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Statue of Rana Pratap Singh - Captivating Calcutta
2695    Dibyendu Banerjee    16/01/2020

The people of Calcutta are aware of lots of full figure statues of the national leaders, installed around the City, especially the Maidan area, which include the riding statue of Subhas Chandra Bose, located at Shyambazar five point crossing. However, there is another life-size equestrian statue in the city, the statue of Rana Pratap Singh, located in a little known small Triangular Park, opposite to the Central Station of the Calcutta Metro Railways.

Most of the Indians are aware about courageous life of Maharana Pratap Singh, who fought bravely to resist the efforts of the Mughal emperor Akbar to conquer his area. Born on 9th May 1540, he became the 13th king of Mewar, after the death of his father Udai Singh in 1572. During that time, Akbar was the Mughal emperor, who was intended to secure a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar and to fulfill his intention, he needed to arrive at an understanding with the Rajput kings. However, though some of the weak rulers of Rajastan had already submitted to him, Pratap Singh refused to oblige, as he was not prepared to lower his head in obedience to the Mughals.


As a war became imminent, Pratap Singh shifted his capital to Kumbhalgad in the Aravalli range of mountains, which was difficult to access and started to.recruite the tribal people and people dwelling in forests in his army. Finally, his army of 3000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers faced the huge Mughal army of around 10,000 trained soldiers, led by Man Singh of Amber, at Haldighati, a narrow mountain pass near Gogunda, modern Rajsamand on 18 June 1576. After a fierce battle lasting more than six hours, Pratap Singh got injured and lost the day. However, the Mughals could not capture him, as he escaped to the hills and lived to fight for his country.


Later, Pratap recovered Western Mewar including Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur and Gogunda from the clutch of the Mughals and also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur. He died of an injury sustained during hunting, on 19 January 1597, at the age of 56 only.

As a part of the Independence Day celebrations, the 13 feet high and 3 tonnes bronze statue of the famous warrior and patriotic Rajput king, seated on his legendary horse 'Chetak' was created by city sculptor Gautam Pal at a cost of Rs 50 lakh, under the arrangement of Rajasthan Parishad and was ceremoniously inaugurated by former Chief of Army Staff General Shankar Roychoudhury, on 15 August 2009.

Maharana Pratap Statue
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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