The sculpted panel at the entrance of the Raigad fort poses some interesting questions.
Raigad Fort – Entrance to Nagarkhana. Stone engraving at the entrance of Raigad fort. | As per original caption, this ‘depicts five Deccani sultanates being trampled by the Maratha Kingdom. The five Deccani sultantes were, Bijapur – Adilshahi; Bidar – Bidar Shahi; Berar – Imad Shahi; Golconda – Qutb Shahi; Ahmednagar – Mugal Shahi.’ | Image by MadPai on May 1, 2008 from his Flicker album | Click for larger picture.
I wonder. Is there more to this?
- The horse is trampling only 4 elephants.
- The fifth in fact is on top of the horse.
- It seems like the horse’s tail has becime a azgar (python) and attacking the fifth elephant.
- Is the fifth elephant the Qutub-Shahi rulers who ‘escaped’ the fate of the other four?
- Is this a more general representation of cavalries becoming more crucial instead of elephants.
- By the time of Shivaji, elephants had become largely beasts of burden – and no more the armoured corps that they were earlier.
- If the nearby sculptures are political like this, then it may be Maratha vs Bahmani representation.
- If they are generally military representations, these may be general mnemonics of army compositions.
It would be nice if the 2ndlook community can decipher this?
Even any more questions and interpretations will do. Open for discussion now.