Places to Visit

Know about Haldighati Museum on Maharana Pratap Jayanti

Located on a high hill on the west of Chetak Magri between Khamnore and Balicha village on the border of Udaipur and Rajsamand district is the splendid Maharana Pratap Museum. It covers an area of about 15000 sq. meters and is about 40 km from Udaipur. Situated near Chetak Smarak built in the memory of Pratap’s faithful steed Chetak, the area used to be deserted. Impelled by a stray remark that this place near Haldighati where the famous battle between Maharana Pratap and Raja Man Singh was fought deserved a museum. Mohan Shrimali who belongs to Balicha village took up the stupendous task of building a museum to showcase the life and achievements of legend Maharana Pratap. In this project, Shrimali got the support and guidance of the great freedom fighter and member of the constituent assembly, Balwant Singh Mehta. He resighted from his well-paid govt. job sold his parental farmland and pucca house and took a loan to complete his dream two crore project in 12 years. The museum was inaugurated by the erstwhile governor of Rajasthan Anshuman Singh on 19th January 2003 in the presence of other dignitaries.

Haldighati Museum
Source: Tripadvisor

The museum displays in the form of attractive models, pictures are tableau of the royal emblem of Mewar, the sacrifice of Panna Dhai, Mahara Pratap discussing his strategies with his ministers and chiefs, Pratap’s union with his horse Chetak, scenes of Pratap’s life in the jungle, eating bread made of grass, the vow taken by Gadia Lohars not to live in houses, scenes of Chittorgarh and other events related to Pratap’s life. The models some of which are made from fiber are operated by electricity and become lively by the accompanying music, sound and light effects. Also highlighted are those persons who were associated with the battle of Haldighati. Mansingh Jhala, Hakim Khan Soori, Ramshah Tanwar, Shalivahan Tansror, Pratap Singh Tanwar, Bhilu Rana Punja, Veer Pradhan Bhamashah, Veer Purohit Jagannath, Kalyan Podiyar, Mansingh Sajjawat (Delwarora), Tarachand Kavedia, Rana Sangha Chundawat, Bheemsingh Dodia, Ramdas Rathore, Mansingh Sonagora (Pali), Mahasahani Jagannath, Purohit Gopinath Rawal, Krishnadas Chundawat, Mehta Jaimalla, Barkat Jaisa Sauda, Barkat Kesav Sonda, Bhawani Singh Tanwar, Mehta Ratanchand Charan, Roma Sandhu, etc.

Haldighati Museum

Also on display are portraits of Meera Bai and Maharanas of Mewar dynasty including Maharana Kumbha Singh, Maharana Sangram Singh, Maharana Amar Singh and Maharana Udai Singh. Objects that are associated with our ancient culture such as Rahat that was used to draw water from wells Kolhu to extract oil, Chadas, Telki, Ghani, Rath, Bullock cart, Agriculture implements, musical instruments, dresses, utensils, locks, etc. are also there in the museum. Also on display are the traditional lifestyles of different castes and several kinds of weapons. There is also a huge library to which 6000 books have been added recently that is a treasure house of knowledge, especially for researchers. Films are screened in the 50 sealed theatre where it is proposed to double the capacity. Light and sound show is another attraction. Also showcased are rural industries and handicraft products such as the attractive Molela Terracotta items. A small artificial Lake also attracts the visitors.

Balicha area is famous for Cheti Gulab that flowers only once in a year in the month of Chaitra. It is said that the species was brought here by the army of Akbar and that is why the area is called Shahi Bagh. Not only is the process of making Gulab Sharbat, Gulab Jal and Gulkund displayed in the museum but villages have been trained to make a living out of it.

Haldighati Museum
Source: hopping miles

No wonder the museum has not only been visited by big personalities such as President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, Central Ministers like Jaipal Reddy, CP Joshi, Hansraj Bhardwaj, and several governors and Chief Justices of India but also highly praised by them. The number of visitors has now shot up to lakhs.

Mohan Shrimali founder of the museum

For his commendable efforts, Mohan Shrimali has been honored at national and state level by several government organizations.


To know about Pratap’s journey to Haldighati – click here.

To know about Haldighati battle- click here.


Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor

Chetak is the most famous horse in the history of Mewar. The bravery and resilience of this stallion is sung in ballads and written in manuscripts. In Udaipur, Chetak’s statue is erected at Moti Magri and Chetak Circle. Texts define Chetak as a horse that was truly devoted to its master and was brave enough to save his master from the enemies. The folklores define Chetak as a brave and obedient animal who fought for his rider till its last breath. Maharana Pratap’s Chetak is undoubtedly an epitome of love and valor for his master. Let us read why Chetak is celebrated so much.

Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
Source: indiaopines

In 1553, after the defeat, Maharana Udai Singh shifted his capital from Chittorgarh to Udaipur as directed by a hermit. A couple of years later his son Maharana Pratap took the reign of Mewar and for the next 25 years, ruled with bravery, devotion, and fortitude. Chetak was his chosen horse, he loved the creature and it resonated the love quite well.

The history of the horses of Rajasthan

Almost a thousand years ago, the Rathore clan moved into Maru Pradesh (now Marwar). The three major breeds of horses popular in Western India at that time were Marwari, Sindhi, and Kathiyawadi.

Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
Source: indiaopines

Rathore clan found the Marwari horses. The beauty, mettle, and intelligence of the horses amazed the new early settlers; they started the business of breeding them.

Chetak was one Marwari horse and proved to be a Brave one.

Chetak and his master Maharana Pratap

In 1576 the army of Mughal Emperor Akbar started its way to capture Udaipur. Maharana Pratap and his men waited at the entry to a narrow one-kilometer long pass in the Aravali Ranges. This pass was Haldighati and was the only access to Mewar for the proceeding Mughal army. A bloody battle between the two armies was fought and lasted up to four hours.

People remember not the overthrow of Maharana Pratap but the courage and loyalty of his men and his horse Chetak.

In between the course of the battle, an elephant’s tusk tore through one of Chetak’s rear legs and crippled or immobilized it. Even after being hurt the horse did not give up and with his king on the saddle, Chetak made his way back to safety on his three legs.

The brave horse collapsed in the end. There is a pictorial depiction of the Maharana lamenting the death of his beloved horse.

Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
Source: topyaps

Chetak was a great friend of Maharana Pratap at the time of war with Akbar in Haldighati. It had kept its life in danger and protected his master by jumping from 25 feet deep trough.

It is also said that as he was a very aggressive horse, only Maharana Pratap was able to tame it. It is believed that the horse itself chose his master.

Today, there is a temple of Chetak in Haldighati.

Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
Source: Tripadvisor
Rakht talai chetak Samadhi

Why was Chetak different?

As earlier mentioned, the three major breeds of horses popular in Western India in Rana Pratap’s times were Marwari, Sindhi, and Kathiawadi.

Chetak belonged to the Marwari breed. True to the physiognomies of its class, it had a lean body as that of a desert bred horse. It had a high forehead with a long face and luminously sparkling eyes.

Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
Source: tripadvisor

As he had curved and curled ears and it is said that when its ears pointed forward, the top of the ears met together presenting an elegant look.

It is said that only Maharana Pratap could control it. Chetak exhibited the highest degree of loyalty and submissiveness towards the Maharana. According to the folklore sung in the Mewar region, it is said that Chetak’s coat had a certain blue color. Perhaps, that is the reason why Maharana Pratap is often mentioned as the ‘Rider of The Blue Horse’.

Who were Natak and Atak?

Pushpendra Singh Ranawat (geo-heritage dept.) says that Chetak had fellow horses or brother too. The names of the fellow horses were Natak & Atak and were well-trained for wars. They were stallions. Atak was put on trial for hilly & river-let terrain during which it got a foot injury.

Maharana Pratap bought all three; Natak was given to his younger brother Shakti Singh and Chetak was kept for the Maharana. The last horse Atak was sent to the animal care center after the injury.

Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
Source: topyaps

Interesting things about Chetak

  • One legend say that Chetak was known as “Neela Ghoda” or blue horse because it had sparkling blue eyes. One more legend says that Chetak’s coat had a certain blue shade and hence it was known as the Blue Horse
  • Maharana Pratap put an armor on him in the shape of an elephant’s trunk to provide him protection and make a disguise as an elephant for the marching army
  • One folklore suggests that Chetak was small in size measuring somewhere between 14.2 to 15.2 hands height
  • Chetak had appealingly curved and curled ears
  • Chetak had a peacock shaped neck and was described as Mayura Greeva (peacock neck) in folklore
  • Chetak was aggressive, arrogant and difficult to control

    Maharana Pratap’s Chetak | Epitome of Love and Valor
    Source: topyaps

Chetak’s full description is given in the poem “Chetak Ki Veerta” written by Shyam Pandey


“रण बीच चौकड़ी भर-भर कर

चेतक बन गया निराला था

राणाप्रताप के घोड़े से

पड़ गया हवा का पाला था

जो तनिक हवा से बाग हिली

लेकर सवार उड़ जाता था

राणा की पुतली फिरी नहीं

तब तक चेतक मुड़ जाता था

गिरता न कभी चेतक तन पर

राणाप्रताप का कोड़ा था

वह दौड़ रहा अरिमस्तक पर

वह आसमान का घोड़ा था

था यहीं रहा अब यहाँ नहीं

वह वहीं रहा था यहाँ नहीं

थी जगह न कोई जहाँ नहीं

किस अरिमस्तक पर कहाँ नहीं

निर्भीक गया वह ढालों में

सरपट दौडा करबालों में

फँस गया शत्रु की चालों में

बढ़ते नद-सा वह लहर गया

फिर गया गया फिर ठहर गया

विकराल वज्रमय बादल-सा

अरि की सेना पर घहर गया

भाला गिर गया गिरा निसंग

हय टापों से खन गया अंग

बैरी समाज रह गया दंग

घोड़े का ऐसा देख रंग”


Hero of the Age – Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap

Today is Maharana Pratap Jayanti, birth anniversary of the great ruler of Mewar; a king who never got the Crown and the privilege to rule a state, but who remained king only on papers in his whole life; the Hindu ruler of Mewar, who is considered as the best example of bravery among the Rajput rulers of India and by whom all Mewar people are inspired.

Pratap singh, who is more famous as Maharana Pratap was the eldest son of Maharana Udai Singh, founder of Udaipur, and Maharani Jayawanti. Born on Jyestha Sudi third of Vikram Samvant 1597, he did his education and mastered in the skills of using arms and weapons at a very young age. He also learned horse riding during the time. He was married to Rajkumari Ajabade at the age of 17.

It was the year 1567 when Akbar, the great Mughal emperor, conquered  Chittorgarh, which was the capital of Maharana Udai Singh that time. Udai Singh’s followers and Generals of the kingdom advised him to abandon Chittorgarh. Udai Singh then moved to the valley of Aravali ranges and laid the foundation of the present Udaipur city. He wanted to give the crown of the kingdom to his beloved son Jagmal Singh, but his seniors and advisers wanted Pratap to be the king as per the customs.  And this was the beginning of competition, struggle and hardship for Maharana Pratap.

Maharana pratap never accepted Mughals as the rulers of his own country India, and for this very reason, he never bowed in front of Akbar and fought with him till his last breath. Meanwhile almost all of the other Rajput chiefs had surrendered to Akbar including Maharana’s own brothers. Akbar sent many proposals to Pratap, seeking some sort of peaceful adjustment that he had concluded with the other kings, but Pratap refused every proposal of Mughals to maintain his self esteem and honor. Maharana continued his struggle from the Aravali valleys from where he harassed the large force of Mughals and ensured that they were kept out of the valley during this crucial time.

Haldigahti Battle is a historical event in the Indian history, and in the annuals of Rajput and Mughal kingdoms. It was this battle in which Chetak, the beloved horse of Maharana Pratap essayed many brave moves but finally collapsed due to some critical injuries. In this battle, Pratap was also supported by the bhil tribes of the surrounding areas; the great contribution the bhil tribe in this battle is remembered till date and they are given an honor of contribution by the rajputs of mewar regimen. There was a significant impression of this war on the Mughal army. This battle is considered to be the first milestone of victory over the Mughal Emperors.

Pratap died at the age of 57, in the year 1597, because of multiple injuries in an accident during hunting. In his complete journey, the main goal of his life was not to surrender in front of the Mughals and even while lying in the lap of death he made his son and successors swear to maintain eternal conflicts against the Mughals.

Maharana Pratap is the best projected model of bravery, freedom fighter and patriotism against the Mughal rulers in India. It is because of this great fighter, that Mewar got the appreciation and honor to be the only kingdom to merge its state with the independent India. Sardar vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Union Home Minister said that “If any ruler in India had any right to claim of independence it was Mewar, which gladly and readily merged with the Indian Union saying that it was fulfillment of 13 centuries of their mission but for Mewar no other ruler has that right.”

This is a great honor for all of us to be the son of the land to which the great Maharana Pratap belongs. He lived his whole life with great courage and self respect, never bowing down in front of any difficult situation. We being the resident of Rana ji’s Udaipur should follow the same footsteps and live our lives with the same bravery and self esteem. Jai Mewar!!

Photograph by : Mujtaba R.G.


Maharana Pratap Jayanti

maharana pratap UdaipurBlog

We Belong from the Land Of Warriors – ‘Udaipur’ – The Capital of Mewar and today we celebrate the Glory of Freedom, Independence in the form of Maharana Pratap Jayanti. Pratap (The Son of Maharana Udai Singh II) the Legendary Hero of Mewar who fought for Freedom till his Last Breath. Due to his Effort Mewar was the Only Independent Land free from Invaders all around the World. It is a well known fact that Mewar was the Only free state from the Great Mughal Badhshah Akhbar and Britishers.

udaipur london dosti - UdaipurBlog
This 1 Rupee Coin Made Up Of Silver is a Symbol of Friendship between Bristishers and Mewar State

Maharana Pratap Jayanti is Celebrated every year on Shukla Thritiya of the Ashad month (May or June). This Year (2010)  it is on 15th June.

About Maharana Pratap:

Maharana Pratap (May 9, 1540 – January 29, 1597) was 16th century King who ruled Mewar, a state in north-western India. He was born on 9th May 1540 in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. His father was Maharana Udai Singh II and mother was Rani Jeevant Kanwa. He was the eldest among 25 brothers and 20 sisters and was the 54th ruler of Mewar. He belonged to the Sisodiya Rajput clan.

From childhood Rana Pratap had the passion that a Kshatriya king needs to possess. In 1568, when Maharana was just 27 years old, the Mughal emperor Akbar conquered Chittor. Maharana Udai Singh, his father decided to leave Chittor and moved to Gogunda. Seeing this as opportunity, his half brother Jagmal took away the throne. When Jagmal was unable to manage affairs he joined the army of Akbar with an idea to take revenge with Maharana Pratap.

Maharana faced many struggles in his career. He kept on fighting with Akbar all his life. Akbar tried several ways to win over Maharana Pratap but he was always a failure. Maharana could not forget when Akbar killed 30,000 unarmed residents of Chittor only because they refused to convert to Islam. This made Maharana revolt against Akbar and he followed strict codes of Kshatriyas to fight with Akbar.

Battle of Haldighati

Battle Of HaldiGhati - UdaipurBlog

On June 21, 1576 (June 18 by other calculations), the two armies met at Haldighati, near the town of Gogunda in present-day Rajasthan. While accounts vary as to the exact strength of the two armies, all sources concur that the Mughal forces greatly outnumbered Pratap’s men (1:4). The battle of Haldighati, a historic event in the annals of Rajputana, lasted only four hours. In this short period, Pratap’s men essayed many brave exploits on the field. Folklore has it that Pratap personally attacked Man Singh: his horse Chetak placed its front feet on the trunk of Man Singh’s elephant and Pratap threw his lance; Man Singh ducked, and the mahout was killed.

However, the numerical superiority of the Mughal army and their artillery began to tell. Seeing that the battle was lost, Pratap’s generals prevailed upon him to flee the field ( so as to be able to fight another day. Myths indicate that to facilitate Pratap’s escape, one of his lieutenants, a member of the Jhala clan, donned Pratap’s distinctive garments and took his place in the battlefield. He was soon killed. Meanwhile, riding his trusty steed Chetak, Pratap made good his escape to the hills.

But Chetak was critically wounded on his left thigh by a Mardana (Elephant Trunk Sword) while Pratap had attempted to nail down Man Singh. Chetak was bleeding heavily and he collapsed after jumping over a small brook few kilometres away from the battle field. When Pratap’s general donned Pratap’s clothing and armour, it went unnoticed, thanks to the chaos of the war, but for two Turk knights from the Mughal army. They could not communicate it with others in their group, due to the linguistic barrier (the appropriate language would have been Persian, Marwari or Arabi, given the composition of the Mughal army). They immediately followed Pratap without wasting time. The moment they started chasing him, Pratap’s younger brother Shaktisingh, who was fighting from the Mughal side, (he had some disputes with Pratap at the time of Pratap’s coronation; hence he had defected and gone over to Akbar’s court) realized that his own brother was under threat. Pratap’s general’s sacrifice had already been discovered by him. He could not help but react against a threat to his own brother. He followed the Turks, engaged them in single combat and killed them. In the meanwhile, Chetak collapsed and Pratap saw his brother Shaktisingh killing the two Mughal riders. Saddened by the loss of his beloved general and horse, he embraced his brother and broke into tears. Shaktisingh also cried and asked for his brother’s pardon, for having fought as his enemy. Pratap pardoned him (later on he was given a huge estate near Chittor). Shaktisingh then offered him his own horse and requested him to get to a safe place. This incident is famous in Rajasthani folklore, a song “O Neele Ghode re Aswar” (O Rider of the Blue Horse) mentions it.

A mausoleum to Chetak is at the site of the steed’s death.

The impact of the battle on the Mughal army was also significant. In terms of numbers the Mughal army suffered heavier losses. This was also because of the intensive arrow showers by the Bhil tribes of the surrounding mountains who had sided with Pratap. To honour their contribution, a Bhil warrior was placed next to Pratap in the Royal Coat of Arms of Mewar.

The battle of Haldighat is considered to be the first Major breakthrough of Rajputs against the Mughals since the Second Battle of Khanwa in 1527, which was fought between Rana Sanga grandfather of Maharana Pratap, and the Mughal Babur grandfather of Akbar. It is regarded with a degree of significance by many Rajput families.

Moti Magri (Udaipur):

Moti Magri Smarak  - UdaipurBlogAn impressive bronze statue of Maharana Pratap and his favorite and loyal horse, who fiercely protected his master and stood by him till his last breath, stands at the top of Moti Magri, overlooking Fateh Sagar. Local habitants climb the hill to pay homage to Maharana Pratap and his faithful horse Chetak, who were killed in the battle of Haldighati. Also there are the ruins of one of the first modest palaces of Udaipur and also a charming Japanese rock garden. The Memorial has the first Light & Sound program in Rajasthan, that displays the glorious 1400 years of Mewar’s history. All these are highly decorated with lights during the Maharana Pratap Festival. People from across the world come to visit the place.