Drilling Technology of Ancient India

Mahabalipuram is an ancient historic town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. During the  time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE) Mahabalipuram was a bustling seaport, used by Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia.

It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock in the 7th and 8th centuries. Here in Mahabalipuram, we can find some evidence of ancient drilling technology. An eight feet wide, Giant hole is drilled out of granite rock. As we know Granite is one of the hardest rocks in the world and today we use diamond tipped tools and laser to make drills in it. How could ancient Indian drill a humongous hole like this 1300 years ago and why?

Called by locals as Seetha’s Bathtub, this Giant hole is 8 feet wide and 5 feet deep. The circumference is a perfect circle. Walls looks so smooth and looks like it is made with a modern machine. According to conventional history, People did not use any complex tools. But how can a perfect circle that is 8 feet wide be carved on a rock. Nobody knows the reason behind this giant hole drilled out of this rock.Drilling Technology of Ancient India

 

Academics think that this was carved with chisels and hammers. If it was true, at one point, this would have taken years to make it look perfect. Why would they need to create a perfect cylinder out of a rock and what is the reason behind making it a perfect circle? If you wanted a well for water, you can dig one with much less manual labor. If you wanted to create a water tank, you can just use pots or metal vessels. Even water wells or tanks don’t need this much of effort. Was it used to fit something that was a perfect cylinder?

Another interesting Site at Mahabalipurum is Krishna’s Butter ball, a 20 feet high and 5 meter wide rock estimated to weigh over 250 tons miraculously stands on an extremely small, slippery area of a hill.

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