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


Post No. 9541

Date uploaded in London – –27 APRIL  2021     

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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

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