Mogul Emperor Jahangir. Credit: Jungpionier

 

Source: Monthly Magazine, Dec 1, 1803. p433.

Extract from “Curious FACTS relating to STONES and other SUBSTANCES, said to have fallen at different periods, and in different plafes, from the CLOUDS.”

The next fact of this kind to which we shall refer, is extracted from the memoirs of the Emperor Jehangire, written by himself, in the Persian language, and translated by Colonel Kirkpatrick.

Early, says he, on the 30th of Furverdeen, of the present year (1620), and in the eastern quarter of the heavens, there arose in one of the villages of the purgunnah of Jalindher, about 100 miles south-east of Lahore, such a great and tremendous noise as had nearly by its dreadful nature deprived the inhabitants of the place of their senses. During this noise a luminous body was observed to fall from about on the earth, suggesting to the beholders that the firmanent was raining fire. In a short time, the noise having subsided, and the inhabitants having recovered from their alarm, a courier was dispatched by them to Mahommed Syeed, the Aumil or fiscal superintendent of the Purgunnah, to advertize him of the event. The Aumil, instantly mounting his horse, proceeded to the spot where the luminous body had fallen. Here he perceived the earth, to the extent of ten or twelve yards in length and breadth, to be burnt to such a degree, that not the least trace of verdure, or even a blade of grass was to be seen, not had the heat communicated to it entirely subsided.

Mahommed Syeed directed the ground to be dug, when, at length, a lump of iron was found, the heat of which was so intense that it might have been supposed to have been taken from a furnace. It became cold, when the Aumil conveyed it to his own habitation, from whence he dispatched it to the court. Here it was weighed, and found to equal about four pounds. It was committed to a skilful artizan, with orders to make of it a sabre, a knife, and a dagger. The workman reported that the substance was not malleable, but shivered into pieces under the hammer. Upon this, it was ordered to be mixed with other iron, viz. three parts of the iron of lightning to one of common iron, and from this mix were made two sabres, one knife, and one dagger, which were found equal to the best blades formed in the usual way. The following complimentary lines were made on the occasion, and presented to the emperor Jehangire:

“In his time fell raw iron from lightning

That iron was, by his world-subduing authority,

Converted into a dagger, a knife, and two sabres.”

The chronogram of this occurence is contained in the words which signify the “flame of the imperial lightning”, and it gives the year of hegira 1030, which answers to A.D. 1620.

 

 

 

Here is a slightly different account, but clearly based on the same story. Likely just a different and selective translation of the original source.

 

Source: Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol 38, June 1869, pp167 – 168

Note on the fall of a Meteorite at Jullunder, in April A.D. 1621, according to the Iqbálnámah i Jahángírí; by H BLOCHMANN, Esq.

“At this time (Rabí’ulákhir 1030, or March – April 1621) a dreadful explosion was heard in a village near Jullunder (Jálandhar). The explosion proceeded from the east, and was so tremendous, that the inhabitants of the place were in the greatest anxiety for their lives. While the noise was going on, a lightning-like luster shot along the heaven, and descended to the earth, when it disappeared. it took some time before the inhabitants recovered from their fright, and regained their composure. They sent a courier to Muhammad Sa’id, the Collector of Jullunder, and informed him of the event. The Collector at once mounted a horse, and came to the spot. He found that the ground to about ten to twelve yards square looked as if burned, and the soil was still quite hot. Muhammad Sa’id then ordered to dig up the burnt ground. The deeper they dug, the hotter and crisper the earth became, till they alighted on a hot lump of iron, which was so hot, that it seemed to have come that very moment out of the oven. When it got cooler, the Collector took it home, put it in a bag, sealed it up, and sent it to Court.

His Majesty [Jahángír] called Ustád Dáúd, who was well known in those days for the excellent sword-blades which he made, and gave him the order to make the lump into a sword, a dagger and a knife. The armourer then reported that the iron would not stand under the hammer, but crumbled to pieces; but he could mix it with pure and faultless iron. This His Majesty ordered him to do.

He then took three parts of meteoritic iron (áhan i barq, lightning-iron) to one part of common iron, mixed them together, and made of it two swords, one dagger, and one knife, which he laid before His Majesty. After being mixed with the other iron, the meteoritic iron exhibited the same grain as is observed in Yamani and Southern [Indian] swords. You could bend the swords, and not a trace of the bending would remain. When the cutting power of these swords was compared with that of other swords, they stood at the very head of all swords.”

The Tuzuk i Jahábgírí (p. 329) – from which this account, as everything else, was copied by the author of the Iqbálnámah – states that the burned ground measured 10 to 12 gaz, not cubits, and that the weight of the meteorite was 160 tolahs. The two swords received the name of Shamser i qátí (cutting sword) and Shamser i barqsirisht, (lightning-natured sword).

 

Regarding the time of the fall, the Tuzuk i Jahábgírí says that it took place on the 30th Farwardín (Akbar’s Era) in the morning. The Iqbálnámah and the Tuzuk state that the 1st Farwadín corresponded to Monday the 27th Rabí ulákir 1030, A.H.

Now the first Muharram (New Year’s Day) 1030 fell, according to Prinsep’s Tables, on Thursday the 16th November, 1620; and as the 27th Rabí ulákhir was a Monday – which difference arises from the fact that Muhammadans reckon the day from sunset to sunset, but not, as we do, from midnight to midnight.

Hence the 1st Farwardín (day-time) corresponds to Monday the 12th March, 1621; and the 30th Farwardín, the day when the meteorite fell, would be Friday, 10th April, 1621, old style.

The weight of the meteorite is mentioned to have been 160 tolahs. Akbar’s tolah = 12 Máshahs [1 Máshah = 15.5 grains troy (Useful Tables, p111)], = 186 grains. Our tolah weighs 180 grains. Hence the meteorite would have weighed nearly 5.271 lbs. troy.

The President said that in the Catalogue of Meteorites and Fireballs, by R. P. Greg, Esq, given in the reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 1860 (Oxford meeting) this fall is noticed under “1620, April 17, Jalindher, Lahore, 7 lbs. (?) weight: stated to be an Iron fall; 1621? fell with great light and noise.”

Notwithstanding the discrepancy in date this is obviously the same fall. It is particularly interesting as one of the very few falls of Iron which have actually been observed, and perhaps the only authentic fall of a meteoritic iron in India.

From the fact stated that the mass when worked by the blacksmith ‘crumbled to pieces under the hammer’, it is probable that there was some admixture of stony matter with the iron.