Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Vinod2070, Aug 29, 2010.
Recently came across some good videos on one of the most heroic Indian king.
Wonder what the Indian history would have been if he had turned North rather than South East.
I'm pretty sure the Cholas did, at one point, turn North and reach the banks of the Ganga. They then transported the sacred water of the Ganga back to the temple complex of Mahaballipuram.
Personally I think its better that the Cholas turned Southeast and spread Indian culture to Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, etc.
Certainly , I echo you here.Really it would remain a great what-if of Indian histoy - had the successive Chola rulers turned north.
It would make for an excellent alternate history novel.
Rajendra Chola had conquered as far as Bengal. Wish he would have north from there
Its not Mahabalipuram, it was Gangai Konda Cholapuram
Those rampaging elephants must be quite a sight! Puncturing holes through whole armies.
The Mongols (Mughals) had developed a counter to rampaging elephants. They would shoot arrows at them and make them turn on their own army. Indian tactics failed to eveolve with time and the country suffered badly for this.
One has to marvel at the great feat of Engineering thousands of years back when no one else in the world was capable of such a feat.
Temple built during the 10th century,almost 1000 years old
Temple building received great impetus from the conquests and the genius of Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola.
main vimanam (tower) is single rock of the weighs more than one tonne..The main feature is u can never see the shadow falling on the ground.
Temple built by Chola in Java (Indonesia)
Patadakalu belongs of Chola dynasty
The architecture of Chola kings, especially Raja Raja Chola, was marvellous, it gives us a peek into the cultural supremacy of Indian empire at a time when the most of the world was almost living a primitive lifestyle.
Our tactics didnt evolved with time.This has been a great bane of nearly all Indian empires since ancient times.
In 1857 -the first war for Indian Independence, the primary weapon was good old sword. And not to mention the tactics. Compare it with US civil war which was fought a few years later.
In fact one can even say that failure of 1962 is a continuation of that approach-lack of attention ,lack of foresightedness in developing a long term vision for army, and not learning from others.
Hopefullly we have learnt from this. The Indian army is coming up with new doctrines every few years.
This peace ,This prosperity all this is beacuse we are united and free. There is one thing in common The Mauryans,The Guptas, The Cholas, The Mughals periods and the current Indian political setup- A strong armed force, a state where the writ of centre prevails. At no cost ( that includes human rights too) - should this be allowed to crumble.
Chola's had a very powerful navy in the world at that time. Nearly 600-1000 Boats, Bay of Bengal is literally a lake to them.
Chola Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chola's Army is nevertheless a small entity, It is more powerful than anything in Asia as of that period. There were more than 2M men in Chola's Army which is nearly equal to that of the size of the PLA today. Also they have had a very robust economy and sea-trade.
Chola military - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One reason for the failure to evolve is because India fails to keep tabs on the happenings outside India. India so vast and complex that any ruler concentrates all his energies within India. His hands are full in trying to juggle administration, keeping enemies subjugated, defending himself from internal rivals and so on... So over a period and Indian ruler fails to keep up with the techiniques developed outside India and is taken by surprise.
Even today, our political parties are busy attacking each other. Hopefully, we will learn from our history. Since, we have experienced slavery for a long time which is still fresh in our minds, hopefully we will be on our toes. But over a time lethargy, rot and corruption get into any system.
I am not really sure of this. At that time, without the modern communication systems, it would be impossible to coordinate such a large army.
That's exactly what is happening today. Our politicians are busy trying to pull each others legs, who cares about defence or changes happening at the international level.
I think we are obsessed with what we saw. There may some other mode of communication with them at that time. Even Napolean have had a large army before the invention of radio as well as Ashoka and Romans
I don't think any of them had an army of million plus.
Remember there is a tendency to exaggerate in such accounts of history.
Not really, They are fighting the wars on the multiple fronts in many lands and obviously such numbers are tend to be acceptable and might be true.
Alexander had an army of less than 40,000 with which he reached the borders of India. His soldiers panicked when they heard that Magadha had an army of 100,000 plus.
It may be true but is highly doubtful.
Here are my two cents:
The historical army stats in India and China are always huge, almost unbelievable to someone from west. I think the stats may not be accurate but most probably approximately true.
For example, if it is said that an X emperor has Y number of soldiers in his army. It may not be a standing army. The standing army may far less than Y. But at the time of a war, that emperor may have the capacity to collect an army of Y with the help of his vassals. Numbers like 1,00,000 are fairly possible in a country like India or China where the population is large. Particularly in India, population density is also large.
The other point is how such a large army is manageable. There are several aspects. The entire army may not be used at a time. Some of the force may be kept reserve and used to provide much needed break for the fighting units. The force may be employed in different fronts. Also we cannot discard the possibility of communication modes which enable such a large force to be coordinated.
Well according to Greek sources Darius fielded an army of a million in his contest with Alexander at Gaugemela.
Johnee is correct. There was a standing army but in times of war the numbers were augmented by taking men from vassals and also from their subjects In fact there were many soldiers who were simple farmers, who would after a war came back to till their lands.
Slightly OT but in Ramayana we find such an event. When Rama wants to prepare for a war against Ravana. He asks Sugreeva(Rama's ally) to prepare the army. Sugreeva sends message to all his vassals and they all assemble at a pre-ordained time. The standing army of Sugreeva is quite small. But the assembled army is vast. Valmiki says that the army is so vast that it covers huge mountains.
Then, once Sita's whereabouts are found, Rama orders the army to march towards south in the direction of Lanka. There is an elaborate mechanism. Rama appoints a force(approx 1lakh) under a commander Neela. This force under Nala will scout ahead and find appropriate place where the army can rest. It will also be aware for any enemy movements. Rama appoints another force which will move to left flank under another commander. Rama appoints another force to move to right flank. These two forces are responsible for protecting the army's main body from any sudden attack from sides. Then, Rama appoints two experienced commanders with double the force to protect the army's movement from any swift attacks from behind. Then this huge army moves to its destination. While moving, the commanders fly in the air so as to coordinate the movement of the vast force under them. Since, managing them from ground is difficult, the commanders take to air. Sugreeva, the king, is carried in palanquin. Rama is carried by the mighty Hanuman who enlarges his form, so that Rama can oversee the movement of the entire army.
Once the army reaches the sea they decide to build a bridge across the 100yojanas of sea. Building boats to carry the vast army is time consuming and also risky because the opponents can attack the pockets of army that reach the Lanka. So, bridge is considered the best mode. Nala is an architect in Rama's army who designs the bridge and builds it with the help of soldiers. They use the timber, sand, rocks and boulders in building the bridge. Soldiers cut large number of huge trees for the required timber. Valmiki says that the surrounding area was largely deforested.
Rama's army built the bridge in 5 days and reached Lanka.
The literature gives us a glimpse into how the Indians could have handled large armies.
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