Samanta Chandrasekhar:The Genius Astronomer of Odisha


Through this article, I want to throw some light upon the life of Samanta Chandrasekhar, popularly known as Pathani Samanta - the incomparable naked eye astronomer of Odisha.Details are provided in the description given as under.

Personal Profile of Pathani Samanta


Samanta Chandrasekhar popularly known as Pathani Samanta was born to ’Profilereligious parents- father Shyamabandhu and mother Bishnumali on the auspicious day of Pausha Krishna Astami in the year 1835 (Saka Year 1957). His birth place was Khandapara, a small Gadajat state of Nayagadh Dist. Of Orissa. As three of their children were died at their infancy stage, that's why parents of Chandrasekhar kept his name as 'Pathani Samanta'. Full name of Pathani Samant was 'Mahamahopadhyaya Chandra Sekhar Simha Samanta Harichandan Mohapatra'.

Education of Pathani Samanta


His primary education was started at the very early age in Sanskrit under a Brahmin teacher. He has started learning Astronomy and movement of stars and planets in the sky from his uncle at the early of ten only. At that time, there was no educational institution for studying of astrology. Because of his hard efforts and self-interest, he could able to gain mastery in astrology. His efforts in this regard were often compared with the other great astronomers of India like Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Brahmagupta and many more. With the help of wood sticks and bamboo, he could able to measure the heights of Mountains present at a great distance very accurately. There were no telescopes and other instruments for astronomical researches in India, especially in Odisha. He was a very careful observer of Celestial objectives with the instruments made by himself. The accuracy obtained in the calculations made by him regarding solar eclipse and lunar eclipse seems to be extraordinary. The accuracy obtained was almost similar to that made by other astronomers of the world at that time with the help of instruments.

Siddhanta Darpan of Pathani Samant


All his astronomical research and scientific investigations are recorded in his Great Thesis "Siddhanta Darpan". The same was published from a Kolkata (earlier Calcutta) press in the year 1899 in devnagari script with the help of Jogesh Chandra Ray and financial support of the kings of Athmalik and Mayurbhanja. Almost 56 pages out of that were translated in English by Prof. Ray, which is a praiseworthy . Because of this the whole world could able to have a glimpse of the rich wealth contained in 'Siddhanta Darpan'. The title 'Mahamahoadhyaya' was awarded to Chandrasekhar by the British Govt. in the year 1983 for his contribution to the astronomy.

Conclusion


Though he was rich in knowledge but he was not rich in wealth. Poverty and ill-health were always his best companions. In the year 1904, the great astronomer of Odisha closed his naked eyes for ever. His astronomical observations and calculations with accuracy in naked eyes has made him to be counted as one of the great astronomer of the world. An planetarium named' Pathani Samanta Planetarium' is built in Bhubaneswar as a tribute to this great astronomer.


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