• K. V. Sarma
Reference work entry

In Indian astronomy, the Deśāntara of a place is its terrestrial longitude, i.e. the ‘distance of the place’ from a universally accepted zero meridian. In modern times, the meridian at Greenwich in England is accepted as the zero meridian, and the longitude is expressed in terms of the angle subtended, at the pole, by the Greenwich meridian and the meridian of the place in question. Indian astronomy had, from early times, taken as the zero meridian the meridian passing through the ancient city of Ujjain in Central India, cutting the equator at an imaginary city called Laṅkā and passing through the south and north poles. Again, in order to facilitate the conversion of the local time to that of the zero meridian and vice versa, the Deśāntara was expressed in terms of time‐measures like nāḍī (or ghatī), equal to 24 min, as converted from the corresponding degrees. Since the earth completes one eastward rotation of 360° in 24 h, it is 15° an hour or 1° in 4 min. In terms of Indian...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • K. V. Sarma

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