Haldighati is a mountain pass in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan in western India. It connects Rajsamand and Pali districts, 40 kilometres from Udaipur. The name is believed to have come from the turmeric-coloured yellow soil (Turmeric is haldi in Hindi).
The mountain pass is historically significant as the location of the historic Battle of Haldighati, which took place in 1576 between Rana Pratap Singh of Mewar and Raja Man Singh of Amber, general of the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Akbar tried his best to bring Rana Pratap under his clutches; but all in vain. Akbar got angry as no compromise could be arrived at with Rana Pratap and he declared a war. Rana Pratap also started preparations. He shifted his capital to Kumbhalgad in the Aravalli range of mountains which was difficult to access. He recruited tribal people and people dwelling in forests in his army. These people had no experience of fighting any war; but he trained them. He appealed to all Rajput chieftains to come under one flag for Mewar’s independence.
Rana Pratap’s army of 22,000 soldiers met 2,00,000 soldiers of Akbar at Haldighat. Rana Pratap and his soldiers exhibited great valour in this battle although he had to retreat but Akbar’s army was not successful in completely defeating Rana Pratap.
Along with Rana Pratap, his faithful horse named ‘Chetak’ also became immortal in this battle. ‘Chetak’ was seriously injured in the battle of Haldighati but to save his master’s life, it jumped over a big canal. As soon as the canal was crossed, ‘Chetak’ fell down and died thus it saved Rana Pratap, risking its own life. The strong Maharana cried like a child over the death of his faithful horse. Later he constructed a beautiful garden at the place where Chetak had breathed its last. Then Akbar himself attacked Rana Pratap but even after 6 months of fighting the battle, Akbar could not defeat Rana Pratap and went back to Delhi. As a last resort, Akbar sent another great warrior General Jagannath in the year 1584 with a huge army to Mewar but after trying relentlessly for 2 years, even he could not catch Rana Pratap.