Karnataka

13 war rockets of Tipu era on display at Shivamogga museum

Blast from the past: The unused metal war rockets belonging to the times of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan on display at Shivappa Nayaka Palace in Shivamogga city.

Blast from the past: The unused metal war rockets belonging to the times of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan on display at Shivappa Nayaka Palace in Shivamogga city.  

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These were found in an open well in Hosanagar taluk in 2002

As many as 13 unused metal war rockets belonging to the times of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan have been put up for public viewing in a museum belonging to Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums on the premises of Shivappa Nayaka Palace in Shivamogga city. The rockets were found in an open well at Nagara in Hosanagar taluk in 2002.

160 cylindrical-shaped metal objects were found during desilt work taken up in the open well at an agriculture land belonging to Nagaraja Rao in Nagara village taluk. Mr. Rao had handed them over to the department. The objects were studied by a group of history experts who came to conclusion that they were unused war rockets belonging to the period of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.

In July 2018, 1,700 more unused rockets were found in the same open well. Nagara, earlier called Bidanur, was an important administrative and commercial centre during the rule of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu had also established a mint and an armoury here.

Shejeshwara R., Assistant Director of the Department, told The Hindu that after the fourth Anglo-Mysore war, Tipu’s army may have dumped the rockets in the open well to stop the British East India Company from laying their hands on them.

The department’s ‘Nagara Bidanur rocket gallery’ at the museum provides information on the evolution of rocket technology-based warfare, in English and Kannada. Gun powder and fuse used in the Mysorean rockets, metal casings, and augur drill are also on display.

Mr. Shejeshwara said iron-casing rockets were used for the first time by the Mysore army and became popular as Mysorean rockets. The usage of metal casing gave the rockets higher thrust, longer range, and an enhanced bursting intensity. The iron casings containing combustible mixture were strapped to a bamboo stick with leather belts and launched at the opponents by igniting the fuse.

In Mysorean rockets, low carbon metal with high ductility are used for preparing casings so that they can be rolled into a cylindrical shape and the clay – the refractory material with outstanding thermal insulating property – was used for lining to withstand heat.

Source of inspiration

A visit to the rocket gallery will also give a glimpse into the skills of blacksmiths and technicians who prepared the rockets.

Mr. Shejeshwara said that the Mysorean rockets later inspired Sir William Congreve to develop the Congreve rockets used by the British army.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 2:38:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/13-war-rockets-of-tipu-era-on-display-at-shivamogga-museum/article30142022.ece

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