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Chetak or Cetak is the name given in traditional literature to the horse ridden by Maharana Pratap at the Battle of Haldighati, fought on 21 June 1576 at Haldighati, in the Aravalli Mountains of Rajasthan, in western India. The horse is not named in historical sources.[1]:45

Chetak
Chetak
Chetak and Maharana Pratap, statue in Moti Magri, Udaipur
Species Horse
Breed unknown
Sex Male
Died 1576
Rajsamand, Rajasthan
Nation from Mewari
Employer Maharana Pratap
Notable role War horse
Chokha of Devgarh, Battle of Haldighati, painted 1822; detail, showing the attack by Pratap, mounted on Chetak, on the leader of the Mughal forces, Man Singh of Amber, in a howdah on an elephant

The storyEdit

Historical sources do not name the horse ridden by Maharana Pratap at the Battle of Haldighati on 21 June 1576, nor do they attribute any unusual feat or achievement to it.[1]:45

According to tradition, Chetak, although wounded, carried Pratap safely away from the battle, but then died of his wounds. The story is recounted in court poems of Mewar from the seventeenth century onwards. The horse is first named "Cetak" in an eighteenth-century ballad, Khummana-Raso.[1]:45 The story was published in 1829 by Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod, a colonial officer who had been political officer to the Mewari court, in the first volume of his Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India.[1]:46[2]:339 His account was based on the Khummana-Raso, and became the most commonly followed version of the tale.[1]:45 In it, the horse is named "Chytuc", and is once referred to as the "blue horse"; Pratap is at one point called the "rider of the blue horse".[2]:339

The story spread outside Rajasthan, to Bengal and elsewhere, where Pratap was seen as a symbolic example of resistance to invasion, and thus of nationalist resistance to British colonial occupation.[1]:47

CommemorationEdit

Several statues and monuments to Pratap and Cetak have been raised. An equestrian statue was placed in Moti Magri Park in Udaipur by Bhagwant Singh of Mewar (r. 1955–1984);[1]:47[3] another overlooks the city of Jodhpur.[1]:47 The Chetak Smarak at Haldighati in Rajsamand District is supposedly at the place where Chetak fell.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Elizabeth Thelen (2006). Riding through Change: History, Horses and the Reconstruction of Tradition in Rajasthan (senior thesis). Seattle, Washington: University of Washington. Accessed April 2017.
  2. ^ a b James Tod (1829). Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India, volume I of II. London: Smith, Elder.
  3. ^ Maharana Pratap Memorial. Udaipur India. Accessed April 2017.
  4. ^ Chetak Samadhi. Archaeological Survey of India, Jaipur Circle. Accessed April 2017.