Mendha Tope (Bronze cannon) - second largest made by Mogul Aurangzeb, Daulatabad Fort, Maharashtra

Above image: Mendha  Cannon with the rear end (cascabel) shaped like ram's head is believed to be the second largest cannon in India at the Daulatabad  Fort, near Aurangabad City, Maharashtra. This fort has lots of cannons.  that  has a large number of cannons. Cast in bronze the cannon measures 5.30 m in length. The calibre of the cannon is 20 cm, which can easily hurl a heavy shot; elevated  circular  platform of the cannon is 16.30 m in diameter. A pivot is provided at the center of the platform, which once held the cannon to enable its rotation in any desired direction

Artillery  records point out, that  cannons were  not widely employed in Central Asia prior to the 16th century. That how cannons were introduced in the Indian sub continent  prior to that period is still a puzzle and experts are in a fix about it.  In India   early artillery  development and strength  played an  important part of the Mogul military, both in the battle field and  in the defense of forts. Deployment of cannons at vantage points on the forts had become a regular feature. Mogul artillery included a variety of cannons, rockets and also mines with better gunpowder technology.

It was artillery that had a major role  in the establishment of the Mogul Empire and their subsequent victories in various battles. In the First Battle of Panipat of 1526 under the successful guidance  of Ottoman gun master Ustad Ali Quli, 
Emperor Babur  successfully used the artillery power and won 

Elephants pushing canons drawn by

 the battle against Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi. Introduction of artillery on a large scale saw the end of elephant warfare as a  primary offensive strategy in India as the pachyderms panicked, facing the a volley of  shots,  fire and sound.

The main bottleneck in the use of artillery in the battle field was transportation, moving them from the fort to the battle field in the case of war expeditions . Transporting heavy canons across a variety of terrains was a tough one. Mostly sturdy bulls and elephants were employed for this purpose. During the reign of Akbar much improvements were made in the use of cannons.

The 12th century  Daulatabad Fort, near Aurangabad, Maharashtra on a hill built by Yadav general Raja Bhillamra, is one of the strongest forts in India controlled by many dynasties over a period of time. Initially it was under the Yadav Dynasty and previously Daulatabad was known as Devagiri or Deogiri. By 1633 it came under the Mogul rule. Aurangzeb took control of the fort and during his period he had a huge canon installed to improve its defense. It is called ''Mendha Tope.'' In Marathi it means Rams' head because the cannon's rear end was shaped like Ram's head. Visitors may be wondering if there is any link between the emperor and the Ram's head that too on the rear side of a canon.  Originally  known  as  Qila  Shikan (Breaker  of  Forts) 

 Aurangabad, MH

Daulatabad fort, Aurangabad, Maharashtra .

An interesting feature about this canon is, it has an excellent shock-absorbing system and can be rotated 180 degrees to aim the target. Thus it covers a wide range of field for firing and it is absolutely difficult for the enemy to target their fire power towards the fort. Designed in  Afghanistan, .

Mendha Tope - canon at Daulatabad Fort,

 Located between Chini Mahal and Rang Mahal in the fort, the  inscription  near  the  muzzle,  which  reads  as  Abul  Zafar Muhiuddin  Muhammad  Aurangzeb  Bahadur  Alamgir  Badshah Gazi.
 Three other inscriptions are noticed on the cannon.  The inscription on the muzzle states, "With God's help victory is near and all believers are in God's protection".  The third inscription gives the name, Tope Qila Shikan (Breaker of Forts), while the fourth  inscription  informs  that  Muhammad  Hussain  Arab manufactured  the  cannon.  Another  inscription,  partly  covered with a plate, on the base provides information on the weight of the gunpowder and shot used for the cannon. .
Experts believe Aurangzeb's name is engraved because he owned it