Ancient Indian Inventions Discoveries3
Continued from part2
13. Muslin: The fabric was named after the city where Europeans first encountered it, Mosul, in what is now Iraq. But the fabric actually originated from Dhaka which is the present day Bangladesh. In the 9th century, an Arab merchant named Sulaiman has made a note of the material's origin in Bengal.
14. Playing cards: Playing cards are believed to have been invented in Ancient India.
15. Palampore: Palampore was a fabric which took its birth in India. Subsequently, it was imported to the western world more so to England and Colonial America from India. Shipping vessels from India also took Palampore to colonial America, where it was used in quilting.
16. Prayer flags: The Buddhist sutras which were written on cloth in India were transmitted to other regions of the world. These sutras, which were written on banners, were the origin of prayer flags. Scholars have ascribed the origin of the prayer flag to the Shakyamuni Buddha. His prayers were written on battle flags used by the Devas against their adversaries, the Asuras.
17. This knowledge was carried into Tibet by 800 CE. The actual flags were introduced not later than 1040 CE, where they were further modified. The Indian monk Atisha (980-1054 CE) introduced the Indian practice of printing on cloth prayer flags to Tibet.
18. Ruler: Rulers made from Ivory were in use by the Indus Valley Civilization. This today forms a part of Pakistan and some parts of Western India prior to 1500 BCE. Excavations at Lothal in 2400 BCE have yielded one such ruler calibrated to about 1/16 of an inch. This is equivalent to less than 2 millimeters. The weights and measures of the Indus civilization also reached Persia and Central Asia. Here they were further modified.
19. Step well: Earliest clear evidence of the origins of the step well is found in the Indus Valley Civilization's archaeological site at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan. The three features of step wells in the subcontinent are evident from one particular site, abandoned by 2500 BCE. This combines a bathing pool, steps leading down to water, and figures of some religious importance into one structure.
20. Stupa: The origin of the stupa can be traced to 3rd century BCE India. It was used as a remembrance monument associated with storing sacred relics. The stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it evolved into the pagoda, a Buddhist monument used for enshrining sacred relics.
21. Toe stirrup: The earliest known manifestation of the stirrup was a toe loop. This toe loop which held the big toe was used in India in as early as 500 BCE or perhaps by 200 BCE according to other sources. This ancient stirrup consisted of a looped rope for the big toe. This looped rope was at the bottom of a saddle made of fiber or leather. Such a configuration made it suitable for the warm climate of most of India where people used to ride horses barefoot.
Apart from these inventions, there were many other discoveries also which took place in ancient India which is as follows:
Agriculture: In the field of agriculture, the following discoveries took place:
1. Cashmere wool: This fiber is popularly known as Pashmina for its use in the handmade shawls of Kashmir, India. The woolen shawls made from wool in Kashmir region of India have been referred to between 3rd century BCE and the 11th century CE. The founder of the cashmere wool industry is believed to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin. He employed weavers from Central Asia.
2. Cotton: Cotton was cultivated by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization between the 5th millennium BCE and 4th millennium BCE. The Indus cotton industry was well developed. In fact, some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be practiced till the modern Industrialization of India.
3. Indigo dye: Indigo was a blue pigment and a dye which was used in India. India was also the earliest major center for its production and processing. The Indigo fera tinctoria variety of Indigo was domesticated in India. Indigo, made its way to the Greeks and the Romans via various trade routes. In that time, it was considered as a luxury product.
4. Jute: Jute has been cultivated in India since ancient times. Raw jute was exported to the western world. The western countries used it to make ropes and cordage. The region of Bengal was the major center for Jute cultivation,
5. Sugar refinement: Sugarcane was originally from tropical South Asia. As a matter of fact, the earliest reference of candied sugar comes from India. Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 CE. These missions were so conducted in order to obtain technology for sugar-refining. Each mission returned with results on refining sugar.