The builders of great forts also equipped them with great guns, powerful enough terrorize enemy armies. Here we are with the three largest cannons in Karnataka. Two are at Bidar fort and one from Bjiapur. Also there are few more cannons from Raichur and Gulbarga fort.. these cannons are long 20 feet or more.
Lets start with the largest piece - Badi Tope of Bidar Fort the capital of Bahamani kingdom. True to its name its is a "big gun." Positioned strategically on a massive turret to defend the fort's western and southern walls. Here are my estimates of its physical dimensions-
Overall length - 18 feet
Bore length - 15 feet
Bore diameter - 15 inches
Malik-e-Maidan Tope. The caretaker said the speciality of this metal is it never heats up even in the worst of summers. Its made of five metals.. Copper being one of the main elements. This gun is approximately 3 feet in diameter and 12 feet long. Its bore is approximately 15 inches. This gun's range could be slightly lesser than its cousins' at Bidar. The caretaker also mentioned two such cannons were manufactured some place in Madhya Pradesh. While transporting them across a river, one of them fell into a river.. probably Narmada or Godavari and never recovered.
Bijapur has two more large cannons namely 1. Aldi Buruj Tope on eastern wall (16°50'2.0497"N 75°44'10.8424"E) and 2. Landa Kasab Tope on the southern wall (16°48'52.1658"N). Both cannon are said to be in neglected condition and vandalized.
Now coming to the longest guns of Raichur and Gulbarga forts. Both are 20+ feet long with 1½ foot to 2 feet diameter barrels. These are again forged steel. If I'm not mistaken these cannons are an assembly of shorter barrels. The bore diameter could be 5 to 6 inches. These cannons could be firing 20 kilogram balls, range could be 5 to 6 kilometers.
|Summit of Raichur fort|
|Atop Balahisar, Gulbarga fort|