PRASĀDĪ HĀTHĪ, an elephant trained to perform several unusual feat, was among the presence brought to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh by an Assamese chief, Ratan Rāi. According to Sikh chronicles, Ratan Rāi's father, Rām Rāi had served Gurū Tegh Bahādur during his travels across Assam in the mid-1660s and received his blessing. Ratan Rāi, as he grew up, learnt that after the death of Gurū Tegh Bahādur, his son, Gobind Rāi, sat on his spiritual seat. He travelled up-country and came to Anandpur to make obeisance to the Gurū, bringing with him as presents a young and trained elephant, five horses of rare breed and a five-in-one weapon. According to Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, ritu 1, aṅsū 23, the Gurū gave the name Prasādī to the elephant. Prasādī was a beautiful little beast with a round white mark on his head and white streaks on its trunk and back. He soon learnt to salute the Gurū, wash his feet, put a saffron mark on his forehead, wave a whisk over him, collect and bring back arrows shot by him, and walk before him at night holding a torch high with his trunk. Prasādī soon became famous in the hill territory and instantly excited the envy of Bhīm Chand, the Rājā of Kahlūr, as he once saw it while on a visit to the Gurū. Failing to acquire the animal by strategem, he resorted to force and led out an armed contingent to attack Anandpur, but ways repulsed.

         According to Sukhā Siṅgh, Gurbilās Dāsviṅ Pātshāhī, Prasādī was reduced to a skeleton owing to lack of food during the prolonged siege of Anandpur (1705), and Gurū Gobind Siṅgh had him killed to save him the torture.


  1. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
  2. Sukhā Siṅgh, Gurbilās Dasvīṅ Pātshāhī. Patiala,1970
  3. Kuir Siṅgh, Gurbilās Pātshāhī 10. Patiala,1968

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)