Malik-e Maidan: Bijapur




Malik-e Maidan ("monarch of the plains" or "Lord of the Battlefield") set up by Muhammad Adil Shah is a huge cannon located on the top of the tower. It is said to be the largest weapon in medieval times. The great Muzzle has been fashioned into the shape of a lion or a dragon with open jaws, and between the sharp curved fangs is a small elephant on both sides of the muzzle. The small ears have been drilled into holes to attach tackles. It is a cast of alloy of copper, iron and tin and when struck sounds like a bell. The outside surface is dark green and polished like glass and adorned with inscriptions in Persian and Arabic. Muhammad-bin-Hasan Rumi, a Turkish officer in the service of the king of Ahmednagar, cast his gun in 1549, as can be seen from an inscription on the gun. In 1686 Aurangzeb has also recorded an inscription on the gun saying that he subdued the Malik-e-Maidan. When the fort of Parnadah where this gun was installed, fell in to hands of Bijapur, General Murari Pandit brought the gun to Bijapur as a trophy of war and set it up on the present bastion. It was set up here with the help of 10 elephants, 400 oxen and hundreds of soldiers. It weighs 55 tons, is 8.5 metres long and 1.5 metres in diameter. To avoid going deaf, the gunner had to submerge his head in water before firing.

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