Not just his loyalty, and bravery, know all the lesser known facts about Maharana Pratap’s horse Chetak – Also read the entire folklore written on him

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. 

battle of haldighati maharana pratap mewar Lesser Known Facts About Chetak   The Brave Horse of Maharana Pratap

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. 

Maharana Pratap With Chetak Horse Lesser Known Facts About Chetak   The Brave Horse of Maharana Pratap

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.

sharad malhotra maharana pratap Lesser Known Facts About Chetak   The Brave Horse of Maharana Pratap

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.

Folklore Source


Riding Through The Change : History, Horses, and the Restructuring of Tradition in Rajasthan
By Elizabeth Thelen

1000 Famous Horses Fact and Fictional Throughout the Ages By Fjh Glove                                                               

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