Raj, naam toh suna hi hoga?
Born on 24th September 1629
The stern enmity between the Rajputs and the Mughal emperors are never a newly discovered subject in the medieval history. It’s more like a legacy, passed onto the following eon as a tradition. The two were the most powerful ‘cat and mouse’ pair of that time. On every episode of this rivalry, the devout Rajputs are seen to battle a brawn, seemingly extrinsic to their indigenous savvy. However, the Mughals, selflessly, didn’t extend a helping hand towards them, without shading a conviction of augmenting their troops or territorial extent. Here, the spotlight falls on the sweet dissention between the Rajput prowess, Maharana of Mewar Raj Singh I and Aurangzeb, the last of the notable Mughal emperors.
The throne of Mewar was inherited by Maharana Raj Singh I, soon after his father, Maharana Jagat Singh’s death. Shah Jahan had his eyes on Chittor, and hence, set a colossal military troop with the aim of annexation. Maharana had to send negotiators to entreat, bringing shame for the time being. An agitated Maharana didn’t aid any of the sons of Shah Jahan during the war of succession.
The ‘royal lion’ of Mewar pledged not to indulge into any sort of camaraderie with the Mughals, or particularly Aurangzeb then. The two austere forces collided bitterly with the issue of Princess Charumati.
Aurangzeb was utterly infatuated and charmed by the beauty of Princess Charumati of Kishangarh. When Charumati rejected his proposal, he was infuriated, which is no different to the current scenario of any egoistic admirer who can’t handle rejection. Charumati wrote a letter to Maharana, sheathing a request to protect her honour by the holy union of marriage. Maharana agreed and married the Princess, further maddening Aurangzeb. Maharana, unlike other petrified rulers, only thought about saving her dignity and not the wrath of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb sent an army to defeat him and capture Charumati. The siege, however, crumbled in front of the flares of Maharana.
Maharana Raj Singh captured various Mughal posts, and imposed taxes on outposts – Banera, Shahpura, Jahazpur, Phulia, which were given a free pass under the Mughal control. He refused to pay the Jiziya tax, levied by Aurangzeb. Lalsot, Malpura, Tonk, Sambhar was added to Maharana’s empire, with the kings of Dungarpur, Banswara and Devaliya surrendering to his blazing fury in 1659.
Mewar Pratap was not just an able administrator and commander, but also a great patron of art, literature and music. The bigotry of Aurangzeb caused a terror amongst everybody for their own religions, other than Muslims. Rana, fearlessly, gave shelter to the deity of Shrinathji of Mathura, in Nathdwara.
Rana was blessed with a son, Jai Singh, who carried on his father’s battle with Aurangzeb. The glory and gallantry of Maharana Raj Singh live on through folklores and songs, eulogized in the heritage of Rajput history.
This was story was first published on This Day.app.