The essays in the volume explore the symbolic geometry, which helped organize the integrated life of traditional cities. Geometries that were cosmic in intent interwined the three traditional realms of the universe, the celestial macrocosm, the mesocosm, and human microcosm. In these cities, people were not isolated from the large universe. Their lives acquired a certain cosmic meaning by the geometrical structures of the cities they inhabited.
The seven technical papers in the volume endeavour to re-create as fully as possible the mind-scape of the people as it effected the structures of their cities. The cities and landscapes described cover a time span of over 4,500 years from the Harappan city of Dholavira to the great empire of Vijayanagara. Kings and architects intentionally designed some of the cosmic geometries of these cities.
Recent discoveries of astronomical alignments in Vijayanagara, Varanasi, and Chitrakutu are presented. These discoveries result partly from precise measurement by the global positioning system (GPS) of satellites. The north-south axis of Vijayanagara is revealed as the most accurate astronomical alignment that has yet been found in the ancient world.
It is hoped that this interdisciplinary study of the subject will facilitate a deeper comprehension of the relationship of the physico-cultural, economic dimensions, and the planning and organization of specific territory.
About the Author:
Prof. John McKim Malville: Professor of Astrophysics, University of Colorado, USA, has received international recognition for his work in the fields of solar astronomy, archaeoastronomy, and geophysics. He is the author of numerous research papers as well as three books: A Feather for Daedalus: Explorations in Science and Mythology: Preshistoric Astronomy in the South-West; and, Time and Eternal Change, published by the IGNCA.
Dr. Lalit M. Gujral: M.A. (Delhi), Ph.D. (London), historian-editor, has been involved in the revision and rewriting of the Imperial Gazetteers of India. He has had long association with UNESCO and has served as Education and Cultural Counsellor in the Consulate General of India, New York. Dr. Gujral is the author of many research papers. Presently, he has been serving as Editor of one of the important publication programmes of the IGNCA. He has been responsible for the re-publication of the volumes of the Collected Works of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, as also a very large number of volumes of Critical scholarship on different facets of the Indian artistic traditions.
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