ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

JOURNAL OF INDIAN RESEARCH
VOLUME : 4, ISSUE : 1, January-December, 2016 (ISSN No. : 2321-4155)
 
Elephants and Kingship: A Study of the Arthasastra
Dr. Krishna Kumar Mandal*
 
ABSTRACT
The deployment of elephant was deeply embedded in Indian kingship. Elephants symbolize wealth and power. Elephants are large in size, and appear as a sign of military prowess of the king. The display of war elephants in the royal procession was, after all, the display of war assets. It was reflection of war elephant as repertoire of Indian kingship. The paper attempts to explore the trajectory of relation of kingship and management of elephants as reflected in the Arthasastra. The text provides the ethnography of warelephant management and deployment for battle in the over-all structure of kingship. The text refers about establishment of the elephant forest on the border of the state and the connection between elephants and the state. The text provides detailed information on the state hathisar and concerned breeding experts. The Arthasastra underlines that victory (in battle) for a king depends primarily on elephants. The invention of war elephant was in all likelihood an invention of kingship.
 
KEYWORD
Arthasastra, Caturanga, danda, Gajasastra, hastivyuha, Hastyayurveda, Kaut?ilya, Magadha, Matangalila, Megasthenes, mr?gahastin, raj-vahana, R?gveda, saptanga.
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