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Rediscovering science: 6 claims about ancient India's achievements

Some incredible achievements datelined ancient India came from votaries of Hindu culture when they embarked on a 'rediscovery of science' at the Indian Science Congress in Mumbai. Here are a few gems.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2015 08:06 IST
HT Correspondent
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Some incredible achievements datelined ancient India came from votaries of Hindu culture when they embarked on a “rediscovery of science” at the 102nd Indian Science Congress (ISC) in Mumbai. Here are a few gems.

COLUMBUS SECOND: Indians beat explorer Christopher Columbus, who discovered the Americas in the 15th century, by thousands of years, says a paper by KS Saraswat. Images of maize-like plants found in ancient temples establish a link with America because the crop is native to the new world.

FIRST FLIGHT: Shivkar Bapuji Talpade flew a flying machine over Chowpatty in 1895, eight years before the Wright siblings of America, based on sage Bharadwaja’s aviation knowledge, says a paper by Captain Anand Bodas.

VEDIC VIMANAS: Bodas’s paper says Bharadwaja’s planes or vimanas, invented over 7,000 years ago, had up to 30 engines and could hover like a helicopter. These were made of an alloy that had Bengal gram and holy nectar, and could make outer space sorties too, fuelled by a concoction of cow and elephant urine.

WATER AUTOPSY: A paper by Ayurvedic physician Ashwin Sawant talks about surgeries in 6,000 BC based on the Rig Veda, a text written around 1500 BC. Sushruta, the master of surgery, is said to have conducted autopsies by dunking the dead in a river. The swollen corpses reveal all their muscles, sinews and nerves.

THEOREM THEORY: Greek philosopher Pythagoras lost his famous theorem to Baudhayan, who wrote the geometric formula as mentioned in the Sulbha Sutra of 800 BC. This was revealed by Gauri Mahulikar, head of the Sanskrit department at Mumbai University.

SWEET GLUE: Heated sugar was used to affix Ganesha’s elephant head to his human torso, said Kiran Naik, an exhibitor at the event, supporting PM Narendra Modi's similar take on this plastic surgery stunt.