The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between cavalry and archers supporting the Rana of Mewar, Maharana Pratap and the Mughal emperor Akbar’s forces, led by Man Singh I of Amber. Akbar has decided to send a strong army against Pratap. He sends the king of Amber as his Chief Commander, the reason was that Akbar had blind faith in the Man Singh and is trusted by Akbar more among all the generals.
But the Emperor remembered very well the altercation the Kachhwaha had with the Sisodiya’s and was fully aware of the bitter hatred each nursed in his heart for the other. He also knew that the rulers of Amber had till of late been vassals of Mewar; and the very idea of Kunwar Man Singh invading his lands at the head of an army would be a challenge too provocative for Pratap to let him keep to the hills and fight in a guerrilla fashion.
This was bound to enhance the chances for the Mughal army to inflict a crushing defeat on him, with the possibility of his being taken prisoner, or, which seemed much more likely, killed in an unequal combat. And Akbar also understood full well the charismatic spell that the personality of Pratap could cast on the sentiments of the chivalrous Rajputs. He knew that under a Muslim commander the Rajput soldiers of his army couldn’t possibly put up their best fight against the Hindoo part- the lord of all Hindus; but with Man to lead them, the Kachhwahas, who were the most numerous of the Rajputs in the imperial army, would doubtless exert themselves to their utmost and consider no sacrifice too great for the victory of their beloved prince.
In Badayuni, the contemporary chronicler, tells us, at Ajmer where the Emperor held his court at the time, he introduced Man Singh to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti and “treating him with kindness and showing him the greatest favour, presented him with a robe of honour and a horse with all its appointments, and ordered him to proceed to the hostile district of Gogoonda and Kumbhalmer which was a dependency belonging to Rana Kika. On 3rd April 1576, Man set out from Ajmer; ad soon reached Mandalgarh where he lingered for two whole months, ostensibly to let some more officers and troops join him to augment the strength of his army and to put it into shipshape condition for the impending action, but also hoping all the while that his apparent hesitation would entice the Maharana to abandon his strategic strongholds in the hill-country and come down into the plains to attack him which would, of course, but the imperial forces at a decided advantage.
Man Singh, whose army had swelled to well over 7000 during his prolonged halt at Mandalgarh now advanced by forced marches up along the course of the Banas, passing by way of Mohi and north of modern Nathadwara, to a village called Molela, and there encamped between the village and the bank of the river opposite Khamnor. From here onward his course to Gogoonda lay through rugged hills. And Man felt certain that somewhere in those wonder hills lurked his redoubtable foe, marking his time for the opportunity to waylay his trespassing legions and give battle upon the ground of his own choosing.
The Maharana, who was kept fully informed by his loyal Bhils of every movement that the Mughal army made, had moved to Loseeng- situated some 8 miles to the south-west of Haldighati- and thence advanced further north-eastward to Balicha so that, on the night preceding the battle, barely 6 miles separated the rival hosts.