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Guns and Cannons in Ancient India during the Vedic and Mahabharata Period

Details about guns used in ancient India are found in Shukra Niti. About weapons used in Vedic age are found in Atharva Veda. Information regarding cannons are found in Vana Parva of Mahabharata and also in Naishadham text of Sriharsha. The name given by ancient Indians to cannon was Shatagni.

Shatagni had the capacity to kill nearly 100 soldiers of the enemies. Puranas also give information about Shatagni.

Shatagni was a large gun which used to fire iron balls fitted with spikes. Shatagni gun was mounted on a vehicle which had eight wheels. This was far more superior to the first versions of modern cannons.

Guns were known as Bhusundi in ancient India. Small guns were known as Lagu Naliyam and those with bigger holes were known as Briha Naliyam.

There are archeological evidences that bullets were made using various metals in ancient India.

Treatise dealing with various weapons used in ancient India is found in Dhanur Veda. It mentions about machine operated weapons.