A Study of Ancient Indian Astronomy through Architectural Marvels

Keerthi Krishnanath Prabhu Shirodkar

UG Scholar, PMCs, School of Sciences, Jain Deemed to be University. keerthip.shirodkar@gmail.com

Abstract: Ancient Indian astronomy has a rich legacy that spans millennia, encompassing intricate observations, advanced calculations, and skillful implementations. This review article explores the intersection of astronomy and architectural marvels in ancient India. By examining the architectural marvel, the profound astronomical knowledge embedded within its design and construction is inspected. The study aims to unveil the celestial alignments, geometric patterns, and symbolic representations reflecting the deep understanding of cosmic phenomena of ancient Indian astronomers and architects. With this review, through a comprehensive analysis of the temple’s architectural elements, it is expected to gain insights into the intricate methods employed by ancient Indians to encode astronomical principles into monumental structures and the cultural significance of these celestial pursuits.

Keywords: architecture, astronomy, equinox, Konark sun temple, Modhera sun temple, solstice.


  1. M. Malville, “Astronomy of Indian cities, temples, and pilgrimage centers,” in Springer eBooks, 2014, pp. 1969–1980. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_208.
  2. S. Shylaja, “Use of astronomical principles in Indian temple architecture,” in Springer eBooks, 2014, pp. 1959–1967. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_253.
  3. Misro, “Construction of the Sun Temple at Konarak: An Historic perspective,” The Quarterly Journal of Mythic Society, vol. 92_1–2, pp. 56–64, 2001.
  4. “Sun Temple, Konârak,” UNESCO World Heritage Convention, 2001. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/246/ (accessed Jan. 02, 2024).
  5. “Sadhana – your spiritual journey,” 2015. https://www.sadhana108.com/ (accessed Feb. 08, 2024).
  6. Samirsinh, “ANCIENT INDIAN TEMPLES: CONSTRUCTION, ELEMENTS AND GEOMETRICAL DESIGN PHILOSOPHY,” National Conference (Web) on Ancient Indian Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (AISTEM – 2021), vol. 19th-20th March 2021, 2011.
  7. “Konark Sun Temple: a marvel of ancient Indian architecture,” Classofy, Oct. 01, 2023. https://www.classofy.com/blog/konark-sun-temple-a-marvel-of-ancient-indian-architecture/ (accessed Feb. 06, 2024).
  8. Joshi and A. Srivastava, “Original anatomy of the temple: Sun Temple Konark, India,” International Journal of Architectural Heritage, vol. 4, no. 2, Jan. 2021, doi: 10.37628/.v4i2.862.
  9. “Konark, Sun Temple Konark, Konark Sun Temple, Arka Khetra, Black Pagoda, Konark Temple.” http://www.thekonark.in/
  10. Rodrigues, “d. Some Noteworthy Temples | Mahavidya | Page 3,” Jun. 07, 2010. http://mahavidya.ca/category/the-hindu-temple-and-worship-rituals/some-noteworthy-temples/page/3/
  11. Malville, J. M., “Astrophysics, Cosmology, and the Interior Space of Indian Myths and Temples,” In Kapila Vatsyayan (ed.), Concepts of Space, Ancient and Modern. Abhinav Publications. pp. 123-144, 1991.
  12. Archinomy, “Home – Archinomy,” Archinomy, Oct. 20, 2021. https://www.archinomy.com/
  13. “Chalukyan Architecture of the Kanarese Districts : Cousens, Henry : free download, borrow, and streaming : Internet Archive,” Internet Archive, 1926. https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.529290/page/n11/mode/2up
  14. Parmar, “Insights of Modhera Sun Temple: Architectural design and its site significance,” Journal of Interior Designing and Regional Planning, vol. 2–2, pp. 36–45, Jul. 2022, [Online]. Available: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366894863
  15. “Welcome to Gujarat Tourism,” Gujrattourism. https://www.gujarattourism.com/
  16. UNESCO World Heritage Centre, “Sun Temple, Modhera and its adjoining monuments – UNESCO World Heritage Centre.” https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6627/
  17. Darbar, “MODHERA SUN TEMPLE – A HISTORICAL TRAIL.” https://modhera.blogspot.com/
  18. Kapoor, Indian Encyclopaedia. Genesis Publishing Pvt Ltd, 2002.
  19. Ramachandra N U, “Traditional Knowledge, Challenges and the Need for Revival,” RES MILITARIS, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1611-1619,Oct. 2022, [Online]. Available: https://resmilitaris.net/index.php/resmilitaris/article/view/238