Rana Amar Singh

Maharana Amar Singh I(1559-1620) : The Lone Warrior: Forgotten Rajput Hero who protected the Independence of Mewar

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This king of Mewar had suffered from many critiques of Historians. People often forgot his incessant resistance to the vast Mughal empire and focus only to consider him as a weak leader. In this article, we will delve into the story of the great Maharana Amar Singh who continued the legacy of his audacious father i.e. Maharana Pratap, and protected the land of Mewar from Mughal onslaughts.

Rana Amar Singh
Image of Maharana Amar Singh I of Mewar

After the death of Maharana Pratap, things looked very bleak for Mewar. The hero of Mewar who refused to surrender in front of Mughals had gone. This was an ideal opportunity for the Mughals to subjugate Mewar province in the absence of the Maharana Pratap.

At this critical juncture, the prestigious land of Mewar witnesses the rise of Rana Amar Singh who took the charge of guarding the prestige of Mewar.

Rise of Maharana Amar Singh: The Forgotten Hero

Maharana Amar Singh continued the incessant struggle of Mewar against the powerful Mughal emperor. He was born on 16 March 1559 and was the youngest son of the great Maharana Pratap.

He was the one who had closely witnessed the resistance of Mewari Rajputs against the Mughals who conquered Kabul, Bengal, and central India. Rana Amar Singh also took part in the Battle of Dewair (1582) where the revitalized army of Mewar decisively defeated the Mughal army.

In the year 1585 the Mughal king i.e. Akbar went to Lahore and due to this Maharana Pratap got some time to take back the place which belonged to Mewar.

Mewar Map

Mewar enjoyed some peace and Maharana Pratap found a new capital at Chavand. On 19 January Pratap died at Chavand and his youngest son i.e. Amar Singh became the Rana of Mewar. During his 23 years of reign, Rana Amar Singh repulsed many Mughal invasions.

Here Rana Amar Singh established trade, stabilized Mewar’s economy, introduced new military weapons, and reconstructed the forts. New administrative reforms of Amar Singh prepared Mewar to tackle the Mughal onslaughts for the future.

Note: He also relentlessly raided the Mughal territories.

Mughal Expedition on Mewar Under Akbar

Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to subjugate Mewar from the beginning and after the death of Rana Pratap, he again sent his hordes towards Mewar. At the end of the year, 1598 Mughal king Akbar sent another expedition towards Mewar. This time Raja Man Singh and young prince Salim invaded Mewar.

But the attack was strongly repulsed by Rana Amar Singh. Some historians suggest that young price Salim didn’t show any commitment to this expedition. Later Amar Singh attacked several Mughal posts and killed Sultan Khan Ghori and Qayyum Khan.

In the year 1603, Salim was again sent by the Mughal king to invade Mewar. This time the prince had a well-equipped army. But this expedition was again unsuccessful due to prince Salim’s halfhearted effort.  

But the Mughal king i.e. Akbar was far from satisfied and he didn’t give up the idea of subjugating the independence of Mewar. He decided to make Sagar the son of Rana Uday Singh the Maharana of Mewar but this didn’t happen as the Mughal king died on 27 October 1605 at Agra.

Mughal Expedition of Mewar under Salim

New king Jahangir aka Salim sent his son Parvez with an arm of 20,000 to invade Mewar in 1605 with Asaf Khan and Zafar Baig. But the outcome of this expedition was inconclusive.

The Rajputs then inflicted a defeat on the Mughal in the year 1606 at the Battle of Dewair. In 1608 Jahangir sent Mahabat Khan and Jagannath Kachwaha to attack Mewar with a huge army but this attack was again repulsed by the Rana of Mewar.

In this attack, the Mughal had 12,000 cavalry and 2000 musketeers along with heavy artillery support. But all this couldn’t able to subjugate the independence of Mewar. It was due to the dauntless effort of Rana Amar Singh which protected Mewar from Mughal invasions.

In 1609 Jahangir sent Abdullah khan to Mewar. It is evident that this time the Mughal captured Chavand and Merpur. But the Mughal hold of Mewar remained far from secure.

In 1612 Amar Singh raided the territories of Ajmer, Malwa, and Gujarat.

Rana Amar Singh and Shah Jahan

However, the incessant struggle of Mewar from the time of Maharana Pratap to Rana Amar Singh deeply affected the economy of Mewar. By 1613 there was a shortage of food, weapons, and money. It is believed that for food the people of Mewar were dependent on fruits only.

Shah Jahan and His Ruthlessness

In 1614 Shah Jahan was sent to attack Mewar. Mughal surrounded Mewar from all sides and blocked the supply routes. Apart from this Shah Jahan also attacked local citizens and took them as slaves (mainly women). Mughals also ravaged many villages and inhumanly plundered cities.

This inhuman act by the Mughals deeply wounded the morale of Amar Singh because he was tirelessly fighting not for the throne but for the people of Mewar and if people are not safe or if there are no people then fighting a war is meaningless.

According to Shyamaldas Mewar continued the war for 47 years and it is believed that from every home at least four members had sacrificed their lives for the independence of Mewar. Furthermore, the inhumane practice done by Shah Jahan on people deeply saddened Amar Singh.

Mewar Ends The War

To safeguard the honor of women, children, and people of Mewar Maharana Amar decided to finish this bloodbath and to sign a peace accord with the Mughals.

Prince Karna (Karn) Singh the son of Rana Amar Singh also supported this move. On 18 February 1614 Rana Amar Singh of Mewar signed the treaty with Khurram (Shah Jahan).

Due to this treaty, Chittor was given back to Mewar on the condition that the Rajputs should not repair its fortification. Furthermore, it was not mandatory for Rana Amar Singh to join the Mughal court and he never did it.

Kashmiri Painter - The Submission of Rana Amar Singh of Mewar to Prince  Khurram (5 February 1615)
Painting depicting Mewar-Mughal Treaty

After a long time, Mewar was in peace again which was much needed. According to Kaviraj Shyamaldas, the land between Chittor and Udaipur was soaked with the blood of Mewar and Mughal heroes. Both sides wanted to end the war and the treaty does honor both sides.

However, it is also true that Maharana Amar Singh signed this treaty against his will. By this treaty, Rana Amar Singh saved the independence of Mewar and gathered some time for its development and reconstruction.

But whenever the bigotry of the Mughals challenged the pride of Mewar the Rajputs of Mewar gave them befitting reply every time. An example of this was the Rajput rebellion led by Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar during the time of Aurangzeb.

The great king of Mewar i.e. Rana Amar Singh died on 26 January 1620. His efforts are immense in protecting the independence of Mewar he by no means was a weak king.

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