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We present a scenario where the ancient Kalingans who, apart from having scholastic interest in astronomy were practicing maritime
professionals, reduced the rectangular perimeter of Orion to a square and from the nine original conjoined stars, eventually reduced the
number of directions to eight and, finally, used this celestial, zenithal-inspired format to compass the azimuth.
The archaeological model, as reported by us in *The Cranium…* is that of a versatile Yantra (instrument). The master-mariner of yore is
reported to have resorted to the use of a Yantra for direction computing on the high
as the modern mariner uses the modern compass. Yantra, in fact, may be the forerunner of the modern mariner's compass.
We find the celestial Nakshetra and Chaya Agni (Cygnus) as another very close possible source of inspiration for this Yantra or its
predecessor. The cranium of the Kalingan temple spire may have replicated this model. Such a Yantra is indeed an eight-direction compass
and it can also be used as a composite Sun, cum Star, cum Lunar-time measuring dial. In fact, it is a robust alternative school.
This being their highest and original achievement, they chose to place it atop the temple spires designed as the Cranium. Temple spires differ regionally within the territories of India and it is only the Kalingan school that exclusively presents such archaeology.
We in fact believe that, were a modern mariner to sail in reference to Orion and the Nakshetra, he would be better placed than by reference to the magnetic compass. With the Nakshetra, we are looking at an ancient "Global Positioning System."
So it appears that the modern mariner's compass had possibly a predecessor called Yantra, and that Yantra was Tara; alias "Star," alias Nakshetra. All other items here-in mentioned above may be augmentative, corroborative, peripheral, or collateral; and have been considered and given only fleeting mention in service of an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to the topic.
That multi-mode relationship between cosmic Tarakka, Nakshetra and Kalapurusha, Chaya Agni was the possible inspiration for the compass AND Kalinga was the womb territory where advanced celestial navigation was conceived.
We acknowledge with gratitude the assistance provided by the able Er. J P Mahanta in designing the 3 D Nakshetra on Iron CAD and others like T B Sahoo for line drawings (coral); Librarian and assistants of Orissa state museum for timely and valuable references; Mrs. Mamata Bhattacharya for funding the research work.
We do not intend to eulogize any community or Nation nor belittle any, neither suggest any sort of "revisionist" History. All materials are intended to be interpreted in a technical manner and with an objective perspective. The work is done on a voluntary basis and is funded by Mrs. Mamata Bhattacharya.