Rao Maldeo Ji Rathore (r.1511-November 7, 1562) was an Indian ruler of Marwar, which was later known as Jodhpur. He was the scion of the Rathore clan. His father was Rao Ganga Ji and his mother was Rani Padmavati of Sirohi.
The then Muslim historian Ferishta calls him as the “most Potent Prince of Hindustan”.
Humayun, Babur’s son was defeated by the Sher Shah Suri, a Pathan. Humayun was forced to leave India and he took refuge within the Safavid King of Persia. Sher Shah became the ruler of Delhi. The sisodia’s of Mewar had not yet recovered from the Rana Sanga’s defeat. The Rathore King Rao Maldeo had extended his territory to within the couple of hundred Kilometers of Delhi.
Sher Shah attacked Maldeo. Maldeo came with the force of 40 thousand and Sher Shah had 60 thousand. In the evening Sher Shah sent forged letters to Maldeo’s camp. In the letters it was stated that few generals from Maldeo’s army were buying arms from the Sher Shah’s army. This caused great consternation in Maldeo who thought there was no treachery. Later when Maldeo’s generals Kumpa (his progeny are Kumpawat Rathores) and Jaita (his progeny are Jaitawat Rathores) found out what happened they did not lose cool and decided they would not leave the field even though they just had 20 thousands men and had to face sixty thousand Pathans of Sher Shah.
Finally the battle of Sammel was fought on the cold morning of January 5th 1544 AD. and Sher Shah was shocked by what he saw. Sher Shah’s top generals lost their lives and his army suffered heavy losses. It is the moot point now but had Maldeo not retreated because of the fake letter, Rathore/Rajputs would have defeated Sher Shah.
After his death on 7th November, 1562, the fratricidal contest began for the throne of Marwar and finally his third son, Chandrasen Crowned himself in Jodhpur and his region was short lived as Akbar occupied Merta in 1562 and occupied in 1563.