Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Bacchawali Tope - the cannon which causes child birth!!

Jahan Kosha Cannon,Murshidabad,W.Bengal,India.en.wikipedia.org
 The two well-known cannons described here-under were made of special combination of certain metals that protect them from rusting and, in spite of its age and a few hundred years of continuous exposure to tropical sun,monsoon rains and dry weather conditions, now they neither show signs of rusting nor pealing.

Topekhana, in the city of Murshidabad, once the old capital of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa,West Bengal, India was the Nawob's Artillery Park . ''Jahan Kosha Cannon'' (also known as the Great Gun) literally means the Destroyer of the World is on display in the Topekhana a quarter of mile to the south east of the Katra Mosque. Earlier, it rested on a carriage with wheels and was surrounded by the roots of a Peepal tree. Gradually this cannon was lifted four feet from the ground but the roots surrounded it so beautifully that it has no chance of falling down. Many people were surprised to see the big and heavy cannon hanging at a height of 4 feet.After the removal of roots and plant growth the iron works of the carriage and the tr-unions are still visible. The cannon made of ashtadahatu or 8 metals, namely silver, gold, lead, copper, zinc, tin, iron and mercury.
 

This remarkable, 17 feet and 6 inches long and 3 feet wide, has a girth of 5 feet at the touch hole end cannon  weighs more than 7 tons. The circumference of its mouth is more than one feet. The radius of the silt for containing fire is one and a half inch.  17 kilograms of gunpowder are needed for a single shelling. The orifice is 6 inches. It still shows no sign of rust despite being exposed to a variety of climatic conditions.

On instructions from Daroga Shree Mohammad and under the supervision of Hara Ballav Das in 1637 AD, this cannon was designed and made by one Janardam Karmakar who also happened to be gunsmith. Karmakars were often blacksmiths but are capable of making cannons . Inscriptions engraved on it point out Shah Jehan was the Mogul emperor at that time and Islam Khan was the Subedhar of Bengal. However, the cannon has several other names like the "Great Gun", the "Destroyer of the world", the "Conqueror of the universe" and so on.


There is yet another  astonishing, but exciting  cannon with excellent fire power called Bacchawali Tope, literally it means the cannon which  causes child birth. It is on display  in the Nizamat Fort Campus on the garden space between the Nizamat Imambara and the Hazarduari  Palace and to the east of the old Madina Mosque in the city of Murshidabad in the Indian state of West Bengal.This was most probably made in the 12th and 14 th century by Muslim rulers of Gaur and was widely used against attackers from NW to protect the city of Murshdabad.The cannon has two parts of different diameters for better efficiency and range of fire. 

After the 1846 fire of the Nizamat Imambara, the Imambara was rebuilt, then after the completion of the new Imambara the cannon was shifted to its present site by Sadeq Ali Khan, the architect of the sacred Nizamat. It originally rested on the sand banks of Ichaganj. However, it is unknown that how it came in Ichaganj.

Bacchawali Tope
Cannon, Murshidabad
,W.Bengal,.www.historyofbengal.com
Once at the suggestion  Sir Henry Torrens, the then agent of the Governor General for the British East India company, at Murshidabad, this cannon was fired only once. In its wake, the huge sound was unbearable and ear-piercing  and its intensity was felt within a radius of ten miles from the site of fire. Further, it was reported that most of the pregnant women in their advanced stage of pregnancy in the areas felt uncomfortable and ultimately most of them went into labor and gave birth to a child. Hence the name Bacchawali Tope. Bacchawali, it seems, is a fitting name,.

The cannon weighs around 7657 kg. and it is said that for a single shelling it requires about 18 kg of gunpowder.  The muzzle of the cannon is 1 foot and 7 inches.


Ref':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachhawali_Tope
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jahan_Kosha_Cannon