Ashvamedha / अश्वमेध
- This is a sacrifice which, in Vedic times, was performed by kings to celebrate their paramountcy.
- A fine horse is let loose for a whole year and allowed to wander through the whole land attended by a royal guard.
- When the horse entered a foreign land, the king was either forced to fight the guard or submit to him.
- If the horse was not captured during the year, it was victoriously brought back to the capital accompanied by the rulers of the lands it had entered.
- It was then sacrificed at a great ceremony. The wandering horse was said to symbolise the power of the king over all lands and the king could, on successfully completing the horse sacrifice, assume the title of Chakravarti.