THE PHENOMENA OF HORSES IN INDO-PAKISTANI REGION
AND HARDLY USED BY HINDUS AND JAINS IN WAR AND LIFE:
IMAGERY OF ELEPHANTS AS HINDU GODS AND IN BATTLES
A study of Elephants and horses in this region is like a study of the two nation theory. The history of horses in this region is an uncharted territory. Some people have written about ancient horses. The Hindu epic Mahbharata mentions horses but as sacrificial animals. And relate them to Bhadeswar, historically known as Bhadvarti. History speaks of a shipwrecked Ismaeli ship in the coast of Rann of Kutch and the survival of seven thoroughbred horses. From these horses sprung the lineage of all thorough bred horses in the region. This reference is more than a 1100 years old. It is strange that in a Surya temple the figure is repeated as Surya the Sun rides a chariot driven by seven horses. That is:
“The iconography of Surya in Hinduism varies with its texts. He is typically shown as a resplendent standing person holding lotus flower in both his hands, riding a chariot pulled by one or more horses typically seven. The seven horses are named after the seven meters of Sanskrit prosody: Gayatri, Brihati, Ushnih, Jagati, Trishtubha, Anushtubha and Pankti.”
Seven a magic word. Strange that the ship wrecked horses were also seven.
The legend was so true that even courtier Abu Fazl in times of Emperor Akbar tells us about the same. And there is no doubt that Ismaelis loved horses, and they happily co-existed with Hindus and Jains as seen in the ruined city of Bhadeswar itself, where mosques and temples exist side by side.
But a study of major battles in the region show that Hindus preferred fighting on elephants and the Muslims loved to fight on horse backs. The fight of Muhammed bin Qasim and Raja Dahir was between elephants and horses. Research work is all possible on this aspect of history. Even the Central Asian Mongols invaded this region on back of horses. And this applies to most of the entrance of fighters to the region, including Ghaznavids, Tughlaqs, Lodhis, Mughals and Durranis. Strange that we hear of horses being used as sacrificing animals in Bhadeswar etc, and the strange part is that sculptures exist of Hindu rajas having sex with horses and these are there is famous temples. That is around 1250 AD, or about 800 years ago. Some images are included but cut to preserve sanctity of our writing. Check original on link:
The foreigners preferred horses for agility and speed of traveling. The Hindus preferred elephants for their might and relative safety for ground fighting. It is also related to class consciousness. On horseback all fighters fought on egalitarian footing, while on elephants the riders were in fact sitting on an upper strata of things. Class consciousness in reality! No comradeship there. In any case horse history is worthy of extensive research.