Chetak, Maharana Pratap’s Brave Horse
At Rajasmand district of Rajasthan, we visited the mausoleum of Chetak the gallant horse of Maharana Pratap Singh who fought valiantly in the Battle of Haldighati.
The famous battle of Haldighati was between Maharana Pratap Singh leading the forces of Mewar and the Mughal army led by Emperor Akbar’s general Man Singh. It lasted for only four hours on 21st June, 1576; Maharana Pratap Singh was on his favorite, faithful and obedient horse Chetak. The brave horse is described as very handsome creature in history books. His physical features like his ears, neck were very attractive. He was submissive only to Maharana Pratap.
Chetak Fights the Battle
Chetak was made to wear a baby elephant’s mask to confuse the elephants of the enemy. The Mughal army was numerically superior, while Maharana Pratap’s men’s morale was at its peak. It was a fierce battle and in that short period Pratap personally attacked Man Singh and the folklore has it that his horse placed his hooves on the trunk of Man Singh’s elephant. Pratap threw his lance at Man Singh; unfortunately it missed the mark and killed the elephant driver instead. Man Singh soon retreated from the scene. However Mughal army and their artillery finally succeeded in surrounding Pratap.
The brave horse was injured badly while Pratap was trying to attack Man Singh. He was bleeding profusely, but on sensing his master in danger, rode him to safety. The Mughal soldiers were chasing them; the brave horse labored on and managed to give the enemies a slip and took a final leap over a small brook few kilometers away from the battlefield. The brave and mighty horse collapsed and breathed his last, his master Maharana Pratap Singh weeping over him. Chetak Samadhi is located at that spot. The memorial in Haldighati reminds us of the spectacular feat achieved by the brave and loyal horse.