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By Deepak Bhattacharya 1 & P. C. Naik
Edited by Christopher F. Ash

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Kalingan Archaeology ; Nomenclatures and Culture

The whole scheme of such a "compass" represents an entirely novel method of computing direction; one that possibly only the Kalingans proudly maintained and commemorated in durable plastic throughout their building phase. Regally termed, "Dikpalas," ("maintainer of directions"), it predated by around 500 to1000 years the latter "Khetrapalas" ("maintainer of zones") which was commemorated in stone art.13

Later, these terms were conjoined as "Dikpalas Khetrapalas," which marked out the eight directions (The Cranium). While Dikpalas are coincident with stars in our Nakshetra diagram; Khetrapalas do not demonstrate such a prominent, correlation with the astral bodies on the said diagram. It may be argued that by the time the later concept came into vogue the astral positions had possibly changed…

Or was it, perhaps, a changed astral position that called for new positioning and new nomenclatures? We think it was.

Khetrapala was an evolutionary step from a four-cornered compass to an eight-pointed compass - by all Saivic signatures. If anything went above Dik and Khetra-palas it was the various elements of the compass, topped by the insignia of the Lord at the pinnacle. The stone art only celebrates and commemorates those revolutionary evolutionary changes represented as a series.

The culture offers corroborative artifacts in the language, as well as in the rich and vibrant kimbadanti ("legends") of high sea sailing popular in the area. Among these artifacts are the Boita bandana (The Ode to Sailor's), Kartika Purnima and the Bali Jatra festival (annual boat worship, model sailing and month long festival on river banks), as well as another month-long festival (which preceded it at the height of monsoon), Khudurkuni Osa (whence the sister offers weekly prayers for the safe return of her sailor brother). Added to this are many Oriya terms in the trade treaties.

Does all this truly lead us to present day Orissa? The practices are exclusive to this region so the conclusion seems obvious.

From this paper it appears that the Kalingans may have sailed and traveled with reference to Orion, sailing in and out via the river Prachi. Their capital city has been identified as the zone of intra-star, also known as "TARAKKA," the hub of which is a Orion. Their inland river dock has one to one correspondence with the constellation Vela (meaning "flotilla" in the native language). All in all, Orion appears to have a unique relationship with that hub of heritage that is the erstwhile Kalinga!

Furthermore, the natives here are called Odiyas, they speak a dialect called Odiya / Oriya, their staple diet is Oryza sativa linn (rice) -- with it, they prepare a royal dish called Oriya -- and their native land was called Odra in ancient times (apart from being called Kalinga / Tosala / Kosala, etc.) and as Orissa in present times.

Now, shall we also then conclude that the very word "Orient" is itself derivative of "Orion?" In the context of the renaissance, when the term was coined, Orissa, the land inhabited by Oriyas where life revolved around Orion, though it seems incredible, was "The Orient."

This is the land where Kalapurusha mandala (the Orion Constellation) is or has been conceived as Linga (that which is pendant / dangling -- as do the stars appear in pitch dark night). Traditional Indian grammar (sandhi) may settle the question thusly:

"Ka," of "Kalapurusha," plus "Linga," of "Shiva Linga," gives "Kalinga," where Kalapurusha is worshipped in Linga form. "Kala" ("time") plus "linga" ("icon" or "signature"), yields "Kalinga," which identifies "the place where the signature of time is revered." Kalapurusha: the ancestral home of the Hindus.

While we have firmly opined that the Shiva Linga is an icon of the cosmos assembled of composite elements of ancient engineering, in some way (archaeological models) it is also a wholly symbolic, three-dimensional representation of Orion's Trapezium.

Possibly every time a merchant sailor safely returned from a sea voyage, attributing his safe return to the divine assistance of the celestial guide Orion, he erected a votive monument to Orion's iconic symbol in gratitude. This would explain why we have such a profusion of small and tiny Shiva temples (perhaps in consort with the many pyramids in the Nile valley). Interestingly, we have all of them located beside navigable channels and, later, built around water bodies.

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