Monday, August 1, 2011

Largest Cannon (तोप)

So during my recent road trip to Jaipur, I visited the famous JaiGarh fort which happens to be home of largest cannon in the world. But, watching a lot of thrillers has taught me not to believe anything without proof or background research. So I decided to do my own independent research on this so as to reach to root of the case and here is the real truth.


The year was 1720 AD; the Research and Development team of Amer was facing a lot of flak from the critics who felt that team is causing a huge loss to state exchequer without any fruitful outcome. The team which was brainchild of King Sawai Jai Singh (the founder of Jaipur) was under immense pressure to deliver the results. Rumors were abuzz that even King was seriously considering shutting them up. So some random guy in the team came up with a bizarre idea of constructing world’s largest cannon. Since the relations of Amer were friendly with all their neighbors, well to be true they were surrounded by Mughal Empire from all sides with whose kings the Amer’s royal princesses were married, the team knew that such a cannon will never be tested in the live conditions and thus their was no chance they will feel the heat of failure. And finally before the critics had their say the cannon was constructed and delivered to the state, much to the joy of king.

But the critics of cannon were always pointing the issues with this and they became vociferous again during the reign of King Sawai Ram Singh II. So sometime between 1835-1880 AD an enquiry commission was setup to look into the wrong doings of R&D team. The report of the enquiry was tabled in front of king, but to avoid embarrassment to his great grandfather (the R&D team was said to be quiet persuasive), king shelved that report and decided to re-launch the project. This time the aim was to make the cannon movable. It was put on wheels and moved to the location with the help of 4 elephants, where it is present now. The cannon however was never used in the war, Owing to good PR skills of the rulers the city was never attacked. It is said that cannon was test fired by Ram Singh but I wasn’t able to find any proof of that, yes the guide present over there did say that it was fired but it is something he has just read in records and also written on the description board present over there. But it is still considered a Rumor that it was fired. Also it is not world's largest cannon but the largest cannon of medieval times. It was all due to great skills of R&D team members which range from persuasion to good marketing, we believe it to be world's largest cannon. 

True Story!!

Following is the description board near the cannon

English Translation
“This is world famous cannon “JAIVAN”. It was constructed during the reign of King Sawai Jai Singh in 1720 at armory situated in JaiGarh fort. Its length is 20 feet, radius is 8 feet 7 ½ inches and weight 50 ton. The radius of the cannon ball used for it is 11 inches and weight 50 kg. It requires 100 kg of explosive to fire it once and it is said to have a range of 22 miles.  An elephant rests on the tip of the barrel and a pair of peacocks is carved in the center. A pair of ducks also decorates the rear of the barrel. Although something which is used in war, it shows immense hard-work and art love of people of JaiGarh. The work of placing it on wheels was done during reign of King Sawai Ram Singh II (1835-1180). A tin shed was also constructed at that time too. The height of its wheels is 9 feet and width is 1 feet. There is a rolling pin present along with back wheels so as to turn this around in different directions. This cannon was fired only once after its construction. Due to high fortification of the place, no army was ever able to breach the fortification so as to reach up to cannon and thus it was never required to be used. This amazing artifact is a great gift from our ancestors”


lovey sahil said...

great u got a clean shot.... we were asked to buy a 500 Rs pic of it, or hire a professional photographer licensed to pic this stuff, though we were allowed to take the camera there..... and as usual we did steal a few of the pics of this canon. Akshat and Harsh might remember more of it.

Vivacious said...

Wow such a nice and clear description of it... aahhh u shd have drafted the History books... I cd hv enjoyed reading them more then... :):)

sowmya said...

good content & well written :) keep smiling always

Akshat Vaid said...

Idiots, I tell yOU> Photo nahin lene denge to publicity kaise hogi iski..
anyways i do remember this.. I think this was the first of the many places we visited that day..

Saru Singhal said...

Nicely written and Love the words - PR, R&D and Marketing in the post. You made the medieval period quite cool and happening:)

Skywalker said...

@Sahil: yeah I got a clean shot because I knew when to click ;)

@Vivacious: for the time being enjoy my posts ;)

@Sowmya: Thanks

@Akshat: idiot this is not a chatting window :P

@Saru: Text book authors make history look boring... :)

Vivacious said...

@skywalker : thats y i asked u to become an author.. :)

Skywalker said...

@Vivacious: Thats why I am writing posts frequently :P

Shaan said...

Very well written post with lots of info...And I loved the word TOP written in hindi. Lol