Technical innovations and Inventions:
Medieval India witnessed considerable improvement and changes in the field of technology. While these changes were largely a result of diffusion from outside, some technological innovations also originated in India. Diffusion from outside suggests readiness and ability to imitate, apply and extend the use of technological devices. On the whole, there seems to have been no inhibition against technological change. We shall now describe some technical devices that were invented or improved upon in medieval India. Gearing Gearing provides a device for transforming horizontal motion into vertical and vice versa and for increasing or reducing speed (Fig. 5.8). One form of gearing is that of the parallel worm which originated in ancient India. It was received in Kampuchea, in all probability, from India before 1000 A.D. Parallel worm gearing was used in wooden cotton-gin in medieval times; it was also applied to sugar milling, with wooden rollers. Right-angled pindrum gearing came with the Persian wheel (saqiya), an improved water liftiig device received from the Arab world. India already had water lifting devices such as pulley-system @hitxi) and noria (araghatta) with pot-chain (mala). The application of pin-dnun gearing to the araghatfa. converting it into what is known as the Persian wheel, enabled water to be lifted from deeper levels, in a continuous flow, by use of cattle power. The gear wheel and the shafi were of wood. A horizontal pindrum, meshing with a vertical pin wheel, was rotated by cattle power. The Persian wheel was being widely used in the Punjab and Sind by the tifteenth century. This improved the means of imgation and probably resulted in extension of agriculture in the region.