Maharana Pratap serial on Sony TV will soon show Chetak making an entry on the sets. While, Chetak’s bravery is quite famous, here I’ll focus on some of the lesser known facts about him.
Chetak Was of Marwari Breed
Western India has three breeds of horses – Marwari, Sindhi and Kathiawari. Chetak is claimed to be of Marwari breed. Being Marwari , Chetak is assumed to be a small horse, ranging anything between 14.2 to15.2 hands high. In addition, his body was slender like the desert breeds. He had an expressive high forehead with long face and prominent sparkling eyes.
Chetak Had Curved Ears and Peacock Like Neck
Chetak’s most distinctive feature was his beautiful curved and curled ears, the apex of which met when the ears pointed forward. Then came his neck, like that of a Mayura Greeva. Chetak’s chest was broad like a standard Marwari horse.
The Coat of Chetak Had a Blue Tinge
Although Marwari horses come in various colors and forms, according to the folklores sung in the Mewar region it is said that Chetak’s coat had a certain blue tinge. Perhaps, that is why Maharana Pratap in ballads, is often referred as the ‘Rider of The Blue Horse’
He Had Well Defined Personality Almost Like that of Pratap Himself
Chetak will be introduced in the serial as a horse who is not easy to handle. Arrogant, and aggressive, he will choose his own owner, that is, Pratap. In reality also he was very much like that of Pratap as mentioned in folklores. When, it came to traits and behavior, Chetak was no less than his proud Rajput owner. There was an equational connection between the two.
He was not just loyal, and tireless, but also competitive and fearless
Chetak’s loyalty towards his owner was more than the Rajput kings of his time. He not only remained loyal to his owner till he breath his last, but also rescued him from the battlefield to a safe place in spite of having a fatal wound himself.
Here is a Folklore on Chetak – Paean of The Three Legged Dark Blue Horse (Folklore-Chetak)
About brave battles and true grit
When all that history is writ
There will sit saddled, one great name
Within the heroes’ hall of fame
The horse Chetak’s, a Marwari
A breed that would the least tarry.
Three things are known of Marwari
A battle horse of victory.
That, its speed forges a path free,
In danger helps the rider flee.
That, man wounded, is not alone,
And dead, astride he would reach home.
One such, with such a human heart
Would not from his rider be part
Was, Chetak bred of faculty
To serve with love and loyalty
The horse friend of Rana Pratap
When battle turned hazard of hap.
So unlike, the rest of his breed
He was the rarest of a steed
Not black, not grey, not bald of pie
Still strange dark blue of darkened sky
The brave king, renowned was of course
Called ‘Rider of the Dark Blue Horse’.
Chetak’s amble and limbs were fine
His hooves of dynamics divine
When times the Rana rode a course
Folks vied to catch a glimpse perforce
Yet, they caught sight of, just blue tinge
When Chetak raced, his sight would sing
One Imperial Majesty
Stoked battle at Haldigati
Mughal Man Singh, war exponent
Strode atop an elephant
Fitted with wheels of sword-long-blades
No charge could break his armoured glade.
Thus, Haldigathi battlefield
Where Rana’s men fought not to yield
Saw them go down like pins unkempt
So Rana made his last attempt
A path through Mughal soldiers traced
With Chetak towards Man Singh raced.
Reared up the horse and brave man
Above those blades, a daring plan
Leapt and struck the elephant’s head
Missed Singh, but mahout died instead
The plan totally misfired
Horse and king men-locked and mired.
One foreleg of Chetak got cut
Three legged he managed to butt
Three legged he ran just as fast
Two miles from that battlefield past
His croup read Rana’s horsemanship
Snaking, wobbling, frothing at lip.
Chetak galloped, flew off a cliff
Three legged flight, a challenge stiff
Safe banks of the stream he touched
Then shuddered hard and sideways lurched
The stunned Rana giving God thanks
Saw Chetak drop on the stream-banks.
Towards Rana’s lap, inched his head
Whinnied soft, snapped his breath, lay dead
“My three legged friend! You are gone!
Why !? You never left me alone!!”
Wept the Rana and held him close
Kissed his wet face and stroked his nose.
The Rana escaped to return
Goading grand battles from heartburn
When dusts and scores did down settle
In honour of Chetak’s mettle
The Rana raised a monument
Still marks that spot where Chetak went.
Folklore etched their names in gold
Paeans are sung, stories told
Of rider and the brave blue horse
Now, more renowned the horse of course
In harness he died, one great name
Years pass, but not that horse’s fame.
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