Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician and astronomer who wrote two important works on mathematics and astronomy: the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta (Correctly Established Doctrine of Brahma)(628) a theoretical treatise and the 'Khaṇḍakhādyaka a more practical text. There are reasons to beleive that Brahmagupta originated from Bhinmal.
Brahmagupta was the first to give rules to compute with zero. THe texts composed by Brahmagupta were composed in elliptic verse, as was common practice in Indian mathematics, and consequently has a poetic ring to it. As no proofs are given, it is not known how Brahmagupta's mathematics was derived.
In the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta verses 7 and 8 of chapter XXIV state that Brahmagupta composed this text at the age of thirty in Śaka 550 (=A.D. 628) during the reign of King Vyāghramukha, we can thus gather that he was born in 598. Commentators refer to him as a great shcolar from Bhinmal, a city in the state of Rajasthan of Northwest India. In ancient times Bhillamala was the seat of power of the Gurjars. His father was Jisnugupta. He likely lived most of his life in Bhillamala (modern Bhinmal in Rajasthan) during the reign (and possibly under the patronage) of King Vyaghramukha. As a result, Brahmagupta is often referred to as Bhillamalacharya, that is, the teacher from Bhillamala. He was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, and during his tenure there wrote four texts on mathematics and astronomy: the Cadamekela in 624, the Brahmasphutasiddhanta in 628, the Khandakhadyaka in 665, and the Durkeamynarda in 672. The Brahmasphutasiddhanta (Corrected Treatise of Brahma) is arguably his most famous work. The historian al-Biruni (c. 1050) in his book Tariq al-Hind states that the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun had an embassy in India and from India a book was brought to Baghdad which was translated into Arabic as Sindhind. It is generally presumed that Sindhind is none other than Brahmagupta's Brahmasphuta-siddhanta.
Although Brahmagupta was familiar with the works of astronomers following the tradition of Aryabhatiya, it is not known if he was familiar with the work of Bhaskara I, a contemporary. Brahmagupta had a plethora of criticism directed towards the work of rival astronomers, and in his Brahmasphutasiddhanta is found one of the earliest attested schisms among Indian mathematicians. The division was primarily about the application of mathematics to the physical world, rather than about the mathematics itself. In Brahmagupta's case, the disagreements stemmed largely from the choice of astronomical parameters and theories. Critiques of rival theories appear throughout the first ten astronomical chapters and the eleventh chapter is entirely devoted to criticism of these theories, although no criticisms appear in the twelfth and eighteenth chapters...
Plastic Plastic Everywhere !!! We have been through the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Copper age, the Iron Age and the Steel age, named because of the dominance of these materials at that particular point of time. Considering the fact that the total volume of plastic production has surpassed that of steel, the last part of 20th century has been the ‘The Plastic Age’. And since then we are living in the age of plastics in which the usage of plastics has increased from around 5 million tons in 1950’s to 150 million tons at the present time. The consumption of plastics in Europe and U.S. is 60 kg and 80 kg respectively per person per year, while in India it is only 4 kg per person with a total annual consumption of 4 million tons only. Thus, India is amongst the lowest in generation of plastic waste. But that does not imply that plastic is not harmful for environment, so we have to work in reducing our plastic consumptions.
The advantages associated with plastics are that it can be moulded into complex shapes, have high chemical resistance and more or less elastic, thus having ability to be drawn into fiber or thin films. These properties have made them popular amongst the manufacturers of many durable and disposable goods as packaging material. However these materials have excessive molecular size of up to 1, 50,000 Da, due to which they are extremely resistance to biodegradation and persistence in the soil environment for long time and thus plastics have proved to be an aesthetic nuisance rather than a hazard. Most of the plastic will not decompose and their improper disposal is a source of environmental pollution, potentially harming our ecosystem...
India has a glorious tradition in toys. The excavated toys and dolls found in Harappa and Mohenjodaro have been carefully preserved by the museums in India. Today, a large variety of materials are used for the manufacture of dolls and toys. Toys are the timeless creations and the torches, which guide children into adulthood. It is through these very toys, that they are initiated into the inner mysteries, traditions and myths of their culture. The figures of Gods and Goddesses who reveal their spirit in an artistic expression are very helpful for the learning about the rituals, customs and mythology. Mandwa ka sugga is an auspicious omen for the welfare of bride and groom. Saharanpur is famous for the toys and creating designs with the natural veins of the wood. These toys are made without any joints. They are attractive and harmless playthings for children.
Rajasthan is noted for its toys. The craftsmen here claim to be Rajputs. It is obviously an ancient craft calling for when a child is born a new lathe is added to the family possessions. In fact when a marriage is being fixed the boys family make sure that the bride to be is familiar with the lathe, so pivotal a role does it seem to play.The dolls and toys made are not only for play but have ritual significance also .Cloth toys from Jaipur with the decoration worked in coloured paper and tinsel are popular. Udaipur is also famous for its imitate dry fruit. It is a big centre for wooden toys. Bassi in Chittorgarh district is the another place, which is engaged in making wooden toys. A very striking object is the peacock boat with two riders, and when the top opens, a box is revealed below. Originally this was the toilet box given to the bride at marriage.
Toys and dolls are today made all over the country. From Gwalior comes the famous Batto Bai doll, named after a great crafts woman who with the help of a few workers, fashioned decorative Raja-Rani dolls from bamboo, rags and paper.
India has a truly glorious tradition in toys. The excavations starting from Harappa and Mohenjodaro have thrown up a magnificent profusion of clay toys of considerable ingenuity. The use of dates back to third century B.C. clay moulds were very popular during the Mauryan rule.Toys are torches, which guide children into adult life, for it is through them that they are initiated into the inner mysteries, traditions and faiths of the world they are to enter.
The most bewitching part of Indian Handicrafts lies in its child world-the toys and dolls. The tradition of toys started from Harappa and Mohanjodaro which have thrown up a magnificent profusion of clay toys of considerable ingenuity, animals with moveable heads, monkeys that slide round a stick and the most skilful toy carts. Toys are torches which guide children into adult life, for it is through them that they are initiated into the inner mysteries, traditions, faiths of the world they are to enter.
Generally toys representing ritualistic and symbolic deities based on the Hindu mythological characters are made.
The dolls and toys made are not only for play but have ritual significance also. Cloth toys from Jaipur with the decoration worked in coloured paper and tinsel are popular. Udaipur is also famous for its imitation dry fruit. It is a big centre for wooden toys. Bassi in Chittorgarh district is the another place, which is engaged in making wooden toys. A very striking object is the peacock boat with two riders, and when the top opens, a box is revealed below. Originally this was the toilet box given to the bride at marriage.
Some typical rural figures are made such as woman with a water pot, or basket of vegetable or grass. There are group of compositions like a batch of women dancing or a community tribal dance, king and queen, epic sand historical figures.
Andhra Pradesh is very rich in its range and variety of toys. The best known is Kondapalli toys. The artisans who make them are known as aryakshtriyas. Their specialty is making toys that is centred around themselves and the different vocations common to rural life, through a series of separate scenes like a small hut with a woman cooking, the various household implements, a man climbing a palm tree, a woman pounding grain or spinning on a wheeletc. The single figure of deities, especially the ten avataras divine manifestations are Andhra Pradesh is very rich in its range and variety of toys. The best known is Kondapalli toys. The artisans who make them are known as aryakshtriyas. Their specialty is making toys that are centred round themselves and the different vocations common to a rural life, through a series of separate scenes like a small hut with a woman cooking, the various household implements around; a man climbing a palm tree a woman pounding grain or spinning on a wheel etc. The single figure of deities, especially the ten avataras (divine manifestations) are extremely well done, some in very large sizes.Tirupati dolls made in Tiruchanur village near Tirupati are equally well known. They consist largely of reproductions of the religious figures in the traditional classical style seen in sculptures in small sizes as dolls. Some folk figures are made in couples with indications of clothing and ornaments on each. Each pair is called by a special name. Being solid unlike the delicate Kondapalli the figures can be handled by children with ease and they derive a sense of comfort from that very solidity.Ettikoppaka, a village in Vishkhapatnam district is known for its lacquered toys. Many household articles are produced in toy sizes, including sets of toy cooking vessels and furniture. The specialties here are mirrors in fancy frames and carts.
Toys and dolls are objects of joy in a child world, but the famous Haryana doll is a favourite will all age groups.The size of these cloth dolls range from 6 to 36. Some typical rural figures are made such as a women with a water pot or basket of vegetable. Group compositions like a batch of women dancing, tribal dances, classical Indian dances, jungle scenes with animals & birds, king & queen epics are also popular.
The wood as per the size of the form to be made is cut from the block. The piece is cleaned and smoothened. The design of the toy to be made is traced on this piece. Extra wood is chipped off according to the design. Fine strokes with the hammer are made on the chisel, which is placed on the area to be shaped. It is smoothened with a file and painted. The painting starts with coloring various body parts. Next the dresses with specific designs are marked out by fine strokes of the brush. The facial features are added in the end.Sugga (parrot) are the wooden toys fixed on the marriage mandap. The mosara, (central part), charkhi and sugga (parrots) are made by the same process These are joined by bamboo killi (screw). The marriage post is coloured with yellow (turmeric), red (alta) and green colours.
The lacquering is done by pressing the lac stick against the revolving article. Oil is also applied at the same time for giving the better polish. Leaves of a kind of flowering cactus are used for polishing. The articles are either in single colour or in bands of different colours. The complicated designs and colour schemes are effected by manipulating the lac turnery and using the multifarious techniques.In Jaipur, the toys are made out of old cloth dyed afresh and stuffed with waste material. When they are gaily decorated with coloured paper and tinsel they look very alive especially with their expressive faces.
Rag dolls are made out of remnants of cloth usually thrown away. These are painstakingly collected and dyed into different shades to work out a variety of colour schemes. The eyes and mouth are indicated by black line . In case of a Rani doll, the clothes & body are fully decorated.
Each wooden piece that is cut to make an item is subjected to a process of slow heating to draw out all moisture. Every single limb is separately carved and joined to the body with adhesive paste of tamarind seeds, and later passed through a coating of lime glue. The painting with colours is done by very fine precision with brushes made of goats hair. Water and oil colours are both used. Lacquering is done on a lathe, hand or is machine operated. For turning slender and delicate items, hand lathe is considered suitable. In the lac turney method, lac is applied in a dry state that is the lac stick is pressed against the woodenware to be lacquered. While the latter keeps revolving, the heat generated by friction softens the lac, making the colour stick. Lacquer ware toys are produced in this way. It is with remarkable skill that the craftsmen manipulate the stick where several colours are used. Some of the lacquered pieces are painted with a brush.
Haryana heritage in this area is particularly rich. Toys are carved from wood and lacquered, or made with papier-mache and the dolls are mostly stuffed...
The Koh-i-Noor (means “mountain of light” in urdu) is one of the most famous diamonds in the world. This name was given after the exclamation of admiration coming from Nadir Shah when he first saw it. Before this one, in his long history, it is encountered with other names like Syamantaka, Madnayak (“King of Jewels”), and “the Diamond of Babur”...
The Koh-i-Noor was once the largest diamond in the world, weighing 186 carats:
The Koh-i-Noor and his brother, Darya-ye Noor (means “Sea of Light”, or “Ocean of Light” in persian) were mined at the Golconda mines, in Andhra Pradesh, India.
The Koh-i-Noor in legend
- Surya - the Sun God
- Satrajit - Yadava ruler
- Prasen - Satrajit brother
- Vishnu - a Vedic Supreme God
- Jambavan - immortal hero and son of Vishnu
- Krishna - incarnation of Vishnu
- Satyabhama - daughter of Satrajit and wife of Krishna
- Satadhanwa - friend of Akrura
- Akrura - commander of the Yadava army
- Karna - great hero and the son of Surya
- Arjuna - great hero and the son of Indra
- Indra - God of Weather and War
- Raja Yudhisthira - leader of Pandava
It’s believed that the diamond is 5000 years old and Mahabharata, an ancient Sanskrit epic writing, mentions it. The Koh-i-Noor is associated with Syamantaka, a famous blessed jewel in Indian mythology. Syamantaka was the source of the magnificent appearance of Surya, the Sun God, who wore it around his neck. Also the jewel protected the land from calamities and brought prosperity to it.
Delighted by the faith of his worshiper Satrajit, a Yadava ruler, the Sun God appears before him and gives Syamantaka to him. Enchanted by its beauty, Prasen, Satrajit brother, wears the jewel often. During a hunt, Prasen is killed by a lion that flies with the diamond. On his way he meets Jambavan, an immortal hero who could transform himself into a sloth bear. A fight starts; Jambavan kills the lion, takes the jewel and gives it to his daughter.
Meanwhile, for the death of Prasen and the disappearance of the jewel is suspected Krishna, because of a rumor about his interest in the diamond. Krishna was the incarnation of Vishnu, a Vedic Supreme God.
To clear his name, he start an investigation at the murder site, tracking the dead lion and following Jambavan bear footprints to his cave. Here a great battle begins. After 28 days of fighting, Jambavan, all bruised and weakened, realizes who his opponent is and submits. He gives his daughter to Krishna, as wife, along with diamond.
Krishna returns the jewel to Satrajit, telling him the hole story. After hearing the truth, the Yadava ruler, full of remorse, gives the hero the hand of his daughter. But Satyabhama, the princess, was first promised to Satadhanwa. This person planes to assassinate Satrajit and to steal the jewel. Profiting from the absence of Krishna, he carries out his vengeance in the cover of the night.
Later Krishna avenges Satyabhama father by killing the assassin and leaves the jewel to Akrura, a friend of both men, with the condition that it will remain in the city of Dwaraka.
Other stories say that Krishna gives back Syamantaka jewel to the Sun God. And Surya passes the diamond to his mortal son, Karna. Karna is maybe the greatest warrior of Mahabharata and an example of courage and generosity. Because of a twisted fate (three curses, Gods plots against him, mother request) he falls in the battle of Kurukshetra, against Arjuna. Arjuna, undefeated hero of Mahabharata and the son of Indra (God of Weather and War) takes the diamond and gives it to Raja Yudhisthira at his coronation.
Later a curse is put on the jewel: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity...“
Mistpouffers or Barisal Guns are unexplained sounds that resemble a sonic boom that have been reported in many waterfront communities worldwide. In India especially, they have been heard in the delta regions of Ganga and Brahmaputra. While they resemble the sonic boom of a supersonic jet, what’s even mysterious is the fact that they have been reported from times before any aeroplanes were invented. T.D. LaTouche, a British officer wrote about them in his journal in the 1890s. He wrote, “…reports of Barisal guns occurring with the earthquake shocks, but they also are said to occur without, and to have been frequent before the big earthquake. A host of plausible explanations may now exist for these enigmas, including earthquakes, rock bursts, mud volcanoes, explosive venting of gas, storm-driven waves, tsunamis, meteors, distant thunder and so-called booming sands.” These unexplained sounds are still reported and continue to puzzle experts...
Allegedly, there are secret brotherhoods which are hording the Vimanas and keeping it a secret from us. Those that know about this are thought to be “exceptionally enlightened” human beings and keep their knowledge away from us. That’s not surprising at all. I mean, they know we’d use it for devastation, for bad purposes as history time and time shows us. If I knew something that could be potentially used to cause death or such, I wouldn’t even utter a word...
Many writers believe that these Brotherhoods keep the Vimanas in caverns in Tibet or in underground bases. The Lop Nor Desert is meant to be a big UFO mystery and that could indeed be a place. Again, there is indeed no evidence for this. Just theories. But this theory must have started somewhere and should have an element of truth. If it’s correct, it’s one great hidden secret.
Slightly deviating I’d quickly like to mention the ‘Nine Unknown Men.’ They are actually probably one of the most famous secret societies thought to exist. To read more, click here: ATS Thread on Nine Unknown Men. Skip any references to ‘Lost’ and it seems quite believable. The ancient Indians possessed loads of knowledge and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true. Each of them guarded one book of knowledge...also at this point, I’d further like to say that in my family there’s one particular legend that COULD relate to this. Apparently, some Germans came to visit India...and read these books. Legend has it, they stole it and took it with them...hence the whole engineering phase of Germany and how absolutely amazing it is with its technology.
Anyway back to the NUM. They apparently had to keepsake 1 book each. People say that these books are hidden in a secret library in India/Tibet...or they could be lost...or one or two books could be with the Germans...
The Nine Books
It was said that the each of the Nine had responsibility over one book – guarding it from society and also trying to improve the knowledge in it. This means that each of the Nine had access to the source of this knowledge, were from another planet, or just unbelievably intelligent.
Each book had a different branch of this knowledge. The practices of the disciplines talked about are said to cause the destruction of the world. It is widely accepted that the following subjects were covered:
1) PROPAGANDA AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE – This is a set of messages aimed to influence the opinions and behaviour of large numbers of the people; basically information that influences the audient; allowing a mass opinion. It will allow anyone to govern the world...
Allowing anyone to govern the world. Sounds familiar to anyone? Many people believe in the NWO, Antichrist and so on...
2)PHYSIOLOGY – This is the study of the mechanical, physical and biochemical functions of living organisms. It is well known to hold instructions on how to perform the “touch of death.” (Basically, death is caused by a reversal of the nerve impulse.) The are rumours, true or false, that speak of Judo being leaked from this book...
3) (MICRO)BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY - A myth known very well to the inhabitants of India is that the water of Ganges is holy – special microbes were added to purify the rivers water (the microbes were designed by the Nine). It was said that the microbes were released into the river at a secret base in the Himalayas...
However the thing to be considered is that there are millions of ill, diseased pilgrims. Some with horrific ones. However, they can bathe in there without harming the healthy pilgrims. Rather unusual isn’t it? It has been discovered though, that the strange properties of the water are credited also to the bacteriophages that are contained. I’m not very good with this part of the topic, however isn’t one of the main ways people gain diseases and so on are through human contact? Surely the pathogens would be carried through the water...
4) ALCHEMY (+ TRANSMUTATION OF METALS) - Another major rumour in India is that during times of drought and other natural disasters, it has been said that temples and religious organisations receive large quantities of gold. They do not know who gave it from them. The fact that India has a few gold mines has puzzled many, also due to the large amount of gold given. However, this isn’t to say this is true – it could be a made up rumour to soothe the folks there. Also, we see India as a poor (but rapidly developing) country makes us wonder if there was really gold given to the country...
5) COMMUNTION (+ WITH E-Ts) – It probably indicates how to communicate with E-Ts and maybe new and advanced ways to communicate on Earth...
6) GRAVITATION (VAMINAKA SASTRA) - Many of you should be known to the Vimana. Apparently, this book does contain instructions on how to make one...
7) COSMOLOGY - If you believe in UFOs, one of the main queries is how they can travel so fast. In the 7th book, it describes how to travel at enormous speeds through spacetime fabric – possibly time travel. It seems that intra and inter universal trips are also discussed in this...
In the Indian Puranas, thought to be more than 1200 years old. A speed of the sun is given based on the Rig Veda. That speed is: 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesa. These are given in ancient indian units. Here is a conversion:
A yojanas is 8000 Dhanus/bows and each bow is 6 feet
A nimesa is 16/73 of a second, as deduced from the following in the Purans:
15 nimesa = 1 Kastha
30 Kastha = 1 Kala
30 Kala = 1 Mahutra
30 Malhutra = 1 day and night
If we convert them to their equivalent modern units, where each yojanas is 9 miles and each nimesha is 16/73.3 seconds, substituting it into the speed of the sun by the Rig Veda gives the speed of the sun as 186,536 miles per second which is most definitely not far off...
This means the Rig Veda figure is pretty accurate to the modern figure. This kind of accuracy can only be achieved with laser technology and highly sophisticated measuring equipment. However, this just corroborates what we already know from the Vymanika Shastra, that they did indeed have laser technology...
8) LIGHT - In this, it describes how to increase and decrease the speeds of light, to use it as a weapon and so on. Recently, we’ve seen such things as light being repelled and so on. Maybe we’ll eventually reach this stage? This works quite well with the Darpana Yantras...
9) SOCIOLOGY - The final books contains rules, laws , predictions, in a way on the evolution of societies and how to predict their downfall. This probably is one of the key ones – wouldn’t anyone want to stop fate...
Prayer flags are gentle reminders, bringing us back to our essence and helping us to open our hearts and minds. When we hang prayer flags, we create the intention for more kindness for ourselves and all beings.
As they wave in the wind, prayer flags lift up and carry our wishes for compassion, peace and healing around the earth. Prayer flags encourage us to live more mindfully and help us to restore our own inner calm. A more peaceful world still must begin in each of us, one open heart at a time...
It is a sign of respect to keep them off of the ground or floor and to have clear, beneficial intentions as they are being hung. The cloth frays and the printed images fade as they are released to the wind and the heavens. When they are well worn they are often burned, to release the last expression of prayer. It is also common to see old, tattered flags side by side with new ones, left to the elements...
Buddhist prayer flags are generally amalgams of Indian Buddhist banners and Tibetan lungta. Chief among Buddhist texts displayed on the Indian banners, and now on Tibetan prayer flags, is the long dharani, a string of letters or syllables very similar to a mantra, of the wrathful female deity Dvajagrakeyura. She is an emanation, or creation, of the Buddha, just like the long-life goddess Ushnishavijaya, who was born from a ray of light emanating from the ushnisha atop the Buddha's head.
The tantric source literature of Dvajagrakeyua explains the importance of creating banners and displaying the long dharani—composed of several hundred syllables—for the benefit of all. Despite the lengthiness of the text, the prayer flag still fits the four animals in the corners and sometimes even retains a small image of the wind horse at the center of the composition.
The wind horse together with the group of four animals was certainly the earliest form of a prayer flag as we recognize it today. Perhaps the concept of a wind horse that spreads good wishes by currents of air was just too big an idea to be constrained by a single fixed formula or design. The prayer flag has very quickly traveled and adapted to different continents and cultures, becoming more and more a universal symbol for happiness and peace...
Historians estimate that diamond (vajra, Sanskrit for "adamantine") were discovered in India during the 4th century B.C., and India was one of the first countries to mine the gem. India's diamonds were prized for their size and beauty for hundreds of years, but the term "Indian diamonds" was used generically to describe any stone that was mined in numerous South/Southeast Asian locations that included Borneo (Landak), Golconda, Hindostan, and Raolconda. The majority of Asia's diamond deposits were alluvial as opposed to kimberlite...
India's most prized diamonds were known as the "diamonds of Golconda," and some of the most famous Golconda stones include the Hope Diamond, Koh-i-Noor Diamond, Darya-i-Nur, Orlov Diamond, and Sanc Diamond. The Darya-i-Nur (Sea of Light) was a rare blue-diamond that weighed 186 carats, which was owned by the last Great Mughal Emperor of Persia, Aurangzeb, until it was plundered from his heirs during the 'sack of Delhi' in 1739.
Golconda (aka Golkunda) was a region located between the lower reaches of the Godavari, Wainganga, Wardha and Krishna-Venva rivers, in the present-day states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, central India (map: above, right). Today, the exact source of the so-called "lost mines of Golconda" are unknown, and India's only remaining diamond source is the Majhgawan pipe (kimberlite pipe) near Panna (see map below, under: "Mining in India Today").
The Golconda diamonds originating on the Indian subcontinent were created from the enormous forces generated by plate tectonics, when the Tethys Oceanic Crust collided with, and was subducted under the Asian Continental plate. Although these massive continental plates collided at the incredibly slow rate of 10 centimetres per year; over 100s of millions of years, this was enough force to create the Himalayan Mountain range, and to cause the necessary volcanic activity to create diamondiferous intrusive, and extrusive igneous rock known as kimberlite.
Millions of years of erosion caused by rainfall and snow-melt unearthed the diamonds from their kimberlite tomb, washing them downstream to their final resting place within the shallow alluvial river gravels of India's Golconda region.
In the ancient treatise on gemology known as Utpalaparimalä, the characteristics of an ideal diamond as described as having purity (without stain), lightness, six-pointedness, and being a well formed octahedron with 8 facets and pronounced sharp edges.
According to ancient Indian texts, there were eight principle "find-spots" for diamonds, each being identified with a distinct diamond color. The diamonds found along the banks of the Vena (Wainganga) were considered "pure" (colorless), from the Himalayan region (copper-colored); from Kalinga (brilliant gold); from Kosala (tinged with Sirisa-blossom - plantain); from Matanga (the color of wheat-blossom); from Pundra (grey to dark-blue); from Saurastra (tinged with copper-red); and those found in Supara (sable colored).
Diamonds are inextricably woven into the cultural fabric and mysticism of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Tibetan Lamaism. The 'Dorjes' is an ancient Buddhist talisman shaped like a pyramidal, four-faceted diamond. According to ancient Buddhist legend, the Dorjes represents Mount Meru, a sacred mountain which is situated at the 'center of the universe.'
The 'Valley of Diamonds'
During the 14th through 18th centuries, many young explorers and adventurers were drawn to India and the Far East, by tales of riches beyond one's wildest dreams, and the legend of Sinbad's "Valley of Diamonds." The tales of Sinbad the Sailor and the "Arabian Nights" were derived from an 8th century Persian (Sassanid) book called the Hazar Afsanah, or the "Thousand Myths."
In the "Second Voyage of Sinbad," the sailor from Basrah (Baghdad) was transported by a giant bird (the "roc"), to a land where the floor of the valley was "carpeted with diamonds." In the tale, merchants harvested the diamonds by throwing chunks of meat onto the valley floor where the giant birds would carry them back to their nests, ladened with diamonds. Sinbad strapped one of the pieces of meat to his back, and returned to Baghdad with a fortune in diamonds.
Goa's Diamond Trade Route
During the latter half of the 14th century, most of the diamonds entering Europe originated in India. The Golconda diamond trade route extended from India to Bruges, Paris, and eventually to the diamond Bourses of Antwerp, Belgium. Up until the late 1400s, the only route from India to Europe was over land through Persia, transiting the ancient "Silk Road" caravan routes. This lengthy, and dangerous journey made diamond expeditions a costly affair, and many of the diamonds would fall into Persian hands as a "tariff" for crossing their territory.
Desperate to find an alternative route to India and the Far East; Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias discovered the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip in 1488. This led to fellow Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama's discovery of a sea route to India in 1498, by sailing around the Cape. This new, and easier sea-route soon led to European dominance of the Indian diamond trade.
Along India's Malabar Coast, the state of "Goa" grew into a Portuguese trading center, and a diamond-trading route was established from Goa to Lisbon, Portugal and on to Antwerp. In 1510, the Portuguese established a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (Old Goa), after Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the ruling Bijapur kings. The city of "Vasco," named after Vasco-da-Gama, remains Goa's largest city.
In explorer/court-jeweller Jean Baptiste Tavernier's book Les Six Voyages (The Six Voyages), written in 1679, Tavernier documented his extensive travels throughout India and the Far-East, helping to expand European trade in gems, jewellery, and other valuable commodities. During his travels, Tavernier meticulously illustrated many notable cut diamonds from Indian, such as the "Great Mogul Diamond" (illustration #1: above, right) and the "Great Table Diamond" (illustration #3: above, center)
India and Landak were the only major producers of diamonds until their discovery in Brazil in 1725, and South Africa, in 1866.
DeBeers India is also currently prospecting in the Madhya Pradesh region, as well as in the sothern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The DeBeers India mining operation will be a joint venture with Hindustan Diamond, be based in Mumbai.
The Descriptive Term 'Golconda Diamond'
The term "Golconda diamond" is still used (or misused) today as an indicator of very high-quality diamonds. To justify the "Golconda" name, diamonds must have a level of transparency and quality found only in rare, chemically/optically pure type-IIa natural diamonds. The term "Golconda" is also used as a generic term to describe higher quality diamonds with an antique cut...
A majority of people alive today probably do not remember a time when radios were scarce. They use radios located in their cars, homes, and offices to tune into news programs, to listen to music, and to communicate with each other. However, the radio is a relatively new invention. It did not appear on the scene until the late 1800s. A number of individuals played a role in helping to create this device. Many people might be surprised to learn than one of the key developers of the radio lived in India.
An Indian, An Indian, Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose, played an important role in helping to invent the radio. In 1896 Bose became one of the first people to demonstrate that radio waves could be transmitted over long distances. Some scholars argue that he was the first person to achieve this feat. Bose also played a key role in developing the crystals used to detect radio waves...
5,000 years ago along the banks of the river Indus and throughout northern and western India they had devised one of the most sophisticated water supplies and sewage systems in the world. Covered drains were built underneath the streets within well-planned cities. Some of the oldest water harvesting tanks was cut into rocks to provide drinking water that is still in use today...
Our ancient religious texts and epics give a good insight into the water storage and conservation systems that prevailed in those days. Over the years rising populations, growing industrialization, and expanding agriculture have pushed up the demand for water. Efforts have been made to collect water by building dams and reservoirs and digging wells; some countries have also tried to recycle and desalinate (remove salts) water. Water conservation has become the need of the day. The idea of ground water recharging by harvesting rainwater is gaining importance in many cities.
In the forests, water seeps gently into the ground as vegetation breaks the fall. This groundwater in turn feeds wells, lakes, and rivers. Protecting forests means protecting water 'catchments'. In ancient India, people believed that forests were the 'mothers' of rivers and worshipped the sources of these water bodies.
Ã‚ Some ancient Indian methods of water conservation...
The Indus Valley Civilization, that flourished along the banks of the river Indus and other parts of western and northern India about 5,000 years ago, had one of the most sophisticated urban water supply and sewage systems in the world. The fact that the people were well acquainted with hygiene can be seen from the covered drains running beneath the streets of the ruins at both Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Another very good example is the well-planned city of Dholavira, on Khadir Bet, a low plateau in the Rann in Gujarat. One of the oldest water harvesting systems is found about 130 km from Pune along Naneghat in the Western Ghats. A large number of tanks were cut in the rocks to provide drinking water to tradesmen who used to travel along this ancient trade route. Each fort in the area had its own water harvesting and storage system in the form of rock-cut cisterns, ponds, tanks and wells that are still in use today. A large number of forts like Raigad had tanks that supplied water...
In ancient times, houses in parts of western Rajasthan were built so that each had a rooftop water harvesting system. Rainwater from these rooftops was directed into underground tanks. This system can be seen even today in all the forts, palaces and houses of the region.
Underground baked earthen pipes and tunnels to maintain the flow of water and to transport it to distant places, are still functional at Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh, Golkunda and Bijapur in Karnataka, and Aurangabad in Maharashtra...
Did you know that..
- A well is not for storing water. The well connects the surface to the underground water sources. Based on the underground water availability during a rainy season, the water level in the well will go up and down.
- Long after the rains have stopped, the well gets its water from the underground sources leaking into it.
- Where you get water using a bore-well, rainwater did percolate through any soil structure at the ground level, including rocky, laterite rock surface.
- Every bore well will eventually go dry, some sooner, some later.
- Use a bore well in reverse. Use a dried up bore well to recharge the underground supply by adding a percolation pit at the top...