History is always very interesting. In addition, when we follow the tracks of history, we reach such a place where one can get amused with a sense of wonder. Whether it is really possible and such other curious thoughts float across our mind. There is no doubt that this advanced knowledge was with us 1500 years ago. One can have such a situation if he comes to Gujarat's Somnath temple.
There is a pillar in the premises of Somnath temple. This is known as Baan Stambh (Arrow Pillar). It is difficult to say that since what time it is there. Going back by taking history as reference, we reached somewhere in the sixth century, where this Baan Stambh is mentioned. However, that does not prove that it has been built in the sixth century. It is not possible to tell exactly how old this Baan Stambh is. On the Pole it is inscribed that:
" आसमुद्रान्त दक्षिण ध्रुव पर्यंत अबाधित ज्योतिर्मार्ग "
This means - there is no hindrance in the straight line from this point to the south. Of course, there is no piece of land in this path.
This is a wonderful indicator of the ancient Indian wisdom. At that time when world was merely learning how to survive; our ancestors had found unique location? How is it possible? Moreover, if this is really, we have the global heritage of a very rich knowledge.
The meaning of this single line, written in Sanskrit, has many mysterious meanings. This line has a direct meaning that from the point of the Somnath temple to the Antarctic, there is no land or plot in the middle, if one pulls a straight line.
Now what is the fact..? In today's age of this technology, it will be easy to detect. Nevertheless, this is not as easy as that. If you look up the Google Map or Google Earth, you can see this entire concept.
It means if you start travelling from Somnath Temple towards South in sea, you will not meet any land until you reach the South Pole aka Antarctica. The nearest land towards South Pole is about 9936 KM away. In other words, it means that the Sanskrit stanza is genuine.
But the original question remains the same. Even in the 600's, it was said that the arrow was set up, but from where this knowledge came from that the earth is having a Southern Hemisphere. Well, assuming that the southern hemisphere was known, Somnath went straight from the temple to the south side and did not get any plot anywhere, who and how did this mapping? This entire thing is absolutely amazing..!
This means to our ancestors, this knowledge was known that the earth is round, and not only, but the knowledge that the earth is having a South Pole (i.e., the North Pole as well). How did this happen? Is there any way to get Earth's 'Ariel View'? If not, did the Earth's map exist at that time? Did the Somnath Temple was build first and then the fact of single line with no landscape was found or first this single line with no landscape was discovered and then the Somnath Temple was built? And what does the "Jyotirmarg" actually means? There are many such question. Right now it is all a mystery..!
The Baan Stambh identifying its location as the first point of land to the north of the South Pole is yet another illustration of the knowledge of astronomy, geography, mathematics and indeed maritime sciences of the ancient India and therefore constitutes an element of our rich heritage.
Translated from the Marathi book, भारतीय ज्ञानाचा खजिना (Treasures of Indian knowledge) written by Prashant Pole.