Thursday, May 31, 2018


The attributes of gold influenced the mind and heart of Indians 

The Rigveda refers to hiranya ( the oldest Sanskrit word for gold ), gold vessels, necklace, chariots decorated with gold , River Sindhu (Indus) containing gold, ayas -  copper or copper alloys – used to make Vajrayudha of Indra made by the process of sinchan (casting), karshnayas  -  iron.

Atharvaveda mentions of  rajata (silver), trapu (tin) and sisa (lead) have been mentioned. Kautalya  mentions of silver refining using Choolas.

The Mahabharata refers to  pipilika gold (powdery ants’ gold) -   Heaps were presented to Yudhishthira  during  rajasuya yagna.

Arthashastra of Kautilya, says about  gold refining  crucible steel- vratta WOOTZ Steel(UTSA- characteristic of oozing out of low melting point liquid phase when heated to moderate temperatures . Sir Joseph BanksPresident of the Royal Society, London 1794)

Rasaratnasamuchchaya - three types of ferrous materials, vizmunda ( wrought iron ), tiksna ( crucible steel )  and kanta ( alloy steel ).

Special wrought iron- kanta used to make the  world famous Delhi Iron Pillar (hot forging of directly reduced sponge iron blocks )-  erected in Delhi in the 5th Century AD by King Chandra Varman  -not corroded till date.

Nagarjun’s Rasaratnakar (second Century AD) -the earliest documentary evidence for the cementation process for brass making and reduction-distillation process for zinc extraction - 12 Century industrial process for zinc extraction uncovered at Zawar near Udaipur

Manasollas, written in 1131 AD -information on fine quality metal image casting by madhuchchhishta vidhan (lost wax process) -  The famous bronze dancing girl from Mohanjodaro . 

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