About 200 km north of the city of Lima in Peru in a place called Vichama, lies the ancient archaeological site of Caral-Supe dating to 3000-1800 BC. Even though it was discovered decades ago in 1948 by Paul Kosok it received little attention at the time because it appeared to lack many typical artifacts that were sought at archaeological sites throughout the Andes at the time.
In Incan mythology, Vichama is the god of death and the son of Inti, the Sun-God. His mother was murdered by his half-brother Pacha Kamaq. In the Vedic tradition Lord Yama is the god of death. He too is the son of the Sun-God and twin brother of Yami – the river Yamuna.
|A pot from the Vichama site in Peru.
Notice the Vedic ‘swastika‘ sign.
The Vedic Swastika is different from
the ‘inverted’ Nazi Swastika.
Not much is known about the Caral civilization, its history lost in the ruins. Peruvian anthropologist Ruth Shady explored this 5,000 year-old city in the Peruvian desert, and its elaborate complex of now eroded pyramid shaped temples,the large sunken circular area sometimes regarded as an amphitheatre and the ordinary houses.
|Remains of the ancient temple complex
of Caral-Supe, Peru.
The sunken circular plaza is often thought to have been an amphitheatre but a closer look reveals features that it may have been a tank, around which holy offerings were made – much like the Indian temple ‘water tanks’ or ‘jala kunda‘ (जल कुण्ड) as they are called in Sanskrit. The prominent circular tank like structure at Caral bears a remarkable resemblance to the temple jala-kundas of India.
|Kunda at Shore Temple, India
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva
represented by the ‘lingham’ in the ‘jala kunda‘
sometimes representing the ‘yoni‘.
|The Caral circular structure is much
like the temple water ‘kundas‘ of India
The construction at Caral temple pyramid complex also bears a resemblance to the ancient temple ‘pyramids’ of India. Excavations at El Paraiso, another ancient civilization of Peru dating to 2000 BC, have revealed that the pyramid shaped altars at Paraiso were used for offerings to fire – much like the altars for fire-worship rituals in Vedic India.
|The eroded ‘pyramid’ structures of Caral, Peru.|
|The pyramids of Vijaynagar Temple, Karnataka, India|
|A Pyramid shaped temple with a ceremonial
water tank or ‘jala-kunda‘ in India
explains the structures at the Caral site in Peru.
|An ancient Fire Temple at El Paraiso in Lima, Peru, close to
the site of the Paracas Trident
was discovered in January, 2013.
In Hinduism the ‘kunda‘ (कुण्ड) plays an important part. Pyramid shaped platforms or altars are used for making offerings to fire and are known as ‘havan kunda’ (हवन-कुण्ड). ‘Jala kunda’ (जल-कुण्ड) or ‘water kunda’ are water tanks used for making offerings to water. Caral seems to have both these features. Like many ancient South American sites such the Akapana and Kalasasaya in Peru, Caral display an intricate system of water channels.
As far as the names of ancient Peruvian temple sites are concerned, a look at them with the aid of Sanskrit reveals that they may have been Vedic site belonging to an all-pervasive Vedic civilization.
‘Kalasasaya’ may have been an observatory for ‘kala’ (काल) means ‘time’. ‘Akapana’ may have been a ‘sun’ temple for ‘arka’ (अर्क) means ‘sun’ and ‘pana’ (पान) means a ‘water-canal’. In fact the word ‘arkavat’ (अर्कवत्) means ‘holding the thunder-bolt’ and may well have been one of the names of ‘Viracocha’ – the thunderbolt bearing Incan God. It may therefore also be that Caral, if that is its ancient most name, refers to ‘kayral’ (केरल) which is ‘a time period equal to one hour’, or to’ karal’ (करल). It has been suggested that the site may have been an observatory and the site of solar and water clocks.
Suggested LInks:Lima: A Cultural History by James Higgins