Herodotus Returns

Vimanas: Ancient Indian Flying Machines, UFOs, or Sanskrit Sci-fi?
April 1, 2010, 9:15 pm
Filed under: India | Tags: , ,

I just wrote this article for Heritage Key about vimanas, the mysterious flying machines cited throughout ancient Indian sanskrit texts. There’s a small army of alternative historians out there who believe that these flying machines were real, that ancient Indians had flying technology, fought battles in flying saucers, then lost this secret knowledge in the corruption of the modern period. Sounds ridiculous, right?

“Flying chariots,” “celestial cars,” “mechanical birds,” “winged vehicles,” and “aerial cities.” These may sound like the swarming aircrafts from James Cameron’s sky-battles in Avatar, but, in fact, they come from a much older source: ancient Indian literature. Called vimanas (pronounced “vimans”) in Sanskrit, such flying vehicles appear throughout India’s ancient texts. They are especially prominent in combat sequences, when gods and divine beings battle their enemies high above the earth.

Chariots flown by gods are not unique to Indian mythology: the Greek god Apollo flies the Sun Chariot; Kay Kavus, the mythological Persian king steers a flying throne to China; and Thor, of the Norse tradition, commandeers the Chariot of Thunder. The peculiar thing about vimanas is that a contingent of modern writers insist that these flying vessels are not limited to mythology – that is, they were actual machines, constructed and flown by ancient Indians.

More on Vimanas from Heritage Key.


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