A Glimpse into the Mathematical and Scientific Traditions of India – From Jaipur Dialogues: Posted 10 Dec 2020


Sri Vedanta Desika, a 14th century poet, wrote the pādukā sahasram, a 1008 verse Sanskrit poem in praise of Lord Ranganatha’s (Lord Ram’s) padukas at Srirangam. It is said that he composed the poem in just one night [1]. In addition, verse No. 929 and No. 930 are composed of the same 32 syllables. It means that verse No. 930 is derived from rearranging the order of the syllables in verse No. 929. Not only this, these two verses also provide a solution to the famous Knight’s tour problem [2] in mathematics. Knight’s tour [Fig. 1] is a sequence of steps a chess knight will take to visit every square on a chess board once and only once.

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