Haldighati War: The Mughals Empire was one of the fastest and strongest in India’s history. Their dominance in the 16th and 17th centuries changed the entire subcontinent’s course of history. Their conquest wasn’t, however, unchallenged and met with resistance in almost every region. During the 16th century, a loose Rajput princedom alliance stood in the way of the Mughal’s. This led to the battle of Haldighati.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought between the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s armies, whose forces were led by Man Singh I of Amber and Rana of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. The Haldighati story has been told and sung for centuries. It is a story of sacrifice and great courage. It was a clash between the indomitable wills of the Rajput’s pride and honour and the Mughal’s ambition and expansion.
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The Haldighati battle was a four-hour-long battle between the ruler of Mewar, Maharana Pratap and the Mughal Emperor ruled Akbar. The battle took place in Haldighati, in Rajasthan, in the year 1576. The Mughal army was led by Man Singh I, who sought to curb the final resistance to Mughal ambitions in the Rajputana region.
When Was The Battle Of Haldighati Fought?
The battle of Haldighati was fought on the 18th of June 1576 between the cavalry and archers who supported Maharana Pratap, the Rana of Mewar and the Mughal Emperor Akbar, whose force was led by Man Singh I of Amber.
Who Won The Haldighati War of 1576?
The Mughals had defeated the Rajput and inflicted several casualties in the Mewaris. However, they failed to capture Rana Pratap who had escaped.
Where Did The Battle Of Haldighati Take Place?
The battle of Haldighati took place at a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati situated near Gogunda in Rajasthan.
What Was The Army Strength On Both Sides During The Haldighati Battle?
Mewari tradition states that Maharana Pratap’s forces numbered 20,000, which were blemished against the Mughals’ powerful army consisting of 80,000 men. While JadunathSarkar – a prominent Indian historian – agrees with the numbers’ ratio, he also believes them to be exaggerated as the well-known story of RanaPratap’s horse Chetak jumping on the war elephant of Man Singh.
Jadunath gives the Mughal army as 10,000 strong. Satish Chandra – Indian National Congress leader – estimated that Man Singh’s army has 5,000 to 10,000 men, a figure that included both the Rajput and Mughals.
Al Badayuni – a translator and historian, living in the Mughal Empire – had witnessed the battle and stated that Rana’s army consisted amongst its rank 3000 horseback riders and 400 Bhil arches led by Puja – chieftain of Mirpur. There was no mention of any infantry.
The estimated forces of man Singh numbered around 10,000 men. Out of these 4,000 men were a part of his clan, the Kachhwas – a Rajput clan – of Jaipur, 1,000 other Hindu reserves and 5,000 were Muslims of the Mughal army.
Both sides had elephants; however, Rajputs did not bear any firearms. The Mughals employed a number of muskets but fielded no wheeled heavy ordnance or artillery.
Where is Haldighati Located?
Haldighati is a mountain pass situated between Khamnore and Bagicha village situated at the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan in western India connecting Pali and Rajsamand districts. GoThe pass is situated at a distance of 40 kilometres (24 miles) from Udaipur.
Describe The Preliminary Events Of The Battle Of Haldighati?
On the ascension of the Mughal throne, Akbar had laid down a conquest policy of the entire Rajputana region. Many kingdoms of Rajputana had submitted to the Mughal supremacy due to the use of brute forces and diplomacy, except for Mewar.
The king of Mewar, Rana Pratap, well-known as one of the Rajput state’s strongest kings, fought a war against the Mughals with climaxed into the Siege of Chittorgarh in the year 1568.
When Maharana Pratap took over the throne of Mewar after his father, Mughal emperor Akbar had sent many diplomatic missions for convincing Pratap to become a liegeman of the Mughal dynasty. The sole purpose behind these diplomatic missions was to conclude the ongoing wars between Mughal and Rajput and gain access over the rest of Mewar, which would secure the supply lines and communication to Gujarat, which was then a vigorous economic powerhouse of the Mughal Empire.
Four delegates were sent to Maharana Pratap, out of which only Raja Bhagwant Das came close to succeeding in his mission of swaying Maharana Pratap. Initially, Maharana Pratap to Emperor Akbar’s proposals and had decided to send Amar Singh, his younger son to the Mughal court.
This was considered unacceptable by Akbar as he wanted Maharana Pratap to submit in person. However, Maharana Pratap had refused to do, and another additional diplomatic mission under Raja Todar Mal failed at getting any results. Hence with the fail of diplomacy, the war became inevitable.
How Many Casualties Were There In The Battle of Haldighati?
There are different accounts of casualties that took place in the battle.
- JadunathSarkar stated the contemporary Mewari sources had counted roughly 1,600 men, 46% of its total strength, among the casualties.
- In accordance with Nizamuddin Ahmed and AbulFazl, 150 men who were a part of the Mughal army met the end, with another 350 being wounded while the Mewar army had lost 500 men.
- Badayuni stated that 500 men were lost during the course of the battle, out of which 120 men were Muslims.
- Later on, Rajasthani chronicles raised the casualties to 20,000 for emphasizing on the scale of the battle. Rajput soldiers were a part of both sides.
Describe The Army Formation On Both Sides During The Haldighati War?
The Mughal army had placed a contingent of 85 skirmishers on the front of the line, which was led by SayyidHashim of Barha. They were followed by the vanguard, which consisted of a complement of the KachhwaRajputs led by Jagannath, along with Central Asian Mughals led by Bakhshi Ali Asaf Khan.
Next came a sizeable advance reserve which was led by Madhe Singh Kachhwa followed by Man Singh in the centre. MullaQazi Khan commanded the Mughal left-wing of Badakhshan along with RaoLonkarn of Sambhar also included the Shaikhzadas of Fatehpur Sikri – the kinsmen of Salim Chisti.
Stationed by the pivotal right wing were the strongest components of the imperial forces that comprised the Sayyids of Barha. The rear guard stood well behind the main army under Mihtar Khan.
The estimated 800 powerful vans of Rana Pratap were commanded by Bhim Singh of Dodia, Hakim Khan Sur with his Afghans and RamdasRathor (Jamal’s son defended Chittor). The erstwhile king of Gwalior RamshahTanwar and his three sons along with minister Bhama Shah and his brother Tarachand led the right-wing of Pratap with was approximately 500 strong.
RanaPratap’s left-wing is estimated to have 400 warriors including BidaHala, along with his clansman of Jhala. Astride with this horse, Pratap led 1300 soldiers in the centre. Priests, Bards and other civilians were also a part of this formation taking part in the fighting. The rear was brought up by the Bhil bowmen.
What Was The Aftermath Of The Battle Of Haldighati?
The battle failed at breaking the deadlock between the two powers with the escape of Maharana Pratap. Subsequently, Emperor Akbar led a sustained campaign against the Maharana and soon enough Udaipur, Goganda and Kumbhalgarh were all under the control of the Mughal dynasty.
The Mughals were exerting pressure on the allies of Rana and the other Rajput chiefs, and he was slowly but definitely isolated both politically and geographically. After 1579, the Mughal’s focus shifted towards other parts of the empire, which gave Rana Pratap the opportunity to recover most of his lost territory in the western parts of his kingdom. Chittor, as well as other parts of the eastern Mewar, continued to be under the control of the Mughals.
Describe the Preparations That Were Being Taken On Both Sides Before The Commencement Of The Haldighati Battle?
Maharana Pratap set up his base in the town of Gogunda, which is situated near Udaipur. He had been secure in the rock fortress of Kumbhalgarh. Emperor Akbar had deputed Man Singh – the Kachhwa – to fight with his clan’s hereditary adversaries – the Sisodias of Mewar. Man Singh had set up his base in Mandalgarh. Here he mobilized his army and then set out for Gogunda.
Nearly 23 kilometres north of Gogunda laid the village of Khamnor, separated from Gogunda by a spur of the Aravalli Range, which was known as Haldighati of its rocks which when crushed gave bright yellow sand that resembled turmeric powder (Haldi).
Rana was positioned at the entrance of the Haldighati pass. He was apprised by Man Singh’s movement who awaited with his forces. The battle started three hours after the sunrise on the 18th of June 1576.
Discuss About The Memorial Of Chetak In Haldighati?
Chetak, Maharana Pratap’s horse, played a vital role in the Battle of Haldighati. Chetak lost the life on the 21st of June 1576 after he was fatally wounded in the battle. Maharana Pratap constructed a small monument in his horse’s memory and honoured at the location where Chetak fell. The cenotaph is still located in Haldighati and is well-known as ChetakSmarak.
In the year 1997, the Indian Government commissioned the construction of the Maharana Pratap National Memorial. Finally, in June of 2009, the monument was dedicated. The memorial is a bronze statue that features Maharana Pratap astride Chetak.
What Was The Battle Of Haldighati All About?
Satish Chandra – an Indian historian – stated that the Haldighati battle was at best ‘an assertion of the principle of local independence’ in a region that is prone to deadly warfare. Honour was involved in the battle. However, it was not the Rajput or Hindu’s honour, but it was the honour of Maharana Pratap at stake.