Vimanas – an ancient Indian flying machine

Vimanas – an ancient Indian flying machine


Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) which hosts the annual event, is a premier scientific organisation of India with a membership strength of more than 30,000 scientists. It was founded in 1914 with the objective to advance and promote the cause of science in India.

Captain Anand Bodas, a retired pilot, was presenting a paper on ‘Ancient Indian Aviation Technology’, and claimed that the science of building and flying a plane was recorded by Maharshi Bharadwaj in Brihad Vimana Shastra, written between 6000 BC and 7000 BC. “Maharshi Bharadwaj said air planes were used to travel from one city to another, from one country to another and from one planet to another."

Let’s discuss about the ‘Vimanas’ which is said to be the ancient Indian flying machine as described in various literatures and books.

Nearly every Hindu and Buddhist in the world - hundreds of millions of people has heard of the ancient flying machines referred to in the Ramayana and other texts as Vimanas. Vimanas are mentioned even today in standard Indian literature and media reports. An article called “Flight Path” by the Indian journalist Mukul Sharma appeared in the major newspaper The Times of India on April 8, 1999 which talked about vimanas and ancient warfare: according to some interpretations of surviving texts, India’s future it seems happened way back in the past. Take the case of the Yantra Sarvasva, said to have been written by the sage Maharshi Bhardwaj (Excerts from the article “Fly the Friendly skies in air India Vimanas by David Hatcher - source: Technology of the Gods - The Incredible Sciences of the Ancients p 147-209).

This consists of as many as 40 sections of which one, the Vaimanika Prakarana dealing with aeronautics, has 8 chapters, a hundred topics and 500 sutras. In it Bhardwaj describes vimana, or aerial aircrafts, as being of three classes:

1. those that travel from place to place;
2. those that travel from one country to another;
3. those that travel between planets.

Of special concern among these were the military planes whose functions were delineated in some very considerable detail and which read today like something clean out of science fiction.


Image source: beforeitsnews.com

Does it mean that air and space travel was well known to ancient Indians and airplanes flourished in India when the rest of the world was just learning the rudiments of agriculture?

Vimanas were said to take off vertically or dirigible. Bharadwaj the Wise refers to no less than 70 authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity. These sources are now lost. Vimanas were kept in Vimana Griha, or hanger, were said to be propelled by a yellowish-white-liquid, and were used for various purposes. Airships were present all over the world. The plain of Nazca in Peru is very famous for appearing from the high altitude to be a rather elaborate, if confusing airfield. Some researchers have theorized that this was some sort of Atlantean outpost. It is worth nothing that Rama Empire had its outposts: Easter Island, almost diametrically opposite to Mohenjo-Daro on the globe, astonishingly developed its own written language, an obscure script lost to the present inhabitants, but found on tablets and other carvings.

Aerial battles and chases are common in ancient Hindu literature. What did these airships look like? The ancient Mahabharata speaks of a vimana as “an aerial chariot with the sides of iron and clad with wings.” The Ramayana describes a vimana as a double-deck, circular (cylindrical) aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the “speed of the wind”, and gave forth a “melodious sound” The ancient Indians themselves wrote entire flight manuals on the care and control of various types of vimanas. The Samara Sutradhara is a scientific treatises dealing with every possible facet of air travel in a vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with construction, take-off, cruising for thousands of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collusions with birds!

Would these texts exist (they do) without there being something to actually write about? Traditional historians and archaeologists simply ignore such writings as the imaginative ramblings of a bunch of stoned, ancient writers.
Says Andrew Tomas, " The Samara Sutradhara, which is a factual type of record, treats air travel from every angle…If this is the science fiction of antiquity, then it is the best that has ever been written.”

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