Akshauhini

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An akshauhini (Sanskrit: अक्षौहिणी akṣauhiṇī) is described in the Mahabharata as a battle formation consisting of 21,870 chariots (Sanskrit ratha); 21,870 elephants (Sanskrit gaja); 65,610 horses (Sanskrit turaga) and 109,350 infantry (Sanskrit pada sainyam) as per the Mahabharata (Adi Parva 2.15-23).[1][2] Thus one akshauhini consisted of 218,700 warriors (not including the charioteers, who didn't fight). The ratio is 1 chariot : 1 elephant : 3 cavalry : 5 infantry soldiers. In each of these large number groups (65,610, etc.), the digits add up to 18.

It is mentioned in the Mahabharata that, in the Kurukshetra War, the Pandava Army consisted of 7 akshauhinis (1,530,900 warriors), and Kaurava Army consisted of 11 akshauhinis (2,405,700 warriors). Thus, the total count of warriors who participated in the war, being 3,936,600 .

Composition[edit]

Patti (company)  : 1 Elephant (Gaja) + 1 Chariot (Ratha) + 3 Horse (Ashwa) + 5 Foot Soldiers (Padati)=10 Warriors
Senamukha = (3 x Patti)  : 3 Elephant + 3 Chariot + 9 Horse + 15 Foot Soldiers = 30 Warriors
Gulma = (3 x Senamukha)  : 9 Elephant + 9 Chariot + 27 Horse + 45 Foot Soldiers = 90 Warriors
Gana = (3 x Gulma)  : 27 Elephant + 27 Chariot + 81 Horse + 135 Foot Soldiers = 270 Warriors
Wahini = (3 x Gana)  : 81 Elephant + 81 Chariot + 243 Horse + 405 Foot Soldiers = 810 Warriors
Pritana/Prutana = (3 x Wahini) : 243 Elephant + 243 Chariot + 729 Horse + 1215 Foot Soldiers = 2,430 Warriors
Chamu = (3 x Pritana/Prutana)  : 729 Elephant + 729 Chariot + 2187 Horse + 3645 Foot Soldiers = 7,290 Warriors
Anikini = (3 x Chamu)  : 2187 Elephant + 2187 Chariot + 6561 Horse + 10935 Foot Soldiers = 21,870 Warriors
Akshauhini = (10 x Anikini)  : 21870 Elephant + 21870 Chariot + 65610 Horse + 109350 Foot Soldiers = 218,700 Warriors

[3]

Kaurava Army and their Allies[edit]

Kuru Army is a coalition of 11 Akshauhinis formed by the kingdom of Hastinapura in alliance with races like the Samsaptakas, Trigartas, the Narayana army, the Sindhu army and Shalya of Madra.

Pandava Army and their Allies[edit]

Pandava Army is a coalition of 7 Akshauhinis, primarily the Panchala and Matsya forces, the Rakshasa forces of Bhima's son, and Vrishni -Yadava heroes.

Army of Pandavas

The 4 types of units that make up an Akshauhini can also be seen in Chaturanga, the predecessor of chess.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Section II".
  2. ^ Sachau, Eduard (1910). Alberuni's India: an account of the religion, philosophy, literature, geography, chronology, astronomy, customs, laws and astrology of India about A.D. 1030, Volume 1. Kegan Paul. ISBN 9780415244978.
  3. ^ "A Glossary Of Terms in Indian Scriptures". 5 March 2020.

3. Akshauhini Wars in Detail - A Study