Ancient Meso American Sites

These sites are dated and the oldest civilizations in the americas. Unknown to many and also they existed at a similar time as the Egyptian and Indian cultures. Future research must show if these where seafaring settlers from these countries. These are the oldest meso american pyramids.



Note the circle at the base of the pyramid.

Six earth-and-rock mounds rise out of the windswept desert of the SupeValley near the coast of Peru. Dunelike and immense, they appear to be nature’s handiwork, forlorn outposts in an arid region squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the folds of the Andean Cordillera. But looks deceive. These are human-made pyramids, and compelling new evidence indicates they are the remains of a city that flourished nearly 5,000 years ago. If true, it would be the oldest urban center in the Americas and among the most ancient in all the world.

Research developed by Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Shady Solís of San Marcos University suggests that Caral, as the 150-acre complex of pyramids, plazas and residential buildings is known, was a thriving metropolis as Egypt’s great pyramids were being built. The energetic archaeologist believes that Caral may also answer nagging questions about the long-mysterious origins of the Inca, the civilization that once stretched from modern-day Ecuador to central Chile and gave rise to such cities as Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Caral may even hold a key to the origins of civilizations everywhere.

Though discovered in 1905, Caral first drew little attention, largely because archaeologists believed the complex structures were fairly recent. But the monumental scale of the pyramids had long tantalized Shady. “When I first arrived in the valley in 1994, I was overwhelmed,” she says. “This place is somewhere between the seat of the gods and the home of man.” She began excavations two years later, braving primitive conditions on a tight budget. Fourteen miles from the coast and 120 miles north of Peru’s capital city of Lima, Caral lies in a desert region that lacks paved roads, electricity and public water. Shady, who enlisted 25 Peruvian soldiers to help with the excavations, often used her own money to advance the work.

For two months she and her crew searched for the broken remains of pots and containers, called potsherds, that most such sites contain. Not finding any only made her more excited; it meant Caral could be what archaeologists term pre-ceramic, or existing before the advent of pot-firing technology in the area. Shady eventually concluded that Caral predated Olmec settlements to the north by 1,000 years. But colleagues remained skeptical. She needed proof.

In 1996, Shady’s team began the mammoth task of excavating Pirámide Mayor, the largest of the pyramids. After carefully clearing away several millennia’s worth of rubble and sand, they unearthed staircases, circular walls covered with remnants of colored plaster, and squared brickwork. Finally, in the foundation, they found the preserved remains of reeds woven into bags, known as shicras. The original workers, she surmised, must have filled these bags with stones from a hillside quarry a mile away and laid them atop one another inside retaining walls, gradually giving rise to the city of Caral’s immense structures.

Shady knew that the reeds were ideal subjects for radiocarbon dating and could make her case. In 1999, she sent samples of them to Jonathan Haas at Chicago’s FieldMuseum and to Winifred Creamer at NorthernIllinoisUniversity. In December 2000, Shady’s suspicions were confirmed: the reeds were 4,600 years old. She took the news calmly, but Haas says he “was virtually in hysterics for three days afterward.” In the April 27, 2001, issue of the journal Science, the three archaeologists reported that Caral and the other ruins of the SupeValley are “the locus of some of the earliest population concentrations and corporate architecture in South America.” The news stunned other scientists. “It was almost unbelievable,” says Betty Meggers, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Institution. “This data pushed back the oldest known dates for an urban center in the Americas by more than 1,000 years.”

What amazed archaeologists was not just the age but the complexity and scope of Caral. Pirámide Mayor alone covers an area nearly the size of four football fields and is 60 feet tall. A 30-foot-wide staircase rises from a sunken circular plaza at the foot of the pyramid, passing over three terraced levels until it reaches the top of the platform, which contains the remains of an atrium and a large fireplace. Thousands of manual laborers would have been needed to build such a mammoth project, not even counting the many architects, craftsmen, supervisors and other managers. Inside a ring of platform pyramids lies a large sunken amphitheater, which could have held many hundreds of people during civic or religious events. Inside the amphitheater, Shady’s team found 32 flutes made of pelican and condor bones. And, in April 2002, they uncovered 37 cornets of deer and llama bones. “Clearly, music played an important role in their society,” says Shady.

The perimeter of Caral holds a series of smaller mounds, various buildings and residential complexes. Shady discovered a hierarchy in living arrangements: large, well-kept rooms atop the pyramids for the elite, ground-level complexes for craftsmen, and shabbier outlying shantytowns for workers.

But why had Caral been built in the first place? More important, why would people living comfortably in small communities perched on the Pacific Ocean with easy access to abundant marine food choose to move inland to an inhospitable desert? If she could answer this question, Shady believed she might begin to unravel one of the knottiest questions in the field of anthropology today: What causes civilizations to arise? And what was it about the desert landscape of Peru’s SupeValley that caused a complex, hierarchical society to flourish there?

Her excavations convinced Shady that Caral had served as a major trade center for the region, ranging from the rain forests of the Amazon to the high forests of the Andes. She found fragments of the fruit of the achiote, a plant still used today in the rain forest as an aphrodisiac. And she found necklaces of snails and the seeds of the coca plant, neither of which was native to Caral. This rich trading environment, Shady believes, gave rise to an elite group that did not take part in the production of food, allowing them to become priests and planners, builders and designers. Thus, the class distinctions elemental to an urban society emerged.

But what sustained such a trading center and drew travelers to it? Was it food? Shady and her team found the remains of sardines and anchovies, which must have come from the coast 14 miles to the west, in the excavations. But they also found evidence that the Caral people ate squash, sweet potatoes and beans. Shady theorized that Caral’s early farmers diverted area rivers into trenches and canals, which still crisscross the SupeValley today, to irrigate their fields. But because she found no traces of maize (corn) or other grains, which can be traded or stored and used to tide a population over in difficult times, she concluded that Caral’s trade leverage was not based on stockpiling food supplies.

It was evidence of another crop in the excavations that gave Shady the best clue to the mystery of Caral’s success. In nearly every excavated building, her team discovered great quantities of cotton seeds, fibers and textiles. Her theory fell into place when a large fishing net, unearthed at an unrelated dig on Peru’s coast, turned out to be as old as Caral. “The farmers of Caral grew the cotton that the fishermen needed to make the nets,” Shady speculates. “And the fishermen gave them shellfish and dried fish in exchange for these nets.” In essence, the people of Caral enabled fishermen to work with larger and more effective nets, which made the resources of the sea more readily available. The Caral people probably used dried squash as flotation devices for nets and also as containers, thus obviating any need for ceramics.

Eventually Caral would spawn 17 other pyramid complexes scattered across the 35-square-mile area of the SupeValley. Then, around 1600 B.C., for reasons that may never be answered, the Caral civilization toppled, though it didn’t disappear overnight. “They had time to protect some of their architectural structures, burying them discreetly,” says Shady. Other nearby areas, such as Chupacigarro, Lurihuasi and Miraya, became centers of power. But based on Caral’s size and scope, Shady believes that it is indeed the mother city of the Incan civilization.

She plans to continue excavating Caral and says she would someday like to build a museum on the site. “So many questions still remain,” she says. “Who were these people? How did they control the other populations? What was their main god?”




Era de Pando

Ruth Shady already explore the ruins in 2000, and name them “Era de Pando”.  Note the circle at the base of the pyramid, just like in caral.,-77.609836,5424m/data=!3m1!1e3




Huaca Prieta

One of the earliest groups in Peru to be studied were the Huaca Prieta people, who lived at the site of that name around 3500 BC to 2300 BC. These hunter and gatherers began simple agriculture, growing cotton and varieties of bean and pepper, but corn, now a national staple, was unheard of. Finds of simple nets and hooks indicate that they primarily ate seafood. Homes were single-room shacks half buried in the ground, and most of what is known about these folks has been deduced from their middens, or garbage piles. It seems that they were a Stone Age people who didn’t use jewelry, but had developed netting and weaving. At their most artistic, they decorated dried gourds with simple carvings; similarly decorated gourds are produced today as a Peruvian handicraft. Hot stones may have been dropped into these gourds to cook food.


Huaca Prieta is a very old site in the Chicama Valley along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It is believed the people were both fishermen and farmers
At Huaca Prieta are monumental ceremonial mounds, built around 2500 B.C., with numerous residential mounds, stairways, plazas, a ceremonial center and crops. Highly skilled twined cotton weaving was found, as well as gourds carved with stylized geometric motifs. Here again are found architecture, platforms, where no ceramics have been found, like Las Haldas, El Paraido and Chuquintanta, located on the central Peruvian coast. All have various residential complexes of clay and stone constructed by building rooms and terraces one on top of another, much the same as in the Pueblo towns of the southwestern United States. Another important Pre-Ceramic site is Kotosh in the northern highlands of Peru. At Kotosh, terraced temples were made of fieldstone set in earth and decorated with clay reliefs of crossed hands, and also the Pre-Ceramic sites of Chavín de Huántar and Paracas (see previous posts of this series).
All of these cultures and sites have at least one thing in common—the building of monumental structures before they seem to have had or developed ceramics.

The site of Huaca Prieta, also called Chicama, in northern coastal Peru, located at the mouth of the Chicama River
Excavations of Huaca Prieta, a large complex stone and earth platform mound, built in several stages, replete with a massive access ramp and numerous burials, have revealed subterranean pit dwellings, and that the people grew squash chilies, and cotton as well as caught fish, and wove baskets and numerous cloth. The impressive mound measures 453 feet by 203 feet, and 105 feet high (10 stories). There are stone-faced terrace rooms on the eastern and western slopes, with a large sunken plaza 82 feet in diameter, with stone-faced stepped platforms and small masonry rooms.
A ramp 130 feet by 115 feet was constructed leading up to the summit of the mound from the northeast slope. 75 feet of mound is above the present-day ground surface, the recent excavations have established that 30 feet of mound building exists below the present surface, suggesting an increase in height of the surface level of some thirty feet.

Top: Junius Bouton Bird excavating Huaca Prieto for ten months in 1946-1947; Bottom: Junius and wife Peggy Bird (center right), along with Bob Bird (background) and Elvira Sanchez (left) sorting material from sifters during the original field work at Huaca Prieta 1946-1947
Early excavations conducted by pioneer archaeologist Julius Bird in the 1940s, made this the first pre-ceramic site excavated. The findings indicated that the site’s builders were sedentary people living in pit-houses, who cultivated crops as a supplement to marine fishing. The builders used a broad range of technology, including stone, bone and wood tools, bottle gourds, basketry and textiles. Cotton weaving and netting were used with some textiles involved iconographic styles with intricate designs.
As Bird himself wrote of the 4000 cotton fabrics and 2000 fragments he found: “The fact that some of the textiles rank high among the finest fabrics ever produced should lead us in all humility to seek not only a knowledge of their origin and development, but also a better understanding of what they actually represent in terms of human accomplishment.”
Within twelve miles of the mound, 38 small pre-ceramic domestic residential sites have been found that were occupied between the shoreline and he backwater wetlands during the mound construction period. These cobblestone mounds form small hamlets or communities comprised of several households and an open plaza-like area, and contained domestic hearths, food preparation areas, middens (refuse heaps) and residential structures—but do not contain the black soot and ash found at Huaca Prieta. Evidently, the mound at Huaca Prieta was built and maintained by people living at these sites located on both the coastal and inland sides of the estuarine wetlands.

Top: The first excavation into a mound of dirt at Huata Prieta suspected of being manmade; Bottom: Soon the structure, steps and pyramid begins to take shape
East of the domestic sites were discovered several raised agricultural platforms, which were built in the wetlands where beans, squash and chili peppers were grown. Instead of ceramics, workers have found over 10,000 fragments of cut and carved bottle gourds—most were bowls with incurving rims, jars with constricted mouths, small spherical containers, dippers and ladles. The bowls were decorated with incisions and engravings, including geometric cross-hatching and stylized faces.
The fishermen used bottle gourds as floats and to balance the net lines, and animals recovered at the site included llamas, dogs, and deer. There were also remains of pre-ceramic maize, coca, peanut, cherimoya, sweet potato, quinoa, avocado, yuca, manioc and pacae, as well as various tubers.
These first people of Huaca Prieto lived in simple dwellings—rooms lined with stone and roofs made of wood and whalebone—grew crops and fished, and were highly skilled with cotton textiles—growing long-stranded high qualify cotton, and produced dyes of over 100 different shades of color in their cloth, weaving figures of men, sea creatures, and animals into the multi-colored yarn. They and those that followed, developed such a high quality cotton industry that by the time the Spanish arrived, the newcomers mistook the cloth for silk.
They also had fireplaces, chimneys, storage pits, dumpsters, food packaging and other indicators of domestic occupation, all showing a high social complexity.

While they did not make earthenware (at least none has been found at their sites), they made vessels out of gourds that they incised with elaborate geometric designs, as well as depictions of human beings, condors, snakes, and crabs, making them the earliest dated examples of graphic art in the Americas.
According to Margaret A. Towle (The Ethnobotany of Pre-Columbian Peru), these sites along the north coastal area of Peru “resemble one another and fit into a large uninterrupted cultural sequence which extends from the pre-ceramic early agricultural epoch, in which maize is lacking, into a later ceramic epoch in which maize occurs.” And recent chronological data reported in Antiquity in 2012 suggests that the complexity of the mound construction is singular, with no direct antecedents (meaning it was the first occupation of the area and those inhabitants started off with building the complex mound).
This means, contrary to most archaeological assumptions, that nothing existed at Huaca Prieto before the mound (pyramid) was built. There was no earlier diffusion found, no previous period of development or human occupation. The people who first settled Huaca Prieto were an advanced pre-ceramic culture who evidently had not developed or made earthenware. By comparison, when the Jaredites settled in the promised land, they were an advanced culture; when the Nephites settled in the Land of Promise, they were an advanced culture.


The Nazca capital

Cahuachi,[1] in Peru, was a major ceremonial center of the Nazca culture, based from 1 AD to about 500 AD in the coastal area of the Central Andes. It overlooked some of the Nazca lines. The Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici has been excavating at the site for the past few decades. The site contains over 40 mounds topped with adobe structures. The huge architectural complex covers 0.6 sq. miles (1.5 km2).The American archeologist Helaine Silverman has also conducted long term, multi-stage research and written about the full context of Nazca society at Cahuachi, published in a lengthy study in 1993. The past several years long time researcher Omar Faizi has conducted in depth study of the Nazca lines with startling conclusions to his study.

Scholars once thought the site was the capital of the Nazca state but have determined that the permanent population was quite small. They believe that it was a pilgrimage center, whose population increased greatly in relation to major ceremonial events. New research has suggested that 40 of the mounds were natural hills modified to appear as artificial constructions. Support for the pilgrimage theory comes from archaeological evidence of sparse population at Cahuachi, the spatial patterning of the site, and ethnographic evidence from the Virgin of Yauca pilgrimage in the nearby Ica Valley.[2]


Batán Grande – Bosque de Pomac

December 29th, 2007 0 Comments

This incredible place is as interesting as it is beautiful. Baked in hot sun, cut in half by a river that floods the area in the rainy season and dotted with ancient pyramids, this dry forest of algarrobo trees on the old grounds of the Batán Grande suger-cane hacienda was the highlight of my time in Lambayeque.

35km north of Chiclayo, in Ferreñafe-Pitipo, is the green valley of the Río Leche. Green because it is covered in almost 6000 hectares of forest. It’s not often you get to see a forest on Peru’s desert coast, less often one with dozens of bird species and coastal foxes.

It’s not only a beautiful place that can be hiked around or driven around, its also a huge archaeological site. It was here that the Sicán developed, flourished and then destroyed everything they created for reasons unknown.

Some way into the grounds of the reserve is a large hill with a lookout point. Only by climbing this can you appreciate where you are. You see another hill poking out of the trees. And another, another and another. You may wonder why they are all pyramid shaped… perhaps its because these are gigantic man-made monuments.

Like all the adobe constructions in northern Peru, rains have all but completely wiped out the splendour of these monuments that now appear as if they have been melted. With a bit of imagination though, all is not lost. Remember, these where perfectly formed and decorated stepped pyramids, flattened a little from the peak so that buildings could be placed on top. Huge wide ramps that used more mud bricks than the pyramids themselves led up to them and in some cases even connected some of them together.

More damage has been caused to these structures that just by rain. The foresthad been part of an old hacienda, one that had existed since colonial times. The owner of the land decided instead of paying the peasants who lived there to grow his sugar cane he would be better off paying them to destroy the pyramids to look for gold. Many now have huge sections dug out of them. Locals tell me, from what they heard, this made the land owner very rich, so lots of gold artefacts must have been found and destroyed. The area has since been turned into a national park and protected.

Sicán iconography is dominated by the Sican Deity[4][5] It decorates all artistic media of the Sicán, including ceramics, metal works, and textiles.[3] The icon is most commonly represented with a mask face and upturned eyes.[2] Sometimes it may be shown with avian features, such as beaks, wings, and talons, which are evident in Early Sicán ceramics.[3] These avian features are related to Naylamp, the key figure in Sicán mythology. The name “Naylamp” was first mentioned by the Spanish chronicler Miguel Cabello Valboa, who referred to the Moche figure “Naymlap” in his 1586 Miscelánea Antártica. Later authors believe the form is Mochica Ñañlap, of which the first part is ñañ “waterfowl”; a connexion has been made between the Moche and Chimú cultures and the empire of Chimor and the Mochica language.

Sican gold cup, 850-1050

Naylamp was said to be the founder of the first dynasty of prehistoric kings in La Leche and Lambayeque valleys. In The Legend of Naylamp, first recorded in the 16th century by the Spanish chronicler Miguel Cabello de Balboa, Naylamp is said to have traveled on a balsa raft by sea to the Lambayeque shores. (!!) He founded a large city, and the 12 sons of his eldest son each founded a new city in the Lambayeque region.

These stories were put to test by Thor Heyerdale with his Kontiki expedition and the recent  tangaroa expedition.


When Naylamp died, he sprouted wings and flew off to another world (Nickle Arts Museum 2006, p. 18 and 65).

In 1978, Japanese Izumi Shimada, archaeologist and anthropologist began to study the area. It wasn’t until 1992 though that his team discovered a tomb of an elite member of Sicán society.

From this grave, 1.2 tonnes of precious metals in the form of jewellery and religious artefacts were removed, now stored in the National Sicán Museum.

Since, more tombs have been found, two either side of the Huaca Loro. At another pyramid 30m (100ft) long, Shimada’s team found the bones of a woman in her early 20s surrounded by figurines of Sicán gods, ceramics and objects in copper and gold. Another set of bones, clearly from a person of some stature, were found in a seated position accompanied by a metallic crown, shells, and ceramics.

The park entrance is just off the road that continues on to the town of Batangrande, you’ll see a big sign on the left. There you will find a building used by archaeologists, and official guides of the project – trained locals. Very few tourists make it here, despite it being the best attraction Lambayeque has in my opinion.


Ancient Settlement in Lima Region, Peru

One of the towns of the Caral-Supe culture (3000-1800 BCE) on the left bank of the Rio Supe.

They are building new settlements on this site

The double headed eagle

A very good research document on the subject: chariton.ARC

Garuda ( Gandabherunda)



Gandabherunda, in Belgavi, Shimoga (Shivamogga) district of Karnataka

A brief note ;
The Gandaberunda (also known as the Berunda) is a two-headed mythological bird of Hindu mythology thought to possess magical strength.
Gandaberunda is the official emblem of Karnataka state government.It was the royal insignia of erstwhile Mysore kingdom.Even after five centuries its first usage in the mints for making coins during the period of Vijayanagar empire around 1510, the Gandaberunda is still flying high as the symbol of seat of power of Karnataka – the official insignia of State.
In order to demonstrate its immense strength, Gandaberunda bird is said to be clutching elephants in his talons and beaks. To clearly depict and read the two-headed bird figure holding snakes in its beak on several Madurai coins, the bird is said to be a gigantic eagle. Sometimes, it is also considered a cross between an eagle and a bird. In several temple of Karnataka, Gandaberunda bird is worshipped as an incarnation of Vishnu. It is also a physical form of the Narasimha avatar of Mahavishnu. It is said that after the slaying of Hiranyakashipu, Lord Vishnu was so filled with rage that the demi gods feared him. To put an end to his anger and calm him down, Lord Shiva who was the best friend of Narayana, incarnated himself as Sharabha avatar (a beast with a part lion and part eagle body). Vishnu incarnated himself as Gandaberunda out of rage, and Gandaberunda feared Sharabha. So, there was a great struggle that continued for 18 days till Gandaberunda tore apart Sarabha, to calm down.
Historically it has been used in the crests and official seals of the: Chalukyas, Chagis,
Kota Kings (Dharanikota Kings), Hoysalas, Keladi Chiefs, Kadambas, Nandyalas (Vijayanagara Empire), Gobburis (Vijayanagara Empire),Wodeyars of Mysore


        For a proper description of the evolution of the Gandabherunda which is the Royal Insignia in Mysore, we have to go back to tradition in the first instance. Vishnu became incarnate as Narasimha to destroy the demon Hiranyakasipu and to rescue his devotee Prahlada and the mad fury of Vishnu threatened the destruction of the Universe. Siva assumed the form of a Sarabha which was the terror of the lion. Thereupon tradition proceeds, Vishnu immediately took the form of Gandabherunda which is superior to Sarabha and lives on its flesh. It is this Gandabherunda or the double headed eagle which forms the Royal Insignia or the Coat-of-Arms in Mysore. Coming to the Vedas we find that the winged disc and the tree of life are recognised as indicating the spread of Aryan culture in the Near East. Frankfort from a study of the North Syrian designs has argued that the winged sun-disc of the Egyptian monuments was the most impressive of symbols of the Egyptian empire in the second millennium B.C., and that it was combined with the Indo-European conception of a pillar supporting the sky – the sky being pictorially represented by means of the outstretched wings supported on one or two pillars and surmounted by a disc. There was also the Mesopotamian sun-standard, where the sun was represented by a pole with a star (?)  The pillar was also connected with the “Asherah” or ” sacred tree “(1). Therefore this motif in the Mitannian glyptic was a synthetic product of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Aryan cultures. He quotes Holmberg(2), to show that Rig-Veda and Atharva Veda mention the cosmic pillar which separates heaven and earth and supports the first, a motive which


“Evolution of the Gandabherunda” by

Dr S.Srikanta Sastri


Double headed eagle stupa

a Double-headed eagle is seated from which the name of the Stupa has been derived. This motive is rather odd, to say the least, as it is originally Babylonian. It seems to have spread to Scythia, and introduced in the Punjab by the Saka rulers.


Garuda, the Mighty Eagle

Garuda is a large, mythical Eagle, which appears prominently in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.  Incidentally, Garuda is also the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The Brahminy kite and Phoenix are considered to be the modern representations of Garuda. Garuda is the national symbol of Indonesia – this mighty creature is depicted as a large Javanese eagle


In Hinduism, Garuda is an Upadevata, a divine entity, and is depicted as the vahana or mount of Sri Maha Vishnu. Garuda is usually portrayed as being a strong man; having a golden, glowing body; with a white face, red wings, and an eagle’s beak. He is adorned with a crown on his head.  This very ancient deity is believed to have a gigantic form, large enough to block out the Surya Devata or the Sun God.

Garuda is widely known to be a permanent and sworn enemy of the Nagas, the ones belonging to the serpent race – it is believed that Garuda fed only on snakes. This behavior bears reference to the short-toed Eagle, which can be found in India. The image of Garuda is often worn as a charm or amulet, as it is believed to protect the wearer from snake attacks and poison. In fact, Garuda Vidya is the mantra which is often used as a palliative measure to destroy the ill-effects of snake poison and also to remove all sorts of evil the victim has been afflicted with.

Garuda is generally shown as winding the mighty Adisesha serpent on his left wrist and the serpent Gulika on his right wrist. The great serpent Vasuki winds around him to form his sacred thread. Takshaka, the cobra, winds on his hip to serve as a belt. He wears the serpent Karkotaka as his necklace. Further, the snakes Padma and Mahapadma are his earrings. The serpent Shankachuda adorns his hair as a crown.

Garuda is depicted as flanked by his two wives Rudra and Sukeerthi in an ancient Soumya Keshava temple in Bindiganavile in Karnataka state of India.

The Importance of Garuda in Hinduism


Garuda’s strong position in Hinduism can be estimated by the fact that two ancient Hindu texts, the Garudopanishad and the Garuda Purana, are both dedicated to him.  The Vedas make a mention of Garuda, referring to him as Syena, where this mighty Eagle is adored as the one who brought nectar from heaven to earth. The Puranas also talk about this deed, again equating Garuda with Syena (Sanskrit word for Eagle).

Double headed Hitiite eagle

Imperial double headed eagle



Charles Texier discovered cylindric seals with clearly visible two-headed eagle with spread wings. The double-headed eagle motif originally dates from c. 3800 BC.


By Bro. Arthur C. Parker, New York

Here is the type of article that makes glad the heart of an editor. With its lack of guesswork and with its wide-sweeping learning, it may well serve as a model and an inspiration to budding students. Brother Parker has recently completed an eight hundred page work on archaeology; when it is published we shall hope to review it in THE BUILDER. For some strange reason the two-headed eagle, for all its symbolical appeal, has seldomly attracted the attention of Masonic scholars. The most able treatment of it thus far has been the chapter in The Migration of Symbols by Count Goblet d’Alviela of Belgium; Brother Parker’s own article loses nothing by comparison with that chapter. Indeed, it carries the symbolism back to a far earlier time, and embodies more recent information. A student who may care to launch out upon researches of his own will find, along with the present article, that the references in the Encyclopedia Britannica, are valuable; consult the index volume under Double-headed Eagle; also see the articles on Heraldry and Hittites. For a reliable but rapid survey of what is known of the Hittites see Jastrow’s chapter on the subject in Exploration in Bible Lands, by Hilprecht (1903). See also Mackey’s Encyclopedia, Vol. I., page 225; and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. III, page 104.

THERE IS SCARCELY a symbol in any of the philosophical or chivalric degrees of the Scottish Rite so striking in design and import as that of the double-headed eagle.

The tau cross and serpent of the Twenty-fifth Degree, the sun of the Twenty-eighth Degree, and the cross of St. Andrew in the Twenty-ninth Degree are indeed fraught with deep meaning, both historic and esoteric, but none can claim a more romantic or significant history than that of the Thirtieth Degree, that of the Grand Elect Knight Kadosh, or Knight of the Black and White Eagle. As an emblem this eagle is the epitome of religious and symbolic history, and to trace the winding flight of the double-headed bird is to survey the whole course of civilization, from its grey dawn north of the Persian gulf to this modern World. Its flight from the plains of Sumeria marks the rise and fall of the great mother religions of the world, and it was well on its journey, by some fifteen hundred years, when Moses found a name for the God of Israel.

When our ancient brethren, the holy Crusaders, passed through Byzantium on their way to the tomb of the Saviour, the double-headed eagle which they saw embroidered in gold on heavy banners of silk, borne aloft by the Seljuk Turks, had been four thousand years on its way. To these same Crusaders this emblem was an honoured one, and though the enemy displayed it, yet they would fight to death for its possession and in triumph bear it, dripping with blood, to their encampments on the Levantine shore. It was from this Eastern Empire that the knights took this banner to adorn the courts of Charlemagne, and as a sacred relic hung it in the great cathedrals, whose architects and masons had so often been honoured by this Emperor of the West.

From whence came this two-headed eagle, and how came it to be associated with Scottish Rite Masonry? The last part of this question is easier to answer than the first, for there is direct testimony that Frederick of Prussia supplied this crest during the formative stages of the Rite, but neither Frederick nor indeed Prussia could claim the exclusive right the use or to bestow it. It is the imperial emblem of Russia, Austria, Serbia and other portions of the disrupted Holy Roman Empire, and Prussia adopted the emblem long after it had flown over Byzantium as the royal arms of the “Emperors of the East and West.”

The emblem soon spread throughout all Europe, an inheritance from the knight Crusaders. In England we find it used upon knightly arms. Robert George Gentleman displayed it upon his shield, with the motto, “Truth, Honour and Courtesy.” In France we find it used by Count de Montamajeur, and associated with the motto, “I shall hold myself erect and not blink.” We find it upon the arms of the Duke of Modena, (1628) with the legend, “No age can destroy it.” It appears upon the shield of Swabia in 1551, in Russia in 1505, and as the crest of the city of Vienna in 1461.


Let us venture still further back into antiquity and view the double-headed eagle upon the royal arms of King Sigismund of the Roman-German empire, in 1335, upon the coinage of Malek el Salah in 1217, and upon a Moorish drachma under the, Orthogide of Kaifaacar, Edm Mahmud, of the same date. Indeed the Turkiman princes used it all through the twelfth century, but it proudly floated upon Byzantine banners as early as the year 1100 and we know not how long before.

In Germany we find the double-headed eagle used as the seal of the Count of Wurzburg in 1202; it was the coat of arms of Henricus de Rode in 1276; while Philip of Saxony bore it upon his shield in 1278. It was also the seal of the Bishop of Cologne, who no doubt adopted it from the city arms.

As the arms of towns and cities in England, this emblem appears upon the official seals of Salisbury, Perth, (Perthshire), Airedale and Lamark. In Holland and France there are also numerous instances of its use.

As the badge of royal orders we find the two-headed bird upon the emblems of the Austrian Order of the Iron Crown; in Russia upon the emblems of the Order of St. Andrew, founded by Peter the Great in 1689; in Poland upon the emblem of the Order of Military Merit, (founded May 24, 1792). As late as 1883, the King of Serbia adopted it as the emblem of the Order of the Double-Headed Eagle, commemorative of the restoration of the Serbian kingdom.

The Russian Order of St. Andrew uses the breast of the eagle upon which to display the X cross with St Andrew, crucified upon it. Each eagle head is crowned and crossed swords rest upon the crowns with a larger crown above them. The Polish Order of Military Merit has a white eagle displayed upon a Maltese cross which rests upon the breast of a double-headed eagle, each of whose heads is crowned.

But the double-headed eagle is not European in origin for its use depends upon the contact of Europe with Asia Minor, and indeed with trade or warfare with the Turks.

The Turkish name for this conspicuous emblem is HAMCA, and by this name they call it when they see it carved upon the walls of ancient castles, upon time worn coins or emblazoned upon frayed silken banners in ancient palac


Travellers in Asia Minor, indeed, are surprised by the frequency of the double-headed eagle sculptures upon the castles of the Seljukian Turks, and upon the more ancient monuments of the Hittites, whose civilization was at its height when the Hebrews were wild tribesmen upon the Arabian plains. Among the Hittite ruins in Cappadocia there are several of these notable ruins, an example being described by Perrot and Chipiez, who write:

“Sculpture, whereby the peculiarities which permit Pterian monuments to be classed in one distinct group, yields richer material to the student. Many are the characteristic details which distinguish it; but none, we venture to say, can vie with the double-headed eagle at Iasill Kaia, a type which we feel justified in ranging among those proper to Cappadocia, since it was unknown to Assyria, Egypt or Phoenicia. Its position is always a conspicuous one, – about a great sanctuary, the principal doorway of a palace, a castle wall, etc., rendering the suggestion that the Pterians used the symbol as a coat of arms plausible if not certain. It has been further urged that the city was symbolized by it, that the palace called by the Greeks Pteris (Pteron, wing) was the literal translation it bore with the Aborigines, that in a comprehensive sense it came to symbolize the whole district, the country of wings, i. e., numerous eagles, double-headed eagles with wings outstretched.”

The great city of Pteria, as Herodotus calls this unique dwelling place, was destroyed by Croesus. The ruins and walls of this city, now known as Boghaz Keui, (meaning Valley Village or Village in the Pass) have been examined with particular interest by archaeologists, but principally by Perrot and Guillaume. At the entrance of a palace these investigators found numerous rock sculptures, mostly picturing the processions of certain royal or priestly personages. Egyptian and Assyrian art motives predominate, but pure Hittite art is shown in the sculpture of the double headed eagle, upon whose displayed wings two priestly figures stand.

At Eyuk, a similar eagle with two heads facing opposite directions clutches a large hare with either foot. J. Garstang in his notable work, The Land of the Hittites, mentions there bicephalous eagles and gives two plates illustrating the rock carvings upon which they appear.


In his description of the Sculptures of Boghaz Keui, Garstang gives an analysis of the procession of priests, kings and gods shown on the rock carving alluded to above. This great bas-relief is upon the sanctuary passage way of the temple of Iasily Kaya. Concerning these images Garstang writes: “The significance of the double headed eagle is unknown. But that there was a local worship associated with the eagle is indicated by the discovery at Boghaz Keui of a sculptured head of this bird in black stone, larger than natural size, and by a newly deciphered cuneiform fragment from the same site, on which mention is made …. of the house or temple of the eagle. That the cult was general within the circuit of the Halys is suggested by the great monument which now lies prone …. near Yamoola. At Eyuk, also, there is a conspicuous though partly defaced representation of a priest of the Double-Eagle on a sphynx-jam of a palace gateway, a symbolism that we read to imply that the occupant of the palace was a chief priest of the cult….. Hence, we conclude that following the images of the national deities …. there came the images of the local cult of this part of Cappadocia, namely, the twin goddesses of the Double Eagle.”

Thus, in the ancient Kingdom of the Hittites, there was an actual temple devoted to the ceremonies of a priesthood dedicated to the cult of the two-headed eagle. While we may be sure that nothing in Scottish Rite Masonry is touched by direct Hittite influences, yet this emblem of the Thirty-second Degree must trace its history back to the ceremonies and beliefs of the Cappadocian eagle cult. We may with good reason conjecture that this strange bird painted or embroidered on banners was carried in many a strange rite and honoured in the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple itself.

But, let us go still further back into the ages of Asia Minor. Let us view the remains of Tello, the mound covering the site of the ancient Babylonian city of Lagash which flourished three thousand years B. C. Here M. de Sarzec, according to the great Assyriologist, M. Thureau Dangin, found the ruins of a temple and among other things in the rubbish he discovered two cylindrical seals. One of these has upon it the recitation of a King, who says:

“The waters of the Tigris fell low and the store of provender ran short in this my city.” He goes on to tell that this was a visitation of the gods. He, therefore, submitted his case to the divinities of the land. He dreamed, as a result, a holy dream in which there came to him a divine man whose stature towered, (as that of a mighty god in Babylonia should) from earth to heaven and whose head was crowned with the coronet of a god surmounted by the Storm Bird, “that extended its wings over Lagash and the land thereof.”

What, then, is this “storm bird,” this mysterious symbol that bedecks the brow of a god, and,what does it betoken?

Our first inquiry is to ascertain who was the patron deity of Lagash. It is easily determined that it was Ningersu, who with his wife, Bau, presided over the destinies of the city, and particularly that part known as Gersu. The divine man who rescues the world from the flood is this same Ningersu, the solar deity, who is always at odds with, yet always in full harmony with, the storm god Enlil, who was the patron deity of Nippur. Now the emblem always associated with Ningersu was an eagle, generally lion headed, called Imgig. Imgig seems always given the difficult task of clutching two beasts of a kind, one in either talon. In one instance these are lions, in another long-tailed oryxes, and still in another two serpents.

Many are the inscriptions depicting the image of Imgig looking perplexed, yet stolid, as he holds fast to the beasts beneath him. A beautiful silver vase, designed as a votive offering by Entemena, Patesi of Lagash, has etched upon it a central design of four lion-headed eagles, of which two seize a lion in each talon, a third a couple of deer and a fourth a couple of ibexes. This vase with its pictured symbols dates back to the year 2850 B.C. It rests in the Louvre today as a prized specimen of Babylonian art. Jastrow figures it in his work on Religious Beliefs in Babylonia and Assyria.

But Imgig, despite his peculiarities, might escape special notice were it not for the fact that in one or two instances he appears with two heads. It is in this wise that the bird appears in an old Babylonian cylinder seal once belonging to a priest of Ningersu. Upon this seal a priest or priestess presents a naked candidate or novitiate before an altar before which sits the goddess Bau, the Ishtar of Lagash. Behind the goddess is an inscription supported upon the two heads of a bicephalous eagle, which, of course is none other than the symbol of Ningersu and his city, Lagash. This is the oldest known representation of the double-headed eagle.


M. Heuzey, in his Discouvertes en Chaldee page 261, says: ‘It may, I think, be presumed that the double-headed eagle, and the lion-headed eagle, and also the eagle with two heads, have the same significance when figured in front view with wings spread on each side. Unlike the griffon dragon, it is a beneficent emblem representing a protecting power. We find it in the earlier Chaldean period, but in the middle and latter part it quite disappears, although it is retained in the art of the Hittites to the region north and east of Assyria.”

Ward, in his Cylinder Seals of Western Asia, tells us that from this eagle in its heraldic attitude necessitated by, its attack on the two animals, was derived the double-headed eagle, in the effort to complete the bilateral symmetry of the bird when represented with an eagle head, turned to one side like the double face of human bifrons. An examination of the lion-headed eagle facing front shows characteristics that would easily suggest two eagle heads, but this is a matter of design, rather than symbolism.

The Babylonian custom of merging gods together have some bearing on this design. The double-headed bird may represent Ningersu and Enlil, the union of the Sun god and the Storm god, or it may represent the union of Ningersu and Bau.

As an emblem of Ningersu and of Enlil (the god to whom the Tower of Babel was erected) the eagle represents the union of the two greatest gods of Mesopotamia. Indeed, in the later years of Babylonia, either of these gods might be called by the name of other, and to worship one was to pay equal tribute the other.

In later centuries, when the Hebrews had been under more or less Babylonian influence, all the characteristics of Enlil and indeed, Ningersu, were ascribed to a new and rising deity whose home was reputed to be in the land of the Kennites and upon the lofty, smoking peak of Horeb-Sinai. He manifested himself exactly as Ningersu did, by earthquakes, fiery clouds and mighty hurricanes, as for example, is described in the 29th Psalm. This god had his seat on mountain top, from whence he blessed the grazing lands and the vegetation of the Kennites. It was this God that Moses found after instruction by his father-in-law, the Midianite. Like Enlil, this god had a consort who seems to have been Yerahme’el. His other co-equals we cannot easily recognize, because the scribes have only written or allowed to remain what they desired after their theological education in Babylon during the captivity. Nevertheless, they allow many a tell-tale clue to remain, and in the original Hebrew we may still read, “And the Gods (Els or Al-him) said, ‘Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.'”

But long before Moses found Yahwe and declared him the God of Isra-El (the God who Strives), and before this god absorbed all his predecessors and forbade their recognition, a similar duad had arisen among the Hittites, whose storm god Teshup was represented two gods, and whose symbol was a double-headed eagle. Thereafter no Hittite temple or palace was complete without a conspicuous carving of the doubly potent bicephalous bird.


It was no doubt through the prevalence of this double-headed eagle among the Hittite ruins that the Turks found a reiterated motif for their own banners, emblazoning the magical Hamea, this bird of double power, upon them.

But long before the Hittite kingdom was founded, and centuries before the rise of Babylon and Assyria, and five full millenniums before the rise of the Hebrew tribes as a nation, the double-headed bird was known. Before any of the pharaohs ruled the valley of the Nile and before the pyramids had been erected, the pre-dynastic aborigines of the Nileland had carved upon trowel-like pieces of stone, a two-headed bird. These double-headed birds were prized enough to be buried with the dead, in whose tombs the archaeologist of to-day finds them as mysterious emblems of a long forgotten past. So old are these tombs containing the trowel blade with the two-headed bird upon its shoulders, that competent Egyptologists estimate an age of no less than 7,000 years before Christ.

Of interest, also is the fact that in America the double-headed eagle is found on a crest of the native priesthood. The Hida Indians today have a double-headed eagle which is displayed as a mysterious and honoured emblem, and just as this bird among the Hittites, the Babylonians and the temple worshippers of Lagash was a storm bird, so, likewise to the Hida Indians of our North West coast the double-headed eagle is their Thunderbird.

In our Christian architecture the two-headed bird has sometimes been employed, particularly as a window ornament. For example, we find it upon a church window in England, where an eagle with two heads perched upon the shoulder of Elijah symbolizes the double portion of grace with which the prophet was endowed.

Professor Albert Grundwell of Berlin, who led an archaeological expedition into central Asia, found these double-headed eagles in ancient eaves. In Vol. XXIII of The Open Court is some mention of his discoveries. He there states that to the Hindoos the bird is known as Garuda and that the particular specimen that he illustrates was found on the ceiling of a cave near Qzyl, near the city of Kutcha. Its age he cannot guess, but he intimates that the painting is very old. Like Babylonian and Hittite eagles of this class, the Garuda grasps identical animals, in this case two serpents.

The double-headed eagle, thus appears to be Asiatic and to have been originated in the lands where the greatest temples have been erected, and where religious cults have been strongest.

To recapitulate: This bird appears in Lygash under the name of Imgig, and apparently is emblematic of the union of Enlil and Ningersu; it appears among the Hittites as Teshup; it appears among the Hindoos as Garuda; it is called Hamca by the Seliuk Turks; and among the Hida Indians of America it appears as the Thunder Bird or Helinga. Among the Zuni Indians in another form it appears as a highly conventionalized design, but still as a double-headed thunder bird, the Sikyatki.

The two-headed eagle was adopted by the Turks, and by the Arabians it was known as the Roc. From the Turks it passed into use by the Crusaders, was employed as an imperial emblem by the Holy Roman Empire, adopted by the Russians, Poles, Serbians, Prussians, Austrians and Saxons. It was used as a private seal and as arms in Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, England, and Russia.

Thus has the eagle with one body, one heart and two heads, flown afar from its natal home. We may only conjecture the varied uses to which it was put, the names by which it was called and, the things or principles it typified. Of these things where there has been reasonable assurance of certainty we have written. We are certain that the emblem is one of the oldest in the world, and from its nature we are justified in believing that it symbolizes a duality of power, a blending of two names, two functions and two dominions in one body. As Enlil or as Ningersu, it stood for a union of solar and celestial forces; as a royal crest it has stood for power and dominion, and as a religious seal it stands for truth and justice.

As a Masonic symbol this device is time honoured and appropriate. It is no less the badge of the Grand Inspector and Sublime Prince than that of the Grand Elect Knight. As the symbol of the Inspector it suggests an equal contemplation of both sides of a question-and thus, judicial balance. It is seen as the fitting emblem of an elect knight in ancient religious engravings, and to the exclusion of the cross itself, it appears upon the banners of the knight and prince who behold the apparition of the virgin and child of the rosary. And, as in ancient Mesopotamia, the double eagle is here associated with the sun symbol in the form of the Chaldean Elu, which the knight and prince wear, evidently with the same ancient meaning: “The light toward which my eyes are turned.”

Thus does the double-headed eagle stand today for that which it stood in ancient days, its two heads, facing the Ultimate Sun, reminding men and Masons that there is yet even “more light” for the pilgrim who travels East, and in whose heart is the motto,


– Source: The Builder – April 1923


Double-headed eagle in the culture of different nations

The double-headed eagle is one of the oldest symbols.  He was widely distributed in the Sumerian culture. One of the earliest images of the eagle was found during excavations of the Sumerian city of Lagash in Mesopotamia. Probably even more ancient a two-headed eagle was cut from smoky jade by the Olmec and its eyes please visitors at the best museum of Costa Rica.
Ancient Hittites also well knew the symbol. The character-attributes of their chief state god Tischuba (Teschuba), god of thunder, were a double ax (later entered  to Crete and assigned to Zeus) and a double-headed eagle.
Not far from the Turkish village Boguskoy, where once was the capital of the Hittite state, it was found the oldest two-headed eagle (13th century BC), carved in the rock.  The double-headed eagle with outstretched wings holds in paws two hares.  A modern interpretation of the image is a king stands out, looking around, defeats his enemies which hares portray, animals cowardly, but voracious.
A double-headed eagle is depicted on cylinder seals found in the excavations of the fortress Boguskoy. This symbol is also found on the walls of monumental buildings of other cities of the Hittite civilization. Hittites, like the Sumerians, used it for religious purposes.
The double-headed eagle (6th century BCE) was met in the Medes, east of the former Hittite.
The double-headed eagle was met in ancient Egypt and Assyrian monuments, where they are, according to experts, are to symbolize the connection with the Median kingdom of Assyria in the 6th and 7th centuries

The “Dictionary of international symbols and emblems” states “the Roman generals had the eagle on their Rods as a sign of supremacy over the Army”. Later the Eagle “was turned into a purely imperial sign, symbol of supreme power.”

Упраж­нения для красивой фигуры.Как сделать подтя­нутую фигуру в дома, затра­чивая 15 минут. Читай наСкрытьНе интересуюсь / Уже купилНадоелоСпамМешает

Спасибо, объявление скрыто.


In ancient Greece, the sun god Helios traveled across the sky in a chariot drawn by four horses.  It rare describes, not for the public, images of Helios in his chariot drawn by two-headed eagles. There were two eagles and four heads. Perhaps it was a sign of a more ancient, secret character.

Later, the double-headed eagle was used by Persian shahs of the Sassanian dynasty (1st century AD), and then by replaced them Arab rulers who put the logo even on their coins. Ottomans minted coins with Star of David on one side and a double-headed eagle on the other. It is also images of double-headed eagles on the Arab coins of Zengid and Ortokid from the 12th to the14th century.
In the Arab world two-headed eagle also become a popular element of oriental ornament. In the Middle Ages, this symbol appeared on the standard of the Seljuk Turks, who, moreover, adorned by it  stands of the Koran. The double-headed eagle was circulated in Persia as a symbol of victory, as well as in the Golden Horde.

A number of coins of the Golden Horde survived, minted during the reign of the Khans Uzbek and Djanibek, are with a double-headed eagle. Sometimes there are allegations that the double-headed eagle was the State Emblem of the Golden Horde. However, a coat of arms usually associates with a state seal, and to date has not kept any document (label) with the seal of the Jochi Ulus, therefore the most historians don’t consider a double-headed eagle was an emblem of the Golden Horde.

There is evidence that the two-headed eagle was on the banners of the Huns (2nd-5th centuries). An Indo-European two-headed eagle first appeared in the Hurrians (3rd millennium BC, the center of civilization in the Caucasus), who honor it as a guardian of the Tree of Life.


America Asia connection 2

An excellent paper outlining the reason why there should be an asia america connection:





Other papers


Books I need to aquire (need to find someone in india who can get these.)

Cultural History of The Pacific Series: The Children of Abotani in India, Fiji & Polynesia Vol.-1 (Danavas) 2003

The Aboriginees of India and Australia (Diatyas) 2003

Japan – A Short Cultural History 2004 India and Thailand 2004 A Cultural History of Latin America Series: The Indians and the Amerindians (2003)

The Indians and the Amerindians (Maxico) Vol – 2 (1997) The Indians and the Amerindians –Vol -3 (1997)

The Indians and the Amerindians Vol – 4 (2002)

The Indians and the Amerindians Vol -5(2004) Cuba and India in Pre-Colombian Times Vol -1(2002)


Dr. Balaram Chakravarti
CONTACT ADDRESS 24/2/19, Mondal Para Lane,
Kolkata-700 050, West Bengal, India
PHONE NO.: +91-33-2546 0304 (working but speaking Bengali)
MOBILE: 94322 53660
CONTACT PERSON: Dr. Balaram Chakravarti (94322 53660) /
Smt. Chhaya Ganguly (2532 9252)
E-mail :
Web Page :
 Dr. Balaram Chakravarti (M.A PhD.)
PH-033-25460304 / [protected]
E.mail – drbalaramchakraborty1935@yahoo.in24/2/19, Mondal Para Lane,
Kolkata – 700 050, West Bengal, IndiaPhone No. :  91-33-2546 0304Mobile : 094322 53660Contact Person :  Dr. Balaram ChakravartiE-mail : :
About Balaram Chakravarti
Dr. Balaram Chakravarti is one of the few pioneers orientalists who carries cross-cultural studies of world civilizations, human values, education, philosophy and survival of humanity. He was born on 26th January, 1935 at Bishnupur in W.B. Dr. Balaram Chakravorti is an M.A., Ph. D. Professionally an orientalists; he had to stay in different places of India and Asia. So he has the vast knowledge on different aspects about the different parts of India. He has contributed a huge numbers of writings creations on historical, cultural and ancestorial matter of India and other countries. His authentic words are spread over national and international topics. He was awarded and honored by lots of organizations nationally and internationally. All of his published books are very famous to literary lovers in every corner.
His translated and edited books are:-
1) Sadasiva Dhanurveda (2002)
2) Matrika-Bhedatantram ((2002)
He wrote on the history and culture of the following areas –
Eastern Himalayas:
1) Cultural History of Bhutan vol-1 (2003)
2) Cultural History of Bhutan vol-2 (2003)
3) Cultural History of North East India.Vol 1 & 2 (2003)
Western Himalayas:
The Sens of Himachal: Their Pan Indian Heritage (Vol.-1) 1999
The Sens of Himachal: Their Pan Indian Heritage (Vol.-2) 2004
The Cultural History of Lha-Yul (In press)
The Cultural History of Kinnaur (In press)
The Cultural History of Ladakh
Cultural History of The Pacific Series:
The Children of Abotani in India, Fiji & Polynesia Vol.-1 (Danavas) 2003
The Aboriginees of India and Australia (Diatyas) 2003
Japan – A Short Cultural History 2004
India and Thailand 2004
A Cultural History of Latin America Series:
The Indians and the Amerindians (2003)
The Indians and the Amerindians (Maxico) Vol – 2 (1997)
The Indians and the Amerindians –Vol -3 (1997)
The Indians and the Amerindians Vol – 4 (2002)
The Indians and the Amerindians Vol -5(2004)

Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Chakravarti, Balaram, 1935-
Indians and the Amerindians.
Calcutta : Self-Employment Bureau Publication, 1992-<2004>
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Balaram Chakravarti

OCLC Number: 30545586
Notes: Volume 6 has size of 30 cm.
Description: volumes <1-6> ; 25 cm
Contents: V. 5. The Araucanians : Mapuches and the children of Tani.
Responsibility: B. Chakravarti.


Cuba and India in Pre-Colombian Times Vol -1(2002)

Publications in Spanish:
Peerdido Conexion entre Antiguo Indio and Ameri-Indio
Publications in Bengali:
Saivanath Yogidhara Bharate O Biswe Vol-1-6
Patal Desher Puravritta Vol-1 (1992)
Patal Desher Puravritta Vol-2 (1992)
Patal Desher Puravritta Vol- 3 (2000)
Publications in Hindi
Patal Desho Ki Kathayen (2001)
Himachal Pradesh:Lakshman Sen ki Uttar Purush (2001)
Nadi Matrik Sanskriti (2008)
Gorkhaland (2008)
Some of his published books are:-


Publication House:-

The Self Employment Bureau Publications is a famous publishing organization which publishes books on self employment and history, studying links between India and America, Australia, Polynesia, Japan, Thailand etc. Books on education, values and texts on ancient Indian Chemistry, Botany, Military Science and weapons are also edited, translated and published.




Update 24 october: Have send request to publisher to have his work reprinted and combined in single volumes.


Sorry last and final alteration. The aim is to preserve this history in 3 single volumes.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for helping me in this cause.

I am interested in most of the works of B. Chakravarti. I suspect his books as small in pages. Therefor to make it economical for the publisher to reprint, my request to the publisher is:


Option 1:

To combine publications that have the same subject into 1 book and reprint single larger volumes containing multiple single publications into 1 larger book. There are many good print shops in India that reprint old books in good bindings and good quality. This would work out to printing 3 books contiaining the bulk of his work. The aim is to save his research and make it more worldly available for future generations. Selling online will be an option. Proceeds must benefit any of his descendants or family. It will contain books like summarized below.

1. Cultural History of The Himalayas

2. Cultural History of The Pacific

3. Cultural History of Latin America


Option 2:

Make all volumes/text availlable as ebook to purchase. (I prefer hardcopies of his work.

Option 3:

Reprint individual volumes. (more costly and not economical)

The 3 combined volumes requested to be published as per option 1 should be as following:


Cultural History of The Himalayas (Post mortem: B. Chakravarti-2018)

Eastern Himalayas:
Cultural History of Bhutan vol-1 (2003)
Cultural History of Bhutan vol-2 (2003)
Cultural History of North East India.Vol 1 (2003)

Cultural History of North East India.Vol 2 (2003)

Western Himalayas:

The Sens of Himachal: Their Pan Indian Heritage (Vol.-1) 1999
The Sens of Himachal: Their Pan Indian Heritage (Vol.-2) 2004
The Cultural History of Lha-Yul (In press)
The Cultural History of Kinnaur (In press)
The Cultural History of Ladakh


(Cultural History of The Pacific Series)
Cultural History of The Pacific (Post mortem: B. Chakravarti-2018)
The Children of Abotani in India, Fiji & Polynesia Vol.-1 (Danavas) 2003
The Aboriginees of India and Australia (Diatyas) 2003
Japan – A Short Cultural History 2004
India and Thailand 2004


(A Cultural History of Latin America Series)

Cultural History of Latin America (Post mortem: B. Chakravarti-2018)

The Indians and the Amerindians (2003)
The Indians and the Amerindians (Maxico) Vol – 2 (1997)
The Indians and the Amerindians –Vol -3 (1997)
The Indians and the Amerindians Vol – 4 (2002)
The Indians and the Amerindians Vol -5(2004)

Note: There is supose to be a volume 6 as well
Add the spanish publication to the book as well.  Publications in Spanish: Peerdido Conexion entre Antiguo Indio and Ameri-IndioCuba and India in Pre-Colombian Times Vol -1(2002)

Additional Physical Format: Online version: (not sure if this combines all his work on amerindia.

Chakravarti, Balaram, 1935-
Indians and the Amerindians.
Calcutta : Self-Employment Bureau Publication, 1992-<2004>





Coatlicue (Aztec)

The Great Goddess Coatlicue, mother of all the Aztec deities, had many great temples built in her honor and was revered at altars of volcanic glass. She was the Lady of the Serpent Skirt, living on a high mountain peak over the lost homeland of Aztlan, while her snakes dwelt below in sacred caves. It was Coatlicue who gave all in life and reclaimed all in death. Her necklace of skulls reminded the Aztecs that each must return to her in their time. Someday, all must melt into her lava pools, watching their future lives revealed in mirrors of cool obsidian.

This goddess of the double snake head had 400 sons whom she set in the sky as stars known as the Centzonhuitznahua, and one daughter, the goddess Coyolxanliqui (little bells).

When Coatlicue was sweeping one day, a tuft of feathers fell on her. Hesitating to interrupt her ritual, she tucked the tuft into her waistband and kept sweeping. However, when in her leisure she tried to examine the feathers, she found that they had vanished, leaving her pregnant. “What have you done?” Coyolxanliqui demanded, indignant at her mother’s apparent sexual transgression. “Affairs at your age? Have you no shame for the family honor, for your adult children! Who is this lover?”

But Coatlicue had no answer.

Infuriated, Coyolxanliqui sought out her 400 brothers, and incited them to matricide. “Her new children will supplant us, her behavior will shame us,” she warned. “This new child will be set above us in the sky. Killing her is our only option.”

Her brothers were persuaded, all except the youngest. He hid away, and

As the other children plotted, he went to warn his mother. For, he reasoned, if the newest had to perish, the second youngest might be threatened as well, as the older siblings claimed all the inheritance.

The children attacked just as their divine mother was giving birth, when she might be at her weakest. However, forewarned, Coatlicue birthed the divine Huitzilopochtli (“He-who-was-born-on-the-shield”), who emerged fully armed and armored “holding a spear and a blue rod, his face painted, his left leg slender and feathered, his arms and thighs painted blue.”1 Only seconds old, he slaughtered all of his brothers who had plotted to kill his divine mother. Stabbing one after the other with his obsidian knife, he finally reached Coy-olxanliqui, and decapitated her.

When Coatlicue witnessed the death of her cherished daughter, she of the golden bells, she was inconsolable. After weeping for many days, she took the shining head of her daughter and set it in the sky, in a place of honor, where it became the moon.2

Here the daughter is attempting destruction of the mother for usurping her position (“I’m supposed to be the fertile one! Why are you sleeping around, bearing children? At your age!”). Coatlicue slays her — not with direct combat, but by the woman’s life-giving power of birthing the hero. Forced to battle her own children, she represents the conflict of the devouring mother.

To complicate the legend even more, for the glorious sun god Huit-zilopochtli to be born, his mother must die. In some legends Coatlicue perishes, while in far more she and her daughter are represented as two sides of the same entity. Destroying her daughter, she divides herself. Here is the truth of the struggle: These two warring goddesses are the same person.

As the patriarchy rejected the Mother Goddess, everything changed. The goddess of all things was demonized, split into sainted virgin and vilified sinner or even death crone. Both lost power, as one was lauded for its weakened state, the other defiled. The Virgin Mary was divine, Mary Magdalene a sinner. Eve was the passive victim, Lilith the vicious child-killer. The Egyptian cat-goddess Bast represented love and fertility, while her lioness counterpart Sekhmet was wrath personified. Persephone was sweet flower maiden, Hecate cackling death-crone. Kali split off from the kindlier Indian goddesses Durga or Parvati as the personification of their wrath. And Coatlicue’s daughter rebelled against her sensual, powerful mother.

The virgin goddesses were thrust up into the heavens, and the death goddesses, down to the underworld. The goddess’s darker aspects became the demonic: Baba Yaga, the Morrigan, Hel, Hecate, Kali, the Furies, Nemesis, Troma, Mara, Morgan le Fay. She became the wicked witch, mistress of dark spells, lurking in shadow. Thus the cycle of life-death-life was shattered, as the patriarchy believed in clinging to light and life rather than succumbing to death. The dark goddess was only seen as bloodthirsty, engulfing all to fuel her hunger.

It was the Dark Moon Crone Goddess who took life back into her womb, but the ancients also understood that a New Moon Virgin Goddess would birth life back out again. The Crone was the death-giver as the Virgin was the birth-bringer. Reincarnation was represented by the refertilization of the Crone who became Virgin. The continual interaction of destruction becoming creation is the eternal dance that maintains the cosmos.3

However, her cycle shattered, leaving only the wicked witch who brought permanent destruction in her wake, the monstrous villainess who must be punished at the story’s end. This schism caused a great fear of death, which was no longer accompanied by resurrection and rebirth.

In this way, the goddess Cihuacoatl personified the Aztec collective hunger for human sacrifice; scholars call her “not so much a woman as the representation of the negative side of the female psyche.”4

Cihuacoatl was depicted with her lower face made only of bone and her jaws wide open waiting for victims. Her hair was long and stringy and a pair of knives formed a diadem on her forehead. She was related to evil omens, was savage, and brought misery to men; for it was she who gave men the digging stick and the tump line. She was a night walker, screaming and weeping copiously, but she was also a warrior; on her back she carried the knife of sacrifice swaddled like a child.5

Cihuacoatl was demonized, rejected, as the powerfully cruel side of woman, frightening to men, and thus undesired in a patriarchal society.

Women experience the shadow sister as Ereshkigal, depression personified; as Medusa, sublimated rage; as Kali in her frenzied dance; as Cam the fairytale Black Bride; as Medea “who destroys relationships, kills her children and says, ‘Let the whole house crash!’”6 Here we see women’s strength, fury, misery, and destructiveness, split off from the anima like Ereshkigal howling in the darkness.

The most powerful and thus frightening aspects of female divinity were relegated to the caves, to the dark corners of the world as chthonic goddesses, contrasted with those ruling from Olympus. “The crucial psychological fact is that all of us, female as well as male, fear the will of woman… the earliest and profoundest prototype of absolute power.”7 This power is too great for adults to struggle against. “To contain it, to keep it under control and harness it to chosen purposes, is a vital need.”8

However, it is an even greater need to seek it to discover it, to learn its vital lessons. Those who suppress their dark side are vulnerable to its impulses and desires, yet unable to accept them. It is the people who do not know enough about their own shadow and their own dark side who are most likely to fall victim to evil influences.9

The woman who fights against her father still has the possibility of leading an instinctive, feminine existence, because she rejects only what is alien to her. But when she fights against the mother she may, at the risk of injury to her instincts, attain to greater consciousness, because in repudiating the mother she repudiates all that is obscure, instinctive, ambiguous, and unconscious in her own nature.10

Thus the young questor descends into darkness, like Inanna, to meet Ereshki-gal and learn her secrets.

The shadow archetype, described by Jung’s philosophy, is the characteristics of ourself we most detest, projected onto another person of the same gender, as “the shadow cast by the conscious mind of the individual contains the hidden, repressed, and unfavorable (or nefarious) aspects of the personality.”11 However, more than simply the inverse of the heroine, this shadow has hidden positive qualities as well, often strong and assertive where the heroine is silent and passive. And as the dark mother or witch-queen is the heroine’s shadow, the daughter also represents the shadow for the mother — her flaws and unfulfilled desires made manifest. In her battle to achieve a higher consciousness, the heroine pits herself against this shadow, and must integrate it into the self.

To Jungian scholars, though the shadow has been buried in the underworld, it has much to offer the questor.

Envy, lust, sensuality, deceit, and all known vices are the negative, “dark” aspect of the unconscious, which can manifest itself in two ways. In the positive sense, it appears as a “spirit of nature,” creatively animating Man, things, and the world…. In the negative sense, the unconscious (that same spirit) manifests itself as a spirit of evil, as a drive to destroy.12

The shadow usually contains values that are needed by consciousness, but that exist in a form that makes it difficult to integrate them into one’s life.”13 These are parts of the self that one has been unwilling to look at too closely, made manifest. Today we have crimes and horrors in the news, in fiction, in movies, which give us a place to invest our dark emotions and act out our fantasies outside ourselves. Other, less healthy, relationships involve projecting these dark emotions onto another person: spouse, parent, or child. Others scapegoat a community or person, heaping on them all the world’s sins. These buried aspects sometimes surface at inopportune times, a slip of the tongue or a moment’s rage which is quickly suppressed and once again buried. But the hero’s deepest quest is to stop projecting onto others and triumph over these buried aspects within the self, valuing the rage and fury that can drive one to the greatest heights.


Pelasgian / Mycenean


Grecian remains in Italy: a description of Cyclopian walls, and of Roman antiquities. With topographical and picturesque views of ancient Latium. London: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co., 1812.

Author: Middleton, John Izard 1785-1849
Published by Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove 1812 [but 1811 – ca. 1823: see below], London, 1812
Quantity Available: 1

From Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books (ABAA) (McMinnville, OR, U.S.A.)

Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove 1812 [but 1811 – ca. 1823: see below], London

Publication Date: 1812



480 x 335 mm. (19 x 13″). 1 p.l. (title), 50 pp. (plus plates). (Collation matching Abbey and Tooley.) FIRST EDITION. Modern retrospective red half morocco over older marbled boards, front cover with original red morocco title label, flat spine with densely tooled gilt panels at head and tail, gilt titling, expertly reinforced hinges, all edges gilt. WITH 25 BEAUTIFULLY ENGRAVED PLATES by M. Dubourg after Middleton, Philip Giuntotardi, and others, 23 OF THEM HAND-COLORED AQUATINTS (THREE DOUBLE-PAGE), and two of them plain line engravings. Abbey “Travel” 165; Tooley 328; Avery Architectural Library, p. 666. Inconspicuous abrasions to paper boards, minor stain to fore edge of front flyleaf, a handful of leaves with inconsequential small, faint spots at margins, the vaguest hint of offsetting onto small portions of two plates, but QUITE A FINE COPY, the binding expertly restored and certainly pleasing, and the engravings richly colored as well as entirely clean and fresh. This is a masterwork of aquatint engraving notable for the beauty and precision of its depictions of ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Italy. The plates are visually impressive–the three double-page images especially so–showing to good advantage architectural ruins, Italian towns, and surrounding landscapes, often in the form of memorable vistas. Author and artist John Izard Middleton (1785-1849) was the son of Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He spent much of his adult life travelling in France and Italy where, like many contemporary travellers, he sketched extensively. His careful depictions of ancient ruins established him as one of America’s first Classical archaeologists. Middleton deserves more credit as a topographical artist than he has received. A number of his drawings turned up without attribution in other books, notably those of the more famous Edward Dodwell, with whom our author travelled and whose “Views in Greece” and “Tour through Greece” were substantial and well received publications. This copy of “Grecian Remains” is a first edition, but it’s more complicated than that. The book was originally issued in parts over a period of nine years (probably during 1811-1812 and in 1819), with the title page (as here) dated 1812. The plates themselves were issued in 1818 or later, and then combined with the separately printed installments of text. In our copy, the paper on which the text is printed is watermarked 1805 for parts I-III, and 1818 for parts IV-VII, surely indicating that the letterpress here represents the original parts. All but one of our plates are on paper watermarked 1818 (our later plate being dated 1823). Abbey’s copy had watermarks identical to ours. Whatever the dates of the paper they were printed on, our plates are clear, sharp, and beautifully colored. The present copy is remarkable in that the fatal offsetting from text onto plates, which mars the vast majority of otherwise beautiful color plate books, is virtually absent here. This is a masterwork of aquatint engraving notable for the beauty and precision of its depictions of ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Italy. The plates are visually impressive–the three double-page images especially so–showing to good advantage architectural ruins, Italian towns, and surrounding landscapes, often in the form of memorable vistas. Author and artist John Izard Middleton (1785-1849) was the son of Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He spent much of his adult life travelling in France and Italy where, like many contemporary travellers, he sketched extensively. His careful depictions of ancient ruins established him as one of America’s first Classical archaeologists. Middleton deserves more credit as a topographical artist than he has received. A number of his drawings turned up without attribution in other books, notably those of the more famous Edward Dodwell, with whom our author travelled and whose “Views in Greece” and “Tour thr. Bookseller Inventory # ST12851
William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875
Third Revised and Updated Edition. Category: History. Language: English. ISBN: No ISBN.
This is the full third revised and enlarged edition of 1891, not the concise of 1898.

Detailed item info

First published in 1842, this extensive reference work was edited and written in large part by the eminent lexicographer and classicist Sir William Smith (1813–93). Knighted in 1892, Smith was one of the major figures responsible for the revival of classical teaching and scholarship in Britain. He also made contributions to biblical study, editing a series of reference works on the subject. His three-volume Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is also reissued in six parts in the Cambridge Library Collection. The present work is a massive achievement, running to well over a million words and copiously illustrated throughout with line drawings. It proved enduringly popular and was frequently reprinted throughout the nineteenth century. It is reissued now in two parts. The first part contains entries from abacus to lodix (a small shaggy blanket). The second part contains entries from logistai (Athenian officials) to zona (a girdle).

Product Identifiers
ISBN-10 110806079X
ISBN-13 9781108060790
Key Details
Author William Smith
Number Of Pages 1144 pages
Series Cambridge Library Collection – Classics
Format Paperback / Paperback
Publication Date 2013-03-28
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Year 2013
Additional Details
Number of Volumes 2 vols.
Illustrated Yes
Weight 58.6 Oz
Height 2.2 In.
Width 6 In.
Length 9 In.
Target Audience
Group Scholarly & Professional
Dodwell, Edward:  Classical and topographical tour through Greece
Dodwell, Edward:  Views and descriptions of Cyclopian or Pelasgic remains in Greece and Italy; with construction of a later period ;
from drawings of the late edward dodwell (intended as a supplement to his classical and topographical tour in Greece, during the years 1801, 1805, and 1806) — London, 1834 – 131 plates and 34 pages of letter press folio.
Petit Radel
Mr W.J. Stillman Pelasgic walls (authority studyer)

The Last Amateur: The Life of William J. Stillman


(Bunbury, Cyclopean Remains in Central Italy,,+Cyclopean+Remains+in+Central+Italy&source=bl&ots=0WEp9cjo9t&sig=Ge1OMaXqOJX4qSO9_GUNnaaggGM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj35MKJguXUAhXKPxQKHSemDGsQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=Bunbury%2C%20Cyclopean%20Remains%20in%20Central%20Italy&f=false
in the Classical Museum, 1845, vol. II pp147, &c.; Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst, §§45, 166, and the works there quoted; Stieglitz, Archäol. d.
Baukunst, vol. I pp95‑98; Hirt, Gesch. d. Baukunst, vol. I pp195, &c., and plate VII. from which the foregoing cuts are taken;
Atlas zu Kugler’s Kunstgeschichte, Pt. II Pl. 1; Göttling in the Rhein. Mus. 1843, vol. IV pp321, 480, and in the Archäologische Zeitung, No. 26;
Pompeii, vol. I c4, with several woodcuts of walls;
Abeken, Mittelitalien vor den Zeiten römischer Herrschaft, a most important work, with numerous engravings of walls).*/Murus.html

Chola Culture India

Brihadeeswarar Temple: An engineering marvel.
In order to install the 82,000 kilogram apex on top of the 220 feet tower, the engineers built a ramp extending over 6 kilometer and gradually transported it, inch by inch, all the way to the top.

Simply unimaginable!!

Another unique feature of this temple is that the 220 feet tower was built using interlocking technique, without any concrete/mortar or binding material.

Here is an interesting 1-hour documentary about this 1000 year old temple:

Schools in India have been teaching students about the history & engineering of the Pyramids of Egypt. In fact, We have seen entire chapter dedicated for Pyramids & their construction, in most of the school textbooks.

But there have hardly been any chapter or even a mere mention of our own Indian architectural & engineering marvels like Brihadeeswarar Temple (Thanjavur).
Why? Because any reference to Temples of ancient India, would be against the spirit of secularism since Temples have idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Rama etc which are “highly communal”. Whereas Pyramids are secular because they just contain the dead bodies of foreign Kings.

Hence, it is justified to praise & go gaga over the Pyramids, but our schools will continue to shun our ancient Temples in order to “maintain the secular fabric”.



TRAVEL / The lost empire explored: The Cholas once had great power, but the world has forgotten them.

The Independent Culture

DEEP in the south of India lie the spectacular remains of one of the world’s most remarkable and most forgotten civilisations. In its heyday it was one of the half-dozen greatest powers on Earth. It controlled half a million square miles – more than five times the size of Britain. And under its wing literacy and the arts flourished.Yet today, 1,000 years later, the Chola Empire is remembered only by a handful of specialist historians. If it had been European, or had given its name to some still-surviving nation, things might be different. But despite 400 years of glory, the Chola Empire disappeared from history; a sad fate for a civilisation which was among the most remarkable produced by the medieval world.

In some ways, it was the most significant of the dozen or so empires which rose and fell during India’s long, tumultuous history. It lasted some 460 years, longer than any of them. The Chola was also the only Asian empire (bar the Japanese) to have indulged, albeit briefly, in overseas expansion. It conquered Sri Lanka, the Andaman and Nicobar islands and, temporarily, parts of south- east Asia – the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali, and the southern part of the Malay peninsula.

Most of these overseas conquests are shrouded in mystery. All that is known is that, in 1025, the Chola emperor Rajendra I dispatched an army, presumably on a large fleet, across 2,000 miles of ocean to conquer the southern half of south-east Asia. The records show that he succeeded and received the submission of large numbers of cities. Some historians believe that the Cholas then simply sailed back to India, but others suspect that Chola power persisted in some form in south- east Asia for two or three generations.

Certainly, the Chola conquest contributed

to a long process that had already started and which linked southern India and south-east Asia together in terms of trade and religion. The Indonesia/Malay region was a pivotal point in trade between China and India (and, indeed, the West), and both Java and Bali were largely Hindu. Rajendra’s conquest was perhaps the first military expression of a more general connection which had been developing for centuries.

Closer to home, in Sri Lanka, the Cholas’ overseas expansion is better documented – both in text, and in stone. Tourists today can still explore the great ruined city of Polonnaruva, founded by the Cholas as a capital for their newly conquered island territory.

But the emperor’s armies didn’t only head southwards. In the early 11th century, Chola forces marched almost 1,000 miles through India to the banks of the Ganges. Like the south-east Asian conquest, this epic ‘long march’ is also shrouded in mystery. Whether the emperor’s objectives in marching an army to the sacred river were political or purely religious is unknown. Certainly, the north of India, though temporarily subdued, was not incorporated into the empire – although holy Ganges water was carried back to a great new capital named in honour of the sacred river, and the ruler who had conquered it.

This capital was called Gangaikondacholapuram – literally ‘the City to which the Chola emperor brought the Ganges’. At the centre of their new metropolis, the Cholas built a magnificent temple and a vast three mile-long reservoir symbolically to hold the ‘captured’ waters of the Ganges. Both have survived. Under Chola rule, religion and politics grew ever closer together, with the emperor projecting himself as the representative, almost a manifestation, of God on Earth. Large temples were built, for the first time, as royal establishments. The Cholas probably built more temples than any other Indian kingdom or empire. Each temple was a masterpiece. Even today, the Chola heartland – along the Kaveri River in the state of Tamil Nadu – is full of beautiful, delicately carved temples, some the size of tiny chapels, others as big as European cathedrals. In the very centre of what was the empire, there are still 40 Chola temples in an area half the size of greater London. The most spectacular structure is the 63m-high pyramid- shaped central shrine in the city of Thanjavur, the Chola capital before Gangaikondacholapuram.

Chola art and architecture were among the finest in the world. Indeed, in cast bronze sculpture and hard-stone sculpture, Chola art is unsurpassed. Millions of figures, deftly carved in granite, can still be seen on their temples, while in museums, in Thanjavur and Madras, visitors can marvel at the artistry and craftsmanship of the bronze figurines and statues.

The Cholas not only nurtured an artistic boom; they also fostered a massive expansion in education. Political stability and imperial grants – both to the temples which ran education and to the students themselves – led to the expansion of local schools and elite colleges for higher castes. The education system – which operated from a religious perspective but also promoted literacy, mathematics and astronomy – was probably, at least in part, responsible for the development of a competent imperial administration and broadened international horizons. Some estimates suggest that literacy rose to around 20 per cent – perhaps the highest in the medieval world.

An unplanned result of this high level of education was an increase in intellectual dissidence. One of the greatest Indian religious thinkers – the 11th-century philosopher Ramanuja – was a product of the Chola empire, although he was ultimately expelled for his views. In many ways, he can be seen as the founder of Hindu monotheism with his belief in a unitary personal god, the ultimate font of love and compassion.

In the 12th century there flourished an even more dissident religious movement. The Lingayats professed a sort of cynical humanism which questioned the very fundamentals of religion – the authority of India’s holy books, the Vedas (the equivalent of the Bible), and reincarnation itself. Socially, they were also radical, challenging the taboo on widows re-marrying, and condemning child marriages. This dissident movement derived much support from the lower castes.

The empire also increased the importance and institutionalisation of local government. Each group of five to 10 villages had an elected district council, which in turn had endless subcommittees dealing with everything from land rights to irrigation, law and order to food storage. Every household in a district had the right to vote – and the councils enjoyed considerable power. The Chola emperors encouraged their development, probably as a counter-balance to the power of local vassal rulers, who owed obedience to the empire.

Although the Cholas ruled for more than four centuries, they did so with a remarkable light touch. Local responsibility for local affairs was encouraged, and newly conquered local rulers were allowed to keep their titles and lands, though under ultimate Chola control.

The light touch was brought even to waging war. The Cholas exemplified the Indian principle of war – the dharma yuddha, literally, the principle of the fair fight. Battles were normally pre- arranged and fought in daylight on a level field between equal numbers of troops. Defeated princes could carry on living and prospering, but had to pay homage and cough up tribute for the emperor’s treasury and women to act as concubines and courtiers.

Presiding over this mixture of autocracy and democracy, a cocktail of religious orthodoxy and dissidence, and a surge of artistic creativity – not to mention their concubines – the Chola emperors considered themselves the rulers of the world. They did, of course, look on India as the Continent of the Cosmos.

Yet now they are forgotten, their achievements ignored by the world. There is not one book in print on the Chola Empire; nor a travel-company tour to most of their extraordinary temples.

Where to go and what to see

*** spectacular ** very interesting * interesting

1 CIDAMBARAM ** Spectacular Chola temple with rich sculpture, a magnificent pavilion with 984 pillars, and a shrine to the sun god complete with stone chariot wheels. Here, one of the Hindu trinity of gods, Siva, is said to have performed his cosmic dance of joy. A delightful story has it that Siva’s wife, Parvati, challenged him to a dance contest, which took place where the temple now stands. Siva won by way of a clever ruse. He contrived to drop his earring so that he could pick it up and put it back with his toe; his spouse was, however, too modest to raise her leg – and lost.

2 DARASURAM ** Marvellous temple built by the Chola Emperor Rajaraja II in the mid- 12th century. One beautiful pavilion – in imitation of a war chariot – has wheels and rearing horses. See also relief portraying the lives of the 63 saints of the god Siva.

3 GANGAIKONDACHOLA- PURAM *** See the magnificent and richly sculpted Brihadishvara Temple, built of granite as the centrepiece of a new Chola capital in circa AD1025. The main shrine is 160ft (50m) high. The three-mile 11th-century Cholaganga reservoir (for sacred water) also survives.

4 KALIYAPATTI * The ‘Place of Stone’. Small temple, c 900.

5 KILAIYUR * Double shrine, c 900.

6 KODUMBALUR ** Triple shrine, c 900.

7 KUMBAKONAM ** Beautiful sculptures of female dancers and musicians, the sun god and the god Siva – in the form of a divine young ascetic – adorn the Nagesvara Temple, built c 870. According to legend, this riverside temple was built where a pot was washed ashore containing the seed of creation and the Hindu bible.

8 MELAKKADAMBUR ** Chola temple, c 1100, with magnificent sculptures of mythical animals, dancing women and sages.

9 NARTTAMALAI ** Constructed c 870, the Vijayalaya Cholesvara Temple is said to have been built by the first Chola emperor, Vijayalaya.

10 PANANGUDI * Chola temple built c 900.

11 POLONNARUVA (in Sri Lanka) *** Ruins of a great city founded as a new capital for the island by the Chola emperor Rajaraja following his conquest of Sri Lanka in 993. Visit the many medieval buildings, including two Chola temples. Because they are not functioning temples, it is possible to visit the sacred innner sanctums, where one can see examples of that most important of Hindu symbols, the stone obelisk called the lingam. It represents the creativity and fertility of the human phallus and the safety and shade of the archetypal tree.

12 PULLAMANGAI ** One of the most beautiful of all Chola temples, c 910. Perfectly preserved, with miniature relief.

13 SRINIVASANALLUR ** See the 10th-century temple of Koranganatha – the Lord of the Monkey. Beautiful sculptures of medieval worshippers in their aristocratic clothes.

14 SRIRANGAM *** This most important temple to the god Vishnu in southern India has exquisite carvings of female musicians. It is dedicated to a young girl called Andal who became enraptured with Vishnu.

15 SWAMIMALAI ** Regarded, mythologically, as a sort of divine weapons store, this Chola temple is dedicated to the war god Murugan.

16 THANJAVUR (also spelt Tanjore or Tanjavur) *** Once the capital of the Chola empire, this town is home to the greatest of all Chola buildings – the Rajarajesvara (or Brihadishvara) temple. Built in AD1010 by the emperor Rajaraja the Great, it is 210ft (63m) high – the tallest temple in all India. On top of its sumptuously sculpted pyramid-shaped tower is an 80-ton cupola, said to be fashioned out of a single block of granite placed there with the aid of a four-mile temporary ramp.

17 TIRUKANDIYUR * Small Chola temple.

18 TIRUKKATTALAI * The ‘temple of the holy command’, c 900.

19 TIRUPPUR * Temple, c 900.

20 TIRUVAIYARU * By uttering the mystical (and apparently meaningless) word ol, the Chola poet Sundarar succeeded in parting the waters, Red Sea style, of the Chola heartland’s great river, Kaveri, so that he and a visiting king could praise the god Siva at the temple of Tiruvaiyaru on the other side.

21 TIRUVANNAMALAI ** This temple – with stone sculptures depicting 108 classical Indian dance poses – was built in the place where Siva turned himself into what he claimed was an eternal unending pillar of fire.

22 TIRUVARUR * The temple is built at the legendary scene of a great Chola miracle of death and resurrection. The son of a Chola king – out joyriding, as princes will, in one of the royal chariots – ran over and killed a calf. A somewhat distraught cow – the calf’s mother – complained to the king, who was furious and decided to punish his son by killing him. Understandably he found this difficult, indeed morally impossible. So, obligingly, the king’s prime minister carried out the execution. Filled with sadness, both prime minister and king committed suicide. But all was not lost, for the god Siva decided to resurrect them all.

23 TIRUVELVIKKUDI * See the temple of Manavalesvara.

24 TRIBHUVANEM ** See the Kampaharesvara temple, built by the Chola emperor Kulottunga III in c 1200.

25 VIRALUR * See the Bhumisvara temple, c 880.

26 VISALUR * Small temple.


The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Institute of Indian Culture) at 4A Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HQ (tel: 071-381 3086/4608) has information on Chola culture, including folklore, music and temple dancing (the institute puts on performances).


Architecture and culture: Guide to the Monuments of India, Volume 1 by George Michell (Penguin pounds 18.99), invaluable encyclopaedic gazetteer; The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent by J Harle (Yale pounds 16.95), in the Pelican History of Art Series, the best general survey; A History of India, Volume 1 by R Thapar (Penguin pounds 6.99); Hindu Art, T R Blurton (British Museum Press pounds 14.95); The Hindu Temple by George Michell (Chicago pounds 11.95), readable introduction to temple architecture; Hindu Myths translated by Wendy O’Flaherty (Penguin pounds 6.99); Hinduism by K Sen (Penguin pounds 5.99), excellent – and short – introduction.

Guidebooks: India: A Travel Survival Kit (Lonely Planet pounds 13.95) – a new edition is due in July; South India (APA Publications/Insight pounds 11.95); South Asian Handbook (Trade and Travel pounds 18.95), the best general guide.

Travel accounts: No Full Stops in India by Mark Tully (Penguin pounds 6.99), a recent view of India by the BBC’s long-time correspondent; India: A Million Mutinies Now by V S Naipaul (Minerva pounds 6.99), the latest of Naipaul’s excellent personal impressions of India; On A Shoestring to Coorg by Dervla Murphy (Arrow pounds 5.99), lively exploration of the South.

All titles available from good bookshops, and by mail order from Daunt Books for Travellers, 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1M 3DE

(071-224 2295). DK

Churning of the Ocean of Milk – Mt Meru-Mandara and elixirs of Immortality



The Churning of the Milky Ocean

The Churning of the Milky Ocean (India)

Churning of the Ocean of Milk that is widely recognized as the best known and most influential of the Puranas, is sometimes referred to as the “Fifth Veda (it contains many stories known from the Vedic tradition ). The story appears in the Bhagavata Purana, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana. Literal metamorphic meaning of manthan is deep contemplation, churning of facts, analysis aimed at solution or conclusion.

The story of Samudra Manthan

Lord Indra, the King of Devatas, while riding on an elephant, came across a sage named Durvasa who offered him a special garland. Lord Indra accepted the garland, placing it on the trunk of the elephant as a test to prove that he was not an egoistic God. The elephant, knowing that Lord Indra had no control over his own ego, threw the garland to the ground. This enraged the sage as the garland was a dwelling of Sri (fortune) and was to be treated as prasada. Durvasa Muni cursed Lord Indra and all devas to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune.[1]

Sagar Manthan
In battles that followed this incident, Devas were defeated and Asuras (demons) led by king Bali gained control of the universe. Devas sought help from God Vishnu Who advised them to treat asuras in a diplomatic manner. Devas formed an alliance with asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among them. However, Lord Vishnu told Devas that He would arrange that they alone obtain the nectar.

Churning the Milky Ocean

The churning of the Ocean of Milk or the Milky Way was an elaborate process. Mount Mandarachala was used as the churning rod, and Vasuki, the king of serpents, became the churning rope. The demons (asuras) demanded to hold the head of the snake, while the demigods (devas), taking advice from Vishnu, agreed to hold its tail. As a result the demons were poisoned by fumes emitted by Vasuki. Despite this, the demigods and demons pulled back and forth on the snake’s body alternately, causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn churned the ocean. However, once the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. Lord Vishnu in His second incarnation, in the form of a turtle Kurma, came to their rescue and supported the mountain on His back.

Shiva drinking world – poison
The Samudra Manthan process released a number of things from the Milk Ocean. One product was the lethal poison known as Halahala. (In some versions of the story, this poison escaped from the mouth of the serpent king as the demons and gods churned.) This terrified the gods and demons because the poison was so powerful that it could contaminate the Milk Ocean and destroy all of creation. On the advice of Lord Vishnu, the gods approached the compassionate Lord Shiva for help and protection. Lord Shiva inhaled the poison in an act of self-sacrifice but Goddess Parvati rescued him. Some stories suggest that the all powerful goddess pressed his neck to stop the poison from spreading while other stories suggest that Goddess Parvati suckled him in the form of Goddess Tara to stop the poison form spreading. As a result, The color of Lord Shiva’s neck turned blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is also called Nilakanta (the blue-throated one; “neela” = “blue”, “kantha” = “throat” in Sanskrit). When the heat from the poison finally became unbearable for Lord Shiva, he used his trishul to dig for water, thus forming the Gosaikunda lake.


The story of Samudra manthan

The story begins with Indra, the king of gods, riding his elephant. He came upon a sage named Durvasa. The sage decided to honour Indra by giving him a scented garland. Indra took the garland, but placed it on the forehead of his elephant. The elephant was irritated by the scent and threw the garland off, trampling on it. The angry sage cursed Indra and the Adityas(gods) to lose all their wealth; and be deprived of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Indra was thus immediately dispossessed of all his wealth and treasures.

Appeal to Brahma

Indra then approached Brahma, the creator, to help him regain his treasures who suggested him to churn the Ocean of Milk in order to regain his treasures and obtain the Nectar of Immortality. However, such a stupendous task could not be performed by the Adityas (gods) alone, so they sought the help of their enemies, the Asuras, with the understanding that the Asuras would be allowed to partake a portion of the Amrutha (divine nectar of immortality).

Churning the Milky Ocean

The ocean was churned by using the Mount Mandara as the pole and the King of Snakes, Vasuki, as the rope. The gods held the tail of the snake while the demons (Asuras) held the head end of the snake and they pulled on it alternately causing the mountain to rotate which in turn churned the ocean. However, once the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. Then came Vishnu in his second incarnation, in the form of a turtle Kurma, and supported the mountain on his shell back.


As the ocean was churned, a deadly poison known as Halahala emerged. This poison threatened to suffocate all living things. In response to various prayers, Shiva drank the poison; his wife Parvati, alarmed, stopped it in his throat with her hands. This caused the throat to turn blue. Due to this, he is called Nīlakantha (nīla = “blue”, kantha = “throat”). Then, various treasures (ratnas) emerged from the ocean of milk. The 14 Ratnas were:

Sura, goddess and creator of alcohol
Apsarases, various divine nymphs like Rambha, Menaka
Kaustubha, the most valuable jewel in the world
Uchhaishravas, the divine 7-headed horse
Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree
Kamadhenu, the first cow and mother of all other cows
Airavata, the elephant of Indra
Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth
Parijat, the divine tree
Halahala the deadly poison
Chandra, the moon
Dhanvantari, the doctor
The nectar of immortality

Finally, Dhanvantari, the Heavenly Physician, emerged with a pot containing amrita, the heavenly nectar of immortality. As the Asuras rushed to take the nectar, the frightened Adityas appealed to Vishnu, who then took the form of Mohini. As a beautiful and enchanting damsel, Mohini distracted the Asuras, took the amrita, and distributed it amongst the Adityas who drank it. One Asura, Rahu, disguised himself as an Aditya, and drank some Nectar. Due to their luminous nature the Sun God Surya and the Moon God Chandra noticed the switching of sides. They informed Mohini. But before the Nectar could pass his throat, Mohini cut off his head with Her divine discus, the Sudarshana Chakra. The head, due to its contact with the amrita, remained immortal. To gain revenge on Sun and Moon for exposing this – It is believed that this immortal head occasionally swallows the sun or the moon, causing eclipses. Then, the sun or moon passes through the opening at the neck, ending the eclipse.

The story ends with the rejuvenated Adityas defeating the Asuras.



According to Spagyric Arts, the The Churning of the Ocean of Milk can be correlated to real historical events as well as to scientific facts behind the alchemical process of elixir production:

“A bas-relief (above) at the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, includes a depiction of devas and asuras working together to stir up the Ocean of Milk in an attempt to free the precious objects lost within, including the elixir of immortality called Amrita. The scheme, masterminded by Vishnu, was to wrap the serpent Vasuki around Mount Mandara, and then to rotate the mountain and to churn the surrounding sea (in the manner of a gigantic food processor), by alternately pulling on the serpent’s head and then on his tail.

Encoded into this most venerable esoteric myth are many symbols explaining the true story of the actual use and processing of Amrita, as it was done throughout many parts of the world. The research conducted by Spagyric Arts, LLC., has proven conclusively, that this was a story based in a real history of ancient transoceanic crossings between the Old and New World. It was also recording the story of the ancient Magi, and their on-going mission; to educate the people of the world; to teach them the principles of the cosmo-religion. From the period roughly beginning in 3114 BCE, and extending into the current era, the Magi’s focus (or Magu in India) appears to have been the north American continent.

For a concise transliteration of this myth, decoding the alchemical basis of the manufacturing of the Green Dragon elixir known as Amrita, Soma, the Elixir of Life,

There are many versions of the story of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk. In all of them certain key elements are shared in common. The most important to our investigations is the connection to the production of the ‘Elixir of Immortality’ known as Amrit, or Amrita (also known as Soma, Haoma, the Elixir of Life, etc.) from sedimentary mineral deposits of dolomite laid down by the world’s first photosynthesizing organisms, blue-green algae’ (technically, cyanobacteria).

The story of the churning also encodes real history, including a record of the comet disaster which occurred in 4200 BCE, and also again in 3114 BCE. This first event — which caused the antediluvian flood — was a global paroxysm. Following this event mankind — those who survived — were afraid of venturing out on the ocean again. There appears to have been a great effort expended on behalf of the esoteric members of the cosmo-religion, to reactivate the earlier work of global education. However, another comet disaster rocked the world once more in 3114 BCE.

It is from this period through about 1500 BCE, that most of the story of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk appears to have been referring to. It is also after this period (by about 1500 BCE) that the knowledge of the manufacture of Amrita seems to have been lost, at least to the majority of the non-esoteric peoples of the world. From the widespread knowledge of the Elixir of Life recorded in s many of the ancient myths of antiquity, we believe that there existed a rather widespread knowledge of the use of this mineral medicine prior to this time.”


The Churning of the Ocean of Milk by Michael Buckley

(excerpted from the Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Handbook by Moon Publications).

Every culture has its legends of the origin of the species. The Hindu creation myth Churning the Sea of Milk is shown in the bas-relief panel at the East gallery (panel 4) of Angkor Wat. In Hindu mythology, 13 precious things including the elixir of immortality were lost in the churning of the cosmic sea. Finding them again required a joint dredging operation between gods and demons. Assisting in this endeavor was the giant serpent Vasuki, who offered himself as a rope to enable twirling of a “churning stick.” The serpent was yanked back and forth in a giant tug-of-war that lasted for a thousand years.

In the bas-relief panel, the front end of the serpent is being pulled by 91 surly-looking asuras (demons), anchored by the 21-headed demon king Ravana; on the right are 88 almond-eyed devas (gods) pulling on the tail, anchored by monkey-god Hanuman. The central pivot, or churning stick, is a complicated piece of imagery. Vasuki has wrapped himself around Mount Mandara, represented by a tower. At one point Mount Mandara started to sink, and had to be propped up by a giant tortoise, an incarnation of Vishnu. The Sea of Milk, or the Ocean of Immortality, is represented by innumerable fish and aquatic creatures, torn to shreds as they swim close to powerful air currents near the churning stick.

Directing operations at the center is the large four-armed figure of Vishnu, closely associated with Angkor Wat’s builder, Suryavarman II. The smaller figure above Vishnu is Indra, god of the sky. The actions of the gods and demons cause Vasuki to rotate the tower-mountain and churn the sea into foam, like a giant cosmic blender. This releases a seminal fluid that creates a divine ambrosia, amrita, the essence of life and immortality. Many other treasures are also flung up. Born of this action are apsaras, or celestial dancers, a purely Khmer innovation. The seductive apsaras promise a joyful existence for those who attain the ultimate incarnation; it is assumed that higher incarnations will be male in form.

According to Angkorologist Eleanor Mannikka, who has been studying the place for over 20 years, the bas-relief has a practical function in marking the number of days between the winter and summer solstices. Mannikka maintains that the 91 asuras mark the 91 days between the winter solstice and spring equinox in March, while the 88 devas represent the 88 days to the summer solstice after the equinox period. Mannikka says this is just one of the hidden cosmological meanings coded at Angkor Wat, and that the temple is remarkably attuned to the movement of the sun and moon.

Michael Buckley is author of the newly-published Heartlands. He has also written the Tibet Travel Adventure Guide, Moon’s Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos Travel Handbook, Cycling to Xian , Tibet, and has guided VeloAsia tours in Sumatra and Vietnam.

Art Galleries in the Public Domain

The ideas in the Samudra manthan and Angkor Wat versions display sophisticated  cosmological and astrological interpretations, that evolved following a merging  of the Cosmic Axis Mundi World Tree and the Ambrosia-Soma drink of immortality motif.

Robert Schoch makes some insightful observations about the “Churning of the Ocean Milk” astrological and Axis Mundi cosmological implications of pyramid or megalithic building:

“The apex of an Egyptian pyramid serves as the axis of this world mountain, just as the peak of a Buddhist stupa bears a mast that makes the axis mundi explicit and obvious. So does the well that descends 120 feet beneath the central tower of Angkor Wat and the apocryphal story that the round structure at the center of Sacsahuaman is a tower that reaches as far into the earth as it does into the sky.

A pilgrim following the first rectangular gallery at Angkor Wat is told a story in relief sculpture that directly associates that monument with the center of the world. The sculpture’s most extraordinary scene depicts the great serpent Vasuki wrapped, like a python on a pole around the axis of the mountain of the world, atop which sits the dreaming god Vishnu. The gods wish to release the elixir of life from the cosmic seas and to do this they pull the immense snake one way, while the demons pull it  the other. The seesawing serpent stirs the ocean and releases the elixir, an action that gives the sculpture and the story its name: The Churning of the Sea of Milk.

As the center of the earth in a cosmic or mythological sense, a pyramid defines direction. Many pyramids reveal careful attention to the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west….The four gates leading into Stupa 1 at Sanchi mark the cardinal directions. Angkor Wat is oriented to the east, the direction of the setting sun, although the structures within the ceremonial center of the setting sun, although the structures within the ceremonial center of which it is a part look to the east, where the sun rises. ” … and further along in the book, Schoch writes:

“Lakes and canals th t look like watery boulevards lace the ceremonial center that contains Angkor Wat is built as a series of expanding rectangles, with the moat the outermost. …the moat represents the cosmic ocean that surrounds the world, the same body of water commemorated in “The Churning of the Sea of Milk”. …In the same way that pyramids served to draw into themselves the chthonic power of the underworld and the life-giving force of water they also incorporated connections with the dominions of the sky. Some pyramids are aligned with the sun, others with the stars and planets, yet others with solar, stellar and planetary events.” 

Keyhole-shaped Pyramids, Cosmic Couple, Cosmic Pillars and Churning Seas in Japan

Daisen Kofun Mozu kofungun , Sakai, osaka 5th c.1005_small

Left: 5th C. Daisen Kofun, largest keyhole kofun in Japan, Sakai, Osaka Right: Sarmatian mirror 

The monumental Kofun tumuli mounds that are all over Japan, especially the key-hole shaped ones surrounded by massive moats, hold all of the above mentioned elements and fit the same cosmological mold of pyramidal building.   So far no satisfactory theory has yet come about for why the distinctive and mysterious key-hole shape was chosen for the multitudes of kingly and chiefly tumuli beginning in the 3rd c. in Japan (and a few in the ancient Gaya kingdom of Korea), but in this article, we propose here two possible reasons why the keyhole shape was chosen for Kofun tumuli. The first, is that the shape resembles an early Sarmatian bronze mirror with a handle. The mirror is a solar status and magical and legitimacy symbol for ancient Japan’s ruling regimes and the Amaterasu goddess, as well as for other ancient civilizations such as the Celts. As a burial item, it was likely included as a device to keep the soul close to the body or to trap it (cf. Frazier’s ‘Golden Bough’). Many Kofun period burials hold grave goods that are similar to those of elite kurgan burials of the Sauromartians/Sarmatians (eg Pavrovka site) and also Saka burials (at the Issyk site). Another possibility is that the keyhole shape is a Mother Goddess symbol, the keyhole symbol is identical to the Phoenician symbol for the goddess Tanit (who is also identified with the mother goddess Asherah) and to some extent, the Ankh symbol held by the Egyptian goddess Isis as well — both of which stand for regeneration and life-giving forces (see Isis & the Ankh).


Left: Punic (Phoenician) stele depicting a stylized human-shaped “sign of Tanit” above a dolphin, Greek symbol of maternity. Tanit is often paired with Baal-Hamon in sacred enclosures. Source: Tanit of Carthage Right: Tanit symbol below a crescent and orb, at Tophet, Carthage Photo: Wikimedia Commons  

Tanit, has been suggested, is the Egyptian deity and derived from Neith, a Syrian-reptilian deity and goddess of water and fertility, and possibly also associated with the Bantu deity which is supported as the Bantu people also have a similar ankh-shaped fertility doll amulet.

In the legend of Izanagi and Izanami, though existing as a much more truncated and streamlined and less embellished version of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk…  the key elements are there. The cosmic couple churn the briny ocean (with a phallic spear), they dance around a Cosmic Pillar, an allusion to Mt Meru or Mt Mandara found in the Hindu-Purana and Khmer Angkor Wat versions.   The immortality motif is also evident in the Izanagi and Izanami myth apart from the churning of the ocean, in the power of the peaches that are thrown at the demon-asuras to hold death at bay as Izanagi escapes the demons of the Underworld.  In China, peaches are  a part of Taoist the demon-repelling arsenal.  The huge Kofun “pyramidal” tombs are visual metaphors of the Underworld’s Cosmic Mountain (Pillar) surrounded by an Ocean of Milk.  In the myth, as Izanagi emerges from Underworld, he has to purify himself by washing in the river, the Indo-Iranian-style water purification ritual practice is similar to the harae rituals that have developed since those ancient times, and that are a central element of Japanese shrine and Shintoism practices today.

In the art iconography of the Asuka (through Nara) period, the devas, asuras, apsaras, Mt Meru, fountains and water-springs of life, and cosmic turtle are to be found everywhere, except that they are in the form of stone statuary or wooden or bronze sculptures.

The Arab Tale of Buluqiya of Akkadian provenance (Source: The Melammu Project Database) suggests that the demon world lies beyond the Cosmic Mountain and that over there beyond many deserts, is to be found in the Kingdom of King Sakhr — the fountain of life and drink of immortality of King Sakhr. In this story is described, the fountain of life is guarded by King Sakhr (the demon king) while the juice of magic plant (that gives eternal youth) is kept by Queen Yamlika, both the items are described as lying in the subterranean world of caves:

The hero Bulūqiyā becomes king of the Sons of Israel at the death of his father, and finds in the palace a gold box in an ebony casket on a white marble column containing parchment written in Greek. The text gives instructions how to obtain the magic ring of Solomon which bestows power over all living things, and immortality. His advisers recommend him to set out with the wise man ˁAffan. Here the text offers close comparison with the Akkadian version: “Followed by the learned ˁAffan, he (Bulūqiyā) left the city and journeyed into the desert. Only when they had gone some way did Affan say to him: “Here is the propitious place for those conjurations which will show us our way”. They halted; ˁAffan drew a magic circle about him in the sand, and, after performing certain rituals, brought to light the spot which was the entrance, on that side, to my subterranean kingdom.” (cf. Gilgameš Epic, tablet 4) The two men travel through the desert to the subterranean kingdom of Queen Yamlika, who gives them magic juice from a plant. This enables them to walk across the seven seas to Solomon’s tomb. They reject her advice to give up their plan and to be content with another plant which gives eternal youth to those who eat it. After marvellous journeys across the Seven Seas, Bulūqiyā and ˁAffan arrive at the Isle of the Seven Seas with apple trees which are guarded by an enormous giant who does not allow them to eat the fruit. On the island they find the tomb of Solomon in a cave and find the corpse wearing the ring in great splendour. Their courage nearly fails, but then ˁAffan plucks up courage and approaches the body, leaving Bulūqiyā to pronounce conjurations. But Bulūqiyā in the moment of stress says the words backwards, whereupon a drop of liquid diamond falls upon ˁAffan and reduces him and the precious plant juice to a handful of dust. Bulūqiyā runs out of the cave and wanders around alone and despairing. An army of demonic creatures gallops aggressively up and spirits him off over a fabulous distance to the kingdom of King Sakhr, king of the demon world, which lies behind the cosmic mountain Qaf. Sakhr entertains him with a feast, and then tells him the story of the world’s origins. For the first time the narrative becomes Islamic: Allah created the world for the coming of Muhammad the Prophet and for the punishment of infidels. Sakhr himself will never grow old and die, for he has drunk from the Fountain of Life which is guarded by the sage al-Khiḍr. When Sakhr has finished explaining, he has Bulūqiyā spirited straight back to his own kingdom.

While these Indian and Arabic stories of the subterranean Underworld and immortality elixirs help us understand the funerary and immortality beliefs and worldview of Eurasia, the immortality fruits of the West, South and North Asia are apples and pomegranates, and do not fit the Japanese Izanami and Izanagi legend which focuses on peaches as the demon- and death-repelling fruit, so we must look for an alternate source of the myth to be found — somewhere where peaches were domesticated in those times.

The demon-peach immortality motif and Izanagi’s journey to the Underworld to look for Izanami —  suggest that the Japanese version is an intermediate or evolved version between the Puranic-Khmer version of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, with the ideas of an Underworld Queen (Izanami) and demons as guardians of immortality and where peaches are the ultimate charm or amulet against death.

We are told that golden peaches of Sarmakand were apparently coveted and precious gifts to the Tang dynasty Chinese court. Samarkand is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study.  Given the protective peach imagery, the Japanese version may have emerged out somewhere along the Central Asian Silk Road, or out of the Indo-Iranian-Saka Northwest – Northeast belt of the Indian subcontinent, or out of Southwest Asia or Western China’s Xinjiang/Gansu/Yunnan/Sichuan regions, in other words the route by which Persians were known to have traversed in order to bring their exotic gifts, including their golden peaches of Sarmakand to the Tang dynasty Chinese court. See Touraj Daryaee’s “What fruits and nuts to eat in ancient Persia?

“The Greeks and the Romans knew that certain fruits that had entered the Mediterranean world were Persian in origin or came via Persia. The most famous of these was the peach, known to the Romans as Amygdalus persica, and its tree was known as Melea persike or simply Persike (Pliny xv.44).1

In fact, most European languages associate the peach with Persia. And not only did the Mediterranean world associate the peach with Persia, but so did the Chinese. Golden peaches sent to China from Samarkand was considered the proxies of all exotic goods in medieval China.”

Sources and readings:

The peach as a kami and mother-goddess and symbol of fertility and immortality

Exploring Xi wangmu, Queen Mother of the West and the associated immortality motifs

Kamboja Asvaka Ksatriya (Indo-Iranian Light Cavalry)| Baktria

The Kamboja people


The Ancient Ankh Symbol

Isis & the Ankh

Early Iron Age. Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians

Gympie Pyrami

Gympie Pyramid of Australia described in Ramayana

gympie pyramid australiaGympie Pyramid is a low terraced structure located in the outskirts of Gympie in Queensland, Australia.
Many archaeologists claim that this structure was built by european immigrants in late 19th century or early 20th century.
Few claim that it has latin american (Incan) connection due to the predominance of a cactus of South or Central American origin in this area.
Few even went on to claim that this pyramid was created by Egyptians who had mining operations in Australia centuries ago, with bases of operation reaching as far as the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Even Chinese connection was imposed to it as its size, height and shape are typical of Ming Dynasty observation platforms and it would have been logical for the Chinese to build observatories to determine precisely the location of the phenomenal riches they had discovered

Gympie Pyramid – The Ramayana Connection

In Kishkinda Kanda episode of Ramayana, sage Valmiki describes about Vanara king Sungreeva’s plans to send 4 teams in 4 directions to find Seetha, who was kidnapped by Ravana.
To the team headed towards east direction, he describes that after crossing ocean in Indian east coast, one would find Yava Dwipam (Yava Island), which is today’s Java Island of Indonesia.

यत्नवन्तो यव द्वीपम् सप्त राज्य उपशोभितम् |
सुवर्ण रूप्यकम् द्वीपम् सुवर्ण आकर मण्डितम् || 4-40-30

यव द्वीपम् अतिक्रम्य शिशिरो नाम पर्वतः |
दिवम् स्पृशति शृन्गेण देव दानव सेवितः || 4-40-31

ततो रक्त जलम् प्राप्य शोण आख्यम् शीघ्र वाहिनीम् |
गत्वा पारम् समुद्रस्य सिद्ध चारण सेवितम् || 4-40-33

Valmiki descibes about Yava Island to appear in golden color (due to sunrays) and there after one finds a mountain called Shishira.
Then he mentions of ‘rapid red waters‘ of the River Shona. (Shona’ (शोण) means ‘red’ in Sanskrit)
The he asks them to proceed to an island called Plaksha (Fig tree) and further on to Ikshu (Sugarcane) Island. They will then confront a furious and tempestuous tide-ripped ocean and its islands.
After this, there is another ocean named Lohita. (Lohita means ‘yellow‘ but the waters are described as a mix of yellow and red. This is most likely today’s Coral Sea of Australia.

After crossing the sea, Valmiki says, one can see the tallest ever ‘Shalmali‘ (शाल्मलि) tree on an island.
Botanical name for the Sanskrit ‘Shalmali‘ is Salmalia Malabaricatralia and is also referred to as Bombax Ceiba. It is native to East Asia and Northern Australia. This must be the Fraser island.
Bombax Ceiba species of silk-cotton trees is sometimes known as Kapok in Northern Australia and the ‘Shalmali‘ are tall trees growing up to a height of 80 feet.
Vishnu Purana refers to Australia as ‘Shalmali Dwipa‘ due to presence of these trees.

Verse 4-40-40 mentions about a huge mountain like structure on this island, which was built by Viswakarma, a ‘celestial‘ architect, responsible for the construction of many gigantic cities and structures (probably the megaliths) around the world.

गृहम् च वैनतेयस्य नाना रत्न विभूषितम् |
तत्र कैलास संकाशम् विहितम् विश्वकर्मणा ||
(gRiham ca vainateyasya naanaa ratna vibhuuSitam |
tatra kailaasa sa.nkaasham vihitam vishvakarmaNaa ||) 4-40-40

Translation : On that Shalmali Island in Wine Ocean you will be seeing the mansion of Vinata’s son, namely Garuda, the Eagle-vehicle of Vishnu, which is decorated with numerous jewels, and which in sheen will be like Mt. Kailash, the abode of Shiva.
This mansion is a construction of Viswakarma, the Heavenly Architect.

Today, the only island one can reach after crossing Indonesia is Australia and Gympie Pyramid is located on its west coast.
Gympie pyramid site in Queensland is about 120 Km away from Fraser island. Valmiki mentions that after one passes this gigantic structure, one will see a shore which is white and shaped like a necklace. This is probably the coast off the shores of Brisbane.
The Ramayana then mentions a Milky Ocean, a tall mountain by the name Rishaba, a silvery lake called Sudharsha, and a beautiful land inhabited by the ‘devas’, ‘apsaras‘ and ‘kinnaras‘.
This should be be New Zealand (with such lakes and adjacent to Australia).

Eventhough modern archaeologists are trying to prove something else, artifacts like the Vedic God Ganesha and a Goddess in a Padmasana posture seated on a lotus flower have been found at Gympie, which indicates that ancient world history is way different than what we are made to believe.

ganesa statue gympie pyramid gympie pyramid hindu goddess statue

A renewed interest in the history of Egypt

In my search to who build the megalithic monuments like the osirieion,  qasr-el-saqa and the valley temples with their polygonic megalithic masonry, I need to read up more. Below not related but perhaps relevant, as are the kingslist.


Michael A. Hoffman: “Egypt before the Pharaohs. The prehistoric foundations of Egyptian Civilization.”)

Also nteresting to read /verify below post from someone:

“The first developed societies appeared in Nubia before the time of the First dynasty of Egypt (3100-2890 BC). The ancestors of the Kemites (ancient Egyptians) originally lived in Nubia. The Nubian origin of Egyptian civilization is supported by the discovery of artifacts by archaeologists from the Oriental Institute at Qustul. On a stone incense burner found at Qustul we find a palace facade, a crowned King sitting on a throne in a boat, with a royal standard placed before the King and hovering above him, the falcon god Horus. The white crown on this Qustul king was later worn by the rulers of Upper Egypt.
This find also supports what the Egyptians tell us themselves in the Edfu text: ‘Several thousand years ago, we were led by our king from the South to settle up the Nile valleys.”