(Last Updated on : 27-11-2010)
Superintendent of Armoury shall employ experienced workmen of tried ability to manufacture in a given time and fixed wages wheels, weapons, mail armours and accessory instrument for use in battle, in construction or in destroying the enemies. Chapter XVIII of Book II in Arthashastra
empowers the Superintendent of Armoury to supervise both the manufacturing of weapons as well as their proper utilization according to the requirements. As these weapons get usually affected by moisture, sun and dust, they require proper maintenance under direct supervision of the superintendent. The weapons must be kept in proper places and should be regularly dusted and maintained so that they could be easily and swiftly used whenever required in a short notice.
Superintendent of Armoury shall be responsible for the maintenance of weapons according to Arthashastra. The weapons specified in this book are Sarvatobhadra, jamadagnya, bahumukha, visvasaghati, samgati, yanaka, parjanyaka, ardhabahu and urdhvabahu which are the immovable machines (sthirayantram) heavy in structure. Panchalika, devadanda, sukarika, musala, yashti, hastivaraka, talavrinta, mudgara, gada, spiktala, kuddala, asphatima, audhghatima, sataghni, trishula, and chakra are movable machines and light in structure. Sakti, prasa, kunta, hataka, bhindivala, varahakarna kanaya, karpan, trasika and the like are some of the weapons which have edges like a ploughshare (halamukhani). Arthashastra discusses in detail the description of each weapon which are to be manufactured in the same way as mentioned. Accordingly the bows are made up of tala (kind of palm tree), chapa (kind of Bamboo), daru (kind of wood) and sringa (made of horns and bones). Further bow strings are made up of murva, arka, sana, gavedhu, venu and snayu which are different types of arrows whose edges are made up of iron, bones and wood as to cut, rend and pierce. Arthashastra then describes three kinds of swords which are named as Nistrimsa, Mandalagra, and Asiyashti. The handle of these swords are made up of horns of the rhinoceros, buffaloes, the tusk of elephant, of wood and o the roots of the bamboo. Parasu, kuthara, pattasa, khanitra, kuddala, chakra, and kandachchhedana are razor-like weapons. Yantrapashana, goshpanapashana, mushtipishana, rochan (mill-stone), and stones are other weapons (ayudhani).
Superintendent of Armoury, after collection of various kinds of weapons, concentrates on the personal protection of the warrior. He makes provisions for the variety of armours, namely, Lohajalika, Patta, Kavacha and Sutraka which are made up of either iron or skins of hooves and horns of porpoise, rhinoceros, bison, elephants and cows. Likewise Arthashastra makes provisions for variety of covers like, sirastrana (cover for the head), kanthatrana (cover for the neck), kurpasa (cover for the trunk), kachuka (a coal extending as far as the knee joints), varavana (a coat extending as Far as the heels), patta (a coat without cover for the arms) and nagodaraka (gloves) forming the varieties of armour. Further Arthashastra makes provision for the use of weapons for self defence. This includes the veti, charma, hastikarna, talamula, dhamanika, kavata, kitika, apratihata, and valahakanta. Accessories to protect the horses, elephants, chariots, goads and hooks are also mentioned by Kautilya.
Thus, Superintendent of Armoury shall be precisely responsible for ascertaining the availability of these resources at the time of requirement. He should ascertain the demand and supply, their application, their wear and tear, as well as their decay and losses. As the armoury stands as a major asset of the state which helps to exhibits the strength of the state on its enemy; its maintenance remains a vital concern for Kautilya
as discussed in Arthashastra.