Ancient Indian Empires and Weapons

Bleh

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This isnt based on any artistic work. Only howdah you see is of civy use. I wouldnt doubt that Mauryas did but we have no samples. That image is just fictitious-realism.
You could be right. After all we have plenty of examples from few decades later, where there's no ssuch howdah depicted. If adopted it wouldn't have gone out of use.

Another terrible shortcoming is the total absence of absolutely any short of siege equipments for field artillery.
Also have found not a single fucking evidence of any sort of ballista, scorpion, catapult nor siege-tower, battering ram. The Greeko-Romans of the antiquity overdid it to a fault.
 

Shaitan

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You could be right. After all we have plenty of examples from few decades later
Of what? Howdahs in war? The first time I've seen that is centuries later with Pallavas.

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Pallavas

Indians knew and used it since back then -

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But it's very rare even for regular use.

The art work of the Maurya war elephant using Mediterranean ones is fictitious.
 

Bleh

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Of what? Howdahs in war? The first time I've seen that is centuries later with Pallavas.

Indians knew and used it since back then -

View attachment 51949
I meant absence of it... among Sunga, Gupta etc. who had plenty of interactions with their western Seleucid & Greeko-Bactrian neighbours
 

Shaitan

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I meant absence of it... among Sunga, Gupta etc. who had plenty of interactions with their western Seleucid & Greeko-Bactrian neighbours
Yeah, they just didnt care for it.

Indians rarely adapted and took on new concepts. Especially when it came to war.

Take a look at the Romans -

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The Roman military's soldiers in the begin were just clones of the Greek hoplites. After getting their ass beat by another enemy Italian tribe they adopted the maniple formation(this again would change). They fought a enemy in Iberia and took a liking to their sword design, so they adopted it and improved on it. They fought enemies in Gaul, they took a liking to their helmet and armor design, so they adopted it and improved on it. All these and their own designs the Romans from hoplites eventually looked like this ----

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They pretty much did this in other areas as well. Romans never invented the toilet, aqueducts, stone-paved roads, arches, war ships, etc. But they adopted it to their doctrine and improved on it, scaled it, implemented into their society like none before them.

Carthage/Phoenicians used to dominate the Mediterranean but Romans used their resources in it's empire adapted, stole, improved and produce a war fleet that would dominate Carthage and the Mediterranean. Who would've thought some Italian tribe would eventually beat the Phoenicians at sea?

And they kept doing it. Parthian, Sassanian cataphrates? Copied and adopted. Samathian horse archers? Copied, adopted, or used as auxiliaries. Celtic sword design? Copied and adopted.

etc
etc
etc

Indians should've done this. Should've whole sale riped off Greek, C. Asian, etc. design, tactics, and mix it with their own - Mauryas, Satavahanas, Guptas did this to a certain extent but not in that level. They relied to heavily on elephants, treated it's infantry like cannon fodder, horses were poor quality.
 
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timmy

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As far as im aware, romans suffered a bad defeat against the germans, their emperor was killed, they also lost them against persian campaigns.

romans have been overlgorified bunch of losers, only suitable for a fight against nomads and tribal people.

Indians sources except arthashastra dont provide much information on indian tactics (even arthashastra doesnt provide much on indian military as it completely misses out on horse archers, barely mentions navy etc), war strategies etc, only a handful of accounts embedded in religious scriptures do.

Howdah gets menioned in bhagvad gita (200 BC) The horse armour was rarely used by the mughals themselves or the dehli sultanate before them and they were abandoned in early modern armies as well, adoption of guns and gunpowder should have nessitated their frequent adoption but they are never used, it shows they were not considered an effective elements in india or early modern periods.
 
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Shaitan

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vija5.jpg

vija6.jpg


Vijayanagara, post Vijayanagara period of Hindu South Indian warriors in Armor

 

Chimaji Appa

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This bullheadedness kept costing them everything... And they still refused to learn!

I was studying Mughal era wars of successions. Both Jahangir as well as Shah Jahan having Rajput mothers had ensured massive Rajput participation. Those Rajput commander's retardedness was just bonkers. Their pro-DaraSikoh forces snatched defeat from the mouth of victory with their Rambo attitude multiple times. 2 battles. Jaswant Singh at battle of Dharmat, Rao Chhatrasal Hada & Ram Singh Rautela at battle of Samugarh. Same story.

Only exceptions were Man Singh (Amer) & his successor Jai Singh (now Jaipur). Unsurprisingly, both made it up to commander-in-chief.

Glorified as he was, Pratap Singh too adopted hi&run only after getting lessonedthe hard way but by the end his kingdom had became a smoldering ruin & his successor Ajit Singh had to eventually give in.
Raj Singh 1 deserves the real respect (still he got really lucky due to Aurangzeb being a dumbass & plunging theempire in war on all fronts. If he got the singular attention of Mughal war machine, then Shishodias would stand no chance in a war of attrition.)
Rajputs won much more than they lost. I can prove this through epigraphic evidence. Rajputs were the greatest horsemen and were heavily relied upon by the Mughals. I hope you realize that it was Pratap Singh's leadership at Haldighati and after which enabled Mewar to rebel right? Amar Singh had to given in, but the treaty was very favorable to Mewar. The Rana of Mewar neither had to attend the Mughal court not participate in any Mughal campaign. This allowed Mewar to build from scratch again and rebel under Raj Singh. Also, Durgadas Rathore rebelled too. The rebellion was also done by people of all castes from Brahmins down to Bhils who fought for their homeland. Durgadas Rathore had some Brahmin generals and Raj Singh of Mewar's Purohit also put down the pen and took to the sword. Also, why don;t you read about Khatoli and Dholpur? When Rajput cavalry charges broke Afghan lines despite being outnumbered 3 to 1?

The Mewar and Marwar could definetly bare the brunt by using guerrilla warfare.

I know this much, but the detailed art you get from classical India doesn't survive for them.
Pratiharas were said to have an art school. Sadly no depictions of pratihara soldiers have been uncovered in the means of sculptures. There are accounts of the way they marched and their discipline in Rajasthan through the ages by Dashrath Sharma.
 

Bleh

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Rajputs won much more than they lost. I can prove this through epigraphic evidence. Rajputs were the greatest horsemen and were heavily relied upon by the Mughals. I hope you realize that it was Pratap Singh's leadership at Haldighati and after which enabled Mewar to rebel right? Amar Singh had to given in, but the treaty was very favorable to Mewar. The Rana of Mewar neither had to attend the Mughal court not participate in any Mughal campaign. This allowed Mewar to build from scratch again and rebel under Raj Singh. Also, Durgadas Rathore rebelled too. The rebellion was also done by people of all castes from Brahmins down to Bhils who fought for their homeland. Durgadas Rathore had some Brahmin generals and Raj Singh of Mewar's Purohit also put down the pen and took to the sword. Also, why don;t you read about Khatoli and Dholpur? When Rajput cavalry charges broke Afghan lines despite being outnumbered 3 to 1?
While the Afgans themselves were equally retarded Muslim versions of Rajputs, how pathetic is it that you have to draw examples of battles against Ibrahim Lodi (who was no Sher Shah Sur)! :frog:I have read about Battles of Khatoli & Dholpur. Have you read what happened to the same Rana Sanga when he tried the same "mindless charge by greatest horsemen" against Babur at Khanwa, despite having twice the numbers this time?
Like Ibrahim, Aurangzeb's time I think should not be counted, as everybody who over India rebeled only because they had to. The fool's policies left no other option & Mughals got spread too thin to supress any single one efficiently.

Yes, Rajputs won more than they lost... battles in Sultanate era, but achievements in Mughal era. For every 1 "breaking Afgan lines" at Dholpur there were 5 battles like Khanwa, Dharmat, Samugarh etc. where they got carved by cannonade & horse-archery.
As I mentioned, Pratap's "rebellion" turn Mewar kingdom into a debt-ridden smoldering ruin. Mughals stopped that war of attrition because there was nothing to win. Same happened with Maratha chieftains in Ahmadnagar & Bijapur. Nothing special.

Rajput zenith was when Maharana Mansingh try to place his grandson Khusrau to the throne of the empire after Akbar bypassing Salim... That's called playing the big league.
 
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Chimaji Appa

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Aurangzeb's time I think should not be counted, as everybody who over India rebeled only because they had to. The fool's policies left no other option & Mughals got spread too thin to supress any single one efficiently.

Yes, Rajputs won more than they lost... battles in Sultanate era but achievements in Mughal era. For every 1 "breaking Afgan lines" at Dholpur there were 5 battles like Dharmat where they got carved by cannonade.
As I mentioned, Pratap's "rebellion" turn Mewar kingdom into a debt-ridden smoldering ruin. Mughals stop the war of attrition because there was nothing to win. Same happened with Maratha chieftains in Ahmadnagar & Bijapur.

Rajput zenith was when Maharana Mansingh try to place his grandson Khusru to the throne of the empire after Akbar bypassing Salim... That's called playing the big league.
You need to learn the basics, Mewar has been around for 1,000 years. They beat the Arabs, Mamluk Turks, Tuglaqs, Malwa, Gujarat, Lodis, Mughals at Bayana, Mughals in Prataps campaign, and Mughals during Raj Singh. They beat most of these powers in pitched battles. Cannonry changed warfare and forward charges, which would break the lines, sadly no longer worked. This exact same Mewar which fought the Mughals has been around for 1,000 years. Rajput zeinth was during Pratihara times and under Rana Sanga. Anyway, Mughal army was mainly occuppied in Deccan first, then Rajputana. Please do not count Mughal wars of succsesion as they don't count.
Here are the main battles and the reasons that Rajputs lost:
2nd Battle of Tarain- Night raid in the early morning
Battle of Khanwa- Gunpowder
Battle of Haldighati- Outnumeredness (as the initial charge routed Mughal vangaurds)
Battle of Chandawar- Jaychandra was killed, which confused his entire ranks

Its also quite hilarious that you are bringing up me mentioning Ibrahim Lodi. Rana Sanga was sorrounded by 3 different Sultanates yet he still launched offensives on all 3 of them. This Sher Shah suri you bring up aso had to say something about Marwar Rajputs: " I had given away the country of Delhi for a handful of millets"
 

Bleh

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You need to learn the basics,
Do it yourself before telling others to.

Get the basic knowledge that cannons had been used in field warfare for 300 years before Babur's invasion, in Europe & Middle east. And Indians had had interaction with Chinese & Ottomans for centuries!.. Despite that fact both Rajput & Afgans had completely ignored any sort of adoption of gunpowder weapons... just like they & their predecessors had done with siege engines, non-firearm artillery, elephant armour, field fortifications etc.

Sing whatever lullabies to yourself that might help you sleep better, but do not expect them to be taken seriously (or as historically significant).

2nd Battle of Tarain- Night raid in the early morning
Battle of Khanwa- Gunpowder
Battle of Haldighati- Outnumeredness (as the initial charge routed Mughal vangaurds)
Battle of Chandawar- Jaychandra was killed, which confused his entire ranks
That sounds like Pakis making excuses after Balakot or Kashmir.

If the enemy army is able to carry out night raid on you with your pants down, that makes you inferior.

If any enemy was technologically ahead of you by a generation because you failed to adapt, that makes you inferior.

If you are stupid enough to give pitched battle to a numerically superior enemy on open valley instead of fortifications or atleast rocky hill-top, that makes you inferior.

If you fail to unite against a stronger enemy & manage to get yourself killed in battle because you did not have a proper officer system to whom you could delegate a charge, that makes you inferior.

They failed because their men had inferior training, inferior armour, inferior tactics & inferior technologies.
Valour is one element. Not even their Mughal or Turkic foes denied it... but they also recognised that these people were stupid enough to completely ignore other elements like troop training, tactics, technology, armour, organisational structure, etc.

Indians (not just Rajputs) had always have the source of fascination with the old. It's like a curse!.. Every foreigner who carved their way into India caught this disease.
Mughals were no different. By the time of Jahangir they too gpt their asses kicked by Safavids (...who were not that strong BTW. Ottomans bitch-slapped them off half their empire, only decades ago.)
 
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Chimaji Appa

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Do it yourself before telling others to.

Get the basic knowledge that cannons had been used in field warfare for 300 years before Babur's invasion, in Europe & Middle east. And Indians had had interaction with Chinese & Ottomans for centuries!.. Despite that fact both Rajput & Afgans had completely ignored any sort of adoption of gunpowder weapons... just like they & their predecessors had done with siege engines, non-firearm artillery, elephant armour, field fortifications etc.

Sing whatever lullabies to yourself that might help you sleep better, but do not expect them to be taken seriously (or as historically significant).

That sounds like Pakis making excuses after Balakot or Kashmir.

If the enemy is able to carry out night raid on you with your pants down, makes you inferior.

If any enemy was technically ahead of you by a generation because you failed to adapt, makes you inferior.

If you are stupid enough to face a numerical is superior enemy in a pitched battle on open valley instead of fortifications or atleast high grond, that makes you inferior.

If you fail to unite against a stronger enemy and manage to get yourself killed because you did not have a proper officer system to whom you can delegate, that makes you inferior.

They failed because their men had inferior training, inferior armour, inferior tactics & inferior technologies.
Valour is one element. Not even their Mughal etc. foes denied it... but they also recognised that these people were stupid enough to completely ignore other elements like tactics, technology, armour, organisational structure.
Really? Mewar was trading with the chinese for 300 years? The Ming empire knew and wanted to actively trade with a tiny kingdom in Rajputana that was sorrounded by hostile territories around all sides and controlled no major trading cities? Do you even understand that Rajputs hated this firearm warfare? In fact, they often hired Sindhis and Europeans to man things like artillery. North India was mainly ruled by the Delhi Sultanate (Khaljis) when firearms were invented. Did Timur use firearms in his invasion of India? I think the area of Isafan to Gauda was ignorant of firearms at that time but I am not sure, so I will need confirmation.


If it takes you 300 years to conquer to conquer a fragmented North India, thats laughable

If you get beat by a female and a prince in 1178 and 1191, thats laughable.

The Clan system of Rajputs never allowed them to unite. Actually, Indian powers were never centralized which is why they got large parts of it overran by various invaders before checking them.

They, like most other Indian powers, were "stupid" as they never united nor centralized.
 

Bleh

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Really? Mewar was trading with the chinese for 300 years? The Ming empire knew and wanted to actively trade with a tiny kingdom in Rajputana that was sorrounded by hostile territories around all sides and controlled no major trading cities?
Cannons were used at Battle of Crecy, northern France in 1346... 210 years before Babur's invasion. In Europe it steadily got popular & field fortifications grew to prominence, making cavalry steadily redundant.

Nations were not cutoff from each other! :scared2: India, Afghanistan, China, Middle-East was a vibrant trade route and there was plenty of interaction & ambassador exchange... Even Babur's cannons were borrowed from Ottomans when he had only Kabul left. Mewar or Delhi weren't that much farther.

Do you even understand that Rajputs hated this firearm warfare? In fact, they often hired Sindhis and Europeans to man things like artillery...

...The Clan system of Rajputs never allowed them to unite. Actually, Indian powers were never centralized which is why they got large parts of it overran by various invaders before checking them.
Do you even understand that all the above is what is the textbook definition of historical stupidity of a people? ...& failing to adapt & failing to change tactics. Rajputs/Marathas were still trying frontal cavalry charges in 17th & 18th century!!!

And don't give that "divided people" bullshit. Scotts, Swiss, Baltics, Balcans, Transylvanians, Koreans & even classical Greeks were divided in squabbling groups. They managed to unite when push came to shove, maybe not always, but mostly. Petty rulers & peasant rebellions is in Europe & Rus had beaten back Knights & Turk-mongol invasions...
Horse archery or early cannon were even easier to counter with barricades, wicker shields, carts full of sand & rocks, ditches etc. Feudal levies performed great with the basic drills & capable lieutenants with tactical understanding.




Do you find them eventually conquering whole sub-continent, mass converting the 1/3 its populace & demolishing your temples to make Mosques to be laughable too?
 
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Shaitan

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sword20.png

pallava5thcad.jpg


5th Century AD Pallava Swordsmen with Forward Curved Blades

A group of five hero stones were recently discovered in #thiruvannamalai #district in #tamilnadu . (Two are not featured here). The two on the either side have 5th century #tamil #inscriptions engraved. And guess what is unique? The one on the left is the father and the one on the right is his son. Both must have died during a war fare and they both were from a near by #hamlet called #Seeyamangalam . There's no info on the middle one and the other two sculptures.
@pirate_of_the_coramandel

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Pattadakal temple complex, 7th-8th Century AD, Chalukyas

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Gupta swords, 4th-6th Century AD


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Gupta Mace, 4th-6th Century AD
 
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Shaitan

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The Prestige Makers: Greek Slave Women in Ancient Indian Harems—Attendants, Courtesans, and “Amazon” Armed Body Guards

Kathryn Hain, University of Utah

It seems impossible that enslaved women could endure the long trip from the Mediterrean to Central India in early Antiquity, a distance of 4,000 miles or over 1000 hours of walking according to google maps. Yet Greek and Roman records of slave acquisitions, sales, or trade with India set against mentions of Greek or Yavana (western) women in Indian harems reveal that it was possible, even normal, to transport captive Greek women to India. This paper will use Sanskirt, Pali, and Prakrit texts to analyze how these Greek female slaves were viewed and used as elite slaves in Indian society.
A Prakrit text, Antagada-dasio, describes a royal Jain household which included Greek ‘Yavana’ women as household slaves along with many other ethnicities as early as the 5th century BCE-The Persian Era. These women were described wearing their ethnic clothing and communicating in sign language showing that ethnic diversity was valued by royals. Greek/western women appear in other Indian sources from antiquity mentioning Greek female slaves serving as harem attendants and as female units of armed body guards that surrounded the ruler in and outside of the harem walls. Did using women in quasi-military units result from the Amazon legends that followed Alexander the Great into India? Other sources hint that numerous Greek women worked in India as topless dancers, entertainers, musicians, and courtesans. The Greek women in texts give a view of multi-ethnic elite female slavery in ancient India. Their racial and ethnic differences made them exotic. The distant peoples that they represented demonstrated their owner’s imperial ambitions. Greek slaves, whether used as concubines, courtesans, or personal body guards, provided prestige for Indian rulers who used female slaves to demonstrate their imperial ambitions and sophistication.


Indian female warriors are common in Indian art. One of the is wearing C. Asian clothing, boots, and has a Indian broad sword. Udayagiri caves, 2nd Century BC.

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Older image showing the Indian criss cross scabbard
 
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Belagutti

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Vijayanagara Katara

A classic Vijayanagara katara of the 16th century with long strongly tapering blade with multiple grooves. The grooves are very well-cut, and the ridges that separate them are precise and crisp. The blade is held by two large langets of a spectacular, almost futuristic design. The elements are probably highly stylized palmate elements or otherwise references to birds, the double parakeets often seen on south Indian arms.

The shield is of a thick, solid steel with a thick and deep patina on the inside and a cleaner, lightly pitted outside. It is reinforced on the outside with extra plates with decorative serrated edges. I love the little details on this piece, like the fact that even the serrations follow a specific design. It's not just a simple zig-zag line we see. At the very end of the shield is a finial in the shape of a stylized monster's head, possibly and abstract yali.

The front "wall" of the shield from which the langets that hold the blade project has a cusped profile. From a functional perspective, it strengthens and stiffens the piece and provides a stronger base for the langets. The cusping further increases the surface to which the langets are soldered. These cupped profiles are also common on early south Indian architecture.
 

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Appearance of the Kukri in Combat in Classical South Indian Culture


It is believed by many that the kukri came into existence as a derivative evolution of the kopis first introduced to the Indian subcontinent by the Macedonian troops during Alexander the Great's campaign in the 4th Century BCE. Today, everyone tends to associate the iconic kukri with Nepal, and with good reason - the famed Gurkha warriors carry it with distinction to this day. But deep in the south of the Indian subcontinent there exists evidence of the widespread use of the kukri in the Dravidian cultures of Classical India nearly a thousand years ago.

The Hoysala Empire was a South Indian kingdom that thrived in modern-day Karnataka between the 10th and 14th centuries. During the height of the empire's high classical period, it was centered around Halebidu, site of the Hoysaleswara temple complex, home to the ruling family. The temple architecture is remarkable, and probably best known for the use of relief sculptures, or friezes, that form an integral part of the temple structure. Completed in 1121 C.E., these friezes provide an incredibly detailed (not to mention visually stunning) window into Hoysala culture and history, including warfare. When I visited the temple in 2008, I took my time to traverse the entire perimeter in search of visual clues that might provide a window into the arms and armor of South India in her antiquity.

Several sections of friezes depicted scenes of war, scenes that likely portrayed either epics from Hindu mythology or possibly the internecine warfare that took place between the Hoysala and the contemporary Kannada civilizations competing for regional influence at the time of the temple's construction (such as the Kalachuri and Chalukya). Given the tendency of civilizations to portray historical events through the filter of contemporary references, it seems reasonable to expect that even if these reliefs did portray scenes from Hindu epics, they would most likely depict contemporary arms in use at the time.

Of note was the fact there were the different sword forms shown attributed to the Hoysala: both a straight blade and a forward-curving blade that could only be a kukri. It would appear as if the two forms coexistence simultaneously. Possibly they corresponded to different classes of warriors? This would not require a large stretch of reason considering the continued existence of the caste system today. Furthermore, some of the battle scenes depict both sides fighting with kukris, which would seemingly indicate the kukri saw widespread deployment and use in the region during this period.

Another relief sculpture show what clearly appears to be a flanged mace, which seems to indicate the use of such weaponry preceded the introduction of armor. Archers are depicted with what appear to be longbows. Another scenes proved enlightening with regards to the tactics used at the time.
 

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Madhu

Specification of the Weapon
Length:
24 in (61 cm)
Weight: 3–14 lb (1,4 – 6,3 kg)
Configuration: Steel
Used by: South Indians

The madu is another weapon from ancient India. It is also more commonly known as the maru. It is made from blackbuck horns pointing in opposite directions joined by a crossbar which also acts as a handle. Variations include the addition of a shield for defensive purposes. In later years the weapon was made out of steel. It is believed to have originated in South India and was used mostly as a defensive weapon to ward off counter attacks. The pointed horns may be used for stabbing and thrusting in offensive attacks.
 

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The aruval (Tamil and Malayalam), is a type of billhook machete from southern India, particularly common in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is used both as a tool and a weapon. Tamils reserve the weapon as a symbol of karupannar. An aruval usually measures 3–6 feet in length (hand sickle measures 1.5 feet). The blade of this weapon originates at the grip and extends to the main part of the lade. It can be described as a sickle with an extension. It can also be thought of as a sword with a reverse curve. The shorter versions were handy for breaking apart coconuts, and the longer versions were more like battle weapons. The shorter version is usually seen in small villages. Blades are mostly straight with a curve towards the end, allowing it to function as a grabbing tool. The straight portion of the blade is also used for cutting, like a standard knife.
 

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