Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. Prehistoric Era. 3. Astronomy in Vedic Era. 4. Vedang Jyotish. 5. Astronomical References in Religious Scriptures. 6. Astronomies of the West. 7. Aryabhata-I. 8. Pancha Siddhantika of Varahamihira. 9. Surya Siddhanta. 10. Varahamihira to Bhaskaracharya-II. 11. Siddhant Shiromani of Bhaskaracharya-II. 12. Bhaskaracharya-II to Jai Singh. 13. Jai Singh and His Observatories. 14. After Jai Singh. 15. Interaction with the Astronomies of the World. 16. Modern Era Astronomy. 17. Our Universe. 18. Cosmology. Appendices.
Humans have always been fascinated and excited on observing the sun, the moon and the stars, and their rising and setting. As the human race evolved and mastered agriculture and domesticating animals, seasons and weather became key to their livelihoods. It was perhaps at this stage that the humans developed the rudiments of the subject which we now call astronomy, which helped them know in advance when to sow a particular crop and when to reap it. It was necessary to keep a record of the passage of time and to observe natural phenomena that repeat periodically.
This book familiarises the reader with the evolution and growth of astronomy in the Indian subcontinent over the ages. Apart from this, the reader will find an account of the interaction of Indian astronomy with its counterparts in different parts of the world. The present status of our knowledge of astronomy and cosmology is discussed too. The appendix introduces the basic essentials of panchang, horoscope and astrology.