Beginning with the Harappan age, Indian history is crowded with wars fought on its land. These wars led to the birth and decline of many a kingdoms and empires. As armies and weapons were basic instruments of war, various tactics related to their use also came to be perfected over the centuries.
This work is prefaced by a general survey of the wars fought in ancient India, whose accounts are available, to serve as a backdrop to the study. The rise and fall of the kingdoms covered in this study provide substantial evidence of wars fought galore in ancient India.
With time new strategies of war such as circle theory, six means, four measures, etc., came to be developed. Advanced modes of combat were devised and new methods related to the use of various weapons were perfected. But far more important were the strategical and tactical concepts perfected by the Indians over the centuries. The Mahābhārata and works like the Arthaśāstra, the Kāmandakīy Nītisāra and the Śukranīti contain graphic descriptions of war tactics as these evolved over the centuries.
It is hoped that this study will inspire researchers to delve deeper into this little explored field of study.
About the Author
U.P. Thapliyal, an alumnus of Allahabad and Delhi Universities, was Director, History Division, Ministry of Defence till 1996. He has authored, compiled and edited more than thirty books on the military history of India including Warfare in Ancient India, Military Flags of India – from the Earliest Times, etc.
His research papers have been published in reputed history journals. He has also been a Senior Academic Fellow with ICHR.