Blog Sites Aligned to the Sun

Punkri Burwadih Megalithic Site in India Aligns to Solstices and Equinoxes

autumn equinox at site in india

Autumn equinox sunrise at the megalithic site of Punkri Burwadih in India. Photo © Subhashis Das via Megaliths in India.

Punkri Burwadih is an ancient megalithic site in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand state, in east India, that features several astronomical alignments to the solstices and equinoxes.

Subhashis Das, a researcher of megaliths in India over the last 20 years, reports that India is home to countless impressive ancient megalithic structures, including menhirs, dolmens, stone sculptures, and ancient stone circles.1 Many of these sites date back to the Iron Age, and some appear to have been built over even older sites yet.2

India's megalithic structures solar

A daytime view of the site. Photo © Subhashis Das via Megaliths in India

Interestingly, many of India’s megaliths bear a remarkable similarity to other ancient sacred sites aligned to the sun found throughout the world, for example in places such as Europe, New Zealand, Africa, and the Americas. Punkri Burwadih is no exception — this site could easily blend in as one of the ancient megalithic sites in the UK, for instance.

Punkri Burwadih has been dated to be older than 3000 BC,3 and is reportedly the only site in India where hundreds of people gather at the spring and autumn equinoxes each year to view the stunning sunrise, seen framed by the “V”-shaped notch between two standing stones.4

megalithic sites in india aligned to solstices and equinoxes

Two main menhirs with a “V”-shaped notch formed between them to capture the sunrise. Photo © Subhashis Das via Megaliths in India.

Subhashis studied this site’s alignments and concluded that:

“Punkri Burwadih is a wonder… not only because it is a wonderful megalithic site but because it is a megalith which reveals the ancients’ precise understanding of horizon astronomy and also of the transits of the sun.

Each stone here is positioned in alignment to prime peaks or notches of the surrounding hills, mathematical ratios and even to major sunrises and sets.”5

megalithic india

Visible tilt and incline of Punkri Burwadih menhirs. Photo © Subhashis Das via Megaliths in India.

The azimuth, tilt, and incline of the standing stones at Punkri Burwadih, as well as the “V”-shaped notch, pointer stones, and the interaction with the surrounding landscape allow this site to capture a remarkable number of archeoastronomical alignments, including winter solstice sunrise, summer solstice sunset and sunrise, and the sunrise on the equinoxes.6

While Punkri Burwadih hosts tourists on a daily basis throughout the year and attracts hundreds to marvel at the sunrise alignments during the equinoxes, unfortunately, Subhashis reports that this historic sun-aligned site is currently in danger of being destroyed due to a lack of protection from the authorities. Several other sites in the region have already been spoiled in a similar manner due to expanding industrial activities. It would be a real pity to see this beautiful site and its heritage vanish or become obscured, as has happened with other ancient sites around the world.

Subhashis Das explains more about the dangers this site is facing in his article below:

Government Mute on the Destruction of a Few Megalithic Sites in East India


  1. Das, Subhashish. “Why Indian stone henges are not UNESCO heritage sites.” WION. October 11, 2017. Accessed October 28, 2017. http://www.wionews.com/south-asia/why-indian-stone-henges-are-not-unesco-heritage-sites-21158

  2. Ibid. 

  3. Deogharia, Jaideep, and Tnn. The Times of India. November 28, 2011. Accessed October 29, 2017. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/Barring-the-exception-of-Punkri-Burwadih-megalith-site-of-Hazaribag-which-has-scientifically-been-proven-to-date-back-to-beyond-3000BC-most-of-the-megalith-sites-in-Jharkhand-were-earlier-considered-being-of-the-Iron-Age-Self-styled-megalith-expert-and-author-of-two-books-on-megaliths-Subhashis-Das-said-that-he-got-the-microliths-excavated-from-Punkri-Burwadih-Megalith-site-dated-in-the-Paleolithic-museum-of-Germany-where-the-age-of-microliths-was-established-to-be-beyond-3000BC-/articleshow/10907240.cms

  4. Das, Subhashis. “GOVERNMENT MUTE ON THE DESTRUCTION OF A FEW MEGALITHIC SITES IN HAZARIBAGH. JHARKHAND. EAST INDIA.” Megaliths of India. June 29, 2017. Accessed October 29, 2017. http://subhashisdas.com/government-mute-on-the-destruction-of-a-few-megalithic-sites-in-hazaribagh-jharkhand-east-india/

  5. The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. “Punkri Burwadih.” Accessed October 29, 2017. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=31359

  6. “The restoration of the fallen menhir of Punkri Burwadih.” The Heritage Trust. September 16, 2012. Accessed October 29, 2017. https://theheritagetrust.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/the-restoration-of-the-fallen-menhir-of-punkri-burwadih/

About the author

Jenny Belikov

Jenny Belikov is a researcher and practitioner of the ancient religion of the sun and the Managing Editor for The Spiritual Sun, where she also researches and writes about ancient sacred sites; spiritual texts and practices; the latest discoveries in archeology, archeoastronomy, and related sciences; as well as the exploration of various facets of the lost civilization of the sun.

22 Comments

  • I really like that picture of the sun being framed by the two stones at the top of your post – that’s amazing!

    On the other hand, it was very sad to read that article you linked to about the sites being destroyed. Makes me wonder how many others that hadn’t been found yet have also been destroyed…

    • I know. I feel like I only just found out about this site, and it’s already disappearing 😮 It’s a real shame the values that are behind the building of such monuments are no longer viewed as important or are just not understood. That first photo is breathtaking.

  • The similarity in appearance between this site and those in Europe is amazing. I would have never thought that there were places like this in India, and it’s also interesting to hear it remains in use to this day.

    It makes me reflect on how our perception of places and cultures is determined by what we’ve seen and read about, but this information probably only represents a small fraction of what is out there (not to mention the distortions/misinformation that have been introduced into history that further complicate things).

    Evidently there are many sites and remains that are basically unknown due to obscurity or simply because they aren’t commonly discussed, and these unknown places could totally change our perceptions in some cases.

    Thanks Jenny for digging into this and bringing it to light.

  • At a quick superficial glance the site seems simple, just a few stones strewn about… but when you see that magnificent equinox sunrise alignment and hear how the stones and the very specific way they have been placed, with the tilt and incline and such, have such importance and meaning in enabling mathematical, astronomical alignments etc. it is actually breathtaking. It again shows what a vast and sophisticated knowledge the ancient people who built this site had.

    It’s very nice to hear that so many people gather to celebrate the equinoxes there. It would be beautiful to experience.

    How awful how little these ancient monuments are valued and protected in India (and in many places around the world). Where the officials have blatantly not kept their word. Where we as humanity bulldoze everything out of pride and greed… I hope the fact that it is visited by lots of people frequently could at least help it not be completely destroyed.

  • The Punkri Burwadih site looks very similar to many megalithic sites found in the UK and in other European countries. And it is obvious that it was built for the same purposes. Very interesting.

    It is sad that, similarly to other similar sacred sites it is not appreciated enough and is in danger of being destroyed.

  • Wow, those are some stunning images, especially the first one. Its also great that people keep coming to these sites on the equinoxes/solstices, In India as well as in other parts of the world. How great it would be if humanity could once again unite through the common knowledge of the spirituality of the Sun.

  • Subhashis Das has done a great job and is unfortunate what he says about the future of these monuments. It’s great though still people use this site for celebrations and keep the place alive in a way.
    Thanks Jenny for sharing it.

    Funny enough Ovelix came to my mind reading about all these megalithic monuments 🙂
    Where all these menhirs came from? Where can be found/made more? 🙂

    • That’s funny about Obelix Fotis 🙂

      But it’s interesting to consider how some of the great Megalithic sites were built. Perhaps some developed technology. Or if those sites, which incorporated more advanced purposes in themselves, were constructed by more simple means that would mean a much greater endeavour than we might imagine!

      A striking and thought provoking analogy made which I read about recently was that the building of Stonehenge would have been an endeavour, back in that time, as great as the ‘space race’ effort by the US, and the SU, in the 60’s-70’s. Where a whole country, or a lot of the funds, manpower etc. would be funneled into such a project in order to make it happen.

      If you then also consider the widespread presence of sacred circles and sites, an estimated 4000+ in Britain, with very many featuring the same shared astronomical and mathematical science applied in them…..then it seems to start to paint a very different picture I had, and many have, of society at the time.

  • I really hope that something is done to preserve this beautiful site. It was very sad to read Shabhasis Das’s article on the many dangers of loosing this amazing site. What a tragedy to see the NTPC’s substation and those buildings obstructing the ancient alignment of the megaliths and they’re so close.

    Thanks Jenny for sharing.

  • Very nice, it would be a real disappointment if yet another ancient site was sent to ruins I hope the people involved can see the value, thanks

  • Waow – That image of the sun ‘birthing’ through the stones / Mother Earth’s womb just made me pause and reflect how through this simple stone arrangement, so much can be conveyed and told about life, creation.. And what an amazing sight and site it would be to celebrate the sunrise of the Spring Equinox! It also feels like something that could easily be recreated as well – even though they are quite large stones, it is only two of them, but the V-shape just gives it that extra symbolic feel to it – like in other site when they would build mounds and the sun would rise/birth in between two of them.. It’s incredible really, I’m really appreciative of the work in the path of the spiritual sun for being able to understand what this all means and I’m really thankful for all these people who built these sites too – what an incredible gift to pass on. And now thanks to the Spiritual Sun website, we get to have a place where all this can be found, shared and learned about – how lucky! Thanks to all for the work being done to enable this to exist, it’s amazing to see what can be done 🙂

    • I was thinking the same things, Gege — about how such a simple arrangement can capture so much meaning and so many alignments too just by controlling tilts and angles. The symbology is quite powerful as well, as you pointed out. And the alignments are simple and so beautiful to watch.

  • Thanks for sharing this Jenny. Its amazing to see the similarities in India with so many other megalithic structures around the world. I’ve read that some of these sites in India even bear cup marks too, like that seen elsewhere in world. It certainly suggests a global cultural connection.

    It’s great that local people still gather there at the equinoxes — it must be something they have been doing for thousand of years. The gathering there at the last vernal equinox actually made the local news earlier this year. Hopefully the site starts to gain more wide-scale attention, appreciation and protection.

    • Yeah, I’ve come across this news article as well. It really is great to see these sites get more coverage, especially since you so rarely hear about them at all. I’ve seen on Subhashis Das’ website that he has been organizing equinox events at this site where he has been demonstrating how the alignments work and their significance, which I get the impression has helped this site become more well known.

  • Its breathtaking, the scope of all the structures around the world, Im thinking of all the people who would have participated in not only the construction, but the practice of the religion of the sun for hundreds if not thousands of years.

    The megaliths cannot be written off as time clocks for the seasons, any farmer worth his salt knows what time of year it is, but I have heard this put forward as a reason for their existence.

    After reading Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock the mystery of the origins of civilisation has been clarified, Im hoping that these discoveries spark more interest in our spiritual past and that civilisation can recover from its amnesia.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      I think the same as well about the simplistic farming “calendar” explanation when it comes to megaliths. It just doesn’t make sense to go to the effort of erecting a massive site like Stonehenge just so you know it’s time to harvest.. let alone align it on a grid of other such sites going all around the world in specific alignments… More preposterous are the explanations that so many stone chambers in the USA are farmers’ root cellars (even though they are completely impractical for such a use and found far away from any farm area), or the many unexplained stone walls forming grids across parts of North America (especially in New England) that are explained as farmer-created property division lines (even though they are at times nonsensical, are not following known property boundaries, and have not been acknowledged as created by any farmers, who instead say the walls were there when they settled…). Or the pyramids in Mauritius, the Azores, Italy, proposed to be farmer-built as well…. Seems like according to these types of explanations farmers would have been too busy to farm with all the work with megalithic stones and structures attributed to them…

  • I’m not surprised to hear that India has such a wealth of solar-aligned megalithic structures, but I was surprised to see how similar this example looks to a British site! (Maybe it’s the grassy field…)

    Thanks for posting Jenny, I’m sure there’s so much more in India to discover!

    • I agree, very similar to those on the British Isles.

      I’m not familiar with many sites in India but it will be great to see more added over time. It’s a land with such a rich history of spirituality and civilization, with cultures clearly descended from those who practiced the ancient Religion of the Sun.

    • Yes I was thinking the same, how similar is the layout of these standing stones to the sacred sites of the United Kingdom, and also other places around the world which follow the same style.

      Megalithic stone alignments seem like a very particular method of arrangement, perhaps due to what resources were at hand vs the capacity available for building the more detailed and meticulous work of carved statues, temples and pyramids.

    • Ditto :-)! The building style looks so incredibly similar, and their purpose as well.

      If they were built by people who had a common knowledge, who were they?

      It’s interesting to consider which sites were used more for ceremonies to venerate the sun and which sites also served a very practically needed use to keep track of time and predict solstices, equinoxes, eclipses, stars etc,

      I recently read this one line on a stone circles page on wikipedia, using a reference from a 2007 academic book. “In some instances it appears that the choice of material used was important. For instance, at the Ring of Brodgar the stones used in the circle were produced from a variety of different sources.”

      It makes you wonder why they chose to build in the way they did with such megaliths. Is there perhaps even more to them than we now know?

      • Hey Karim. I’ve seen the same — the materials used definitely seem to have been selected for very specific purposes. Ella actually delved into it a bit in the article on the Preseli Mountains, and I’ve also seen the same ideas brought up when looking at other sites — very specific stones used, and sometimes some are coated with a layer of another kind of stone or geopolymer cement even. I’ve seen people propose that this is perhaps due to very specific energy conductivity traits that were sought after in the sites’ design.

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