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Maharana Pratap was born on 9th May 1540 in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. His father was Maharana Udai Singh II and his mother was Rani Jeevant Kanwar. Maharana Udai Singh II ruled the kingdom of Mewar, with his capital at Chittor. Maharana Pratap was the eldest of twenty-five sons and hence given the title of Crown Prince. He was destined to be the 54th ruler of Mewar, in the line of the Sisodiya Rajputs.

In 1567, when Crown Prince Pratap Singh was only 27, Chittor was surrounded by the Mughal forces of Emperor Akbar. Maharana Udai Singh II decided to leave Chittor and move his family to Gogunda, rather than capitulate to the Mughals. The young Pratap Singh wanted to stay back and fight the Mughals but the elders intervened and convinced him to leave Chittor, oblivious of the fact that this move from Chittor was going to create history for all times to come.

Nearly all of Pratap’s fellow Rajput chiefs had meanwhile entered into the vassalage of the Mughals. Pratap’s own brothers – Shakti Singh, Jagmal and Sagar Singh – served Akbar,[citation needed] and many Rajput chiefs, such as Man Singh I of Amer, served as commanders in Akbar’s armies and as members of his council. Akbar sent a total of six diplomatic missions to Rana Pratap, seeking to negotiate the same sort of peaceful alliance that he had concluded with the other Rajput chiefs. The fifth of these, led by Bhagwan Das, was fruitful in that the Rana of Mewar agreed to put on a robe presented by Akbar and he sent his son, Amar Singh, to the Mughal capital. The missions ultimately failed, however, because the Rana refused personally to present himself to the Mughal court. Since no agreement could be reached, all-out war between Mewar and the Mughals became inevitable.

Maharana Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident at Chavand, which served as his capital, on 29January 1597, aged 57.A chhatri (monument) at the site of Pratap’s funeral in Chavand is an important tourist attraction.