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

No Thief, No Miser, No illiterate in my Kingdom- Asvapati of Kekaya (9482)


Post No. 9482

Date uploaded in London – –11  APRIL  2021     

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There is a beautiful verse in Chandogya Upanishad which describes the ancient Hindu society.

This was the condition that existed at least 3000 years ago in India.

“Within my realm (Janapada ) there is no thief

No misser, nor a drinking man

None altarless, none ignorant,

Nno man unchaste , no wife unchaste.”

–Asvapati of Kekaya

The same ideals are described in several discourses of the Mahabharata. The Vidura Niti in the

Mahabharata is a summary of those ideals of virtue and common sense which were cultivated by the Janapada citizens.

Panini mentioned it with the word Vainayika 5-4-34. It is in the Santi parva of 68-4 of Mahabharata.

The Vainayika functions of the Janapada state are described at length in the epic in a chapter

in Santi parva 68.1-61 where we see

‘Yadi raja na paalayet’.

Dharma is the base on which the society rests. We see it inUdyoga parva of the epic.

‘Namo Dharmaya mahate dharmo dharayati prajaha’- Udyoga parva 137-9

Panini uses ‘Dhaarmika’, ‘Dharmam charati’ 4-4-41

‘Charati’ means habitual moral conduct or practice of virtue. Dharma denoted both justice and virtue.

This ideal is embodied in the famous words of king Asvapati of Kekaya which he uttered in the presence of such citizens who were householders possessing magnificent mansions (Mahasala), supplied with all the luxuries that Janapada life would provide, but who still chose the Path of virtue and learning (Maha strotriya ).

Source book- India as known to Panini by VS Agrawala


Kambar in Ramayana

Kambar in Ramayana also describes such a society

When Kambar describes the conditions of the people in Ayodhya, he says,

“There is no untimely death because there is no crime;

There is no anger because everyone behaves”

He continued in another verse,

“No one donated anything because there is no one to accept it;

No one’s valour is seen because no one came for a fight;

There is no truth visible because no one spoke a lie;

Every one is learned and so there is elementary education!

This is only a rough translation. In short people had no needs. Every one is happy

and the society is peaceful.

Valmiki also says the same in his Ramayana( Please see the link below for my old article)

Ayodhya | Tamil and Vedas › tag › ayodhya


9 Jul 2014 — “Ayodhya was founded by Manu, a lord among men. The city’s thoroughfares

extended for sixty miles. It had massive gates and numerous …


tags- Asvapati, Kekaya, Chandogya Upanishad, No thief