This artillery gun is a crowd-puller

This artillery gun is a crowd-puller

Made of an alloy of copper, iron and tin, its creation is credited to a Turkish engineer Mohammed Bin Hassan Rumi in the year 1549 A D Because of the alloy, the gun surface is relatively clean and has no rust.

We are talking about the massive cannon that sits atop the Sherzah Burj facing west towards the plains outside Bijapur.

The Bijapur ruler, Muhammad Adil Shah, is said to have set it up at its present location.

It must have been a huge task to cart the gun, a war trophy, from Ahmednagar in the 17th century A D using many elephants, oxen and 100 men.

A lion’s head with its mouth wide open with its fangs crushing an elephant forms a rare sight, which is the cannon’s mouth.  On top of the cannon is an inscription in Arabic and Persian commissioned by Aurangzeb. It is believed that this cannon was used in the battle of Talikota. Malik-e-Maidan or Muluk-e-Maidan literally translates to ‘Lord of the battlefield’.

It is perhaps one of the largest medieval cannons in the world. The cannon remains cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell. There are two lion figures fixed on the brick wall leading to the top of the viewing gallery.

Fortunately, the gun is enclosed in a separate enclosure that prevents visitors from handling it. It is a common belief among people here that by touching the gun, their wishes will be fulfilled.

There is no entry fee and hardly any security.  Bijapur is about 580 km from Bangalore and is well connected by road and rail.  The Sherzah Bur located at the outskirts of the city, atop which the cannon is located, can be reached by a taxi/auto-rickshaw and there is no entry fee.

TALIKOTA BATTLE

* The battle of Talikota was fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Deccan Sultanates. The battle marked the end of the Vijayanagara dynasty.

* Talikota is situated in northern Karnataka, near Bijapur.

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