Haldighati – Where History Of Maharana Pratap Lives


Haldighati spoke to me through the history books all through my school days. The history of Maharana Pratap and his courage seeped in through the poetry books that we read. The battle of Haldighati stands as the turning point in the history of Mughal and Rajputana history. Chetak, the horse who flew on three legs remains a symbol of loyalty and companionship many generations after he did that mean feat for his master Maharana Pratap.

Maharana Pratap Memorial, Haldighati
Maharana Pratap Memorial

I was in Nathdwara and this place is not too far from there. In fact, as I was driving from Udaipur towards Nathdwara and the Maharana Pratap’s memorial, all the stories that I had heard or read were doing rounds in my head. I was trying to place those characters in my head in the landscape I was passing through.

What is Haldighati?

Haldighati Pass, Aravalli Hills, Rajasthan
Haldighati Pass

One of the key things that I wanted to see was if the soil at the place is actually the color of Haldi. Haldi is Turmeric in Hindi and is known for its characteristic bright yellow color. I had to wait to see this Haldi color till I reached the small mountain pass on Aravali Hills where a road has been built through a small hill. And yes the color of this rock is absolutely the color of Turmeric of Haldi. We stopped right in the middle of the road and clicked pictures of this insanely yellow rock.

My driver said it is the blood of the soldiers who fought in the battle that has turned the rock and soil yellow. I am sure it is a myth, for have we not seen rocks in all possible colors?

This pass on Aravalli has become a tourist stop where everyone stops to take a picture and a selfie.

Battle of Haldighati, Rajasthan

Sculpture depicting the Battle of Haldighati
Sculpture depicting the battle

The Battle of Haldighati was fought way back in 1576 between Maharana Pratap and Man Singh who was representing Akbar. Mughals had an upper hand with the size of the army, being many times that of Maharana Pratap’s Army. Rajputs fought bravely but at some point in time, Maharana Pratap was injured and unconscious. His general Man Singh Jhala exchanged his armor with him to confuse the Mughal Army and directed his horse Chetak to take him to the safe grounds. Chetak’s one leg was also injured but he carried Maharana Pratap on 3 legs across the hills and across the river. He will be best remembered for this feat. Chetak died leaving Maharana Pratap alone.

On the battlefield, Man Singh Jhala got killed and it took some time for Mughal Army to figure out that they have not yet killed Maharana Pratap. They searched for him but could not find him though they managed to capture the region.

Apparently, the battle lasted for only 4 hours.

Chetak Samadhi

Chetak Samadhi
Chetak Samadhi

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only memorial dedicated to a horse. Chetak, the horse who fought equally in a battle as his master, saved his master’s life at the cost of his own life.

A small canopy and a plaque standing in the middle of a garden remember Chetak – the horse of Maharana Pratap. A small sculpture shows maharana Pratap riding his horse Chetak. This is the same spot where Chetak breathed his last.

A closer look at Chetak Samadhi
A closer look at Chetak Samadhi

A small Shiva temple that looks old stands next to it.

You feel a tinge of sadness mixed with pride when you stand there in front of this memorial.

Maharana Pratap Memorial

Inside Maharana Pratap Memorial, Haldighati
Inside Maharana Pratap Memorial

Maharana Pratap Memorial documents the history of Maharana Pratap- his life and times, episodes from his life, and of course the battles he fought. Located very close to the Chetak Samadhi, this is a whole new building, built in typical Mewari Architecture.

Camels outside Maharana Pratap Memorial
Camels outside Maharana Pratap Memorial

A row of camel lines outside for those who may want to roam around the local style.

Shiva Temple at Maharana Pratap Memorial
Shiva Temple

But the ticket and enter the lovely fort-like structure. There is a small Shiva temple on the right,  in all white.

You are greeted by a large bronze sculpture depicting the deception of the Mughal Army by Man Singh Jhala. This is done using a horse with an elephant head while the opponent army guy is on an elephant.

Chittorgarh as part of story of Maharana Pratap
Chittorgarh as part of a story of Maharana Pratap

Inside the museum, the scenes of battle are depicted using paintings and a series of interactive dioramas. The whole of Mewar is recreated to tell the stories from the life of Maharana Pratap. It was like walking through the history lessons once again.

There is not just a history of Maharana Pratap, but more or less history of Mewar covering places like Kumbhalgarh and Chittorgarh Fort.

Rows of Colorful Mewari Pagris
Rows of Colorful Mewari Pagris

Behind the museum is a rural village re-created with a small lake to boat around, and some shops to shop at. I liked the stack of colorful Pagris at one of the shops – so typically Mewari.


Lake at Maharana Pratap Memorial, Haldighati
Lake at Maharana Pratap Memorial

The courage of Mewar Rajputs has been celebrated very well by the poets like Shyam Narayan Pandey. His poem describes the bloody battle in gory details – using metaphors that heighten the emotion of war and the inequality of the facing armies.

Chaitri Gulab

Chaitri Gulab or Roses industry in and around the place
Chaitri Gulab or Roses industry in and around the place

This region is now becoming famous for Chaitri Gulab or pink roses that are commercially grown here. Chaitri refers to the Chaitra month of the Hindu Calendar, and would typically fall in March. Products based on Rose such as Rosewater, Gulkand, Rose Squash, Rose fragrance, and other medicinal products are produced here. On the way to Haldighati, you would see many stalls selling these products, though, to see the Rose plantations you must visit sometime around March. I was there in November and I saw a lot of Marigold flowers all around, providing a different hue of yellow to the ambiance.

It is an easy one-day trip from Udaipur. You can also combine it with a trip to Nathdwara and Eklingji.

Recommend you to read the following Places to visit in Rajasthan nearby.

Temples of Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort – Stories of Courage, Devotion & Sacrifice

Chitrashala – Miniature Paintings, Bundi School of Art


  1. I love to travel to historical places and your article creates enthusiasm to visit that place soon. Thanks for sharing.

  2. INDIA is one of the oldest civilisations in the world with a colourful variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved complex socio-economic progress during the last 59 years of its Independence.

  3. Dear Anu,it was somewhere a very nice feeling to read about Haldighati,as you rightly said we have been reading about it in our books in schools.

  4. A wonderful travelogue narrated beautifully well to live the experience. Since my completion of schooldays, I am reading about HALDIGHATI first time here.

  5. First time in my life I have found a great post on Haldi Ghati. Thanks for writing the amazing blog. Being a Rajput by blood this place is emotionally attached to me. Also, my hometown is Udaipur, so you know how it feels like.
    Thanks m’aam.


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