Statue of the sacrificial horse

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 14 11:34:28 UTC 1999

<<<can anybody give me any information or references on the origin
of the custom to erect a statue of the sacrifitial horse after
performing of the ashvamedha? What are the earliest examples of such
custom, what text mentions it for the first time; were there any
earlier forms of this practice such as making a wooden image of the
horse, or something like that?>>>

 Dear Prof. Vassilkov,

 I am sure you know of the full life-size horse of the asvamedha
 ritual from Guptan period. For a nice picture, see:
 p. 3, K. Khandalavala, The Golden age, Gupta art - empire, province
 and influence, Marg. The Khairigarh horse was thought to be
 from Samudragupta, now ascribed to Kumaragupta I, 5th c. AD,
 1.56 X 2.4 m. Lucknow museum, Buff sandstone.

 There are some royal sacrifice scenes from the seventh century
 Pallava temple dedicated to VaikuNTapperumAL at Kanchipuram.
 Do they have horses tied to the pillars?, may be Pallava
 art experts (Dr. Rabe) can tell us. Of course, all over India we
 have many coins from different dynasties depicting asvamedha horses.

 Also, T. K. Biswas, Horse in early Indian art, Manohar:Delhi, 1987.

 V. Iyer

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