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Saturday, February 28, 2015

How Maharana Pratap ascended the throne of Mewar after nobles nullified the efforts of Dheer Bai Bhatiyani and Jagmaal - On 443rd Anniversary | With Scans from Mewar Records


Today is the 443rd Anniversary of Maharana Pratap's ascension to the throne of the kingdom of Mewar. He became the ruler of Mewar on 28th February 1572, after the demise of his father - Rana Udai Singh. To celebrate the day, i thought of making a post & describe that historic occasion. 

I am listing the events which happened at a great pace on that day - 28th February 1572.
Let's start.

Maharana Udai Singh had many sons. Rana Pratap being the eldest among them was the rightful heir to the throne, according to tradition. Also, mother of Maharana Pratap was the first wife of Rana Udai Singh.

Artistic Depiction : Jagmaal being removed from the throne by the nobles

As per what i have read - Rana Udai Singh discarded this tradition and made his younger son Kunwar Jagmaal the heir to the throne of Mewar, at his death. The reason given is - His affection for his favorite Queen Dheer Bai Bhatiyani. 

Scan from Mewar records - Rana Udai Singh declares Kunwar Jagmaal his heir due to Dheer Bai Bhatiyani's influence. Mughal forces had already started attacking Mewar earlier. It is mentioned that Rana Udai Singh was collecting his forces to tackle the Mughal agression.

No doubt Rana Udai Singh loved Dheer Bai Bhatiyani. But recently, i came across another story with a minor variation. It says -> After the death of Rana Udai Singh, Kunwar Jagmaal organized "a party of his own" and plotted to seize the throne. Jagmaal got 2 important nobles to his side - a. Rawat Sangha and b. Rawat Kishen Das. These 2 nobles were strong and played a major role in the court. Perhaps, they were bound by traditions & were acting under the decision of Rana Udai Singh.

- Rawat Sangha was the son of Rawat Siha Ji who died in the Battle of Khanua (17th March 1527) while fighting along side Rana Sanga of Mewar, against Mughal Emperor Babur. Rawat Sangha was a senior noble and he was married to Shyam Kanwar, the sister of Jaimal - the same Jaimal who died fighting in the Battle of Chittor on 24th February 1568. {Don't confuse Rawat Sangha and Rana Sanga of Mewar. Both are different people with same names.} Just for information - One of the sons of Rawat Sangha died fighting the Mughal Forces sent under Mughal Emperor Jahangir to subjugate Mewar in the reign of Rana Amar Singh, son of Maharana Pratap.

- Rawat Kishen Das was LIKE A grandson of Rawat Chundavat*. Rawat Chundavat died in the Saka at the Battle of Chittor on 24th February 1568 while fighting the forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Along with Rawat Chundavat, his ONLY son Kunwar Amar also died on the same day in the Saka at the Fort of Chittor.
Click here to Read about Saka and Jauhar : 
Jauhar and Saka - Ethos of Rajputana 

* Rawat Chundavat is the same person who is shown in the TV Show - Bharat Ka Veer Putra Maharana Pratap as a close confident of Rana Udai Singh. After his death, his position was taken by Rawat Khangar in 1568, who also died soon. Then, Rawat Kishen Das took this post.

Actually, Mewar had a unique system of administration. The King was from the family of Ranas and the administrator was from Chunda Dynasty, and together they managed Mewar. So, Chundas played a great role in important decision making process. Hence, Rawat Chundavat, Rawat Khangar and now Rawat Kishen Das were powerful nobles.

After Udaisingh's death in Gogunda, when his dead body was taken for cremation, Jagmaal was missing from the place. This irked some nobles because according to Mewar's Royal traditions, ONLY the heir to the throne did not take part in the cremation ceremony of previous king. Most of the samants were unaware of the proceedings. They were surprised at Jagmaal's absence from the funeral.

Pratap almost left the palace, but is brought back by the nobles and Jagmaal is removed from the throne.

At this moment, the former king of Gwalior, Raja Ram Singh Tanwar (who was given refuge in Mewar by Rana Udai Singh after defeat by forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar), asked Rawat Sangha and Rawat Kishen Das about the where abouts of Jagmaal. On hearing the reality, Raja Ram Singh Tanwar hotly opposed the decision of these 2 nobles. Learning soon the fact that Jagmaal had been made the crown prince of Mewar, Pratap's maternal uncle, Rao Akhai Raj of Jhalor also joined Raja Ram Singh Tanwar. {Some sources say he was maternal grand-father not uncle of Pratap, i think that is error in Sanskrit translation.}

They argued that -> "You are from the Clan of Chundas, so you have the right to sanction the heir to the throne. Today Mewar is not safe. An enemy in the name of Akbar is present. The condition of Mewar is deteriorating. In such a situation, if there are fights within the household, then there is no doubt of the state's destruction!. In such adverse circumstances of Mewar, it was appropriate to make some able person the ruler of Mewar."

Pratap was suitable for this from all aspects. According to the prevalent traditions also, he was the heir to the throne. All the samants present there were also in favour of this. So, Kishen Das and Rawat Sangha decided to make Pratap the heir and entire party of nobles returned to the palace. They exclaimed -> "For what fault of his should the rightful heir,the brave Pratap Singh, be denied the throne?"

There Jagmaal was getting himself crowned as king. When, after Udai Singh's cremation, all the samants came to the palace, Jagmaal was found sitting on the throne and Pratap waited outside the palace. The samants took Jagmaal and made him sit on the seat side of the throne saying, "Your place is not on the throne, but on the seat on the side of the throne" because the Maharana's brothers sit there. Jagmaal had to bear this insult quietly because, firstly, his position was weaker according to the traditions and, secondly, the strength of his supporters was also negligible. Without any protest, he sat on the assigned place.


Pratap is coronated and an angry Jagmaal leaves to meet Mughal Emperor Akbar

After that Pratap was called inside the palace and asked to sit on the throne and he was crowned as the king with all rituals and ceremonies, and the sky resonated with the cries of "Long live Maharana Pratap." After this, Pratap became the Maharana of Mewar. He gave gifts to his courtiers, according to the traditions of Mewar. In this way, where Jagmaal was dreaming of becoming the king and Pratap was thinking of leaving the kingdom, what happened was the opposite of this, Pratap became the Maharana of Mewar and Jagmaal could only watch silently. All these events happened on 28 February 1572, because in Mewar the next king was chosen on the same day as the death of the previous one.

But this throne was NOT a bed of roses for the struggle to keep mewar independent from Mughal rule was about to start...

Other Posts:

Click here to Read about Saka and Jauhar : 
Jauhar and Saka - Ethos of Rajputana 

About Chittor Siege, i have the following articles till now : 

7. Fatehnama-i-Chittor, Comparison & Pictures of Mughal-Rajput Weapons, Assessment of Akbar and Maharana Pratap, Old Portraits of Udaipur & Path for the Future Struggle of Mughals - Mewar | LONG Detailed Concluding Assessment..Last Post on Battle of Chittor Part 7

6. DETAILED Rajput Record of Jauhar, Saka & Massacre of Rajputs at 3rd Siege of Chittor(1567-68) | Description of Rajput Warriors & OLD pictures of Chittor Fort | Battle of Chittor Part-6

5. Mughal Record of Jauhar of Rajput Women & Saka of Rajput Warriors at 3rd Siege of Chittor(1567-68) + Mughal Victory Followed by Massacre of Rajput Civilians | Battle of Chittor Part-5 | With Portraits from Akbarnama & personal pictures of Chittor Fort

4. ACTUAL Struggle between Mughal & Rajput Forces - Course of War BEFORE Jauhar and Saka| Battle of Chittor Part-4 | With explained Portraits from Akbarnama

3. Battles BEFORE the Battle of Chittor - At Kumbhalgarh, Rampur, Udaipur, Mandalgarh | Part - III

2. Preparation of Rajputs - Battle of Chittor | Part - II

1. Why did Akbar attack Chittor | Part - I 

This article has been posted under the Rajputs section of history_geek's BLOG.

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  1. Hi Abhay

    Wonderful post! A great tribute to a giant among men. :)

    I had also read that Udai Singh had made Jagmaal the crown prince due to his special affection for Queen Dhir Bai. According to Vir Vinod,

    "In Vikrami year 1627 (1570 AD) the Maharana reached Kumbhalmer and, collecting his army from there, reached Gogunda and celebrated the Dusshera of Vikrami year 1628 (1571) there. When Maharana became ill in the month of March, he made his son Jagmaal from Queen Bhatiyani the crown prince, because he had a special affection for Queen Bhatiyani."

    Udai Singh was smart enough not to publicize this decision during his lifetime. He must have known this decision would be hotly contested. Fortunately for Pratap, the samants stood by him and anointed him king of Mewar.

    Pratap really had a tough job on his hands, as you have mentioned in the last line. Mewar was in a poor state due to long battles. The economy, trade and even public life was disorganized. All the fertile land and even areas like Bednaur, Rayla and Shahpura on the eastern border were under Mughal control. Pratap had to rebuild the state, boost the morale of his people AND deal with a powerful enemy like Akbar. But he did this all with panache, as history tells us.

    No wonder, Pratap's name shall always shine brightly in history. :)

  2. Abhay ,
    Thanks for this wonderful post ... I could even visualize the events happened on that day such were ur diction of that events :):) History says it correct , All can aspire for power n position but it happens only for chosen one by destiny !!! MP was one among this - Chosen :):)

  3. History-geek,

    What a wonderful post !, something which I felt happening in front of my eyes!It was like a thrilling cricket match won in the last over :)
    But Abhay, I want to know what happened next? What did Jagmaal n Dhirbhai did? Was he sent / given other province and pacified? Or did he go n join Akbar at this time?
    Radhika, I follow MP on the net. As u said NR there also is simply irritating. Thankfully, they r not giving any importance to Ruquiayya begum.She has been there at one corner. But portrayal of Salima begum is shameful. She is termed as vamp playing with both Akbar n Behram khan.They want to show Akbar in bad light, so he may be portrayed as getting Khan killed fr the sake of Salima. Abhay, was Rahim khane khana really Salima n Behram khan's son?
    Leaving this aside, Radhika, the serial has shown whatever Abhay has said in a nutshell. Dhirbhai gets Pratap arrested on the charge of murder of her aide.She is shown to make preparation of coronation of kumar Jagmaal.And everything gets cancelled at the last moment. Whatever NR they used, Radhika I am pleasantly surprised n satisfied, when they ultimately showed MP realising evil intentions of his step mother whom he loved so much, albeit in a subtle way.

  4. Geeta,

    Salima Begum was the cousin of Akbar like his first wife Ruqayya Begum. She is
    portrayed as completely opposite as she was in reality. She was a very
    dignified lady adorned with admirable personal qualities, and her advice
    had great weight with Emperor Akbar. She went to Allahabad to reconcile
    Salim with Akbar, when the former revolted.!

    She maintained her
    library, some of the documents present in Sawai Man Singh Museum in
    Rajsthan are from her library which were obtained from the collection of
    Shah Jahan. Any one stays there ? Can visit it and see it. !

    She was a poetess and she wrote under the pen name of Makhfi, meaning the "hidden one".

    the age of 17, Salima Begum was married to Bairam Khan in 1557 , who
    was 33 years old that time. The marriage happened with the prior
    approval of Humayun. Since, Humayun died in 1555, the marriage occurred
    with the sanction of Akbar.

    Nothing which is shown in MP show about Salima Begum is true.
    I was quite disappointed with what is happening here.

  5. Beautiful details Radhika. Your readings on Maharana Pratap are equally good as they are for Akbar. :)

  6. Thanks, Abhay - but pls don't embarrass me :)

  7. Geeta

    Oh, really? So MP has finally realized Dheerbai's intentions? That's good. :)

    Jagmaal could not forget his humiliation. So he joined the service of the Mughal subedar at Ajmer. Later he went to Akbar who gave him the jagir of Jahajpur as a gift.

    Later Akbar also gave him half the kingdom of Sirohi in 1583. Akbar was killing 2 birds with 1 stone here. He was encouraging enmity in the Mewar royal family. He also turned Jagmaal's brother-in-law, Rao Surtran, against him, as Sirohi was till then ruled by Jagmaal's father-in-law Rao Mansingh.

    Finally, Jagmaal's brother-in-law killed him in the battle of Dattani in 1583.

  8. Abhay,
    Their only intention is to show that Mahamanga is successful in getting Behram khan killed by pitting Salima begum .That is why I asked u, if Khane khana was indeed their child. In that case, makers of MP hv long way to go.:)
    The personality of Maharana Pratap is like the Sun, u don't need to pull down the charecters of Akbar n Salima begum, to prove ur point.
    History-geek, according to u, what year is going on in MP?

  9. Geeta

    Rahim was the son of Bairam Khan and his first wife. After Rahim's parents died, he was adopted by his step-mother Salima Begum. And later by Akbar.

    MP married Ajabde around 1557 and BK died in 1561. So the year is somewhere close to 1557, though Akbar looks quite old for a 15 year old. :)

  10. Hi, Radhika, Abhay, and other dear freinds,
    Surprise! the MP serial is following Akbarnama n whatever posted by Abhay.:)
    Akbar is set on a trip to Ajmer. On the way he is introduced to Rajput warriors, one of them is Raja Bharmal!:) Akbar praises Raja Bharmal fr his bravery. He then is joined by Ruqauiyya Begum to Ajmer, where she insists on meeting Saint Salim Chisti.. Akbar agrees to meet the saint saying that he also needs his blessings.
    Freinds, the makers in this serial hv shown Ruqs as calm, spiritual. whereas unfortunately Salima begum has been assaigned the role of vamp.:( Rest needs to be seen.i will post as soon as something interesting happens.:)

  11. Geeta

    Thanks for update! So Jodha is about to enter MP show. :)

    Ruq Begum seems to be every show producer's fav - always shown in good light. :) Poor Salima has been butchered beyond recognition in MP show. :(

    Pls keep us posted as am not watching the show these days but would like to see Jodha there. I hope she is shown in a positive light. :)

  12. Yes Radhika, I am only happy fr the historical part of it. If they show Jodha in bad light,(which is most unlikely, as she is Rajvanshi ) then I will certainly discontinue watching the serial.

  13. Geeta,
    I already stopped watching it since a long time, especially after the pathetic and unjustified historically WRONG portrayal of Salima Begum.

  14. Geeta, Abhay

    Me too stopped watching mostly because it clashes with my son's bedtime and I really have no interest in catching it on net.

    But it seems Bairam Khan is about to die in the show? Read it on IF.

  15. Radhika and Geeta,
    They have destroyed the character of Akbar and Salima in that show. :(
    I think they are showing that due to likeness for Salima , Akbar will get Bairam Khan killed. Salima is in negative role. It was a horrible sight. :(

  16. Hi, Radhika, Abhay n friends,
    last few episodes of MP were, very interesting, so as to say. I got to know that sant Tulsidas was Akbar's contemporary. They hv some of his miracles.Happy to watch that.
    For once, here the story is moving fast. and as usual furious also.I am surprised that the CV's going away frm their tendency or overcoming their temptation to drag on the vamp's character to no logical end, making Rani Dhirbai really repenting over whatever she did to MP
    Ajebde is pregnant., so I thought enough scope fr abortion plot, but with a changed Dhirbai nothing of that sort happens.
    The cut throat fight fr the second place between Mahamanga n Bairam Khan is engaging. Rana Udai singh n co. comes to know of this fight thru their spy, n a thought of taking Bairam khan to their side also discussed n voted out.The narrative is so interesting that even after reading this blog abt Salima begum, for once I thought this cud hv also happened in the history, otherwise, how can Akbar marry a lady who was in his mother's place by law:) He cud hv got her married to somebody else also.

    The face-off between Akbar n Bairam Khan was very good. n the incidents leading to were also , but don't know if they were real stories.:)

    Abhay, has said in his post that Bairam khan wanted Iranians to interfere, so he moved towards north, the CV's hv shown with NR that he begged MP fr protection as he sensed danger frm Akbar.

  17. Geeta

    Thank you so much for this terrific update! Has BK died? Read some days back on IF that BK was going to die.

    Btw, BK was of Persian origin. :)

  18. Geeta,
    Thanks for sharing this brief update. It is perfect. :D
    But in the Maharana Pratap show, showing Salim Begum as negative and precipitating assasination of Bairam Khan with Akbar was COMPLETELY WRONG. :(
    Bairam Khan has not died yet. He asked help from Maharana Pratap, by sending a letter to him. :-P

  19. Abhay,
    i too agree with u. Ultimately, it seems to me that CVs job is tough, considering the competetion they face. They catch hold of somebody to play vamp.:).History-geek, I really appriciate the dialogue writer of MP, whosoever he or she may be.! He has really entered the skin of the character of MP. Keeping with his image of 'Maryada Purushottam ' he has not uttered anything against his elders, leave alone the abuse! It's difficult to imagine such a character in aazke zamaane me :)

  20. Geeta, Abhay,

    I saw the episode yesterday (Monday).

    Was surprised Bairam khan sought help and even GOT it from MP. Abhay, is this really true? Why would MP help Bairam Khan?

    Bairam's death scene was OTT with him praising MP and berating Akbar.

    I guess Chittor war should happen towards end of this week. :)

  21. They had shown Bairam sending a letter to MP in previous episodes as he feared for his life. Though, this is dramatization. Looking forward to Chittor Siege :)

  22. Radhika,
    After getting the news of infight btwen Akbar n BK, Rana Udai singh suggests, they shud take this opportunity n taking bK on their side, shud wage war against Akbar. But this was opposed by Pratap who felt that BK was also an invader, n had basic difference in their principles which everybody agrees upon. After a while, MP gets a personal letter frm BK, wherin he begs fr MP's help to save him frm possible attack frm Akbar. Whereas everybody this time was against helping BK, Pratap feels that since BK has appealed to him personally, it becomes his duty to save whosoever has taken refuge in him. Thus he sets out to help BK, which I think might be NR.
    The Chittor war has already been hinted upon by Sant Tulsidas, as he persuades MP to go back to Chittor.,as something devastating is going to happen, n his Motherland needs him.That is because, after realising the true colour of his stepmother, Pratap feels depressed n leaves everything to her n goes on an unknown Yatra along with Ajabde. He goes to Benaras after hearing the miracles of Sant Tulsidas.There he decides to take sanyas, upon which, the saint plays some tricks n convinces him to go back to Chittor.:) That is the short possible story.

  23. Geeta

    Where has MP gone now? Who is he looking for?

    Chittor track started - attack should happen on Monday.

  24. I didn't like this dramatization, Abhay. :(

    Watch on Monday for Chittor siege. :)

  25. Radhika, Abhay,
    Utter disappointment n shocking fr me! There seems to be no character of Jodha in this serial.The story has taken 8 years leap frm 1560 to 1568. And the narrative says that in between Akbar was on a marraige spree with Rajput Royal ladies, n that's the end of it. That also ended my hope of seeing Jodha transforming Akbar in this serial.:( :(. This has reduced my interest in the serial also. But fr this blog, I would hv stopped watching JO-AK also. Thanks Abhay, Radhika n other members, who with their interesting posts n discussions, kept me going.:)

  26. Geeta,
    Infact i am happy we don't have Jodha in Maharana Pratap show, otherwise who knows how she would have been portrayed after watching the treatment of Salima Begum.
    But i would say, you should watch the show for the upcoming Chittor Siege. :)

  27. Geeta,
    Ajabde and Amar Singh did not perish in this Jauhar. This new girl is not MP's future wife. I think she is present for this JaiMal track only. :)

  28. Nonetheless, Abhay, we don't n can't say what kind of natakiya rupantar, is in store fr us.! The way they hv introduced her seems to me there is romance in the offing.;)

  29. Thanks Abhay, i just read this post.But this is very surprising me, Udaysingh, made, Jagmaal, the crown prince.

    when he knows Mewar is unsafe, or Jagmal is less capable, pratap is capable.
    Here ques is not DB, was her favourite.Ques was safty of Mewar.confuse.

    is Uday singh, death, some war place?

  30. True Abhay, instead of insulting MUZ, it's better not to hv her at all.
    Abhay, I am also confused abt Jaimaal who seems to hv been captured by Peer Mhammad. N our Hero has gone to release him.But as per history, Jaimaal was in Chittor fort at the time of siege. I think, I hv read Rana Udai singh was also sent to safer place. Abhay, Did Ajabde, n her son also perish in the Jauhar? what the history says? It's very painful even to think abt it. My heart goes out to MP if that is the case:(
    Who was the second wife of MP? The new girl in the show seem to be gearing fr his 2nd wife:)

  31. Ayushi,
    Udai Singh had a normal death in 1572. :)
    Yes Jagmaal was about to become the king but was stopped by the nobles.