Vol. 2 Book of Ayodhya City
Chapter 83, verse 16, hence: 2-83-16
brAhmaNA vrutta sammatAHa
go rathaih bharatam yAntam
Sita, rAma, and Lakshman went (or sent) on forest exile. The third brother bharata came back from his maternal Uncle's place kEkaya kingdom.
He didn't agree to his mother kaikEyI's suggestion to accept the crown. He started towards the forest in the direction of Sita-rAma-lakshmaNa's travel-path. This is one of the verses of his journey.
Thousands of learned priests accompanied bharata, in bullock-carts.
It is not clear why 'go-rathas' were used. bharata and his priests have an urgent business of meeting rAma and persuading him to return back to ayOdhya. It was because their father king daSaratha died.
Were there very few horses and horse carts? Such few horses might have been given to cavalry. It is difficult to estimate.
Elephants were there:
savaijayantaaH tu gajA
gaja ArohaiH pracoditAH
tarantaH sma prakaashante
sadhvajaa iva parvataaH
Horses were there:
nArInaam abhipUrNAH tu kAshcit
kAshcit tu vAjinaam
kashcit tatra vahanti sma
yAna yugyam mahA dhanam.
bharata should have given a few bullock-carts/horses to sIta-rAma-lakshmaNas, so that their movement in forests would have been facile and fluent.
The Commanders of bharata's army hastened the movement of horses and bullock-carts:
te hayaiH go rathaiH shiighraiH
syandanaiH ca mano javaiH
saha yodhaiH bala adhyakSaa
balam sarvam acodayan.
Bharata himself travelled in a horse-driven chariot:
bharatasya tu tasya Agnaam
ratham gruhItvA prayayau
yuktam parama vaajibhiH.
Sage viSvAmitra and his followers moved to Mithila with a 100 carts.
quote from rAmAyaN
Vol. 1, Book of rAma's childhoold
Chapter or Sarga 31,
Verse or SlOka: 17.
tam vraja.ntam munivaram
anvagAt anusAriNAm |
shakaTI hata maatram tu
prayANe brahma vaadinAm.
When Sage ViSvAmitra, accompanied by rAma and lakshmaNa, started his journey towards mithila City, some sages followed him with 100 carts.
We have to presume that these are bullock carts.
1. From Ayodhya to visvAmitra's hermitage (nearly 300 km.), viSvAmitra and rAma Bros., travelled by foot.
2. From visvAmitra's hermitage to Mithila, we have to presume that the Sage and rAma Brothers walked. 100 carts with paraphernalia (like ladles, wooden spoons for pouring clarified butter) for rituals followed.