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Parahita School Of Astronomy

Parahita school of astronomy is a system of Hindu astronomical computation widely prevalent in Kerala. It was introduced by Haridatta at a center of learning called Tirunavaya in northern Kerala, in 683 CE at a convention of astronomers who had gathered there for a 12-year festival called Mamangam. The two basic texts of the school are Grohacara nibandhana (compendium of planetary motions), and Mahamarga nibandhana (compendium of detailed processes).

Kerala had been a bastion of the Aryabhatian system of astronomy from early times, as Haridatta bases himself on the Aryabhatian parameters, but introduces several changes in the methods of computation. He adopted the easier Katapayadi notation for expressing numbers in place of the complicated system of Aryabhata. Since the system came into vogue more than 400 years after Aryabhata, Haridata adopted that year as his epoch and, in computing the planets, enunciated a correction called Bhatta-samskara (correction to Aryabhata) for the years after that epoch.

A unique system of graded tables of the sine of the arcs of anomaly and of conjunction for 24 arc-sections in a quarter of a circle introduced by the system facilitated the computation of the true positions of the planets. These and minor nuances in actual calculation made the system was such that even after the advent of the drigganita system, which actually superseded the parahita system, it was in use for fixing the auspicious time for domestic ceremonies.