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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

Figure 4
Fig 4 - Theodolite Readings.

Experiment Two - Theodolite Survey

To verify the reliability of the Survey of India map, we decided to test the angular distances between monuments using a theodolite. Metro Mansion, a tall multi-storeyed building was selected as the base of the theodolite readings, because its roof offered a good view of all the main monuments, and it was only around 500ft NE of the central Parasurameswar temple (site 15). The theodolite [5] was calibrated and aligned to magnetic north (MN) with a compass [6] and positioned on the south-east corner of the building. Readings were taken in clockwise order from MN, starting with site no. 1. The angular difference between a) two monuments and b) the gross offset from MN was measured and recorded ( Table I ). Due to obstruction by a water tank of the field of view between angles 240° and 350° along the Western horizon, the theodolite was repositioned on the NW corner of the building, reset and re-calibrated with the standard reference and the NS baseline. Due to these adjustments, both theodolite positions can be taken as one, called TP. Interestingly, no monuments were found in line with magnetic north or south, such that the north-south is not emphasised. In contrast, the east-west line is prominently represented in both the terrestrial and celestial schemes. To us, this suggests that the east-west line is the more important basis of calculation in Siddhanta astronomy.

A theodolite-based (and hence partial ) Tarakka was superimposed on the Survey of India map, with TP centred on the appropriate position on this map (see Fig. 4). This superimposition confirmed the basic terrestrial Tarakka as previously judged (in Exp.1) from the Survey of India map. The few slight mismatches in the correlation between the terrestrial and celestial Tarakkas can be at least partially explained by the polar view zenithal projection of the star chart we used to draw the celestial Tarakka, which is different from the zenithal equal projection used on the Survey of India map used for the terrestrial Tarakka.

Figure 5
Fig 5 - Superimposition of theodolite-based Tarakka onto Survey of India map.
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