Maharana Pratap was born to Udai Singh II and Jaiwanta Bai. ] His younger brothers were Shakti Singh, Vikram Singh and Jagmal Singh. Pratap also had 2 stepsisters: Chand Kanwar and Man Kanwar. He was married to Ajabde Punwar of Bijolia. He belonged to the Royal Family of Mewar, which was also related to the Royal Family of Saurashtra, Gujarat.
After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him but senior courtiers preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed.
Battle of Haldighati
The grim Siege of Chittorgarh in 1568 had led to the loss of the fertile eastern belt of Mewar to the Mughals. However, the rest of the wooded and hilly kingdom was still under the control of the Rana. The Mughal emperor Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar; when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Rana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys entreating the Rana to become a vassal like many other Rajput leaders in the region. When the Rana refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Maharana Pratap and Akbar's forces led by Man Singh I of Amber. The Mughals were victorious and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture Pratap, who had to leave the battlefield to save his family that was under siege in Udaipur. The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda, in modern day Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap fielded a force of around 22,000 cavalry and 400 Bhil archers. The Mughals were led by Raja Man Singh of Amber, who commanded an army numbering around 100,000 men. After a fierce battle lasting more than three hours, Pratap found himself wounded and the day lost. While a few of his men bought him time, he managed to make an escape to the hills and lived to fight another day. The casualties for Mewar numbered around 14,000 men. The Mughal army lost 8,000 men, with another 3,500 wounded.
Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to capture Maharana Pratap, or any of his close family members in Udaipur. While they were able to capture whole of Mewar, they were unable to hold onto them for long. As soon as the empire's focus shifted north-west, Pratap and his army came out of hiding and recaptured the western regions of his dominion. Overall, he was able to capture entire mewar, except chittorgrah. 
Mughal pressure on Mewar relaxed after 1579 following rebellions in Bengal and Bihar and Mirza Hakim's incursion into the Punjab. In 1582, Maharana Pratap attacked and occupied the Mughal post at Dewair (or Dawer). In 1585, Akbar moved to Lahore and remained there for the next twelve years watching the situation in the north-west. No major Mughal expedition was sent to Mewar during this period. Taking advantage of the situation, Pratap recovered Western Mewar including Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur and Gogunda. During this period, he also built a new capital, Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.
- Rana, Dr. Bhawan Singh (2004), Maharana Pratap, Diamond Pocket Books, ISBN 9788128808258
- Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A History of Jaipur. p. 48. ISBN 978-8-12500-333-5.
- Sharma, Gopi Nath; Mathur, M. N. Maharana Pratap & his times. Udaipur State: Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti. p. 29.
- Lal, Muni (1980). Akbar. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-70691-076-6.
- Sarkar 1960, p. 75.
- Sarkar 1960, p. 77–79.
- Chandra, Satish (2005). Medieval India (Part Two): From Sultanat to the Mughals. Har-Anand Publications. ISBN 9788124110669. pp. 121–122.
- A. N. Bhattacharya (2000). Human geography of Mewar. Himanshu. p. 71.
- Chandra 2005, p. 122
- Sharma, Sri Ram (2005). Maharana Pratap. p. 91. ISBN 978-8-17871-003-7.
- Chandra 2005, p. 122.
- "Rana Pratap Singh - Indian ruler". Encyclopedia Brittanica.
- Gupta, R.K.; Bakshi, S.R. (2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages The Heritage of Rajputs (Set Of 5 Vols.). p. 46. ISBN 978-8-17625-841-8.