India is a vast sub-continent with a complex history and a great array of languages, cultures and religions. The history which forms a background to the story of Indian arms and armour saw empires rise and fall, but the remarkable constancy in the exquisite weapons used by their defenders and opponents marks Indian arms and armour out as something beyond mere statehood.
This book is part of a series of introductions to aspects of the Royal Armouries' collections of arms and armour.
Written by Thom Richardson, Deputy master and Head of Collections and Natasha Bennett, Acting Curator of Oriental Collections at the Royal Armouries.
The scope of this book largely reflects the collections of Indian arms and armour in the Royal Armouries. Almost all of the holdings are concentrated in the period from the formation of the Mughal empire in the 16th century to the end of the 19th century when western firearms technology had been widely adopted.
This small publication aims to help make this important western collection of Indian armour and arms accessible. It offers interesting insight into the topic detailing many fascinating objects in the collection including the Elephant armour, or bargustavan-i-pil (XXXVIA.102), and the Akali quoit turban (bunga dastar) (XXVIA.60).