Horses in India

nas_ng at nas_ng at
Mon Jan 13 20:38:38 UTC 1997


             Horses in South India
Horses were imported from Arabia even in Vijayanagara days.
Muslims were employed as horse riders, trainers, middlemen
in purchases. (I wrote down some references. Look at bibliographical
essay in Anna Dallapiccola (ed), Vijayanagara: city & empire,
new currents of research, 2v, Steiner, 1985. It lists them.)

Elephant rider is Maavuttan, For horses, he is Raavuttan.
(from Mahout and Rahout respectively).
Murugan, that special tamil god, is praised in 1500
songs in 14th century by Arunagirinathar. Arunagiri's Tiruppugazh
is a major treatise for music time measure (taaLam).
In one tiruppugazh, Arunagiri calls Murugan as
"mayil ERu raavuttan - raavuttan riding a peacock".

              Terracota Horses

The village deity surrounded by terracota horses (sometimes made out of
brick & mortar also) is Aiyanar. The famous Sabarimalai Ayyappan
is also an Aiyanar (Sasta). Out of many references, I think of:

Marguerite E. Adiceam, Contribution a l'etude Aiyanar = Sasta, Pondichery:
 Institute Francais d'Indologie, 1967, 128 p.

Stephen Inglis, A village art of South India, Madurai university, 1980
(on pottery, votive offerings to gods)

Stephen P. Huyler, Gifts of Earth: terracotas and clay sculptures
of India, N. Delhi 1996, 231 p.

Well, Thinking of rural countryside on the day of 
Tamil thanksgiving festival,
Have a Happy Pongal,
N. Ganesan
nas_ng at

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