Who invented Four Horse Chariot?


Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1299 ; Dated 19th Sept. 2014.

This article explains how the chariot with four horses spread to different parts of the world from India. Hindus are the people who named all the four horses of Lord Krishna’s chariot!!!!
Krishna’s ‘Gitopadesa’ picture is a popular image portrayed on calendars, book wrappers, wall posters and curtains throughout India. Krishna is shown as driving a chariot with Arjuna on it and it is pulled by four white horses. Those who believe the Hindu calendar know that Krishna lived at the end of Dwapara Yuga and just before the end of Kaliyuga i.e 3100 BCE. Scholars who did not believe this say that the Bharata War was fought in the fifteenth century BCE.

I was surprised to see the same chariot with 4 horses in Persian Sun chariot, Greek’s gold Nike ring and the world’s most expensive Greek coin. The oldest Greek material is dated around fifth century BCE. We know that the Greek’s oldest book Iliad of Homer was written around 800 BCE. But the Rig-Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, mentions horses, horse races, chariot races and chariot parts in great detail in hundreds of places. This Veda is dated to 6000 BCE by BG Tilak and Jacobi. The lowest date 1200 BCE was given by Max Muller. When he dated it thus he made it very clear that it was not the date of the composition, but no one can date it later than this period. He gave valid reasons for it.

2200 year old bronze from a grave.

Horse is the prominent animal mentioned in the Rig-Veda more than any other animal. Archaeological evidence is also in support of the earliest association of horse with the Vedic Hindus. Historians have recovered the horse manual written by Kikkuli with Sanskrit numbers. Kikkuli’s word ‘maryannu’ (Vedic Sanskrit word) was borrowed by Egyptians in 1470 BCE. This means Kikkuli’s horse training manual existed around 1500 BCE with Sanskrit words in Turkey Syria area ruled by the Mitannians . Ann Hyland has given full details about Kikkuli’s manual in her book “The Horse in the ancient World “(page 22).
So there is very clear evidence to show that the Vedic Hindus were the horse masters who took the art of horse races and chariots to different parts of the world.

nikeRing400 bce

Picture : gold ring with Nike driving a four horse chariot 400 BCE, said to be Magna Graecia, British Museum, Thomas Burgon collection.

Four Horses of Lord Krishna
Now the question is why Krishna is shown driving a four horse chariot in the Mahabaharata war. One may argue that it was for maintaining the balance. Greek paintings, statues and potteries show chariots with four horses. Later this ‘Quadriga’ became popular in the Roman world. Four horses may be explained as four Vedas. But there is no literary evidence to support it. But Amarakosa, the oldest thesaurus in the world, gives the names of the horses. Bhagavatha Purana and other Puranas also repeat it. This shows that we are the inventors of this chariot. This chariot was donated by Agni, Fire God to Arjuna.
According to Amarakosa of Fourth century CE and Bhagavatha Purana of Gupta period, the names of the four horses are
Padma Purana adds even the colours of these horses: Saibya – parrot green colour, Sugriva – Golden yellow, Meghapushpa – Cloud coloured and Balahaka – White.
These shows how serious were the Hindus about yoking four horses to chariots. Amara kosa and Bhagavatha which are at least 1600 years old could not have imagined it overnight.
British museum holds a big collection of golden objects from the Greek world. One of the rings show Greek Goddess Nike driving a chariot yoked with four horses. Nike is the Greek goddess of Victory. Romans called her Victoria. The Four horse chariot was called quadriga.

Persian (Iranian) Sun God

Sangam Tamil Literature
Two thousand year old Sangam Tamil literature also described the chariot yoked with four horses (lines 487-489 of Perumpanatruppadai). This is a book about Tondaman Ilanthiraiyan who ruled from Kancheepuram of Tamil Nadu. This is an evidence to show that from Kashmir to Kanyakumari people used Four Horse Chariots.
Though the Upanishads give an allegory of body as a chariot, the Self or intellect as the driver and the (five) senses as horses, it is not associated with Lord Krihsna in the Bhagavatha or Mahabharata.

quardiga big
£2 million worth Greek silver coin

Most Expensive Coin in the world

A Greek coin with a figure driving four horse chariot was sold for over 2 million pounds. This Drachma was stuck 2318 years ago. Only twelve coins exist in the world and half of them are in the museums. The silver coin is one inch in diameter, minted in Sicily.
In Persia (Iran) sun god is shown on a four horse chariot. In lot of pottery drawings and modern statues on famous buildings around the world we see big statues on such chariots.

A scene from the film Benhur

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

Leave a comment


  1. Have you researched Horse Manual connections to work on Hurrian – Uratian and thus Yazidi matters – (Turkish archaeologist Ekrem Akurgal )in “The Hattian and Hittite Civilizations”?

  2. Thanks, Keith. I will look for that book in my library (University of London Library at SOAS,London).If you find anything interesting in that book, you may add here in the comment section. If it is brief lot of people will read it. I have bought only Ann Hyland’s book.

  3. Dear Mr Swaminathan
    You have mentioned as
    “This article explains how the chariot with four horses spread to different parts of the world from India. Hindus are the people who named all the four horses of Lord Krishna’s chariot!!!!”
    Except for producing a recent painting , probably calendar art, you have not produced any archaelogical proofs that horse drawn chariots were used in India earlier than in middle east. On the otherhand horse was domesticated and wheel invented in middle east which is the native place of horses. Incidentally horse is not native to India.
    I am giving an extract from AryaBhatt Astrology Services.
    “Essentially the Rig Veda is dominated by hymns praising the Aryan gods for giving them victories and wealth plundered from the local Dasas through warfare. The Aryans apparently used their advances in weaponry and skill in fighting to conquer the agricultural and tribal peoples of the fading Harappan culture. Numerous hymns refer to the use of horses and chariots with spokes which must have given their warriors a tremendous advantage. Spears, bows, arrows, and iron weapons are also mentioned. As a nomadic and pastoral culture glorifying war they established a new social structure of patriarchal families dominated by warriors and, eventually with the power of the Vedas themselves, by priests also. Generally the hymns of the Rig Veda praise the gods and ask them for worldly benefits such as wealth, health, long life, protection, and victory over the Dasa peoples.”
    Your reference to the horses of Arjuna’s Ratha in Mahabharatha and Bhagavatha puraNa ( about 3000 BC) probably means that The vedas, Ramayana and Mahabharatha belong to Middle east.


  4. I have exploded this 200 year old write ups in at least 15 articles on ARYAN DRAVIDIAN RACIST THEORY.
    The answer is already there. You ask them?

    Where are the Horse skeletons that ARYANS used to plunder?
    Where are the Aryan, Dravidian skeletons in the Indus valley?
    Where are the Iron weapons in Indus valley?

    What you have reproduced is written 200 years ago?? Even before the excavation of Indus valley in 1921 they wrote such nonsense. That is why Swami Vivekananda, Harijan leader Ambedkar, Mahatama Gandhi, Saint Aurobindo, Kanchi Paramacharya swamikal — all spoke against this theory.

  5. You have mentioned that the chariot pulled by four horses , spread from India to other parts of the world. You have not given enough proof for this. It is true that vedhas and puranas mention about horses. They do mention about barley also. Rice is rarely mentioned. Camels aslo are mentioned. Does it not mean that during vedic period followers of this religion were living in middle east Greece, Italy etc?

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