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References on Ancient Indian astronomy


Clark, William Eugene, The ryabhatiya of ryabhata, An Ancient Indian Work on Mathematics and Astronomy, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 1930.

Kay, G. R., Hindu Astronomy, Ancient Science of the Hindus, Cosmo Publications, New Dehli. India, 1981.

Pingree, David, Jyotihsastra, Astral and Mathematical Literature, Otto Harrassowitz, Weisbaden, 1981.

Sastri, Pundit Bapu Deva, and Lancelot Wilkinson, The Surya Siddhnta, or An Ancient System of Hindu Astronomy, Philo Press, Amsterdam, 1974.

Sen, S. N., and K. S. Shukla, History of Astronomy in India, Indian National Science Academy, New Dehli, 1985.


Since I first published this page several people have offered advice and encouragement. Some have asked for further information. In particular I wish to thank Dr. Vijay Bedekar and David B. Kelley for encouraging further research. This updated and expanded page has resulted. Thanks to Ramana Bhamidipati for his input and suggestions.


At this rewriting, Jan. 1, 2001, I still await some answers to the questions posed below. This may be indicative of the answers. To date I have found no indication of older accurate astronomical constants or published indications of modern writers noticing the accuracy of the data discovered in the Indian sources.

  • Do you know of any source previously noticing and publishing the accuracy of ryabhata's ratio?
  • Do you know of any older record reflecting such an accurate astronomic ratio? From India? In Sanskrit? From other parts of the world?
  • Do you know of any astronomic record reflecting such an accurate astronomic ratio prior to the last two centuries?
  • When did modern astronomers first arrive at an astronomic ratio of comparable accuracy?

Larousse Encyclopedia of astronomy, Prometheus Press, NY 1959

Amateur Astronomy , NewnessBooks, Middlesex ,UK, 1985

Indian Astronomy a source Book BV Subbarayappa and KV Sharma Nehru Center, Bombay, 1985

* A Bibliography of Sanskrit Works in Astronomy and Mathematics
S N Sen with the research assistance of A K Bag and S R Sarma (1966) 258 pp. A bibliography of source materials indispensable for the study of history of astronomy and mathematics in ancient and medieval India.
Rs.20/= US $ 5/=

    • History of Astronomy in India
      Eds. S N Sen and K S Shukla (Second revised edition 2000) 529pp.
      Rs.800/= $.250/=

  • The Sulbasutras
    S N Sen and A K Bag (1983) 293pp. The Sulbasutras are the manuals for the construction of altars for fire-sacrifices, an ancient cult fully established in the time of Samhitas. The origin of mathematics in India lies embedded in these ancient priestly practices. The book presents the critical texts and translation of four Sulbasutras.
    Rs.85/= US $.30/=

  • Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata (Critically edited with translation and notes)
    K S Shukla and K V Sarma (1976) 219 pp. The volume forms a critical edition of aryabhatiya based on original manuscripts and external testimonials 1976) 219 pp.
    Rs.21.50 US $.7/=

  • * Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata (with the commentary of Suryadeva Yajvan)
    Ed. K V Sarma (1976) 200pp. The volume comprises of critical edition of the Aryabhatiya with the elucidative commentary of Suryadeva Yajvan (b.1911) based on original palm leaf manuscripts.
    Rs.25/= US $.8/=

  • * Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata (with the commentary of Bhaskara & Somesvara)
    Ed. K S Shukla (1976) 382 pp. The volume sets out the critical text of the Aryabhatiya with the earliest available commentary on the work by Bhaskara ( A.D. 629 ) as supplemented by a later commentrator Somesvara.
    Rs.40/= US $.13/=
     Vedanga Jyotisa & Lagadha (in its R K and Yajus Recensious) (with the translational notes of Professor T S Kuppanna Sastry)
    Ed. : K V Sarma (1985) 74pp.
    Rs.25/= US $.8/=


    A Concise History of Sciences in India
    Eds. D M Bose, S N Sen and B V Subbarayappa (Reprinted 1989) 689pp.
    Rs.200/= US $.70/=

Aryabhata. The Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata - An Ancient Work on Mathematics and Astronomy. Walter E. Clark, Trans. and Ed. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois, 1930.

"Aryabhata I." Biographical Dictionary of Mathematicians: Reference Biographies from the Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Vol. 1, (150-152). Charles Scribner and Sons: New York, 1991.

Hayashi, Takao, "Aryabhata's Rule and Table for Sine-Differences," Historia Mathematica, vol. 24 (1997), pp. 396-406.

Srinivasiengar, C. N. The History of Ancient Indian Mathematics. The World Press Private LTD: Calcutta, 1967.

Suzuki, Jeff. A History of Mathematics. Prentice Hall: New Jersey, 2002.

Watson, Francis. A Concise History of India. Thames and Hudson: London, 1974.

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