A brilliant comparison of the Marathas’ and Tipu’s armoury in personalised pictures by Katariya@mehtabastiram. It is impressive to see how westernised and well planned were the armouries made by the Marathas, not to forget the Arthashastra that has categorically mentioned guidelines. The Marathas followed the Ajnapatra by Ramchandra Pant Amatya.
While the entire world is busy glorifying Tipu’s armories(which if you have visited you will find it so small that there is hardly any room to walk inside). Here I would like to display a few pictures of the modernized Maratha armory at Aligarh. Image: Tipu’s armoury
Now let’s start.The Marathas under Mahadji Shinde began heavy modernization of their forces.Soon making them the best in Bharat. Even superior to the British. How? Will show that in another thread. But every modernized force requires cantonments,arsenals and armouries.
There were various Cantonments at Aligarh,Koel,Ujjain etc.Arsenals and manufacturing centers for cannons and muskets were faizabad,Ujain,Agra,Palwal,Hodal,Gohad,Mathura,Kalpi,Gwalior,Delhi and Sardhana. These were just the foundries of Scindhias.Holkar,Bhonsles etc had their own.
Now let’s discuss the armoury which are government has conveniently kept in a pathetic condition which unlike Tipus gets 0 maintenance. It’s in present day AMU.
Present view from a distance
A guard post
The entrance to the armoury
The view from the entrance
The main armoury room is on the left of the entrance.
This is what it probably looked like when it was in its golden days. It would have matchlock,Special purpose built light muskets,Flintlock muskets,swords,Regimental colors and much more!
The traditional magazines as stated in the Adnyapatra. Adnyapatra, also pronounced as Ajnapatra is an edict on the principles of policy believed to be written by Ramchandra Pant Amatya
Although underground armouries have been mentioned since the time of Arthashastra the Adyanpatra has some distinct features.
All granaries and storehouses of military provisions in the fort had floors made of chunam & stone to secure them from fire,rats,insects,ants & white ants.
The powder magazine was constructed at a distance from the houses or compound of the houses. It was mostly built at an appropriate distance from the chief place and be surrounded by thick enclosure of Nirgudi and other trees.
Like Mauryan armouries they had underground cellars. Only chunam work was done in the cellar
Bags and vessels of gunpowder were kept on rick-stands.Rockets, grenades & other explosives
should be kept in the middle portion of the house & were not be allowed to get damp.Adnyapatra was completed in 1715 clearly indicating Marathas had rockets before Tipu was even born.
An inspection took place in every 8-15 days where the Havaldar would take out powder, rockets, grenades and other explosives for drying before sealing them again.
Guards were also stationed 24×7 to protect the powder magazine. They had to keep awake day and night during their watch period and no person was allowed to approach near them without permission.