Weapons form the basis for a certain aspect of written history, a pre- requisite for warfare and conquest and consequently responsible for changing the face of the world. Weapons are the best friends of the brave, the symbol of authority and the token of command, the visible sign of force, strength and domination. Indian arms and weapons thus constitute an interesting subject intimately connected with the life and history of the Indian people.
Odisha State Museum has made a humble beginning in acquiring a good number of traditional weapons of war like cannons, guns, swords, daggers, spears, bows and arrows, battle-axes, shields, etc. A few of them have been under display in the Gallery adjacent to the Epigraphy section. We are striding ahead to collect several weapons from rulers of former princely estates.
At present we have a number of cannons of which the two brought from the Lalbag House, Cuttack at the instance of the Governor of Odisha,Shri A. N. Khosla, told upon the chequered career of their history. Lalbag House originally a seat of the Mughal Governors was subsequently converted to the Government House.
The personal gun of Late Utkal Gaurava Madhusudan Das is yet another prize possession of this section. The other guns represent the traditional types used by the soldiers of the royal armies. Gun powder is generally pressed inside their long barrels and then fired.
The swords represent several varieties. The talwar type is generally curved towards the end and has one cutting edge, The Khadga variety of swords normally found with deities are straight with blunt end and double cutting edges. Patta yet forms another type with a long handle and can pierce through the body of the enemy when attacked with great force.
Among the defensive weapons we have circular shields made of hides to protect the body from close ranges when attacked by the enemy.