Tarakka: Ancient Monuments of Bhubaneswar as Reflections of Stars
By Deepak Bhattacharya 1 & P. C. Naik 2
Edited by Sharif Sakr
The location and design of the ancient temples of Bhubaneswar have been guided by rich astronomical insight. Not only temples, even the painted hill caves, ancient forts and river docks have been placed and constructed in accordance with the location of individual stars and with outlines of constellations that have related shapes or star-lore. Individual monuments have corresponding stars, and as a group they form a similar pattern on the ground as they do in the sky above. The star-temple correlation is centred on the constellation of Orion, which is reproduced in its entirety.
Location and Historical Context
Bhubaneswar is located 20.05° North / 85.82°East, on the Eastern coast of India. As the present administrative capital of Orissa province, it is globally well-connected. The modern city covers around approximately 30 square kilometres, whereas the ancient monuments are clustered in an area of 10 sq. km, termed the core area in the INTACH-EKAMRA heritage conservation plan of 1989. Ekamra is the name given to Bhubaneswar in the ancient literature. The historical period of the Bhubaneswar monuments covers two millennia, between 300BC and 1600AD. This architectural heritage includes Jaina, Buddhist and Hindu sites (the latter being most recent and numerous). The names and cultural classification of the 28 main archaeological sites is given in Fig. 1, along with code numbers from 1-28 to allow easy reference later on.
- Oddisi Research Laboratory , Kedargouri Road, Bhubaneswar - 751002, India.
- Dept. of Physics, Dharanidhar College, Keounjhar - 758001, India.
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|Fig. 1 - Table showing main monument sites of Bhubaneswar, with religious classification.|