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HALDI GHATI

The Battle of Haldighati was a battle fought on 18 June 1576 between cavalry and archers supporting the Rana of MewarMaharana Pratap, and the Mughal emperor Akbar's forces, led by Man Singh I of Amber. The Mughals were the victors and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture Pratap, who escaped.

The Siege of Chittorgarh in 1568 had led to the loss of the fertile eastern belt of Mewar to the Mughals. However, the rest of the wooded and hilly kingdom was still under the control of the Rana. Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar; when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Rana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys entreating the Rana to become a vassal like many other Rajput leaders in the region. When the Rana refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.

The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda in Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap fielded a force of around 3,000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers. The Mughals were led by Raja Man Singh of Amber, who commanded an army numbering around 5,000–10,000 men. After a fierce battle lasting more than six hours, Pratap found himself wounded and the day lost. While a few of his men bought him time, he was forced to make an escape by Jhala Man Singh to the hills and lived to fight another day.

The Battle of Haldighati was a hollow victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to oust Maharana Pratap. While they were able to capture Gogunda and nearby areas, they were unable to hold onto them for long. As soon as the empire's focus shifted elsewhere, Pratap and his army came out of hiding and recaptured the western regions of his dominion.

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