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Chaturanga Sena Formation – Four fold Division of Army in ancient Hindu Tradition

Chaturanga Sena is the four fold division of army in ancient Hindu tradition. Chaturanga Sena consisted of chariots (ratha), elephants (gaja) and horses and infantry. This formation was widely used in wars in ancient India. It must be noted that in important wars mentioned in epics and Puranas, instead of Chaturanga Sena, Sadanga or six fold army fought wars many times.

Chariots that were part of the formation were normally driven by horses. In rare instances mules and bulls also were used for the purpose. The banner of the country was flown on the top of the chariots.

War elephants used to march head of the army and were used for clearing obstacles in the path of the army. Infantry used to be crushed by the rampaging elephants.

Cavalry was the third division of the Chaturanga Sena formation. Thousands of horses participated in each war and played an important role in the victory of the country.

Foot soldiers or infantry formed the fourth division of the army. They used weapons such as bows and arrows, lances, axes, pikes, clubs, swords and javelins. The soldiers wore armor and carried shields.