Indian Mythology: Ice Age
map of India before ice age
Ice Age and HIndu scriptures
Indian mythology is believed to go longer back than development of most of the civilizations around the world in the olden days. It remains a question as to how long back. Many new evidences in the form of excavations and research are now being found to support the theory in recent days.
Following texts contain cumulative excerpts that I could lay a hand on from different sources in reference to the information that is discovered till date in various forms that shed a light on the presence of Ice Age as witnessed in the Indian subcontinent.
1. Ancient Tamil scholars
Modern Tamil scholars today believe that the information present in libraries of South India is by-product of the knowledge of ancient caste of professional scholars who passed on the information by word of mouth.
According to some texts present in these Tamil medieval literature, the floods that wiped out the Lemuria continent coincide with the dates presented by geophysicists Glenn Milne and Kurt Lambeck
Manu and the Noah's Ark
The title should elucidate my context and I will be covering what is written as in texts of Hindu mythology though you can find abundant mateilal online on number of parallels around the world consisting of almost the same incident.
Like the Noah in Hebrew Bible
Deucalion in Greek mythology
Utnapishtim in Mesopotamia
Manu in Hinduism
Manu is attributed in Hindu mythology to be the first human being(Like Adam in Christianity) from whom and his wife, Shraddha(Eve), the humans evolved.
Satyavrat was the seventh Manu or the ruler and protector of human race in seventh Manvantar (manvantar: a really complicated indian calender which is not worth the complication here)
Once when Satyavrat was fishing, he caught a fish and to his surprise, the fish started talking to him. Though hard to believe for him, Satyavrat listened to it intently and the fish asked him to take care of it. He did as requested and put it in a pot. In time, the fish began to grow in size rapidly. This prompted Manu to move it to a larger and larger water bodies until finally it was big enough not to fit in anything except the ocean.
At this point, the fish told Satyavrat that it was soon going to flood and the world will be destroyed and asked him to build a boat to protect himself. Manu again followed as told and when the floods came, waters filled the continent and Satyavrat was safely escorted to the supposed highest point on land where he waited for floods to recede and eventually had ten sons from whom began the human race.
This fish was none other the one of the Ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu(The Supreme HIndu God) as I mentioned in my other hub
and was known as the matsya(fish) avatar(incarnation)
And the place where Satyavrat took refuge according to some is present day Manali, a famous hill station in India where exists the only known ancient temple of Manu.
And finally coming to the point, the "deluge" are supposed references to the periods of Ice Age marking the rise of water levels and drowning of continents.
Satyavrat and the matsya avatar of Lord Vishnu
The seal of Dwaraka
Dwaraka: The lost city of Lord Krishna
Leaving the mythological details and description of this city apart, I will suffice by saying, the city held utmost importance as being the capital city of the greatest of Hindu Gods, Lord Krishna.
Having said that, the remnants of Dwaraka are now confirmed to have been found on the North western coast of the Indian subcontinent at the tip of the Gujarat Peninsula near the Gulf of Cambay or which is now known as the Gulf of Khambath. Lost remnants of a city almost the size of Manhattan have been found about 20 miles off the coast of India at a depth varying from a depth of 60 feet to 120 feet with signs of it being a great urban city of the time. The dating of the aforementioned Dwaraka is done to about 12000 years and is said to have submerged due to floods or the cataclysmic rise in water levels in the Ice Age,
The sea, that had been beating against the shores,
broke the boundaries imposed by nature..
It rushed into the beautiful city,
and swallowed everything in its path..
I saw the grand buildings submerge one by one,
In just a few moments it was all over..
The sea had now become as placid as a lake,
There was no trace of the city anymore,
Dwarka was just a name; just a memory..
These are the words of Arjuna, one of the most important characters in Mahabharata, the greatest war that was fought in India. The dating of the Mahabharata can of course be attributed to the same period as that of the presence of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna played the most defining role in this war (Again the details left out to some Hub I wil eventually write). These lines clearly show a role of supposed Tsunamis responsible for the destruction of the city rather than the supposed Ice Age floods. So we can hang on to this notion till something contradictory comes up.
Mythically speaking, the city of Dwaraka was submerged the day Lord Krishna left the earth. According to various studies, Lord Krishna is said to have been a dweller of earth around 3200 to around 3500 BC. As we can see, this clearly does not relate well to the facts I stated above unless we reason out that Lord Krishna must have lived for around 9000 years which is extreme to say even in terms of religious sentiments or mythical cliches. So obviously, as far as I have read, I have no answer for this. eventually it will be clear as time passes as to what separates the fact from the myth.
However, to add a twist to the tale, Dwaraka was said to have been built on the remains of a once submerged city of Kuthasthali. According to the modern carbon dating, the peninsular region experienced a great rise in sea level from 14000 BC to around 2000 BC due to tectonic movements and the supposed ice age. On further study, the remains of city of Kuthasthali were found dating back to around 9500 BC which was the well accepted period of the Ice Age. These included artifacts in the likes of copper vessels, pottery, etc. On the other hand, the urban city of Dwaraka was said to have excellent town planning, water reservoirs and anchorage to ships as in a flourishing port. Conclusively, the city of Kuthasthali sunk in the seas during the Ice age, and later, a well organized metropolitan city was constructed on the same spot by Lord Krishna which eventually was destroyed by ehm..maybe Tsunamis.
Here is a chronological series of events which I have borrowed from a source that I feel is well justified.
20,000 BC Emergence of HYBRID Indian race,
17000 BC Late Ice Age Coastal cultures in Pre-flood civilizations. (Pre-historic) Sunda land/ Lemuria/ (PRALAYA(flood)---Hindu Mythology) Kumari Kandam ,
15000 BC Warming begins; Coastal cultures under stress. Unstable coast line.
13000 BC Ice Age ending; flooding Proto-Vedic civilizations mainly in begins in coastal areas. South India. North India opens up for the habitation.
11000 BC Glaciations; freeze returns Indra -Vritra battles as per the Vedas.
10000BC Farming spreads in Indra -Vritra battles continue. Sunda land and Indian interiors. 10,000 BC Renewed warming. Ice sheet Vritra--the coverer is slain byto
8000 BC finally retreats. Great North Indra--the solar deity. Indian Rivers (glacier fed) begin to flow. Saraswati becomes the greatest river and Saraswati-Drishadvati Doab becomes the Rig Vedic home.
8000 BC Beginning of the post Saraswati Manu Vivaswan period. Settlements.
7000 BC Prime era of ocean-going The early Vedic dynasties; to Saraswati. Yayati, Turvash, Yadu and
4000 BC Puru. The early rishis; Angirasas, Bhrigus, Bhardwajas, Vamdev.
I will keep editing this page as the information is so difficult to find and there is so much more to it.
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