telangani steel

Bangalore: Call it the search for the leadership particle. What was the magic behind Tipu Sultan’s sword? How was it crafted from the earth?

Researchers from Bangalore-based National Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS) and UK’s Exeter University are tracing the origins of the metal used to make the Sultan’s sword, which was known for its toughness due to high carbon content.

Wootz steel, an exceptional iron ore grade which was first made in South India around 300 BC, is said to have originated in Telangana, between Hyderabad and Nizamabad.

“The high carbon content, which provides extra strength to the metal, was exported to Europe in the 17th century from Telangana. However, the production and technology have died down in the area. Our research is an attempt to revive ancient Indian metallurgy,” says the lead investigator, Sharada Srinivasan, who is also an NIAS faculty member.

The team has already interviewed traditional blacksmiths and the descendants of the last smelters of the region.

Wootz steel is the primary component of Damascan steel which was used to make the popular Damascus swords. Syrian blacksmiths used wootz steel slabs to produce extraordinary steel weaponry during the middle ages.
not just tipu, saladin too probably used a sword made with telangani steel. think of that. why didn't the professors think of it? telangani steel industry collapsed because of the andhraite rule, obviously.


gaddeswarup said...

Again somewhat off topic. I vaguely rember reading somewhere about some prosperity in western Deccan in the old days due to iron, carbon ores and due to proximate trade routes, but could not find the references again. After your post I started browsing and found this article perhaps by the authors you mentioned
article on Wootz Steel. It seems to suggest that the the speciality of the ores is due to some impurities like Vanadium and the disappearance of Vanadium containg ores as the main reason for the decline of the industry. Apparently there is a paper by one Verhoeven in Scientific American on the topic. Also the British were supposed to have destroyed as many of those swords as possible of Sepoy Mutiny.
All this gives a start on the topic I was curious about and is a diversion.

gaddeswarup said...

Sorry about another comment. There is a current project on this topic
with base camp near Dharmapuri:
This article:
says that the prophet probably had a sword made of telingana steel!
Seems to be very much a topic of current interest to some.

Telangani Coal said...

Some time back I saw on TV9 workers of the Singareni Collieries celebrating the foundation day. I saw they were displaying placards proclaiming it as Maa Telangana maa Coal (meaning not of Andhras). later I resesrched the net and found out it was a public sector company, in which case it belonged to whole of India and whole of AP.

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