The Pushpak Vimaan, is perhaps also the most famous airship mentioned in the ancient Hindu literature. Many Sanskrit epics contain references to such flying machines called the Vimanas. These Vimaans were also said to be able to travel into the space between all different planets. And were also used by various denizens of the higher Lokas. In this post, we shall look into the evidence in favor of such flying machines. Being available to the ancients and their similarities to the modern aircrafts.

Vimaans in literature:

There are many instances of flying machines that broadly fall into two categories: 

(1) Manmade aircrafts or artificial aircrafts that resemble our modern airplanes, and 
(2) Alien sculptures that are generally built by either the architects of Devas or Asurs and resemble the modern perception of UFOs. 

The first of this list are potrayed mainly in medieval Sanskrit literature dealing with architecture, siege engines, and other mechanical contrivances. Those in the Second category are pictured in ancient works such as the Rig Veda, the Mahabharat, Ramayan, and various Puraans, and have many features reminiscent of UFOs.

Perhaps everyone who knows a bit of anything about Hinduism, or has read the Ramayan, would know about Pushpak Vimaan, the aircraft which belonged to Ravan, the king of Lanka. 


Maya was also the foremost and leader of architects among the Asurs and a formidable rival to Vishwakarma, the architect-of-the-gods. He was the father-in-law of Ravan. And is credited with marvelous feats of engineering performed not only for the demons but also

for Devas and humans. To list a few of these, Maya built the:

  • Three flying cities are a part of Tripura for the sons of Tarkasur,
  • The island of Lanka city for Kuber and 
  • the Palace-of-illusions for the Pandavs in Indraprastha. 

Besides these architectural wonders, he too wrote the astronomical treatise called the ‘Surya-siddhant’. That forms the core of Indian astronomy even today! Combining his knowledge of all of these principles. He perhaps took the next step and created the flying vehicles or Vimaans. Maya himself, is believed to have possessed a Vimaan measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels.

The Pushpak Vimaan:

Pushpak was mainly designed for Kuber who is the god-of-wealth. However, it was usurped by his half-brother, Ravan along with his island city of Lanka. There are numerous passages in the Ramayan that talk about the wonderful qualities of this aerial chariot. So, the Pushpak was a huge aerial vehicle, navigable by thought, shining like the Sun.


With a thunderous noise and could travel anywhere across the globe. Doesn’t it Sound like a cross between a UFO and one of our modern supersonic planes! The special phenomenon of this vehicle seems to be that whatever may be the number of people sitting inside the plane, there would always be one seat vacant! In other words, if N number of people want to board the plane, there would still be (N+1) seats available. 

When Vibhishan, the brother of Ravan and the newly crowned king of Lanka tells the Lord, that the aircraft can carry as many people as the Lord would want to accommodate. Hence, Sugreeva along with the monkeys gladly ascended that wonderful Pushpaka, the aerial car. Vibhishan together with his counsellors also ascended it.

Sri Lanka:

In Sri Lanka, the Pushpak Viman is symbolised to as the Dhandu Monara or the Flying-Peacock and even today there exists a place called Weragantota in Lanka whose name implies ‘The-Landing-Place-of-Aircraft- ‘!! Not far from there is another place called Gurulupotha (parts-of-birds) where he is supposed to have the aircraft-repair center! This implies that it is more than likely that the Pushpak Vimaan DID actually exist and was perhaps the last aircraft of its kind before the advent of our so called modern age.

Other References to Vimaans

The Pushpak is not the only aircraft mentioned in so much detail. The Mahabharatmentions such celestial crafts in many passages as well!

During his quest for celestial weapons before the Mahabharat War, Arjun was invited by Indra to spend some time in Amravati. Indra’s charioteer Matali came to pick him up and this is how the description goes:

And on this sunlike, divine, wonderful chariot the wise disciple of Kuru flew joyously upward. When becoming invisible to the mortals who walk the earth, he saw wondrous airborne chariots by the thousands.

And the celebrated Arjuna, having passed through successive regions of the heavens, at last beheld the city of Indra. And there he beheld celestial cars by thousands stationed in their respective places and capable of going everywhere at will, and he saw tens of thousands of such cars moving in every direction!

Swargahon Parva:

Again, in the Swargaohan Parva, when Indra’s spacecraft comes to pick up Yudhhishthir, this is the description given:

Then Dharma and Indra and the other deities, causing Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, went to the celestial region. Those beings capable of going everywhere at will, rode their respective aerial cars. King Yudhishthira, riding on his car, ascended quickly, causing the entire sky to blaze with his effulgence. 

If these passages do not talk about aircrafts or space-ships, what do else do they refer to??
Further support for the Vimaans comes from the Puraans like Shrimad Bhagvat Puraan. There is an entire battle that rages at the port city of Dwarka which is caused by a disgruntled king called Salva and his out-of-the-world airplane.

Were the ancients more advanced?

The natural question that comes up is that if this were so, where did all that technology vanish? My guess would be that the Mahabharat War was NUCLEAR in nature and the use of all those divine Astras (aka Nuclear weapons) led to the decimation of not only a large portion of the world population but also the technology and civilizational progress that mankind had achieved till then.


Imagine if such a war breaks out today, what would be the condition of humanity in the decades to come? Granted that unlike pre-historic times, humans now exist at all possible latitudes on the planet, it might not lead to a complete loss of development but the scientists at the cutting edge of technology, living and working in the US or Europe or China would suffer a great loss. 

The people remaining behind would remember the ‘supersonic planes’ and ‘patriot missiles’ and ‘submarine rocket launchers’ but may not necessarily have the technology to build them! And to someone from a future generation, these technological advances would then seem like fables; stories passed down from one generation to another, just as the Pushpak Vimaan or the Divine Astras seem to us now!


One such criticism of the Vimaans is that they were said to be drawn through the sky by “celestial steeds” (whether horses, swans, asses, or elephants). But the answer to that lies in this sentence from a Sanskrit text called Samarangana Sutradhara which states quite unequivocally – ‘Manufacturing details of these machines are withheld for the sake of secrecy, not out of ignorance!’

Probably, the propulsion units were deliberately constructed to resemble these animals! This particular book is an encyclopedic work on classical Indian architecture (Vastu Shastra) written by Raja Bhoj of Dhar (1000-1055 AD). In 83 chapters, he covers

subjects ranging from town planning, house architecture, temple architecture, sculptural arts, painting, and a chapter on the art of mechanical contrivances, called the YANTRAS.

Vaimanika Shastra: Written by Sage Bharadwaj this manuscript deals with the making of modern day spaceships and U.F.Os. Here is a list of some topics shared in the Vaimanika Shastra:

  • secrets for the construction of airplanes, how to avoid break them, cut them, set them on fire and destroy them;
  • secret to immobilize the airplane;
  • And secret cloaking technology for the airplane;
  • secret to ascertain the direction of an aircraft approaching enemy;
  • secret of destroying enemy planes.

The concept of U.F.Os and aliens:

Could the multi-limbed gods and goddesses with super-human abilities, space-crafts and atomic weaponry, actually be ALIENS with a keen interest in our world?

 If that were true, the existence of this technology at a time when human science was not that advanced would make sense. Another aspect that would be covered is the mention of Maya Danav as the designer and manufacturer of these planes since the Danavs are supposed to live on the planetary system called Bila-swarga which is even more advanced than the Swarga of Indra!

Aliens or Demi-Gods:

Whether we consider them advanced aliens or demi-gods, these beings are far superior to us in scientific as well as spiritual pursuits. There were also many U.F.O sightings in various parts of the world including Mexico. There are instances of aliens as well. We have given detailed account on aliens in our previous articles. You can look into them to know some interesting stuffs.

However, whether aliens or Gods, the ancient civilizations were definitely more advanced than us.