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Many people are thinking and confidently stating that Ravana's Lanka is in fact present day Sri Lanka, situated south-east of India.

However, the narration given by Sage Valmiki in Sundara Kanda gives a different picture about the location of Ravana's Lanka.

  1. After flying 100 Yojanas over the ocean and reaching Lanka, Sri Hanuman observes the scenic beauty of flora of the Lanka. Sage Valmiki describes elaborately in Sundara Kanda.

संततान् विविधैर्वऋकैः सर्वर्तुफलपुष्पितैः |
उद्यानानि च रम्याणि ददर्श कपिकुञ्जरः ||

(Sundara Kanda 2nd Sarga 13th Sloka)

Hanuman saw various glorious pleasure-groves filled by various trees that give fruits and flowers in all seasons and beautiful gardens.

  1. After reaching Asoka Garden, Sri Hanuman observes the beautiful flora in that Garden.

नन्दनम् विविध उद्यानम् चित्रम् चैत्ररथम् यथा || ५-१५-११

अतिवृत्तम् इव अचिन्त्यम् दिव्यम् रम्यम् श्रिया वृतम् |
द्वितीयम् इव च आकाशम् पुष्प ज्योतिर् गण आयुतम् || ५-१५-१२

पुष्प रत्न शतैः चित्रम् पन्चमम् सागरम्य था |
सर्व ऋतु पुष्पैर् निचितम् पादपैर् मधु गन्धिभिः || ५-१५-१३

नाना निनादैः उद्यानम् रम्यम् मृग गणैर् द्विजैः |
अनेक गन्ध प्रवहम् पुण्य गन्धम् मनो रमम् ||

(Sundara Kanda 15th Sarga 11 -14th Slokas)

Like the garden of Nandana, a celestial garden, wonderful like Caitraratham, a garden of Kubera, surpassing all, unfathomable, an excellent one, a beautiful one consisting of glory together with flowers like clusters of stars, like a second sky wonderful with flowers, like hundreds of diamonds, like a second ocean with flowers of all seasons, spread with trees having the smell of honey, beautiful with groups of animals of various sounds, diffused with many smells with an auspicious soul pleasing smell.

It is necessary to study the following phrase used by Sage Valmiki :

सर्वर्तुफलपुष्पितैः - Trees that give fruits and flowers in all seasons

Modern research revealed that the equatorial zone on the Earth has the special climatic feature of allowing the trees to bear flowers and fruits in all seasons.

The various causes now enumerated are sufficient to enable us to understand how the great characteristic features of the climate of the equatorial zone are brought about; how it is that so high a temperature is maintained during the absence of the sun at night, and why so little effect is produced by the sun's varying altitude during its passage from the northern to the southern tropic.

As a result of this condition of the earth and atmosphere, there is no check to vegetation, and little if any demarcation of the seasons. Plants are all evergreen; flowers and fruits, although more abundant at certain seasons, are never altogether absent; while many annual food-plants as well as some fruit-trees produce two crops a year. In other cases, more than one complete year is required to mature the large and massive fruits, so that it is not uncommon for fruit to be ripe at the same time that the tree is covered with flowers, in preparation for the succeeding crop.

Sri Hanuman flew 100 Yojanas over the ocean.

1 Yojana = 13 Kms (approx.)

Hence, Sri Hanuman flew 1,300 Kms. over the ocean.

We have to calculate the aerial distance from Southern tip of India to Northern tip of Lanka only, as Sri Hanuman flew 100 Yojanas over the ocean to reach Ravana's Lanka.

The Latitude and Longitude of Sri Lanka at Jaffna, the Northern tip of Sri Lanka, is 09°45'N and 80°02'E.

Hence, Sri Lanka cannot be Ravana's Lanka.

Am I correct?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Mr. Alien
    Oct 15, 2015 at 18:12
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kishkindha#/media/… . See this and ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumari_Kandam ) There's lost hypothetical island in Indian ocean. Westerns say it as hypothetical because it's not in accordance with continental drift theory. BTW, i am not sure about veracity of above theory and picture.
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 15, 2015 at 5:05
  • @AnilKumar: If that lost land can be located as Dwaraka of Sri Krishna was located, then we can think of it. Nov 15, 2015 at 5:12
  • You may be right. I have had similar questions. There is a small book authored by Sampath Iyengar and Seshagiri, titled "From Kishkinda to Lanka" that provides interesting perspectives based on Astronomy. They speculate the Lanka mentioned in The Ramayana might be somewhere off the coast of Madagaskar. They also show map with calculations arguing that the modern Lanka was not separated from the Indian landmass at the time of Ramayana. Interesting theories, hard to prove though. I lost that book, and still trying to find a copy.
    – Vidyarthi
    Jan 14, 2020 at 7:11
  • This is the book. Please let me know if you ever get hold of a copy. worldcat.org/title/kishkinda-to-lanka/oclc/16737114
    – Vidyarthi
    Jan 14, 2020 at 7:17

4 Answers 4

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There are different values of Yojana used in different Hindu texts. This research paper, The Speed of Light and Puranic Cosmology, by Subash Kak discusses two such values in details. He calls them Standard Yojana and Puranic Yojana. Hence, this premise on which the inference is made is shaky.


Also, I would like to give evidences, in terms of multiple places, which suggest that Sri Lanka is the Ravana's Lanka.

Weragantota means the Place of Aircraft landing in Sinhala. This is the first place Sita Devi was brought to Lankapura

Sita Devi was kept at queen Mandothari’s palace at Lankapura. The place Sita was held captive is called Sita Kotuwa; which means Sita’s Fort in Sinhala.

It is believed Rāvana had an aircraft repair centre at Gurulupotha close to Sita Kotuwa. Gurulupotha means Parts of Birds in Sinhala.

Ashok Vatika is a garden where Rāvana held Sita captive. This is in the area of Sita Eliya, close to the city of Nuwara Eliya. The Sita Amman Temple is located at this spot.

Whilst crossing the ocean, Hanuman was tested by Surasa Devi, the Naga maiden en-route to Lanka. This place is now called Nagadeepa.

Hanuman on the way back to India rested at Mani Kattuthar.

Rāvanagoda which means Ravana’s place in the Kotmale area is one such complex of tunnels and caves.

Gayathri Peedum is the place where Ravana’s son Mehganath was granted super natural powers by Lord Shiva prior to the battle.

Neelawari is located in the North of the country in the Jaffna peninsula is a place Lord Rama shot an arrow to the ground to obtain water for his army upon arriving Lanka.

Dondra, Seenigama & Hikkaduwa are places in the South of Lanka where Sugriva (king of Vanaras) prepared for his onslaught on king Ravana’s forces from the Southern flank.

Dunuwila is a place from which Lord Rama fired the Brahmastra at king Rāvana who was directing the war from Laggala, where he was killed.

After Rāvana’s death, his body was kept at Yahangala, Divan or Bed Rock in Sinhala for the country men to pay their respect for their departed King.

In the end, there is Setu Samudram which connects India and Sri Lanka.

I have not included all the places mentioned in the reference. There are so many more.


Some people believe that Ramayana happened around 7000 years ago. Others believe that it happened even farther back. In either case, the argument about flora is not valid because of two reasons:

One, there is continental drift. India and Sri Lanka would not have been at the same place so many millenia back.

Two, the flora itself evolves and changes over the millenia. So, what existed then need not exist now.

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In contrast to the popular narrative, this post argues that Ceylon (i.e. called Sri Lanka in current-day) is not Rāvaṇa's Laṅkā. The author's standpoint is purely supported by śāstras such as itihāsa-purāṇa, Saṁskṛta nāṭakas, and siddhāntic jyotiṣa śāstras. For not causing confusion, I would be calling current-day Sri Lanka as Ceylon (its past name) or Siṁhaladvīpa/ Siṁhala (as it's commonly called in Saṁskṛta literature). And here, the name Laṅkā would be only used to refer to the great dvīpa in the deep ocean, which Rājā Rāvaṇa Paulastya ruled and after his vadha by Rāmāvatāra, Rājā Vibhīṣaṇa Paulastya has continued to rule (still ruling). I would be dividing this topic into two subtopics - the first subtopic would be pointing that Ceylon (Siṁhala) is clearly not Laṅkā (i.e. both are distinct places), on the basis of textual evidence, and the second subtopic would be revealing the exact location of Laṅkā, as per jyotiṣaśāstras (of Āryabhaṭa, Bhāskara, etc.). There would be a map representation, at the end.

1. Siṁhala (Ceylon) & Laṅkā are distinct dvīpas

  • In Bhāgavata Purāṇa (5.19.29-30), Śuka mentions that when the sons of Rājā Sāgara excavated the entire earth to find the lost horse (of Aśvamedha ; for knowing the kathā, refer to Bālakāṇḍa 39-40 of Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa), that resulted in the formation of eight distinct upadvīpas from Jambūdvīpa, viz. Svarṇaprastha, Candraśukla, Āvartana, Ramaṇaka, Mandarahariṇa, Pāñcajanya, Siṁhala, & Laṅkā.

jambūdvīpasya ca rājannupadvīpānaṣṭau haika upadiśanti
sagarātmajairaśvā-nveṣaṇa imāṁ mahīṁ parito nikhanadbhirupakalpitān //
tadyathā svarṇaprasthaścandra śukla āvartano ramaṇako
mandarahariṇaḥ pāñcajanyaḥ siṃhalo laṅketi //

Siṁhala & Laṅkā are mentioned as two distinct dvīpas, out of the total 8 upadvīpas.

  • In Devī Bhāgavata Purāṇa (5.17-18) Mahiṣāsura recounts the kathā of Mandodarī (not Rāvaṇa's wife), daughter of Rājā Candrasena, who reigned over Siṁhala deśa. Mahiṣa called Siṁhala as a famed deśa on pṛthvi, endowed with lush greenery & prosperity.

siṁhalo nāma deśo'si vikhyātaḥ pṛthvitale /
ghanapādasaṁyukto dhanadhānyasamṛddhimān // (5.17.3)

In this kathā, the princess (of Siṁhaladeśa) Mandodarī was once spending time with her dāsīs in an udyāna. In this udyāna, perchance arrived Vīrasena on his ratha, and upon seeing the beautiful Mandodarī, he was enamoured. So, he got down his ratha, and asked a dāsī about Mandodarī's identity. The dāsī asked Vīrasena to introduce himself first. And then Vīrasena said that he was a Rājā of Kosala deśa, and his caturaṅgiṇī senā was following him. He had lost his way while traveling, and so ended up in the udyāna. (5.17.35-44). After learning Mandodarī's identity, he told the dāsī to relay his proposal of Gāndharvavivāha to Mandodarī (5.17.45-48), which Mandodarī rejected without hesitation. (5.17.56). While proposing, Vīrasena mentions that he belonged to Kakutsthavaṁśa (kakutsthavṁśajaścāhaṁ rājāsmi cārulocane - 5.17.46) and the dāsī also informs Mandodarī that he belonged to Sūryavaṁśa (sūryavaṁśasamudbhavaḥ - 5.17.50). Therefore, Vīrasena belonged to the same lineage as Rāma Dāśarathi. Since, Mahiṣāsura is mentioning this kathā (and no Rājā named Candrasena ruled Laṅkā after Rāvaṇa, Vibhīṣaṇa being the only Rājā till end of kalpa), it definitely precedes Rāmāvatāra. As Vīrasena precedes Rāma, it's impossible for him to enter Laṅkā casually with his caturaṅgiṇī-senā, because there was no setu connecting the subcontinent with Laṅkā-dvīpa then. However, Siṁhaladvīpa is connected via a natural formation to the subcontinent, remnants of which survive as Adam's bridge now.

  • Skanda Purāṇa (1.2.39) mentions Siṁhala and Laṅkā as two distinct deśas.

grāmāṇāṃ ca caturlakṣo bālhikaḥ parikīrtyate /
ṣaṭ‌triṁśacca sahasrāṇi laṅkādeśaḥ prakīrtitaḥ // (1.2.39.155)
sahasradaśakaṁ cāpi siṁhaladvīpamucyate /
ṣaṭ‌triṁśacca sahasrāṇi grāmāṇāṁ pāṇḍudeśakaḥ // (1.2.39.158)

As per (1.2.39.155b) and (1.2.39.158a), Laṅkā deśa is known to have 36000 grāmas and Siṁhala deśa is known to have 10000 grāmas, respectively. Clearly, both are mentioned as distinct deśas here.

  • In Bṛhatsaṁhitā, Varāhamihira mentions Laṅkā and Siṁhala being two distinct deśas, which are located in the varga (southern) of Uttaraphālugunī, etc. three nakṣatras (Uttaraphālgunī, Hasta, & Citrā).

atha dakṣiṇena laṅkā-kālājina-saurikīrṇa-tālikaṭāḥ /
girinagara-malaya-dardura-mahendra-mālindya-bharukacchāḥ //
kaṅkaṭa-kaṅkaṇa-vanavāsi-śibika-phaṇikāra-koṅkaṇa ābhīrāḥ /
ākara-veṇā-āvartaka-daśapura-gonarda-keralakāḥ //
karṇāṭa-mahāṭavi-citrakūṭa-nāsikya-kollagiri-colāḥ /
krauñcadvīpa-jaṭādhara-kāveryo riṣyamūkaśca //
vaidūrya-śaṅkhamuktā-atri-vāricara-dharmapaṭṭanadvīpāḥ /
gaṇarājya-kṛṣṇavellūra-piśika-śūrpādri-kusumanagāḥ //
tumbavana-kārmaṇayaka-yāmyodadhi-tāpasāśramā ṛṣikāḥ /
kāñcī-marucīpaṭṭana-cerya-āryaka-siṁhalā ṛṣabhāḥ //
baladeva-paṭṭanaṃ daṇḍakāvana-timiṅgilāśanā bhadrāḥ /
kaccho'tha kuñjaradarī satāmraparṇiti vijñeyāḥ //
~ Bṛhatsaṁhitā (14.11-16)

In Vana Parva (51.22-26), Kṛṣṇa mentions some of the citizens (and/or Rājās) of different deśas, who had arrived in Yudhiṣṭhira's Rājasūya yajña. Among the many coastal deśas, there are two distinct deśas mentioned viz. Laṅkā & Siṁhala. Neither are both deśas equated, nor are they mentioned consecutively in the list.

yatra sarvān mahīpālāñchastratejobhayārditān /
savaṅgāṅgān sapauṇḍroḍrān sacoladraviḍāndhrakān //
sāgarānūpakāṁścaiva ye ca prāntābhivāsinaḥ /
siṁhalān barbarān mlecchān ye ca laṅkānivāsinaḥ //
paścimāni ca rāṣṭrāṇi śataśaḥ sāgarāntikān /
pahṇavān daradarān sarvān kirātān yavanāñchakān //
hārahūṇāṁśca cīnāṁśca tuṣārān saindhavāṁstathā /
jāgudān rāmaṭhān muṇḍān strīrājyamatha taṅgaṇān //
kekayān mālavāṁścaiva tathā kāśmīrakānapi /
adrākṣamahamāhutān yajñe te pariveṣakān //
~ Vana Parva (51.22-26)

  • In Sabhā Parva (adhyāya 31), Sahadeva went to southern deśas to proclaim sovereignity of his royal brother and Rājā Yudhiṣṭhira, and when he reached the coastline, he sent his nephew Ghaṭotkaca as an envoy further on to Laṅkā, which was still being ruled Rājā Vibhīṣaṇa Paulastya. Ghaṭotkaca saw the Nalasetu en-route to Laṅkā and successfully accomplished his diplomatic mission, returning with the gifts sent by Laṅkeśa. Throughout the entire adhyāya, not even once is the name Laṅkā used synonymously with Siṁhala. This is adhyāya 31, in other editions numbering might be different. The section with Ghaṭotkaca is present in Kumbhaghoṇam edition.

  • In 7th aṅka of the nāṭaka Anargharāghavam (by Murārī - 9th century CE), On their way back home, Rāma & Sītā saw Siṁhaladvīpa on their right, only some time after they had left Laṅkā. Murārī also specifies the Mt. Rohaṇa (Adam's Peak) and river Tāmraparṇī on Siṁhaladvīpa. I would be giving a transl. below-

Rāma: (watching, to Sītā) : My beloved, on the right

this wonderful Siṁhaladvīpa looks like an utpala born in the sea, and its blossom is the Ruby (Māṇikya) Mountain.

Sītā : There roams Ṛṣi Agastya's haṁsa, which looks a white Kāśa flower. Rāma: (smiling) Indeed Maithili. It's here, at the foot of Rohaṇa mountain, that the second home of this Ṛṣi, Lopāmudrā's beloved, is situated.

This master of numerous disciples, this Ṛṣi born from a jar, easily drank up the ocean, whose abundant water thus filled just another vessel, Agastya's stomach. Then, after he alone managed to remedy the overgrowth of Mt. Vindhya's peaks, he was praised by Sūrya himself, who hwas enabled to pursue his daily in the sky thanks to him.

Moreover, when he drank up the water of the sea, the mountains that had been hiding there lost their shelter, and although they were trying to flying away with their wings heavily soaked, they fell back awkwardly at each movt.; then, when eventually they decided to enter some crab holes, he immediately saw them. How could one dare to sing the praise of someone so powerful?

And here is the bejeweled throne of the King of Śṛṅgāra, which is called the Siṁhaladvīpa. Here, at twilight, the pathways, which are wet with moonstones that have melted in the scattered rays of the rising moon, bear the deep lac traces of the footsteps and give away these wanton women when, rushing to their tryst, suddenly scared by the cakoras flying up, they take some steps backwar every now and again.

(looking elsewhere) Here is the river Tāmraparṇī, thanks to their puṇyakarma of enjoying the breasts of young women, were kept inside conch shells until they hardened into hail-like pearls.

  • In the nāṭaka Bālarāmāyaṇa, Rājaśekhara (9th-10th century CE) goes into even more detail & precision. I would be quoting from (Godakumbura 2014 : 73-74) regarding Rājaśekhara's account-

In his drama, the Bālarāmāyaṇa, Rājaśekhara makes Rāvaṇa describe the location of Laṅkā to be to the south of Siṁhala. The lords of Laṅkā and Siṁhala are separately mentioned. Not only the Rohaṇa mountains, but the city of Anuradhapura also is in the Siṁhala dvīpa. Further, at the svayaṁavara of Sītā, where Śivadhanuṣa is bended, Rāvaṇa speaks of the Siṁhala Rājā as a person other than himself. During the journey by air when the party goes back to Ayodhyā, Rāma looks back and points towards Laṅkā as being rājadhāni of the new Rājā Vibhīṣaṇa. It's only after the vimāna had ascended to sky and come down that Vibhīṣaṇa points out Siṁhala to Sītā.

In his chapter on geography (deśavibhāga) of the Kāvyamīmāṁsā also, Rājaśekhara is very definite in distinguishing Laṅkā from Siṁhala. The former is rājadhāni, a capital ; the latter is a janapada, a settlement or district.

To Indian writers in medieval times, Siṁhala was not the home of Rākṣasas.The heroine of Harṣa's drama Ratnāvalī, is daughter of Vikramabāhu, the Rājā of Siṁhala. In the Kathāsaritasāgara of Somadeva, we read of a Rājā by the name Vikramāditya having vivāha with the daughter of the Rājā of Siṁhala. A Rājā of Siṁhaladvīpa by the name of Sirimehe (Sanskrit: Śrīmegha) is eulogised in the Mahārāṣṭrī poem Līlāvat (Līlāvatī) of Kouhala (pre-12th century CE). Śrīmegha was the alternative throne name of Sinhalese kings from about the 8th century (CE) - 12th century (CE), other being Siri Sanghabodhi. Malik Muhammad, in Avadhī poem Padumāvatī also speaks of Siṁhaladvīpa as a birthplace of charming women. Kalhaṇa's Rājataraṅgiṇī also mentions Siṁhala.

2. Location of Laṅkā (as per jyotiṣa śāstras)

ujjayinī laṅkāyāḥ sannihitā yottareṇa samasūtre /
tanmadhyā yugapad viṣamo diva viṣuvato'nyaḥ //
yojanaśatāni bhūmeḥ parimāṇaṁ śoḍaśa dviguṇitāni /
tāpyati merumadhyāt viṣuvastho'rkaḥ kṣitiṁ caviam //
ṣaḍaśītiṁ pañcaśatīṁ tribhāgahīnaṁ ca yojanaṁ gatvā /
kṣitimadhyamudagavantyā laṅkāyā yojanāṣṭaśatīm //
~ Varāhamihira's Pañcasiddhāntika (13.17-19)

The mid-day of Laṅkā is the same as that of Ujjain, which is north of Laṅkā on the same longitude. But their day-time durations are different, except when the Sun is on the equator. //17//. The circumference of the earth is 3200 yojanas. When situated on the equator, the Sun is visible from pole to pole at all latitudes (making day & night equal). //18//. The middle of earth (i.e. north pole), is north of Ujjain by 586 2/3 yojanas. It's north of Laṅkā by 800 yojanas. //19//.

viṣuvallekhā'dhastāllaṅkā tasyāṁ samo bhagaṇagolaḥ /
triṁśāḍyo divasaḥ triṁśacca tasyāṁ sadā ca niśā //
~ Varāhamihira's Pañcasiddhāntika (13.29)

Laṅkā is beneath the celestial equator i.e. the celestial equator itself is the prime vertial at Laṅkā. There the celestial sphere is equally divided (into the northern half with the north pole at its centre, and the southern half with the south pole at its centre). There the day and night are always 30 nāḍīs each.

laṅkārdharātrasamaye dinapravṛttiṁ jagād cāryabhaṭaḥ /
bhūyaḥ sa eva sūryodayātprabhṛtyāha laṅkāyām //
deśāntarasaṁśuddhiṁ kṛtvā cenna ghaṭate tathā tasmin /
kālasyā'smin sāmyaṁ revoktaṁ yathāśāstram //
madhyāhnaṁ bha stamayaṁ kuruṣūttareṣu ketumālānām /
kurute'rdharātramudya ratavarṣe yugapardakaḥ //
udayo yo laṅkāyāṁ so'stamayaḥ savitureva siddhapure /
madhyāhno yamakoṭyāṁ romakaviṣaye'rdharātraḥ saḥ //
~ Pañcasiddhāntika (15.20-23)

Āryabhaṭa has said that the day commences at midnight at Laṅkā. He himself again has said, the day commences from sunrise at Laṅkā. //20//. If it's argued that the different times for commencing the day can be accounted for by correction for longitude, it doesn't agree with what they themselves have said in this matter, according to śāstras (which is as follows). //21//. The sun rising in Bhāratavarṣa, makes at that very moment, mid-day in Bhadraśva-varṣa, sunset in Uttarakuruvarṣa, and midnight in the Ketumālavarṣa. //22//. What is sunrise at Laṅkā, that same moment is sunset at Siddhapura, noon at Yamakoṭi, & midnight in Romakapurī. //23//

Pañcasiddhāntika (15.23) is same as Āryabhaṭīya (4.13), Lalla's Śiṣyadhivṛddhidatantra (17.12). That Meru is situated on north pole and Baḍavāmukha is situated on south pole, is mentioned in several jyotiṣa śāstras too, such as Āryabhaṭīya (4.12). Each of the four cities - Laṅkā, Yamakoṭi, Romakapurī, & Siddhapura- are on islands, situated traversely at a distance of 1/4th of the earth's circumference (i.e 90°) each from the next one, as stated in Śiṣyadhivṛddhidatantra (17.4), etc. Āryabhaṭīya (4.14) states that the Laṅkā is situated at the quarter of earth's circumference from both north pole & south pole (as it's located on the equator). Furthermore, distance b/w Ujjaiyinī & Laṅkā is mentioned to be 16th of earth's circumference, which makes up the latitude of Ujjaiyinī ~ 22°30'N. But Brahmagupta differs from this view and stated that the distance b/w Ujjaiyinī & Laṅkā is 1/15th of earth's circumference, thus the latitude of Ujjayinī being 24°N, and this standpoint is taken by many ācāryas such as Nīlakaṇṭha, etc. too.

laṅkāvātsyapurāvantīsthāneśvarasurālayān /
avagāhya sthitā rekhā deśāntaravidhāyinī //
~ Laghubhāskarīya (1.23)

The line which passes through Laṅkā, Vātsyapura, Avantī, Sthāneśvara, and Surālaya (ālaya of suras) is the prime meridian.

aṅkātaḥ kharanagaraḥ sitorugehaṁ
pāṇāto misitapurī tathā tarpaṇī /
uktuṅgassitavaranāmadheyaśailo
lakṣmīvatpuramapi vātsyagulmasañjñam //
vikhyātā vananagarī tathā hyavantī
sthāneśo muditajanastathā ca meruḥ /
adhvākhyaḥ karaṇavidhiṣtu madhyamānā -
meteṣu prativasatāṁ na vidyate saḥ //
~ Mahābhāskarīya (2.1-2)

From Laṅkā (towards the north, we have the following places on the prime meridian) : Kharanagara, Sitorugeha, Pāṇāṭa, Misitapuri, Tarpaṇī, the lofy mt. called Sitavara, the wealthy town called Vātsyagulma, the well known Vanangari, Avantī, Sthāneśa, and then Meru, which is inhabited by happy people. For those who reside in these places, the correction for the longitude (of the local place) does not exist.

In Gaṇitayuktibhāṣā (Chapter 9, pp.509-510), Jyeṣṭhadeva explains -

Then, with the land of Bhāratakhaṇḍa appearing to be in the upward (northern) direction, at the confluence of the landed and watery division (of the Earth), there is a city known as Laṅkā. Conceive a circular line (vṛttākāra-rekhā) from that place, east-west, cycling round the Earth. On this line are situated four cities (including Laṅkā), to the west Romakapurī, to the other (diametrically opposite) side Siddhapura, and to the east Yavakoṭi.

Similarly from Laṅkā, conceive another circle round the Earth, which is north-south across and passing through the upper and lower halves of the Earth. On this line (are situated), Mahāmeru to the north, Baḍavāmukha to the south, Siddhapura on the opposite side. This line is the samarekhā (north-south standard meridian line). In this line is a city called Ujjaiyinī. Now, the places lying on the east-west line mentioned above are called nirakṣa-deśa (equatorial places having no latitude).

This is a simplistic model, based on what all has been mentioned regarding prime meridian, Laṅkā, etc. locations as per jyotiṣa

enter image description here

In the Indological circle, a non-traditional standpoint has been often pushed forth that the Laṅkā mentioned in jyotiṣa śāstras is nothing but a hypothetical location made up by jyotiṣācāryas, that exists on 0° latitude and 0° longitude (as per the Hindu system). But this is just a nonsensical claim, because the jyotiṣācāryas are pretty clear in their śāstras, that they are talking about the Laṅkā, which was ruled by Rāvaṇa Paulastya and is the abode of rākṣasas, and not some hypothetical mathematical point of the same name. The ślokas from Sūryasiddhānta should leave no doubts on this issue.

rākṣālayadevaukaḥ śailayormadhyasūtragāḥ /
rohītakamavantī ca yathā sannihitaṁ saraḥ //
~ Sūryasiddhānta (1.62)

The meridian b/w Rakṣasālaya (Laṅkā) & Devauka (Meru), on which lie the deśas named Rohītaka, Avantī, & sannihita sarovara (Kurukṣetra), is the prime meridian.

In his comm. Gūḍhārthaprakāśikā on Sūryasiddhānta (1.62) , Raṅganātha clearly states - rākṣasālayaṁ laṅkā.

samantānmerumadhyāt tu tulyabhāgeṣu toyadheḥ /
dvīpeṣu dikṣu pūrvādinagaryo devanirmitāḥ //

~ Sūryasiddhānta (12.37)

And on all sides of the midst of Meru, in equal divisions of the ocean, upon dvīpas in east, etc. directions, there are fashioned four nagaras by devatās.

yāmyāyāṁ bhārate varṣe laṅkā tadvanmahāpurī /
paścime ketumālākhye romakākhyā prakīrtitā //
~ Sūryasiddhānta (12.39)

To the southward, in the Bhāratavarṣa, is in like manner, the mahāpurī Laṅkā : to the west, in the Ketumālavarṣa, is the the nagarī named Romaka.

In his comm. Gūḍhārthaprakāśikā on Sūryasiddhānta (12.39) , Raṅganātha adds - laṅkāsañjñā mahānagarī tadvat svarṇaprākāratoraṇā viśrutetyarthaḥ.

The svarṇa mahāpurī, which is the abode of rākṣasas and located in the south, is none other than Laṅkā of Rāvaṇa. Therefore, unlike the Indologists, the jyotiṣācāryas are pretty clear that the Laṅkā (which lies on intersection of prime meridian through Ujjain and equator) is none other than Rāvaṇa's Laṅkā.

Using the coordinates of Mahākāleśvara temple, Ujjain, I have marked the position of Laṅkā (as per jyotiṣa śāstras) on google earth map.
Orange/red balloon = Laṅkā = (0, 75.76829) ;
Purple balloon = Ujjaina = (23.18295, 75.76829)
As per jyotiṣa, there is prime meridian passing through these two, but as per modern western geographical system, the prime meridian passes through Greenwich. Laṅkā lies on the intersection of the equator and Hindu prime meridian. enter image description here

The coordinates of Laṅkā in the Hindu coordinate system would be (0,0) as mentioned already. And it lies south-west to Siṁhaladvīpa (current-day Sri Lanka), in the deep ocean. enter image description here

There is no detectable island now at the coordinates (0, 75.76829). However, just because there's no detectable island at the said coordinates now, doesn't necessarily imply Laṅkā doesn't exist there, or that it didn't exist there. There're many lokas & places that are beyond our pratyakṣa. And there are many places which did exist at one point of time (1000s of yrs ago), but now they don't, due to various geographical factors such as tsunamis, etc.

The numbering of ślokas & adhyāyas from Mahābhārata, follow Gītā Press version.

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Ancient Tamil poems makes mention of Sri Rama's making use of the port built by Pandyan king. So definitely it's the southern Lanka.

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    Jan 5, 2023 at 18:59
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Lanka in Ramayana is pronounced "Langka" which is an aspect of universal spiritual dimensions applicable to all of creation. Present day Sri Lanka only is a geographical land mass which has been changing its shape and boundaries over the miliions and millions of years. The meaning of Maha Bharatha also has a similiar hidden cosmic spiritual meaning and an absolute truth. The nme India came recently, and earlier itws the Indus valey which consisted of many present day countries. Its not Bharath. Those who attain the higher mental state of analisyis (Dhyana) will know it. Those who have attained the state of understanding nama-shakthi in root sound syllables (gana) will know it. This is the grandest mystery to be uncovered by the sages of all times, and its not for the ordinary humans (Sattvas) since the manifestation of satthvas is part of and by iteself inherant in the universal intellegence of what we worship by the nama, Brhama, "Vishnu" or Shiva. The manifested universe is the maya or Para-shakthi (Rupa) (Saraswathi,Lakshmi,Parwathi) of which we are part of as experiencing entities of samskaras. Then some one willask as to how these names and places are being established on earth with such names as Seetha eliya, yakgala etc in present day Sri Lanka. This is the most difficult part of explanation since we have totally forgotton that universe is a process uninteruptedly and ever evolving from a micro-system to a macro-system. Thats why the quantum energy forms the atoms and sequentially forms the planetary systems to milkeyways to quarsars which again becomes the (time differentiated) pulse of the universe - the nuro signal of inelligence. Hence the details of the Macro-system is recorded in the micro system and vice versa. Hence w have records of these on earth which is the life (Intel) centre of our region. Blessings to all.

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    Welcome To Hinduism SE! Scientific speculation are off-topic on this site.Pls. site some sources from authentic Hindu Scriptures for views expressed in the answer. Dec 6, 2016 at 11:23

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