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Maharana Raj Singh: Forgotten Hindu King of Mewar who alone shook the foundation of Mughals: Mughal-Rajput Wars

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Medieval Indian History is full of countless battles and unsung heroes who had protected their land from foreign invaders. We had covered the stories of Rani Durgavati, Hemu, Visladev Chauhan, and many more who bravely fought for the protection of this country.

In this article, we will cover the story of a Rajput King who on his own shook the foundation of Aurangzeb and defeated Mughals in several battles, and even led a coup against the emperor.

Maharana Raj Singh
Maharana Raj Singh
Rajput King of Mewar who declared war Against Aurangzeb

While the names of Maharana Pratap and Maharana Sangram Singh are well known but the land of Mewar had given countless warriors who like their ancestors didn’t back down when this country was witnessing waves of ruthless invasions. His name is Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar. Here is his story.

Background: Rise of Maharana Raj Singh

Maharana Raj Singh was the son of Maharana Jagat Singh who in the Rajasthan folklore is remembered for his charitable contributions. Raj Singh ascended the throne of Mewar in the year 1652 and remained king till 1680. He was the contemporary of the Mughal king Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb.

He is remembered for his indomitable bravery. When Aurangzeb was forcing his bigotry policies on Hindus Maharana Raj Singh gave him a befitting reply in the same way.

During the reign of Shah Jahan, Maharana Raj Singh had a Mansab of 5000. Maharana Raj Singh started the construction of the Chittor fort for conducting a war against the Mughals. It is believed that the reconstruction of the Chittor fort was initially started by Jagat Singh and later continued by Raj Singh.

Chittorgarh - Gaumukh Reservoir - Adjusted.jpg
Chittorgarh Fort

This violated the Mughal Mewar treaty and enraged Shah Jahan. On 24 September 1654 Shah Jahan decided to march towards Ajmer. From here the emperor sent a strong force of 30,000 Mughals under Sadullah Khan to Chittor.

As at that time Rajputs of Mewar were not in a condition to conduct a war against the mighty Mughals. Maharana Raj Singh signed a peace treaty and Sadullah Khan plundered the Chittor fortification.

Raj Singh remembered this act of bigotry of Mughals and wanted to take revenge. When Shah Jahan fell ill on 6 September 1657 and his sons rebelled.

Resurrection of Mewari Rajputs

On the day of Dussera 18 October, 1657 Maharana augmented whatever the Rajputs of Mewar had and marched from Udaipur. The Rajputs under Raj Singh ruthlessly plundered Kairabad and imposed taxes on Mandal, Pur, Banera, Shahpur of Mughal dominions.

At the same time, Alamgir also revolted against his father and contacted Maharana to gain his support. Raj Singh played his diplomatic move and when Alamgir won the battle of Samogarh the latter gave the districts of Badnaur, Mandalgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Basabar, and Gyaspur to Maharana.

Aurangzeb also increased the Mansab of Maharana to 6000. Such was the genuineness of Raj Singh. But later the bigotry policy of Alamgir forced Raj Singh to start an armed insurrection against the former.

Bigotry of Aurangzeb: Maharana Raj Singh against Alamgir

First, in the year 1659, Aurangzeb passed a Firman or ordinances for establishing Muslim Law in India. Next in 1668, Alamgir prohibited Dance in his Mughal court. Furthermore, in the year 1669 he passed an order to demolish the Hindu temples, and on 2 April 1679, Alamgir reimposed Jizya on the Hindus. In 1664 he forbade the reconstruction of old temples.

Note: At Amber, a total of 66 temples were destroyed.

Aurangzeb-portrait.jpg
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb

In 1660 Princess Rupmati also known as Charumati of Kishangarh was forced by her brother to marry bigot Aurangzeb. She hated Aurangzeb and considered the idea of marrying a Mughal as against her dharma. She wrote a humble letter to Maharana asking him to save her honor and marry her.

Raj Singh assembled his army and forced the brother of Rani Charumati to marry her with him. Enraged by this Aurangzeb took Gyaspur and Basabr from Mewar and this was an indication of bloody warfare.

Mewar Against Mughals

On 23 March 1679 Aurangzeb asked Raj Singh to impose Jizya on Mewar.

In the year 1674 Raj Singh closed the Deobari Pass with huge walls and portals. When Maharana gave refugee to Ajit Singh the minor prince of Marwar Alamgir wrote a letter to Maharana and asked to remove Ajit Singh from Mewar otherwise Mewar will suffer its consequences.

But brave Maharana replied that the Muslim invasion would not force him to swerve from his path of duty.

Aurangzeb on 30 November 1679 marched to crush the Rathore and Sisodiya alliance. Later in 1680 captured Udaipur and destroyed temples there. Aurangzeb sent his Mughal army under the command of Hasan Ali Khan to attack Mewar. As the condition of Mewar was very weak at that time Maharana Raj Singh decided to retreat towards the hills of Aravalli.

The Mughals captured Chittor and demolish 66 temples there. Alamgir returned Ajmer on 22 March.

The Mughals left Prince Akbar in Mewar to stop Raj Singh. But this move didn’t go as planned.

Rajput Victory

Raj Singh carried Gurriella warfare and raided Mughal territories and cut their supply lines.

The camp of Prince Akbar at Chittor was also looted. After this Raj Singh cut the communication of Prince Akbar with Ajmer and defeated him. The Mughals suffered heavy losses. It is believed that the Mughal officers refused to command their posts when Raj Singh was there. They also didn’t go to any mountain pass to search Maharana.

Raj Singh also conducted raids of Malwa and Gujarat territories of Mughals. Prince Bhim Singh captured Idar, plundered Vadnagar, Vishalnagar, and Ahmadabad.

Note: Bhim Singh also destroyed 30 mosques and one big mosque.

Due to this Aurangzeb transferred the Young Prince to Marwar and planned a joint attack on Mewar from three directions.

Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Raj Singh played diplomacy and with Durga Das Rathore gain the support of Prince Akbar to the coup against Alamgir.

The young prince declared himself the new Mughal emperor on 1 January 1681. But the death of Raj Singh on 22 October 1680 changed all the game

Jay Singh the son of Raj Singh also supported Prince Akbar. The Rathores of Marwar and Rajputs of Mewar with Prince Akbar marched towards Ajmer where Alamgir was stationed. Aurangzeb was shocked by this move.

But a fortnight delay gave Aurangzeb time to call reinforcements. Later due to treachery done by the right hand of Prince Akbar i.e. Tahavvur Khan, all situation changed.

Later Maharana Jay Singh ended the war with Mughals on 14 June 1681 and signed a Treaty with Alamgir.  According to R.C.Majumdar The effect of the Rajput wars of Aurangzeb was disastrous to the empire. They not only cost heavy losses of men and money but the imperialists could not also eventually achieve the desired success.

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