War Rockets in India

  • H. M. Iftekhar Jaim
  • Jasmine Jaim
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_10216-1

The history of war rockets in India raises debates about the exact time of its use and origin due to its presence in the popular myths dating back to the twelfth century (Haridas, 1963), lack of scientific documentation, and clear description of different firing projectiles. Apart from their military uses, the rockets also had a great cultural value in the Indian Hindu community during festivals like Diwali (festival of light).

From the perspective of modern rocketry, the self-propelled mechanism is considered to be the most essential feature for differentiating rockets with any other nearby forms like arrow-assisted rockets popularly known as Tir-a-Hawai or Agni-Bana (fire arrows) used in the Indian continent (Iqtidar, 2004). The well-documented use of rockets in Indian warfare is listed during the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556–1605). Rockets became an indispensable weapon in his artillery. One such rocket of the late seventeenth century is preserved at Victoria Museum, Kolkata...


East India Company Aerodynamic Stability Military Necessity Hindu Community Flash Fire 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Dataa, P. K. (1986). Technological aspects of some firearms in Mughal India. In A. Roy & S. K. Bahchi (Eds.), Technology in ancient and medieval India. Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan.Google Scholar
  2. Haridas, M. (1963). The fireworks and fire festival in ancient India. Calcutta: Abhedananda Academy of Culture.Google Scholar
  3. Iqtidar, A. K. (2004). Gunpowder and firearms: Warfare in medial India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Jaim, H. M. I., & Jaim, J. (2011). The decisive nature of the Indian war rocket in the Anglo-Mysore wars of the eighteenth century. Arms and Armour, 8(2), Autumn, 131–138.Google Scholar
  5. Narasimha, R. (1985). Rockets in Mysore and Britain, 1750–1850 A.D., PD DU 8503. Bangalore: National Aerospace Laboratories.Google Scholar
  6. Werrett, S. (2009). William Congreve’s rational rockets. Notes and Records of Royal Society, 63(1), 35–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Winter, F. H. (1979). The Rocket in India from “ancient times” to the 19th century. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 32, 467–471.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.The University of NottinghamNottinghamUK