|A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur,.oldindianphotos.i|
|Raja Gopalaswami beerangi - cannon, Thanjavur TN. rarebooksocietyofindia.org|
|part of Thanjavur fort wall, Tamil Nadu. www.bl.uk/onlinegallery|
|Raja Gopalaswami beerangi -cannon , thanjavur Thanjavurtourism.com|
The presence of trashes, broken plastic bottles, plastic bags, eatable etc., around the 17th century forge-welded iron cannon is an eye-soar. A nice heritage object of historical importance is just lying there not taken proper care.
|Thanjavur cannon. insa.nic.in/|
This large 400 year old cannon is not made by casting and is forge-welded with 43 long iron plates. Once this cannon had 8 iron rings to push and lift the cannon. But now, only two rings are found. The outer circle is 300 mm in diameter, the inner circle is 150 mm in diameter. Considering the time, length and weight and its metal alloy that went into its making; it was an excellent metallurgical technique employed by the workers then. The concrete supports rest on the ground. The cannon is a muzzle-loading type cannon, wherein the gunpowder and the projectile objects are loaded from the muzzle (i.e. front end) of the cannon.
Such an heritage site in the center of Thanjavur needs repairs and renovation as early as possible. My dad used to take me to the top of this structure in 1954 when I was a student in an elementary school in this town. I could see the palace complex, arsenal tower, etc., on the west as well as the impressive red colored Ranee clock tower at the corner of Gandhiji road and Hospital road. Near the monument there were no buildings; no encroachments. This place turned sour and lost its value after 1968. Since then it has been in a poor state and lots of encroachments had taken place after that and no action was taken by either by the municipal authority or by the ASI.
Nayak ruler Raghunatha Nayak was the greatest of the Nayak rulers of Thanjavur. Danish and English traders were keen to trade with his prosperous kingdom. During the reign of Maratha king Serfoji I (1711 - 1729 AD), a literary work on Thanjavur called Sarabhariiji Vilisam mentioned the the presence of an Agniyantra (fire weapon) on the Eastern Rampart of the fort. The elevated part on which the large cannon is mounted was known as 'kizhaku kothalam ' ( Kezhakku Alangam) during the Nayak rule. The entire outer space around the fort comprising all the ramparts on four sides had a wide and deep moat with a long open range to face the enemy attack (if there was one) and for easy direct firing from the fort as in other famous forts of India. The cannon is said to have been constructed in the Manojipatti area of Thanjavur. Historical records mention that a locality in this area known as kollimedu was very famous for iron works.
Tit-bits/ Vintage town:
|vintage image massive gun,Tanjore, facebook|
The sound, it seems, was as if Mount Meru had exploded'' '...'https://www.facebook.com/TheRoyalMarathas/photos/this-photograph-of-a-view-of-the-massive-gun-tanjore-tamilnadu-is-part-of-a-coll/446413338806957/
Part of Thanjavur old moat and rampart:
|1869 image. Thanjavur, TN old moat and ramparts . -in.facebook.com|
https://insa.nic.in/writereaddata/UpLoadedFiles/IJHS/Vol3_2005_02_RAJAGOPALA THE MASSIVE IRON CANNON AT THANJAVUR IN TAMIL NADU.pdf