Gun Powder origins to India

By the mid- to late-eleventh century, the Song government had become concerned about gunpowder technology spreading to other countries. The sale of saltpeter to foreigners was banned in 1076. Nonetheless, knowledge of the miraculous substance was carried along the Silk Road to India, the Middle East, and Europe. In 1267, a European writer made reference to gunpowder, and by 1280 the first recipes for the explosive mixture were published in the west. China’s secret was out.

According to Sir A. M. Eliot and Heinrich Brunnhofer (a German Indologist) and Gustav Oppert, all of whom have stated that ancient Hindus knew the use of gunpowder. Eliot tells us that the Arabs learnt the manufacture of gunpowder from India, and that before their Indian connection they had used arrows of naphtha. It is also argued that though Persia possessed saltpetre in abundance, the original home of gunpowder was India. In the light of the above remarks we can trace the evolution of fire-arms in the ancient India. (source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German – by Valentine Stache-Rosen. p.92).

The first known autocannon in a primitive form was invented in the 16th century by Fathullah Shirazi, a Persian-Indian polymath and mechanical engineer, who worked for Akbar the Great in the Mughal Empire.

It was written in the Tarikh-i Firishta (1606-1607) that the envoy of the Mongol ruler Hulegu Khan was presented with a dazzling pyrotechnics display upon his arrival in Delhi in 1258 AD.

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