very significant and a game changer.

Did Akbar defeat Maharana Pratap?

Despite many repeated attempts by Akbar to attack and kill Maharana Pratap, he was never successful in capturing the great Rajput warrior. Over a period of 20 years, all the sinister plans of Akbar fell flat. I am proud to be born in his clan!

Despite all his desperation to tame the ‘unruly King’, Akbar never could defeat Maharana Pratap wholly. The history textbooks label Akbar as great, when in fact it the Rajpoot warrior who was great! The insurmountable spirit of liberty drove Maharana.

Soul Window fact: What did Akbar look like?

The physical appearance of Akbar was unremarkable. Akbar was just 5 feet and 6 inches tall, has a massa (mole) on the face, had a stocky body and dark skin. The pictures of Akbar which you see today is a far cry from the reality.

Also read: Unsolved Mysteries of Sri Jagannath Puri

Gogunda: The formidable stronghold

I was impressed to see the location of the massive Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan.

“How can someone invade this imposing fort?” I asked myself.

But Akbar’s army was bigger than my thoughts. There is no dispute that Man Singh had more people in his army than Maharana Pratap. Maharana, thus seeing the futility of a field war and another siege, made the impregnable Gogunda his refuge, much like his father Udai Singh II.

The strategic location of Gogunda, which was enveloped by dense jungles on one side and hills on other sides was not easy to gain control of. Gogunda was thus the place from where Maharana Pratap continued to rule on Mewar, even as the war hungry feet approached.

Also read:  Who destroyed Martand Temple in Kashmir

Guerilla war techniques

The guerilla warriors of Mewar in Rajasthan while resisting invasion, employed the sophisticated technique of Guerilla wars wherein they would retreat to the hills and emerge stronger after preparing themselves for the worse. Pratap would use debilitating Guerilla war techniques to weaken the Mughal outposts by hitting the Mughal supply columns. Before, the reinforcement could confront him, he would disappear. This worked in his favor on many occasions.

Operating from his hide outs in the majestic Aravallis, the invincible Maharana Pratap caused massive damage to Mughals. Other famous people who adopted Guerilla war techniques are Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj of Maharashtra in West India, Fidel Castro and Che Guevera, Bruce and William Wallace from Scotland in Europe.

Zorawar Singh ji of Jammu who fought the battle of Taklakot in Tibet, though not a Guerilla warrior was another great Hindu son of Indian soil.

Soul Window Thoughts

I have trekked in Maharashtra several times. It is heartening to see that even young Marathi people take the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with great pride. Many times, my co trekkers would stop midway on one of the hill forts of Shiva ji during trek and loudly chant slogans in his glory. The verdant valley of Sahyadris echo with the chants.

Such pride, I have observed, is absent in the youth of North India! We must cultivate the appreciation of our past in the youth!

Role of Bhil Adivasis in Haldighati Battle

The indigenous people of Rajasthan, the Bhil Adivasis od Aravallis are fierce tribal people. Maharana Pratap included them in his army due to their talent, courage and great knowledge of the terrain. Bhils are great at arrow shooting and not easy to wage a war with.

Their participation made sure Maharana had a dependable army. And if the numbers were not skewed, team Maharana might have even managed to emerge victorious from battle of Haldighati.

The word Bhil is the modern version of billu or billa which stands for bow in Dravidian language. This confirms why they are excellent with bow and arrow. The Bhils were unfortunately labelled criminals by the British during Raj. This was a result of their participation during Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Bhils also live in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh and Tripura in North East India etc.

Jhala Sardar: The Unsung Hero!

Not many know about the supreme sacrifice of Jhala Sardar or Jhala Man Singh! When he noticed that Maharana Pratap was injured, he helped him escape, dressed up as the latter, complete with his crown and royal emblem and was successful in fooling the Mughal army into believing it’s Maharana they are battling with. The sad part was that, he had to suffer the attack by Mughals which he could not survive. He was also known as Manna ji.

Such stories of sacrifice and valor can only come from Mewar! Unfortunately, he didn’t survive but his sacrifice resulted in saving the life of his King, Maharana, who eventually brought freedom to Mewar again! The unconditional loyalty of Jhala Man Singh shall always be remembered. The man who wore the costumes of the King not for ruling but for protecting his King!

What was the importance of Battle of Haldighati

The Mughals had been harassing the Monarchs of (now) Pakistan, West Bengal, Central India and Rajasthan. The battle of Haldighati, though inconclusive, turned out to be a major milestone in the battle against the bullying Mughals by the Rajpoot brave hearts. It was the biggest breakthrough in as many as 50 years!

Do you know about the rich history of Shivaji Maharaj from Maharashtra? Here is an interesting Guerilla warfare you would love to read. It would not be an overstatement to call Chhatrapati Shivaji and Maharana Pratap as warrior brothers as they have a common blood history and battles with Mughals. Maharana Pratap preceded Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

During my 7 years in Maharashtra, I used to admire how the locals revere him, and break into a ‘Jai Shivaji’ at the drop of a hat. He is a part of everyday life of a true Maratha. That pride is unfortunately lacking in North India. Neither are the historical monuments associated with Maharana Pratap preserved well. How many people know about Gogunda, for example?

Also read- Battle of Pavan Khind by Shivaji Maharaj

Where is Haldighati India

Haldighati is a narrow 1-kilometer-long mountain pass, located between Bagicha village and Khamnore village near Gogunda in Rajasthan. I visited Haldighati on a private car from Udaipur which is just 40 kilometers away from Haldighati. Haldighati is located in West India. Located within the majestic Aravalli Mountain range, the narrow gorge is often also called as the neck of Haldighati. It was the only way Mughals could have accessed the region of Mewar. It is situated in Rajsamand district.

Why is Haldighati soil yellow

The deep yellow or reddish yellow color of the Haldighati Rajasthan might be due to some natural phenomenon. However, the locals believe that the unusual color is a result of Battle of Haldighati. As per them, the color of soil became so after the bloodshed from the Haldighati war.

No wonder Haldighati is also known as Rakht Talai, which means a lake of blood. This is why Haldighati is called Haldighati.

Did Akbar cry when Maharana Pratap died

Many sources confirm that when Maharana Pratap passed away, Akbar did shed a few tears. I noticed it was also mentioned on the plaque in the Badshah Bagh in Haldighati.

Second battle of Haldighati

People often ask who won the second battle of Haldighati? Well, there was no second battle of Haldighati. There was only one Halighati war which has been explained in detail above. Just tell them this next time someone asks you how many battles were fought in Haldighati?

Do you know about the courage of another hero Lachit Barphukan from North East Indian state Assam? His life is celebrated across Assam and beyond for the tough fight he gave to Mughals.

Also Read- Lachit Barphukan: The Ahom Adversary of Mughals

Soul Window Tip: It is possible to see all the main places to visit in Haldighati in a span of just 1-2 hours. They are located next to each other.

Who are the descendants of Maharana Pratap?

Mr. Arvind Singh and his son Prince Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar are the present descendants of the gallant Maharana Pratap. While many of the palaces owned by the family have been turned into luxury hotels or museums, some have been used as a residential building. Mr. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar also serves as the HRH group of hotels’ executive director.

The hotel chain runs super luxurious Jagmandir Island Palace in Udaipur. It is one of the most expensive hotels of India. Other luxury properties run by the Royal Family of Udaipur are Shiv Niwas Palace, Garden Hotel and Shikarbadi Hotel, all of which are in the historic city of Udaipur.

Other properties are The Aodhi in Kumbhalgarh, Karni Bhawan Palace in Bikaner, Fateh Bagh in Ranakpur and Gorbandh Palace in Jaisalmer. These are also some of the best places to visit in Rajasthan.

You can read about the above-mentioned places in my blog A Soul Window which is the most popular travel blog from India. A Soul Window has also been awarded as the No.1 travel blog of India by many well-known travel websites.

Son of Mr. Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur and Mrs. Vijayraj Kumari Mewar, Mr. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar is a direct descendent of great Indian warriors such as Maharana Pratap and Maharana Sanga. He runs successful heritage hotels in Udaipur.

The descendants of Maharana Pratap still live in a portion of the grand City Palace in Udaipur.

Places associated with Battle of Haldighati

During my visit to Haldighati near Udaipur in Rajasthan, I visited several places which are associated with the Haldighati Battle. Some of the best places to see to understand the valor of Maharana Pratap are listed as below:

  • Haldighati pass
  • Haldighati Museum
  • Chetak memorial
  • City Palace of Udaipur
  • Badshahi Bagh, Khamnor
  • Maharana Pratap Museum, Haldighati

Do read my detailed travel blog on above mentioned places in and around Haldighati and Udaipur, the home of Maharana Pratap.

Books on life of Maharana Pratap

For further reading, please check out these books on the life and times of Maharana Pratap

  • Maharana Pratap by Dr. Bhawan Singh Rana
  • Maharana Pratap – The Invincible Warrior by Dr. Rima Hooja
  • Jhala Maan (Book on Jhala Man Singh) by Nathu Singh Mahiyariya
  • Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan by James Tod chronicles the battle of Haldighati well.

UPSC exam

Some of the commonly asked question in the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam for for IAS, IFS, PCS are about Battle of Haldighati. This exhaustive blog answers all the Frequently asked questions on Haldighati battle in great detail.


It is no wonder that Maharana Pratap is often compared with the Spartans who waged a battle against the Persian empire. It is rare to find someone else as brave as Maharana Pratap in the world history.

Whether it is the Badshahi Bagh, Haldighati pass, Chetak Smarak or Maharana Pratap Museum, the place will energise your grey cells and will make you curious to know more about Great Hindu Heroes who are not Gandhi! Hope you enjoyed reading the Haldighati war details.

Do share this information packed exhaustive article on battle of Haldighati with your friends and family.

Author’s Note: I had constant goosebumps while writing this piece on Maharana Pratap

The view from my Soul Window is admirable!

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