World’s Longest Cannon in Bahmani Fort

The Archeological Survey of India and State Archeology should take immediate step to protect the Gulbarga fort canon and it should be included in world record list, writes Dr. REHAMAN PATEL.

 

cannonOur recent visit to search the name of first Sultan Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah in the Persian inscription on the Jama Masjid in fort was fruitful. It was a great discovery for me and my friends: artist and national award-winning photographer Mohammed Ayazuddin and coin collector Mohammed Ismail that we have the World’s longest canon in our own city.

The Bahmani rulers with Gulbarga (Ahsanabad) now Kalaburagi as their capital was a first independent Islamic state of the Deccan in South India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms, standout among other ruler’s for their contribution to the city of Kalaburagi.

The founder of dynasty, Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah (1347-1358 A.D.), made Kalaburagi as his capital and before his death, he was the master of a vast empire. The rulers extended the territories of the empire and made significant contributions to the field of art, architecture and literature.

During the 191 years (1347-1538 A.D.) of Bahmani reign ruled with Gulbarga (Ahasnabad) and Bidar as their capital was flooded with metal art experts and architects.

It is exciting news for Kalaburagi and Hyderabad Karnataka region people that the world’s longest canon is located in the western side in Gulbarga Bahmani fort installed during the reign of Bahmani Empire in the 14th century made by Turkish artisans. It is made up of alloy (Panch dhatu).

It is the Bara Gazi toph (canon) which measures about 29 feet in length. Circumference is 7.6 feet, diameter 2 feet and thickness is 7 inch.

The cannon contains 20 rings on its top portion for its movement. This shows that during the time of war it needed twenty soldiers to pull the cannon. Due to the negligence of department and poor security now only five rings are remaining. According to Mr. Ayazuddin, the weight of the cannon would be 80 tones.

This could be one of the reasons that no one attacked the Bahmani fort in its long rule.

But the canon in the year 2013 which claims to be the longest one in the world is just 23 feet. This canon is located at the Koulas fort at in Nizamabad district, Andhra Pradesh.

The Asaf Jah-I (first Nizam) granted the Koulas fort to Rajput king Raja Kunwar Gopal Singh Gaur in 1724 AD for his bravery in the battle of Balapur and Shakkar Kheda.

The Archeological Survey of India and State Archeology should take immediate step to protect the Gulbarga fort canon and it should be included in world record list. Fencing should be done around the canon and shed for its safety. The canon is filled with mud and small stones which should be cleaned.

Also, a signboard containing the details about the size of canon mentioning it as ‘the largest canon in the world’ is required. Visitors coming from different places are confused where is the longest cannon located in the fort.

Now we have submitted a letter to Kalaburgi Deputy Commissioner, District Incharge Minister, MLA and State Minister for Tourism to communicate the Guinness Book of World Record for the inclusion of the name of Bahmani fort cannon as the longest one in the world.

In fact, three of longest cannons are located in India itself. Gulbarga cannon is 29 feet long, Nizamabad cannon is 23 feet and Jaipur cannon is 20.2 feet. It is unfortunate that the concerned authorities did not take the effort to measure the cannons lying in several Indian forts. Nor have any researchers or historians done a proper study on the cannons.

World’s Biggest Top Ten Cannons (As Claimed)

  1. Tsar Cannon (17.5 feet) 15th century Russia
  2. Pumhart von Steyr (259 cm) 15th Century, Austria
  3. The Basilic-Ottoman (732 cm) Turkish
  4. Faule Mette (181 cm) 15th century, Germany
  5. Malik-e-Maidan (14.6 feet) 16th century, Bijapur, India
  6. Dulle Griet (345 cm) 14th century, Belgium, Europe
  7. Dardanelles Gun (518 cm) 15th century, Turkish
  8. Mons Meg (4.6 m) 15th century, Scottish, Scotland
  9. Faule Grete (250 cm) 15th century,
  10. Jaivana (20.2 feet) 18th century, Jaipur, India

The author, Dr. Rehaman Patel, is a faculty member at the Dept. of Studies in Visual Art, Gulbarga University, Kalburgi, Karnataka, India