Currently, Sony TV’s Maharana Pratap is showing how Akbar is on the verge of capturing Chittorgarh. While, the TV serial has a lot of fictional elements, here we share what actually happened in the history when Mughal Emperor Akbar decided to capture Uday Sigh’s Chittorgarh.
The Start: When the Mughals Marched Towards the Chittorgarh Fort
It all started when Mughal Emperor Akbar decided to surround the Chittorgarh Fort with his force. On October 23rd 1567, Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar brought his personal force of 5,000 soldiers and surrounded at least 6-mile area around the fort of Chittor.
The Mughals not only made a base in the area, by setting up their military camps, but also raised their green flags embodying the presence of the Mughal Empire. Some of the Hindu sources mention that these Mughals brought Islamic emblems and banners to flag their sign.
The Mughals Realized It was Not Easy to Win the Fort
While, Akbar sent all his men to capture other forts and areas, he himself had marched towards the Chittorgarh fort, making it very clear that he was ready to teach enough lessons to Uday Singh and other Rajputs who was not ready to come under his rule.
On the second day of the campaign, the Emperor released his highly effective cannons, and continued doing so for few days. However, soon the Mughal army realized that their mortars would not work from plane and would need some higher elevation. Akbar then, ordered his soldiers to construct the Mohur Margi (also known as Mohur Hill or Coin Hill). This was not shown in Zee TV’s Jodha Akbar, we wonder if Maharana Pratap serial will focus on this part. What’s more, to incite the Rajput flanks to come outside the fort, the Mughal army also demonstrated the heads of dead villagers.
Akbar Then Decided to Make Secret Tunnels which Opened Right at the Gate of the Fort
The siege became tiring and exhausting for the Mughals day by day as they could not see any sign of victory. This was the time when Akbar ordered his soldiers to lift baskets of the earth to build a Mohur hill right in front of the Chittorgarh fort. The soldiers worked day in and day out to construct the hill on which they could place the cannons.
When the work of the Mohur Hill was completed, Akbar placed his mortars and cannons near its tip, still they could not break the heavy stone walls of the Fort. The reason? Well, the cannons were too slow to rupture the Fort wall.
Now, the only way to win Chittorgarh was to make a tunnel beneath the fort. Next, the Mughal emperor masterminded two tunnels to plant two different mines under the stone walls of the Chittor fort.
The Rajput Archers and Muskets made sure they gave Mughals some Tough Time
The process of making the tunnel was not easy and had its own side effect. When around 5000 Mughal soldiers dug their way through the secret tunnel, one of the mines exploded impetuously, killing more than hundred Mughal sowars.
Moreover, The Rajput Archers and Muskets made sure they increased the casualties of the Mughals day by day. Daily casualty of Mughals was around 200.
Akbar’s Matchlock Then Brought the Climax of the Siege
When the final siege began, around 60,000 Mughal soldiers surrounded the fort of Chittorgarh. Akbar, who was already facing a tough situation prayed for victory. This was the moment when he vowed that he would visit the tomb of the Sufi Khwaja in Ajmer if he emerges victorious.
Then began the continuous bombardment on Mewar’s Chittorgarh Fort, and during one such attack it is assumed that a shot from Mughal Emperor Akbar’s own matchlock killed Jaimal, the commander of the Rajputs. This was enough to demoralize the already beaten Rajputs..
It was at this moment when almost all the Rajput women committed Jauhar, and it was this fire of the self-immolation that made the Mughal army realize that they are on the verge of their victory.
This is how the Mughals sieged the Chittorgarh Fort, breaking the Rajputana both physically and mentally.
Source and Reference:
Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals by Satish Chandra