Rana Punja Bhil

Historical records illustrate Rana Punja Bhil to be a contemporary of the 16th century ruler of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. He is said to have played a major role in aiding Pratap while waging war against Mughal emperor Akbar.
Rana Punja Bhil is considered a hero by the tribal Bhil community. The tribal army commanded by Punja voluntarily assisted Maharana Pratap during his battle with Akbar. Owing to his status as the commander, Punja was given the title “Rana”. In the contemporary times, awards and scholarships are named in his honour. Punja is currently at the centre of a political debate as it is unclear whether he was a Bhil or a Rajput chieftain who commanded a large army of Bhils.

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