Valmiki Ramayana is a historical biography because...
All Indian texts became mythology due to...
'Nala Setu' got renamed to 'Adam's Bridge' by...
Though NASA Images show that...
Frequently Asked Questions
What is...
BCE, CE

Mythology

Itihasa

Archaeo-Astronomy

Historical Event

About
A brief report

This site

References

Copyright

Contact


Sky Charting or Archeo-Astronomy
This is a technique of charting the future or past sky using a scientific tool. This tool helps to arrive at planetary positions given a date in future or past and vice-versa i.e. given a set of planetary configurations, arrive at the date either in future or in the past.

Such tools are collectively called Planetarium software. There are probably over 50 such different software available. Each software can be used specifically for a particular application, like, plotting the current night sky chart, predicting eclispes and the likes.

When spacecrafts are launched to visit far-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn, it would take a travel time of well over 12 years for the spacecraft to reach these planets. This software helps determine orbital positions of the planets when the spacecraft reaches their orbits. For this, a high level of precision is required in the software.

Unlike any other civilization so far, the literature of the Indian civilization is characterised for being embedded with night sky observations. Feeding the observations of the planetary configurations into the Planetarium software gives us the English calender dates when these configurations could have occured in the past. When these dates are logically arranged along with the events, it helps us to scientifically assign dates to events mentioned in Indian legends and historical texts, and validate them.

Thus the astronomical remains left behind in our literature can be analysed scientifically to arrive at historic dates for various events. This approach is parallel to archaeology where physical remains are analysed to arrive at historic dates and hence gives rise to a new branch of scientific dating which may be called Archaeo-astronomy.

Various modern day researchers have made use of this software to arrive at such historic dates for various events described in the Indian literature. We have collated the outputs of such credible work which are worthy of standing up to cross validation.

In the context of the Historicity of Rama, the works of Shri. Pushkar Bhatnagar, as brought out in the book "Dating the Era of Lord Ram" form the basis of what is presented here to understand the dates of the events in Rama’s lifetime.

Sri Ram Navami - Birthday

Sri Rama Navami is the birth day of Rama

Rama was born on the Navami tithi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra masa

(9th day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra).

At that time, the nakshatra was Punarvasu, and Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus were in Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer and Pisces respectively. Lagna was Cancer and Jupiter & Moon were shining together. -- Ramayana 1.18.8,9


The conditions can be summarised as follows:

1. Sun in Aries
2. Saturn in Libra
3. Jupiter in Cancer
4. Venus in Pisces
5. Mars in Capricorn
6. Lunar month of Chaitra
7. 9th day after New Moon
     (Navami Tithi, Shukla Paksh)
8. Moon near Punarvasu Nakshatra
      (Pollux star in Gemini constellation)
9. Cancer as Lagna
     (Cancer constellation rising in the east)
10. Jupiter above the horizon

Sky Chart
The observations on the left, when entered into Planetarium software gives us the above Sky Chart, which in turns gives forth the below mentioned date.
Sri Rama Navami - 10th January 5114 BCE - Birth Day of Rama
Observation at 12.30 p.m.


Birth of Bharatha



The Sky Chart of Bharatha's birth is depicted on the right.

This is about 16 hours after birth of Rama.

Birth of Bharatha - 11th January 5114 BCE, 4.30 a.m.
Sky Chart

Pre coronation eve

King Dashratha to his courtiers King Dashratha to his courtiers -

"This month of Chaitra is beautiful and holy. The woods and trees are full of flowers. At this time coronation of Rama is most appropriate."

-- Ramayana 2.4.21-22
"Astrologers have told me that my nakshatra has been surrounded by malefic planets like Sun, Mars and Rahu. Under such planetary configurations, the king either dies or falls in some deep conspiracy. Thus, before I face any such problem, you take over the kingship"

-- - Ramayana 2.4.18

"Today the moon is on Punarvasu nakshatra and tomorrow it will meet the Pushya nakshatra. In that Pushya nakshatra, I am eager to hand over the kingdom to you."

-- - Ramayana 2.4.21-22

     King Dashratha with Rama

King Dashratha with Rama
Pre-Coronation Planets Planets located together in Pisces constellation

4th January 5089 BCE

Khar, Dushan episode



Surpanaka, after her nose-cut encounter with Lakshmana at Panchavati (Nasik), goes straight to her brothers Khar and Dushan, and instigates them to fight against Rama and Lakshmana to avenge her insult. At the behest of Surpanaka, their sister, Khar and Dushan come to engage Rama and Lakshmana in a fight.

The descriptions of Valmiki can be read below.

Valmiki:
"In the middle of his army, Khar, was looking like Mars in the middle of the planets in the sky".

"When Khar moved with his army towards Rama for the battle, a red coloured evening appeared to be descending all over."    - Ramayana: 3.23.1

"The sun was covered by a dark coloured disc that had red coloured corners."    - Ramayana: 3.23.3

"Although it was daytime, it started appearing to be evening."    - Ramayana: 3.23.9

"The sun was caught by Rahu because of which the sun lost its glow and brightness. Various animals and birds started making noises as if it was dusk."    - Ramayana: 3.23.12

Khar told Rama -

"I want to say many things about my prowess but I would not, because if in the meanwhile sunset occurs, there would be a break in the battle."   
- Ramayana: 3.29.23
Khar told Rama


Solar Eclipse description

1. Planets, visible to unaided eyes are
       East to West - Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter.
2. Mars was in the middle of this chain.
3. Rarely, all the planets are in the day sky.
4. Rarer is Mars in the middle of them.
5. The occurrence of a solar eclipse at that time makes it absolutely unique.

These are some of the rarest of the rare astronomical events, which got recorded because of their uniqueness.
Khar Rama Battle - Solar Eclipse The Solar eclipse on 7th October 5077 BCE reached maxium coverage for Panchwati at 15.10 hours. The Sky Chart on the left shows the configuration at 2.00 p.m. with the Latitude / Longitude for Panchwati


Vali Vadham

"Hearing the roar of Sugreev, Vali's face became red like the sun caught by Rahu during the eclipse."    - Ramayana 4.15.3
Vali Vadham Vali Vadham
"Vali Vadham" occured on 3rd April 5076 BCE during the Solar Eclipse, in the Amavasa Ashada during the morning hours. Sky during Vali Vadhan

Hanuman's Visit to Lanka

Sky Hanuman Visit Lanka Hanuman's Visit to Lanka - 12th September 5076 BCE - Lunar Eclipse

The eclipsed moon rose in the eastern sky. It was not a total lunar eclipse. The place of observation is Lanka

Hanuman's Return from Lanka

Return from Lanka Hanuman's Return from Lanka - 14th September 5076 BCE

Observation at 6.30 a.m. The Sun and Moon are shining together. Mars & Jupiter are shining. Also seen Pushya Cancer Swati Virgo Airavat elephant of Indra corresponds to Scorpio.

Army march to Lanka

The Vanara Army march to Lanka - 20th September 5076 BCE

Lakshmana's observation : "The Venus has gone to the back side, Sapta-rishi (Ursa Major) are visible brightly, Trishanku (Crux) is visible in front. Moola nakshatra, protector of Rakshasa, is inflicted with Dhumra-ketu (node)."
march-to-lanka.gif

Internal consistancy of all dates
Sri Rama Navami - Birth day

Birth of Bharatha

Pre coronation eve

Khar, Dushan episode

Vali Vadham

Hanuman's Visit to Lanka

Hanuman's Return from Lanka

Army March to Lanka

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

10th January 5114 BCE

11th January 5114 BCE

4th January 5089 BCE

7th October 5077 BCE

3rd April 5076 BCE

12th September 5076 BCE

14th September 5076 BCE

20th September 5076 BCE

  <->

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

<->

  -

1 day

25 years

12 years

6 months

5 months

2 days

6 days

It may be noted from the table above that the dates arrived at for the events are not haphazard. They tally with the chronological sequence for the events as found in the Ramayana text. Not only that the elapse times between the events as indicated by these dates also tallies with the elapse-time and duration/age as described in the Ramayana text.

This establishes internal consistency in these dates and proves the credibility of the technique.



Cross Validation of Dates
Rama Navami occurs around the 21st of April, now in the month of Chaithra. During the days of Rama, i.e., in 5114 BCE, the Navami of Chaithra month has occured on the 10th of January. Here we can observe a difference of 100 days between the occurance of Navami in the Chaithra month between the years 5114 BCE and 2007 CE. How does one account for this difference?

Varahamihira's Brihad Samhita

The Brihad Samhita compiled by Varahamihira around 530 C.E states that the Retrograde Motion of the Vernal Equinox (Vasant Sampat) is 1° in 72 years - i.e. one day for every 72 years that is there is a slide of 1 day in every 72 years. Varahamihira also goes on to suggest that a correction factor be applied every 500 years to overcome this.

Precession of equinox

Modern day astronomers have termed this slide as Precession of equinox and state that it is 1 day in every 72 years.

    

Taking from Varhamihira as well as the modern concept of precession of equinox

Slide of 100 days at the rate of 72 years elapse for 1 day of slide gives 7200 years of elapse time

The difference between 5114 BCE and 2007 CE is 7121 years which is very close to 7200 years.

Sea level rise

A schematic representation of Sea Level Rise is depicted below.

What do our other traditional literature say about these dates?

As per the literature, Rama was born in Treta Yuga. What is the time span of a Yuga and how long ago was Treta Yuga? Yuga is a scale of measure and there are many types of Yuga to measure various time spans as shown below.



In Vayu Purana, one particular calculation of Yuga is mentioned, which fits in well for this particular calculation of the Ramayana times.



Similarly there are also different types of Yojana to measure different scales of distances.

The above clearly brings forth the date of Rama being 5114 BCE and it tallies well with scientific explanations.