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Tarakka: Ancient Monuments of Bhubaneswar as Reflections of Stars
By Deepak Bhattacharya 1 & P. C. Naik 2
Edited by Sharif Sakr

Second Tier of Tarakka

The second tier includes nine more stars, all of which can be matched with temples on the basis of geometry - see Figure 8 below.

Figure 8
Fig. 8 - Table showing correlations in the Second Tier.

In addition to the geometrical correlation, there are internal relationships that deserve mention.

The star Canopus is called Agastya in Siddhanta and correlates with the Baidyanath temple. In the Indian system of medicine (Ayurveda), the medicinal plant Sesbania grandiflora (L) is called Agasti. Baidyanath means lord of doctors.

The stars Pollux and Castor of the Gemini constellation represent, in Siddhanta, the heads of a loving couple. Castor, which is the brightest star in the Gemini constellation, is geometrically correlated with the Rajirani temple, which literally means "King and Queen". This temple is dedicated to love, beauty and feminine grace.

Pegasus Square is a prominent geometrical shape of four bright stars, which are joined with other stars in the Pegasus constellation that form the flying horse of Greek star-lore. Pegasus Square is geometrically correlated with the Barangagada fort (now in ruins) which lies in the north-west outskirts of Bhubaneswar city. The square shape of the constellation matches well the shape of the fort walls [7].

The star Deneb-Kaitos is the constellation of Cetus, which has the form of a pair of triangles. The corresponding monuments are the pair of hillocks, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. These hillocks contain ancient Jaina, Buddhist and Hindu cave and rock art, including the famous rock edict of emperor Kharagola (dated to between 1st Century BC and 2nd Century AD).

The star Alsuhail (Velaka in Siddhanta) in the constellation Vela geometrically correlates with the site on the Western bank of the Gangua river that has previously been identified as an amphitheatre. The word Vela means "raft" in the Oriya language. Its shape in occidental star maps is that of a boat with unfurled mast. We have investigated the 'amphitheatre' and strongly suspect that further archaeological investigation will reveal that it was actually a dock. It consists of a low-lying square structure bounded on three sides by land, and with the fourth side opening out to the river. The structure bears much similarity to the Harappan dock at Lothal in Gujerat [8], and we believe it is an inland river dock of ancient Kalinga. We suggest that the site be renamed as "Vela dock".

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Footnotes:

  1. There is another ancient wall beneath Indira Ghandi park in the city, at the right angle and distance, which could be part of the fort that was originally meant to correlate with Pegasus Square.
  2. The Lothal dock measures 35.36m x 216m. The length of the Vela dock is similar, but its width is three times greater.

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