The Zamzama of Lahore

The legendary Zamzama or Kim’s gun is located on a platform in front of Punjab University old campus or Lahore Museum on Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam. It is also known as Bhangian-ki-Toap, the gun of the Bhangis (a Sikh misl). The great English novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling had immortalized it as Kim’s Gun. According to the legend it was cast by Shah Nazir under the orders of Shah Wali Khan, the chief minister of Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1757.

Zamzama.jpg

At that time, two of these cannons were cast and are said to have been made of copper and brass. The metal for these cannons was funded by the people of Lahore who were asked to give their cooking utensils. Apart from the funds it is also believed that some metal was obtained through Jizya ( capitation tax levied by Muslim rulers on the non-Muslims).

The gun is 14 feet, 4½ inches (4.38 meters) in length, with a bore at its aperture of 9½ inches (24.13 centimeters). The gun has the date of manufacture, names of the monarch and the technician along with verses in Persian molded with floral patterns all over the barrel. The gun was used by Ahmed Shah in the battle of Panipat, in 1761. After the battle, on his way back to Kabul, he left it at Lahore with his governor, Khawaja Ubed, as the carriage that was supposed to take the gun to Kabul was not ready. The other gun he took with him but that one was lost in passage through the Chenab.

As for it’s was services, read Zamzama by wikipedia.

After the Anglo-Sikh battle of Ferozshah on December 21, 1845, the gun came into the possession of the Britishers. When the Duke of Edinburgh visited Lahore in February, 1870, the gun was placed opposite to the gate of the museum where it rests to date.

2 Comments so far

  1. abrarism (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 10:19 am

    nice…my hostel is near that toop :)


  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

    Ah! Isn’t it the most popular ‘Toup’ in Asia at least ;)



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