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Hyderabad: Lying unattended amid dust and trash at many places across the State, they have been seeking attention since centuries. Though, many years have passed by, they are still rust-free and that is the beauty of Deccan Cannons.

Despite being unique for their design and performance, Deccan cannons, are lying scattered at Jagityal, Hyderabad, Warangal, Karimnagar and other places. Unfortunately, the archaeological department has not catalogued the presence of cannons in the State and in Hyderabad particularly.

Deccan cannons were basically forged welded cannons. The basic structure of a forge welded cannon consists staves and hoops. About two to three sets of hoops are forged upon the staves to strengthen the arm, explained D Jai Kishan Rao while making a presentation on Deccan Cannons – the Neglected Beauties at Telugu University as part of World Heritage Day celebrations on Monday.

“I personally catalogued about 120 cannons in Hyderabad and other places in Telangana. There could be at least 1000 cannons at different places in Hyderabad alone, that need to be catalogued,” said Jai Kishan Rao, adding most the cannons can be used even now and that speaks volume about their performance.

These cannons could be located at old police stations, government offices, prisons and other places in the city. Apart from Hyderabad, there are many cannons at Karimnagar, Warangal, Jagityal, Peddapalli and they are left to ruin in scorching heat and heavy rains. In few cases, the cannons have been stolen and sold at scrap shops, said Kishan Rao, who is a Board Member of Salarjung Museum.

The most unfortunate part is vanishing Gun Foundry’s in Telangana. Apart from the one at Abids, there used to be Gun Foundry’s in Jagityal and Nirmal. While, the one at Jagityal has almost vanished, one at Nirmal is now being used as toilets, he informed.

On the conservation of cannons, the Archaeology department officials informed that they are understaffed and need support from all sections of the society. Banks, corporates, NGOs and other organisations could adopt the cannons and support in proper maintenance and conservation, a senior official said.

Cannons in Golconda Fort

They it may sound strange but Archaeology department does not have the official record on the number of cannons present in Golconda Fort. While, historians stress there could be many, the department is yet to arrive at a confirmation.

A couple of years back, a survey was proposed to check the number of cannons in Golconda Fort. However, many cannons are now in the possession of local military and when the department sought permission to check the same, permission was denied, said a senior official from the Archaeology department, adding “We are still pursuing the matter”.


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Author: Howard Caldwell