The Mysterious Horsemen of the Pir Panjal
You must have heard of the 8000 plus strong Terracotta Army of Xian, in China, but have you heard about the mysterious Horsemen of the Pir Panjal? The Pir Panjal is a sub-range of the Great Himalayan mountain system that stretches from Murree in Pakistan to the Rohtang Pass in Himachal. Across the Pir Panjal, were ancient trade routes which were connected by passes locally known as Galis. Strewn along the old trade routes through the passes in this Himalayan range, between the Kashmir valley and Jammu, you will come across mysterious and spectacular sculptures of soldiers on horseback. Mostly unknown, outside the region, these ancient sentinels are only known to trekkers and locals who make their way through here.
The Horsemen of the Pir Panjal are found mostly at the foot of the Galis or on the main Gali itself and they usually have a natural water spring and accompanying pond nearby. There is no doubt that these sculptures mark important strategic points on ancient routes that connected different villages in the Pir Panjal. These were probably markers to mark milestones or resting places for weary horses and men. However, little is known about who built them and when.