Seamless Celestial Globe is considered as one of the most remarkable metallurgical feats of all time. ‘Ali Kashmiri lbn Luqman’ of Kashmir invented it somewhere around 1589-90 AD. Afterwards, some twenty other such globes were produced in Kashmir and Lahore during the Mughal Empire.
Till they were rediscovered in the 1980s by a British researcher Emilie Savage-Smith, the modern metallurgists thought that even with the help of modern technology, it is technically impossible to produce metal globes without any seams. In order to produce these globes, the method of ‘Iost-wax-casting’ was pioneered by these Mughal Metallurgists.
Muhammad Salih Thattvi or Thatavi was the chief technician with the task of creating an Arabic and Persian inscriptions over the massive ‘Seamless Celestial Globe’ by using a secret wax casting method in the Mughal Empire of 1659. Luqman had mastered the art way back in 1589 AD in his non-descript workshop somewhere in Kashmir, but in his home state hardly anybody knows about Luqman, let alone his invention. Celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere that represents how the entire sky looks as seen from earth. Just imagine that the entire visible sky is turned into a dome around you and the stars are engraved on it.
Unlike the ordinary globe that represents earth, the celestial globe represents sky complete with stars and constellations on it.
In the words of an expert Prof. Simin Rubab of NIT, “Without any aid of modern machinery Luqman had succeeded in carving a sphere without any joints; and for engineers that is mindboggling even now.”
Nirmal Joshi Courtesy: Wah Bharat