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Shaktawat is the name of a branch of the Sisodia clan of suryavanshi Rajputs. The Shaktawats are patrilineal descendants of Shakti Singh, a brother of Maharana Pratap of Mewar dynasty. Shaktawat's are found in Bhinder, Bansi, Jagat, Sihad, Hinta, Kalwal, Kunthwas [sawar(chousla)in ajmer]

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Brief history

Shakti Singh was younger brother of Rana Pratap, in his childhood he once cut his arm to check the sharpness of a sword, seeing the brutality, his father Rana Udai Singh consulted with his priest who said that Shakti singh would be a bane on Mewar. He then lost all favour and love from his father. Once during hunting he fought with then prince Pratap and both brother went against each other for a duel. The result of which would have ensured that one would definitely die. The priest intervened and cut himself to stop the mad brothers. Looking at the dead body of priest the brothers calmed down. Pratap asked Shakti to leave the territory of Mewar and he obediently followed. Along with another estranged brother Sugra, joined the imperial army under Akbar, like another brother of Pratap, Sagar Singh.

Battle of Haldighati

In the battle of haldighati Shakti Singh did fight for prince Jehangir, Rana Pratap fought bravely and at one point even came very close to Man Singh of Jaipur and his steed Chetak stood on top of the elephant of Raja Man Singh, at this moment Rana Pratap hurled a weapon , bhala, towards Raja Man Singh who ducked and was saved.

The odds were against the forces of Pratap 20000 brave souls fighting against the 80000 strong and mighty Mughal Army. Rana Pratap was severely injured and Jhala Man Singh took the Crimson flag and deceived the mughals, the followed him thinking him to be Rana Pratap.

Other chiefs persuaded Rana Pratap to leave the battle field and he finally reluctantly was persuaded to do so, but mughals by now knew where Rana Pratap was and came to him. Chiefs fought the army and Pratap was taken away in half awake state by his horse chetak. He was followed by two well know afghans. They chased him for a while but then a spring came and chetak took the jump and collapsed on the spot. Rana Pratap had no hope against the chasing afghans and mughals.

Shakti singh comes to Rana Pratap's rescue

Shakti singh came to his rescue and killed the afghans and gave his own horse to Rana Pratap. The brothers were united. Shakti singh promised to join Rana Pratap at a later date and asked him to leave immediately. Rana Pratap bid farewell to chetak and left.

Days later Shakti Singh was inquired about the afghans and he lied saying that by the time he reached the scene they were killed by Rana Pratap, Jehangir said if you tell truth i will pardon you. Shakti Singh told the true story and said that he could not see his own blood being chased like that. Hence he has to rescue the Rana. Jehangir asked him to leave his court with no punishment.

Shakti Singh went to join Rana Pratap. But on his way he did capture the Bhynsrorgarh fort which was occupied by mughal forces then. The brothers from then on were very close to each other.

The Shaktawats (Achlawats and Bhanawats)

Shakti Singh had 17 sons the eldest was Rao Bhanji (of Bhindar). Rao Bhanji and Rao Achaldas were born within months of each other, although Rao Achaldas was born a little earlier, the news of his birth came after Rao Bhanji had been proclaimed the heir apparent. On Shakti Singh's death Rao Bhanji was crowned Rawat and other 16 sons including the eldest Achaldas(of Bansi) went for cremation of their father as was the custom in those days where the crown prince did not leave the palace. When they returned Rao Bhanji told them to leave the palace and fend for themselves elsewhere as he had limited resources for all 17 brothers. The brothers agreed and left.

During their journey the pregnant wife of Achaldas was about to deliver then sudden and heavy rains started. At this moment they took her under a tree but a rock was falling onto the place, his younger brother Bheem Singh who was really strong stood under the rock.

Years later they came back to serve Rana Amar Singh when the then prime minister saw the brothers in a small village. They were so successful that one day Rana Amar Singh asked them to be vanguard of Mewar Forces. This was unacceptable to Chundawats who had led Mewar Army as the vanguard since the days of Rao Chonda.

Rana Amar Singh said that who ever reached Ontalla first, which was captured by mughals, would lead the vanguard. Both shaktawats and chundawats fought hard. On the gate Rao Ballu hanged himself on spiked gates so the elephant can crush the gate and he along with his 4 brothers perished to capture the fort from Mughals. Chundawats lost their leader too. But Mewar recovered Ontalla.

Later Rawat Achaldas elder son of Shakti Singh, won multiple battles for his lord Maharana Amar Singh, against Mughul invaders of Delhi assisted by the combined forces of Man Singh Kachhawa of Jaipur and Mota Raja Udai Singh of Jodhpur, considered darkest regime of Indian history.

At the moment of war period, when forces of Mewar were at back foot, Maharana Amar Singh consulted his cabinet and decided to move backward for a while. Achaldas Shaktawat was heading Mewar force, decided to fight even without Maharana saying that he can’t see his country, cattle and ladies being looted and raped by the invading army.

Maharana Amar Singh by mistake said that he can afford death of single person but Achaldas is leading his whole army to death and gave him the title of “Savaya Sagat” {1 - 1/4 times better / worse than Sagat (Shakti Singh)}, literally dishonoring his father Shakti Singh. Deeply suffered from the feeling of insult, Achaldas self gifted his head to his god Ekling (Lord Shiva), when he found himself standing in between position of disobeying his lord Maharana Amar Singh and on the other side viewing his country, cattle and ladies being looted and raped by the invading army.

This incident brought a great feeling of sorrow in the heart, mind and soul of Maharana Amar Singh, who had witnessed the gallantry battles fought by his father Maharana Pratap.

Maharana Amar Singh immediately gave the title of Achaldas to his son Narhari, who being highly motivated along with the sons of Maharana Amar Singh fought with great chivalry, that not only Maharana Amar Singh felt the enchanting rays of blessings of his ancestors from heaven, even it led to fill the traditional accounts of the invading army from the legendry battle of Mewar forces.

Major Shaktawat Thikanas

  • Bansi
  • Bhindar
  • Bijaipur
  • Bohera
  • Lava
  • Hinta
  • Semari
  • Rood
  • Sihar
  • Pansal
  • Kunthawas
  • Mandori
  • Baval
  • Angoti

References

See also

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