Ancient India : the way to drive an elephant

Elephants and mahouts waiting for tourists. Rajasthan, India.

War, as an art as well as a science, was well understood in ancient India. In the Antiquity, hindus had knowledge of more than 90 nerve points in the body of the elephant. By pressing on them with the toes or a specially shaped iron rod (“ankush”), the mahout could make it obey his commands, such as “turn around”, “attack the enemy”, “turn right”, “turn left”,…

For example, by pressing one point above his eye, the elephant become infuriated; by pressing another on the backbone, it will bend its head to offer a seat; by pressing on a nerve centre on the cheek, it will push with its shoulders; at the base of its feet, there are centres that can kill the animal if pressed hard,…

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