Science and technology in the Mughal Empire

Science and technology in the Mughal Empire
Mughal Technology

technological advances

The spleen also arrived in India along with the rhyme. In fact there was no radical transformation or development during the 17th century. Nevertheless, two important technological developments took place till this period. (1) Weaving of carpets under Akbar’s patronage in Lahore, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri and (2) Large scale production of silk and silk threads. Italian silk threading began in India in the 1770s.

Military Technology – In the second half of the 15th century, firearms were used in some states like Gujarat, Malwa and Deccan. But its regular use was started by the Portuguese in South India from 1498 AD and it was first used by Babur in North India. These guns were actually broken guns. In Europe, two methods were used to fire guns –

Wheel lock

  • Flint Method (Flintlock). The wheellock was used for pistols.
  • Abul Fazal writes that Akbar had developed a mechanism with the help of which a single shot could be shot with 17 guns simultaneously.

Ship building technology

Europeans used iron nails in the construction of ships. Indians adopted this technology quickly. Around 1510 AD, Barthema saw the heavy use of iron nails in Indian ships at Calicut. Similarly, during the 17th century, iron anchors were used. Indians used buckets to carry water from the ship. However, in the second half of the 17th century, the chain pumps used by Europeans also began to be used by Indians.

Metal refining technology

According to Abul Fazl, Akbar’s arsenal was made of iron cannons and gunnery. Probably this technology was invented. The technology of zinc alloying in India began around the 12th century. Abul Fazl describes the jabar region of Rajasthan for zinc production. There was a copper mine in Khetri, Rajasthan. Tin was rarely produced. Hence, tin was imported from West Asia. The original wootz (iron) was produced in India and especially in Andhra Pradesh from around 400 AD.

Glass manufacturing technology

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Europeans brought with them various types of glassware such as glass mirrors. We Indians were only familiar with Indian mirrors ie metal mirrors. Apart from this they also carry glass glasses and lenses. It seems that during the 15th century Indians also had knowledge of sand making. But in Mughal paintings, only the sandstone built in Europe is shown, which the Europeans brought with them to India. In addition, we also get information about drinking glass, magnifying or flaming glass, and forward glass manufactured in Europe.


In the decade of 1670 AD, the chief broker of the company based at Surat, Bhim Ji Parc, showed a keen interest in the technology of printing.

Timing method

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the watershed was used to find the time in cities of India. It was called Tas in Persian and the whole mechanics as Tas Ghariyal. In the Tarikh Shahi of Afeef there is mention of the Jalgadi during the Delhi Sultanate period. The Europeans brought a mechanical watch to India. Sir Tomas Rowe gifted Jahangir a mechanical watch.

Other technology

In the Mughal period, the practice of building a building map was introduced. It was called Khaka in Persian. Bullock carts were commonly used to carry goods in trade. Sir Tomas Raw gifted Jahangir an English buggy drawn from four horses. At the time of Jahangir, Nur Jahan’s mother invented a perfume made from rose water. According to Abul Fazl, Shore was used to cool the water. It is said that Emperor Akbar had developed a bullock cart which used to travel and carry goods as well as grind grain. A windmill was installed in Ahmedabad to grind grain.


Mughal Empire | Mughal Empire

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