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Indian Helmets

Indian Helmets


Item Code: NAB135

by K. K. Sharma

Paperback (Edition: 2001)

National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi

Language: English
Size: 17.3" x 11.5"
Pages: 16 (Ten Color Plates)
Price: $22.50   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 15th Apr, 2013


Head, the most prominent of vulnerable organs, had to be protected well. In all the battles fought, big or small, some kind of defence for the head was invariably used. No helmet-like object has been traced in the Harappan Culture. The first-ever mention is made in the Rigveda where it is equated with sipra (head covering). The common name for a helmet in ancient India was shirastrana (defence for the head). In the Ramayana , Mahaparshwa - the ogre, used helmet who was later shot dead by Angad, the son of Bali. In Mahabharat, Duryodhana wore formidable helmet and the one used by Jayadratha was made of gold, which was later cut into two pieces by Soudhadra's sword. The helmet of the epic period was a steel head-piece which was worn along with the cuirass or chain mail. The ordinary soldiers, however, used pagri (turban) or some covering made of fabric.

Indo-Greeks, Indo-Bactrians and Indo-Parthians who ruled Northwest India during 3rd-1st centuries BC were expert warriors and horse riders. They were the first to be portrayed on their coins as helmeted knights. On the obverse of the joint square coin of Agathokleia and Strabo, the queen is using a helmet.

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