Watch: This MP District Marks Ramadan Fast in a Unique Way – Using Cannons!

Residents of Raisen have managed to keep a 200-year-old tradition of cannon-firing alive.

2 min read

As the day-long Ramadan fast comes to an end, the residents of Madhya Pradesh's Raisen district are greeted with a loud bang of a cannon, which is fired from red from the Raisen Fort every day of the holy month.

This unique tradition, which is at least 200 years old, is kept alive in MP's Raisen by members of the Muslim community, who fire up a cannon from one of the hilltops that the famous Raisen Fort is built on, marking the beginning and end of the fast every day.

The practice, which was started by the queens or Begums of Bhopal, was a part of the Muslim settlements throughout the country to let people when the fast began and ended, in the absence of clocks and watches.

However, the practice gradually disappeared over the years.


The residents of Raisen, however, have managed to keep it alive even today.

Mohammad Jameel Khan, the incharge of Raisen district's Muslim Festival Committee, said that the sound of the cannon travels around 15-20 kilometres.

"The sound of the boom [cannon] reaches around 15-20 kilometres from the Raisen Fort, and all the community members adhere to its sound to begin and end their fasts during Ramadan. It's a very old tradition and is carried out only in one or two places in the country."
Mohammad Jameel Khan

Earlier, a bigger cannon was being used for the firing, but in 1956, it was replaced by a 1.2-metre-long cannon to protect the fort from any damages.


Every year, before the beginning of Ramadan, the district collector of Raisen issues a month-long licence to the district's mosque committee to fire the cannon from the fort. 

The committee, with the help of other members, takes the cannon to the fort where it remains stationed for the month and is fired twice every day.  

Speaking to the media, Salman Indian, a resident of Raisen district, said that the cannon is taken out before Ramadan and is fired twice a day for the people of around 25-30 villages, who start and end their fast based on the sound.  

"After getting permission, the cannon is taken to the top of the fort where it is fired twice. It is like an alarm for around 25-30 villages that follow the cannon boom to time their fasts."
Salman Indian

He further said that a family that has been traditionally firing cannons for generations is tasked with continuing the practice throughout the month. 

(with inputs from Amit Dubey)

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Topics:  Madhya Pradesh   Ramadan 

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