Some of the most common types of Vimanas were:
- Aerial Chariots intended for individuals or smaller groups, mainly for pleasure travel
- Flying Palaces and Flying cities, which were obviously much larger in scale and operation
- Vimanas intended for interstellar travel
Aerial chariots were referred to as ‘Ratha’ in the time of the Rig Veda and later the terminology changed to ‘Vimana’. As per texts in the Rig Veda and Yajur Veda, these ‘rathas’ had a triangular top with a broader, squarish base.
Also there is mention that the inside area was 9ftx9ft =81 sq.ft, which can comfortably accommodate 7-8 people.
The Pushpaka Vimana is one of the most important examples of this kind of Vimana technology.
The Samarangana Sutradhara, an important Vedic text containing details of vimana technology states clearly that the planes were designed so as to imitate palaces on ground.
The temple design seal of a 1st century BCE temple at Bodh Gaya discovered recently reveals that its shape had a rectangular base with a tapering top reminiscent of a modern day helicopter shape. But more importantly, it adds weight to the Samarangana reference that perhaps it may have served as an inspiration for building an aerial palace in the days gone by.
An ancient Vedic epic – Arthashaastra-by Sage Kautilya refers to a flying city called Saubha, which belonged to King Harishchandra. In fact there is reference to “Saubhikas’ amongst the various tradespeople of the time, pointing towards people who were trained to operate the Saubha.
Vimanas for Interstellar Travel
Such Vimanas were called ‘Nakshatramandalas’ (nakshatra meaning star) and possibly there existed aircrafts capable of flying across galaxies. The strongest evidence for this comes from the discovery of some Sanskrit documents in Tibet by China. On analyzing the material, it was found to contain detailed instructions for building interstellar spaceships.
Apparently, these interstellar aircrafts were powered by “laghima’, the power of the ego, which is responsible for the levitation exhibited by Hindu yogis.
It does appear that a wide range of Vimana technology was present in Vedic times. It is also interesting to note in recent times and in the past, eye witness descriptions of UFO sightings are chillingly similar to the ancient Vimana designs.