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ARYA BHATTA ( Approx. 476 AD )

Aryabhatta was the first scientist of astronomy in the ancient India. He was born and spent his early years during a period when Indian civilization reached its intellectual peak. He chose mathematics and astronomy as his career. His great achievements include finding a solution for the indeterminate algebraic equation of the first degree and determining the value of Pi correct to four decimal places. He simplified the astronomical information needed for religious rituals.

Early Years

Aryabhatta was probably born around April 13, 476 AD at Kusumpura (some have identified it with modern Patna) on the River Ganges. During this period, Indian civilization had reached an intellectual peak with great scholars and artists gracing almost all branches of arts, science and literature. No authentic information is available about the chronological history of Aryabhatta’s life, such as his parentage, education and other aspects of personal life. It is only from the writings of Bhaskara I, who was one of his students, that it is known that Aryabhatta took up the profession of a teacher. He earned great fame as a teacher of astronomy and was referred to as Acharya (Professor) and Sarva- Siddhanta Guru by Bhaskara I. He was also called the Kulapati, which is usually a designation given to the Head of a University. From this it was assumed that Aryabhatta was probably the Head of the University of Nalanda which was one of the premier learning centres of India at that time.

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