Nazca, best known for the Nazca lines which are believed to have had astronomical functions, is located in the Peruvian arid desert and the Pampas de Jumana, some 400 km south of Lima, the capital of Peru. The geoglyphs of Nazca depict giant geometric forms (triangles, trapezoids, parallel lines) and biomorphs (birds, plants, and human-like forms) etched into the surface of the desert. The geoglyphs were made by scraping the dark surface of the stones exposing the lighter soil beneath.

Vedic Yantra at Nazca: 

Many have argued that the Nazca lines were entrenched into the ground surface for astronomy purposes. Here is a look at what the name ‘Nazca’ reveals if one were to look at it through the Sanskrit lens. But why Sanskrit? Because amongst all the inscriptions of birds, animals and other creatures, which seem to be very basic in design, there is one geometrical glyph that stands out. That of an inscription of a Vedic yantra carved out with extreme precision. ‘Yantras’, literally instrument, are visible or symbolic representations of ‘mantras’ which have to do with sound energy. Tantra is the technique of using the yantras and mantras. The language of the mantras, which represents mana, or mind, is Sanskrit.  The concept of Yantra , Mantra and Tantra go together. Sometimes this glyph is known as mandala, which means circular, but that does not quite fit into the explanation. 

The Vedic Yantra Geoglyph at Nazca, Peru.

The Nazca Vedic Yantra.
Yantra is a symbolic representation of a Mantra.
Yantra (effort through mechanical techniques)
and Mantra (effort through sound energy) 
are an integral part of Tantra.
Photo courtesy:

Etymology of the word Nazca:

There is no known etymology of the name Nazca in either Spanish or Quechua, though some say that  ‘Nazca’ means the land of ‘suffering’ and ‘sorrow’ and they say that this name sums up life in this barren land and the difficult terrain of the Nazca valley. Nazca is located on the confluence of many seasonal Peruvian rivers which flow near Nazca before they fall into the Pacific across the coastal Andes mountains. Nazca is known to have been named after of them, the Nazca River (Rio Grande de Nazca).

Naksh and Nakshatra:

But the etching of the Vedic yantra at Nazca indicates that perhaps Sanskrit can also shed some light on the the etymology of the name Nazca. The two closest cognates of Nazca in the Sanskrit language is a. the root word ‘naksha’ (नक्ष्) meaning to attain, or arrive at. and b. nakshatra (नक्षत्र) ‘constellation’.

An example of a Yantra related to a Nakshatra

In the Vedic tradition for every nakshatra or star constellation there is a related symbol and yantra.  For example, the Revati nakshatra, which corresponds to the constellation Piscium, is represented by a fish and the following yantra. 

This Vedic Yantra corresponds to the
Nakshatra or Constellation
Revati or Piscium. 


Etymology of Peru:

Many scholars have long argued that the word ‘Peru’ may have named after the Sanskrit ‘peru’ (पेरु) which means ‘sun’, or ‘golden mountain’, rather than the more often cited source ‘Biru’, which was the name of a local ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama, in the 16th century. Peru is also the location of the Paracas Candelabra or the Paracas Trident, mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. More about that here.

Many cities, ancient monuments, and archaeological sites, gods and Mayan tribes in Central and South America, including Peru have names which are identical phonetically and in meaning to Sanskrit words. Examples include ‘KoriKancha’ (कोरितकाञ्च), kancha is gold in Sanskrit, and ‘Virakocha’ (वीरकोच) which is same as the Sanskrit Virochana, vedic god who is said to have visited Patal loka, the Indic name for South America.  For more on the India connection to ‘Korikancha’ and ‘Virakocha’, click here and here.

Another Peruvian name is the Pampas de Jumana – once again Jumana is a close cognate of ‘Yamuna’, also pronounced as ‘Jamuna’, the name of a river in the plains of India.

Pampas de Jumana has an interesting feature – it is one of the driest area in the world – and that has helped preserve the geoglyphs here. Also, the warm air here acts as a cushion and forces the winds to change direction – that too has restrained erosion here. The word ‘yamana’ (यमन) in Sanskrit means that which ‘restrains’ and ‘binds’.

Is the likeness of Peruvian names to Sanskrit a coincidence? Possible. But, as more and more ancient cites are excavated and their names reveal closeness to Sanskrit, ignoring the leads may only de-accelerate the pace of unveiling the truths of world history.

As an aside, the geoglyhs of Nazca resemble the nearby motifs of Paracas. The best known of the Paracas motifs is the shining, resplendent ‘Trident of Paracas’ that dates back to an era prior to the etching of the Nazca lines. For a note on the Sanskrit connection to the name ‘Paracas’ click here.


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