Who wins and who lose
in the battle of Hadas (Haldighati)
But rare scenes were witnessed,
when Chetak kicked the head the tusker licked his feet
Poet & Writer
Late Shri Ram Singh Ji Solanki
Tribute to legendary CHETAK
As we hear stories of starving and slaughter-bound horses who are in need of rescue, it’s important to remember that sometimes the compassion between humans and horses goes the other way around. There is no better example of equine loyalty, than the story of Chetak, the heroic horse whose story has been told for the last 400 years.
Chetak was the horse of Maharana pratap, whom Pratap rode during the Battle Of Haldighati, 1576. Maharana Pratap’s forces were decisively outnumbered at Haldighati. While mounted on Chetak, Pratap made an attempt on the life of Raja Mansingh, the Commander of the imperial Mughal Army. When Pratap saw that the battle’s tide was turning against him, he charged towards Raja Man Singh, who was directing the battle seated on an elephant. Pratap made a frontal charge at the imperial army, hacked his way through the massed ranks of enemy combatants and reached in front of Man Singh’s elephant. Once there, Chetak reared high in the air and planted his hooves on the forehead of Man Singh’s elephant. Pratap threw his lance at Raja Man Singh but the blow took the mahout (elephant Controller). In the general melee that followed, Chetak received a fatal wound on one of his leg. This was the turning point of the battle. Mewar’s bold gamble to siege the battle in its favor had failed. As Raja Man Singh was whisked away to safety, Pratap found himself surrounded by enemy soldiers.
Maharana Pratap was loath to leave the battlefield, but was prevailed upon by his faithful followers. By some accounts, one of the Jhala Chieftan literally snatched the Royal Insignia from Maharana and dressed himself, thus making him a target for the Mughal Army
As the Mughal army fell upon the Jhala Chieftan, mistaking him for the Maharana, Pratap left the battlefield with some of his loyal followers. Chetak was exhausted and seriously wounded, but labored on to carry his master, for about 2 miles from the battle field, he came across a stream. It was here, while trying to leap across, that Chetak collapsed and succumbed to its wounds. And since then has been immortalized in the ballads of Rajasthan. The warhorse was of indigenous breed. Folklore has it that Chetak’s coat had a blue tinge. That is why Pratap is sometimes referred as the Rider of the Blue Horse.
Maharana erected a memorial for the eternal Soul. The cenotaph still exists at Haldighati.