Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Now here is an interesting horse...

and so is the armour on it! The armour is designed to fool enemy elephants that the horse is actually a baby elephant.


The horse armour dates from at least 1576 and was worn by Chetak at the Battle of  Haldigati.  The battle was between the forces of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, a Rajput state and the Akbah, The Great Moghul. Although Mewar had been conquered by the Moghuls in 1568, the further conflict essentially arose from a dispute over precedence between Pratap, a king, and a Moghul prince, Kunwar Man Singh.



The Moghul army greatly outnumbered the Rajputs and the battle lasted only four hours. Folklore has it that Pratap personally attacked Man Singh, Chetak placing its front legs on the trunk of Man Singh's elephant so that Pratap could throw his lance. Man Singh ducked, and the elephant driver was killed.
 
When the battle turned against the Rajputs, Pratap's generals compelled him to flee.  Chetak had been seriously wounded by the elephant's trunk sword and died a short way from the battle field.  The spot where he died is marked by the following memorial.
 
 
 
Chetak was either a Mawari or Kathiawari breed, both of which descend from the Arabian breed. He is described as having a blue tinge. Pratap, as a result, is often refered to as "The Rider of the Blue Horse."

Kathiawari


5 comments:

  1. A moving * epic story - like that of the mythical Bayard.

    The armour reminds me of the (historical?) 'camel disguised as an elephant' of some Ancient / Medieval armies ('army lists', at least).

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  2. That's really cool, I didn't know they wore armour like that, of course this now means you've got to do a unit of them!!!

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  3. A beautiful story, thank you David.

    Helen

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  4. Thanks! I do have a photo somewhere of very ornate horse armour in the shape of an elephant, but just can't locate it at the moment. When I do I will post it up.
    gwz

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  5. That's fantastic. You never fail to entertain zulu.

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