500-year-old gunpowder sacks discovered

Around 500 year old Gunpowder bags, dated back to around 1550, were found near the Jain temple in the Sonar fort of Jaisalmer, made famous by Satyajit Ray’s film ‘Sonar Kella’. These explosives were used in cannons.

What is Gunpowder?

  • Gunpowder which is also called black powder was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid-1800s.

Chemical Composition:

  • Mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter)
  • Sulfur and Charcoal act as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer.


  • Propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks.
  • Earlier, used as explosives in cannons



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