Pala Empire - Pala Armed Forces

Pala Armed Forces

Palas had fourfold army consisting of: infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots. In the copperplates of Vatsaraja Dharmapala had been mentioned as the owner of unlimited number of horses, elephants and chariots. It is amazing that when the use of chariots had been backdated in India and other parts of the world the kings of Bengal still depended on four-horsed heavy chariots. Being a riverine land and swarthy climate Bengal was not good enough for breeding quality war-horses. So the Palas had to depend upon their vassal kings for war horses. Pala copperplate inscriptions reveal that mercenary forces were recruited from the Kamboja, Khasas, Huna, Malwa, Gujarat, and Karnata. The Kamboja cavalry were the cream of the Pala army who would later become as powerful as the Janissary army of the Ottoman Empire. The Kamboja forces maintained smaller confederates (Sanghas) among themselves and were staunch follower of their commander. Palas had the army divided into following posts: Senapati or Mahasenapati (General) controlling foot soldiers, cavalry, soldiers riding elephants and camels, and the navy, and the various army posts like Kottapala (Fort guards) and Prantapala (Border guards). Palas had a huge army and the legend of "Nava Lakkha Shainya" (Nine lac soldiers) were popular during the reigns of Dharmapala and Devapala. According to Hudud al-Alam a Persian text written in 982–983 Dharmapala possessed an army of 300,000 soldiers. According to Sulaiman the Arab traveller Devapala set out for his every military expedition with an army of 50,000 elephants and his army had 10,000–15,000 slaves for the maintenance and caretaking of his armies.

Read more about this topic:  Pala Empire

Famous quotes containing the words armed and/or forces:

    O thou day o’ th’ world,
    Chain mine armed neck, leap thou, attire and all,
    Through proof of harness to my heart, and there
    Ride on the pants triumphing!
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    The popularity of disaster movies ... expresses a collective perception of a world threatened by irresistible and unforeseen forces which nevertheless are thwarted at the last moment. Their thinly veiled symbolic meaning might be translated thus: We are innocent of wrongdoing. We are attacked by unforeseeable forces come to harm us. We are, thus, innocent even of negligence. Though those forces are insuperable, chance will come to our aid and we shall emerge victorious.
    David Mamet (b. 1947)