Monday, 16 July 2012

CHANKILLO OBSERVATORY AND HUAYANA PICCHA OF PERU - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

Chankillo is a 2,300-year-old stone Solar observatory located north of Lima, Peru. It is the oldest known observatory in the Americas. Its 13 stone-pillars track the sun's progress across the sky. Researchers agree that the last pillar on either end of the stone-pillar-line point to the Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice.

The word 'Chankillo' may be a distortion of two Sanskrit words. In Sanskrit 'Shan' 
(शाण) means 'stone' and 'kala' (काल) means 'time', 'measure of time' or 'era'. 'Shan-kala' means 'stone that measure time', in other words an observatory.


June (Winter) Solistice at the stone-observatory
at Chankillo, Peru. In Sanskrit  'Chan'
(शाण)
means 'stone' and
'Kala'(काल) means 'time'.
Photo courtesy: about.com
In the local ancient Quechua language of Peru, the Festival of the Sun celebrated on  winter solstice day is known as 'Inti-Raymi'. In Sanskrit winter solstice is known as 'yami-ayana' (याम्यायन) and summer Solstice is known as 'uttar-ayana (उत्तरायण).*

Inti-raymi may well be the distortion of the Sanskrit 'uttar-ayana' or 'yamy-ayana'. Or a mix of both. Especially because there is yet another observatory in Peru, located behind the Macchu Picchu site by the name Huayana Picchu. 'Ayana' (
अयन) in Sanskrit means 'points of the solstices and equinoxes', and it also means 'precession', 'half year', and 'circulation or rotation'. Then again, in Sanskrit 'hayana' (हायन) means 'returning every year or 'lasting a year'! That says it all.'Piccha' may be distorted 'pacchas' (पच्छस्)  of course means 'step by step' referring to the steps or the climb leading to the site of 'Huayana Piccha'. In some Sanskrit derived languages of India such as Kashmiri the word 'paccha' means 'top' or 'roof'.



'Huayana Picchu' Observatory of Peru.
In Sanskrit 'ayana' means 'Solstice',
'Hayana' means 'that which repeats every year' and
'Pacchas' means 'step by step' referring to a climb.

*Sir William Jones, in his Asiatic Researches, however linked the words 'Inti-Raymi' and the 'Rama-Sitva' festival directly to the Hindu God Rama. His quote on the subject is well known. 

Suggested Links:
  1. Yaxachilan - The Sanskrit Connection
  2. Macchu Pichu - The Sanskrit Connection

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