It is very difficult to conduct and manage elephants since they are the largest of the animals living on land and due to the enormous power they have. Therefore, in order to facilitate the conduct and management of elephants, many elephant harnesses have been developed since antiquity. The harnesses have been used for various purposes such as leading and reining them, hobbling their feet, protecting warriors and elephants, ensuring their comfort, enhancing the elephant’s ornament and splendor, and stopping crazy elephants. However, there is no information in the sources about elephant harnesses and their functions, except for the general names of chains, tethers and elephant hooks. In Âîn-i Akbarî, written for Akbar, the ruler of the Mughal Empire, 31 kinds of elephant harnessesand their functions are introduced. Since the subject is predominately visual the short explanations contained are not sufficient on their own, and hence thousands of miniatures, illustrations and photographs depicting the harnesses were scanned for the enrichment of the work. Great care was taken in this process, with the images most clearly illustrating the harnesses exhibited and interpreted immediately after the related explanations. In the study, reference is made to some other contemporary sourcesas well as sources dating back to the ages before the Mughal Empire and to modern times. In summary, elephant harnesses used in the Mughal period and experiences the Mughals gained with them are described in the study.
Savaş Fillerinin Binit Takımları, Fil Kontrol Araçları, Savaş Filleri, Âîn-i Ekberî