Arkaim is an ancient archaeological site located south of the Urals on the Kazagisthan border in Russia and is dated by different archaeologists to approximately between 2200 and 1650 B.C. It has often been described as ‘Swastika city’ or ‘Mandala city’ owing to its design, though there are many who say that referring to the site by these names is stretching our imaginations too far. 

However, what is established is that Arkaim was not only a settlement, but it was also a temple, and an astronomic observatory! Some have contended that “Arkaim’ was a weapon-storage facility. The ruins of the site have revealed that it was round with a diameter of 160 meters. The four entrance gates to the structure or temple coincide with the four cardinal directions.

The etymology of the name of ‘Arkaim’ is unclear. It is also unclear whether there the site was a ‘sun’ temple. Nevertheless, a look at the word ‘Arkaim’ through the Sanskrit lens is interesting.

In the ancient Megalithic sites of South America, the name ‘Arka’ occurs many times. The two most prominent ones are:

1. The Araqhama Sun Temple and Manya-Araki Temple Plaza in Peru.
2. The Arkapana Pyramid of Bolivia.

Existence of Sun temples at these sites is well known.

The word ‘Arka’ (आर्क) means ‘Sun’ in Sanskrit. ‘Arka’ (अर्क) has many other meanings including ‘fire’, ‘religious ceremony’, ‘sun beam’ and ‘copper’. ‘Arkin’ (अर्किन्) and ‘archin’ (अर्चिन्) mean ‘radiant with light’. This is not surprising as initial archaeological research has revealed that Arkaim was a site for religious ceremonies and probably also served as a Sun-Temple.

Nearby, are the remains of the even older ‘Sintashta’ archaeological site, a settlement dated to 2800–1600 BC and named after the river by the same name. The name for river ‘Sintashta’ may have been derived from the Sanskrit ‘Shinta’ (शीन्त) meaning ‘cool’, probably a description of the waters of the River Sintashta!


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