The Salihotra (Salhutar), a Manual of Horses and Horsemanship (Farasnamah)

ink and opaque watercolour on paper

text copied in nasta‘liq

81 folios; 24.2 x 14.4 cm 

The Salihotra was the work of Durgarasi
son of Surgarasi, who was belived to have
composed it for Mahmud of Ghazni. It was
translated from the Sanskrit in the reign of
Shah Jahan. The manuscript contains 125
drawings of thoroughbred horses, many of them
bearing brands of ownership (wasm, tamgha),
together with observations on their salient
traits, the illnesses to which they are prone and
prescriptions for their treatment. Their execution
is an interesting illustration of the iconoclastic
tendencies characterising painting under the later
Mughal emperors, especially Awrangzeb (r 1657–

L. York Leach, Paintings from India, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume VIII, London 1998, cat.35, pp.130–31.

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.344, p.290.