Chemistry In Ancient India Essay

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Chemistry is a type of science which is found every where.
Chemistry has played a crucial role in the history of India as in the 18th century Ayurveda.

In ancient India, chemistry was called Rasayan Shastra, Rasa-Vidya, Rasatantra and Rasakriya all of which roughly mean 'Science of liquids'. There also existed chemical laboratories and chemicals works, which were called Rasakriya-nagaram and Rasakriya-shala, which literally mean 'School where liquids are activated'.
The history of science and technology in the Indian Subcontinent begins with prehistoric human activity the Indus Valley Civilization to early states and empires.
Ancient India's development in chemistry was not confined at an abstract level like physics, but found development in a variety of practical activities. In any early civilization, metallurgy has remained an activity central to all civilizations from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, to all other civilizations that followed. It is believed that the basic idea of smelting reached ancient India from Mesopotamia and the Near East. Coinage dating from the 8th Century B.C.
In his attempt to prepare the 'elixir of life' from mercury, Nagarjuna made use of animal and vegetable products, apart from minerals and alkalis. For the dissolution of diamonds, metals and pearls, he suggested the use of vegetable acids like sour gruel and juices of fruits and bark.
In his treatise, he has also listed the apparatus that was used by earlier alchemists. The process of distillation, liquefaction, sublimation and roasting were also mentioned. Nagarjuna also discussed, in detail, the possibility of transmutation of base metals into gold. But although he could not produce gold, these techniques did yield metals with gold like yellowish brillance. Till today these methods are being used to manufacture imitation

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