Had ancient India already developed Vimanas (airplanes) and spacecraft years ago?

Had ancient India already developed Vimanas (airplanes) and spacecraft years ago?

Vimanas: The Vedic Aircraft of Ancient India

Vimanas are mythological flying machines or chariots described in Hindu texts and Sanskrit epics. They are said to be able to fly in the sky, travel into space and under water, and carry various weapons of war. Some of them are powered by animals, fire, wind or other sources of energy. The most famous vimana is the Pushpaka Vimana, which belonged to King Ravana and was later taken by Rama after defeating him.

Origins and Etymology

The word vimana (विमान) literally means "measuring out, traversing" or "having been measured out". It may denote any car or vehicle, especially a bier or a ship as well as a palace of an emperor, especially with seven stories¹. In some modern Indian languages, vimana means "aircraft". The word is derived from the root vi-mān, which means "to measure out" or "to traverse".

The concept of vimanas can be traced back to the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. The Vedas mention various gods and deities who travel by flying chariots pulled by animals, usually horses. For example, the Sun (see Sun chariot) and Indra are transported by flying wheeled chariots. The Rigveda also refers to "mechanical birds" that fly with the speed of the wind.

Types and Features

The later texts, such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas, describe more elaborate and sophisticated vimanas that can fly without animals and have different shapes and sizes. Some of them are saucer-shaped, others are like long cylinders or spheres. Some of them have multiple stories, windows, domes and portholes. Some of them can change their shape, color and size according to the will of the owner.

The vimanas are also said to have various features and functions that make them suitable for different purposes and situations. Some of them are:

Weapons: The vimanas are equipped with various weapons, such as arrows, missiles, rays, fireballs, thunderbolts and nuclear weapons. Some of them can also emit sound waves that can destroy or paralyze the enemy.

Stealth: The vimanas can become invisible or camouflage themselves to avoid detection by the enemy. They can also create illusions or mirages to deceive the enemy.

Communication: The vimanas can communicate with each other and with the ground stations using sound, light or telepathy. They can also receive signals and information from the stars and planets.

Navigation: The vimanas can fly in any direction and at any speed. They can also hover, ascend, descend, rotate and change course. They can navigate by using the sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, the magnetic fields and other natural phenomena.

Power: The vimanas can derive their power from various sources, such as fire, wind, solar energy, mercury, crystals, gems and plants. They can also store and conserve their energy for long periods of time.

Examples of Vimanas

There are many examples of vimanas mentioned in the ancient texts. Some of the most notable ones are:

Pushpaka Vimana: This is the most famous vimana in the Ramayana. It belonged to King Ravana of Lanka, who took it from Kubera, the god of wealth. It was a large and beautiful flying palace that could accommodate hundreds of people. It could fly at the speed of thought and change its shape and size according to the wish of the owner. It was later taken by Rama after defeating Ravana and returned to Kubera.

Saubha Vimana: This is a vimana mentioned in the Mahabharata. It belonged to King Shalva of Saubha, who attacked Dwaraka, the city of Krishna, with it. It was a huge and powerful flying fortress that could become invisible and emit various weapons. It was eventually destroyed by Krishna with his Sudarshana Chakra.

Rukma Vimana: This is a vimana mentioned in the Samarangana Sutradhara, a medieval treatise on architecture and engineering. It was a golden vimana that could fly with the speed of the wind and had four wings. It was powered by fire and mercury and had various weapons and devices. It was one of the four types of vimanas described in the text, along with Tripura, Sundara and Shakuna vimanas.

Vaimanika Shastra Vimana: This is a vimana mentioned in the Vaimanika Shastra, a controversial text on aeronautics that was allegedly channeled by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry in the early 20th century. It was a detailed manual on how to construct and operate various types of vimanas, such as Shakuna, Sundara, Rukma and Tripura vimanas. It also described the principles of flight, the materials, the fuels, the engines, the weapons and the instruments of the vimanas. However, the text has been widely criticized as a hoax or a fraud by modern scholars and scientists.


Vimanas are fascinating and mysterious topics that have captured the imagination of many people for centuries. They are part of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of India that reflects its ancient scientific and technological achievements. Whether they are real or mythical, they are still inspiring and intriguing to explore and learn from.


(1) Vimana - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimana.

(2) Vimana: The Ancient Indian Aerospace Craft - Air Power Asia. https://airpowerasia.com/2020/08/27/vimana-the-ancient-indian-aerospace-craft-time-for-indigenisation/.

(3) The Vimanas - The Ancient Flying Machines - Biblioteca Pleyades. https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vimanas/esp_vimanas_9.htm.

(4) Vimana; the Flying Vehicles of Ancient India and Their 31 Essential .... https://curiosmos.com/vimana-the-flying-vehicles-of-ancient-india-and-their-31-essential-parts/.

(5) Vimanas, The Hindu Machines: Did Ancient India Have Flying Saucers .... https://www.historicmysteries.com/vimana/.

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