How many miles did Bharata travel in 7 days to reach Ayodhya? (Post No.9541)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 9541

Date uploaded in London – –27 APRIL  2021     

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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We read about Bharata’s travel in Valmiki Ramayana. He travelled for seven days and reached Ayodhya. His mother’s country Kekaya was in Afghanistan but near Iranian border. So let us calculate how far he travelled. He travelled by chariot drawn by horses. Some interesting information is available in Panini’s grammar book Ashtadhyayi and its commentaries .

Panini mentioned various terms where bulls were used to draw chariots or carts,

Rathya- bulls to draw chariots 4-4-76; in the tad- vahati section

Saakata- bulls for carts,4-4-80

Baalika and Sairika – bulls for ploughs

Panini refers to different types of chariots drawn by horse or camel or ass in addition to bulls.4-3-122

Chariots were drawn by even number of horses two or four;

Sometimes a leader was yoked in front and it was called Prastha,8-3-92

But in the sculpture’s of Bharhut, Sanchi and Mathura we see 2 or 4 horses or bulls drawing the chariots or carts.

Apart from chariots Panini mentioned riders of bulls, camels and horses.

Horse distance

Aasviina denoted the length of journey made in one day by a horse,5-2-19

In the Atharva Veda 6-131-3 the Aasviina distance is mentioned immediately after 3 or 5 yojanas and appears to have exceeded five yojanas.

The Arthasastra defines precisely the Aasviina distance, as it was needed to calculate the travelling done by Government servants, and for determining the marches of cavalry or for other purposes.

The Aasviina distance in the Arthasastra is as follows—

Quality of horse — Chariot Horses —- Riding Horses

Average — 6 yojanas/31 miles— 5 yojanas/ 25-5 miles

Middle –     9 yojanas/46 miles —- 8 yojanas/41 miles

Best —     12 yojanas/61 miles — 10 yojanas/ 51 miles

The Aasviina distance in the Atharva Veda was between 5 and 8 yojanas.

Patanjali also confirmed 8 yojanas for the best horse per day.

If we take the highest number for the best horse, then Bharata would have covered at least 420 miles between Ayodhya and his home country Kekaya near Iranian border.

The roads between big cities were in good condition.

We read such things in Nala Damayanti charita   as well. Rtuparnan, and Nalan were great drivers. Tamil poem says they travelled 700 Kathams before one said ‘’Mm’’.

Kaikeyi was also a great driver and she got the boons when she drove the chariot of Dasaratha in such a way and made Dasaratha won the battle against Sambara.

So my research showed that Bharata travelled at least 420 miles; to be precise 7 days X61 miles per day= 427 miles.

But the actual distance between Kandahar city (Gandhaara) and Ayodhya is 1000 miles. So I think Bharat would have crossed rivers and took the short cut. Being a prince he would have got waiting chariots on both the banks of every river. Another possibility is that in his time Kekaya’s sovereignty might have covered Pakistan region as well.

Xxx Subham xxxx

tags — Chariot, Horse, distance, Bharat, Kekaya, Aodhya, Asvina, Kautilya

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