Maharana Pratap Museum

Haldighati Museum

Maharana Pratap Museum, Haldighati

Haldighati a narrow mountain pass in the Aravalis 40 kms from Udaipur, would probably have been known more for its turmeric- colored soil that gave its name had it not been for history's intervention. The name of the pass today resounds with medieval heroism of a ruler and his horse. Maharana Pratap – the Ruler of Mewar struggled against the Mughal Emperor Akbar for the independence of his motherland and the preservation of Indian values till he breathed his last. There was nothing in the region to depict Pratap's insurmountable spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity. In fact the first battle of freedom was fought at Haldighati. At the battle of Haldighati in 1576, the irrepressible Maharana Pratap of Mewar, astride his horse Chetak, had faced the might of Akbar, the Moghul Emperor. After Indication Surrender of Mughal Army Pratap's horse Chetak which carried him to safety, though it was itself dying of battle wounds. Colonel James Tod Named this Place Thermopally of India.

Before This Museum A Marble Cenotaph was standing there as a poor memorial to the event without any Information Centre & Basic Facilities. May be history would have been gradually forgotten but for a school teacher Mohan Shrimali taking early retirement to put up a museum that is more befitting in size and ambit to pay a worthy tribute to Pratap. Shrimali Decided to Develope this Museum on Akhsardham Theme. Pooling his pension benefits and the money he got by selling his house, augmented by a loan, the former school teacher Mohan Shrimali, 65 has built a resplendent Maharana Pratap Museum spread over three acres. There are a Gallery of Painting, Historical battle Arms and tableaus showing the scenes from the life of Maharana Pratap as well as a light and sound show with a 3D Documentary Film.

Shrimali was inspired by his mentor Balwant Singh Mehta, freedom fighter, and member of the Constituent Assembly. Mehta told Shrimali that since Shrimali was born in Haldighati, he should devote himself to Maharana Pratap. He however felt a commemorative statue or a garden would not be enough. Culling ideas from the Akshardham temple in Gujarat, he designed the complex himself, including among its attractions other features of the locality. Few know that Haldighati produces rose products too. At the museum therefore, there is a live show on how rose water and rose syrup are made. The museum not only depicts the greatness of Pratap but also provides valuable glimpses into the history, civilization and culture of Mewar.

The Central Cabinet Minister Hon'ble Shri C.P. Joshi took keen interest in the development of Shrimali's project. The inauguration function of the Maharana Pratap museum was presided over by Hon'ble Shri C.P. Joshi, in the presence of H.E., the Governor of Rajasthan Shri Anshuman Singh as the Chief Guest. Shri C.P. Joshi invited several V.V.I.P.'s to witness the museum so as to boost the morale of M.L. Shrimali. Shrimali very gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to Shri L.K. Panwar, I.A.S., Shri Subhash Garg I.A.S., and also to all the Ex. Collectors of Rajsamand, who inspired, guided and provided moral support to establish the museum. The visits of the V.V.I.P.'s and their encouragement also greatly contributed to Shrimali's achievements.

Shrimali's sumptuous three crore museum has been drawing tourists from all over India and from all over the world. Shrimali plans to spend most of the earnings of the museum to expand it, which may not be too far away, considering that with its low priced tickets it has become so popular that about 6 Lac tourists are flocking to this museum every year. The Former President of India (the then Governor of Rajasthan), the Former Prime Minister (the then M.P.) the late Vice President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, several Central Ministers, MLA's, MP's Officers of All India services/and the Chief Justice and Justice of the Supreme Court and most of the High Courts have visited this museum. His can do spirit perhaps is the truest tribute to a man like Pratap who was daring enough to take on an empire. Shrimali's endeavours are aimed at inculcating the highest ideals of nationalism and patriotism in Indian youth, as these were the ideals for which Pratap sacrificed all his life.

Shrimali is always mindful of the tourists' demands. In addition to the substantiality of the museum, he is very particular about their facilities and above all decent behavior to them.

Shrimali doesn't use the income from the museum for his family. This income is spent on the expansion and improvement of the museum only. It's the Rose and the rose products on which he has been concentrating to earn his living. The cultivation of rose on a large scale and thereafter by developing the industry of rose products, he has created several jobs for the people of that area. In fact Mohan Shrimali has earned the greatest credibility for the sole reason that his focus has always been on the development of the area and the people around him and not on his personal growth and enrichment.