(Last Updated on : 17/11/2011)
As Harsha had built up a vast empire he needed a huge army to safeguard it. He paid a special attention to the maintenance of his strong and huge army. People were recruited in the army on the basis of merit and bravery. The profession of a soldier had become hereditary. As per Hiuen Tsang, Harsha's army consisted of 6,000 elephants and 1,00,000 cavalry. The army had several camels. The Samantas and the friendly kings also provided soldiers. As per Bana's account, Harsha received large number of elephants as gift from Samanta kings. From Sindh, Persia and Afghanistan horses were purchased.
The three main branches of Harsha's army were infantry, cavalry and elephants. Chariots were not used. Contemporary inscriptions also mention naval forces. The chief officer of the military department was Mahasandhivigrahadhikrita. He was permitted to make war as well as make peace. Mahabaladhikrita was responsible for organizing the army. Baladhikrita, Senapati, Patasvapati, Katukapati were the officers who worked under Mahabaladhikrita.
Mahasandhivigrahadhikrita and its incumbent was a person named Avanti at the time when the Harshacharita was written. Harsha presupposed a strong military force. The strength of infantry has not been mentioned. Ordinary soldiers were known as chatas and bhatas, cavalry officers, brihadasvavara and infantry officers, baladhikritas and mahabaladhi-kritas. Mahasenapati was the commander-in-chief.
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