Pathani Samanta / Samanta Chandra Sekhar Harichandan Mahapatra, (13 December 1835 – 11 June 1904) was an Indian astrologer and scholar who measured the distance from earth with a bamboo pipe and many other traditional instruments that he built.
This earned him the “Mahamahopadhyaya” award in 1893. His observations, research and calculations were compiled into a book “Siddhanta Darpana” which has verses written in Sanskrit in Odia script.
Samanta was born in the princely state of Khandapada in Nayagarh district in the Indian state of Odisha. He was an eminent naked eye astronomer. He studied in Sanskrit and researched traditional Indian astronomy.
During his research, he built many instruments using available materials such as wooden sticks and bamboo. His knowledge of astronomy ensured that these instruments had great accuracy.
His findings were recorded in his book titled Siddhanta Darpana. This book found mentions in the European and American press in 1899. Samanta’s calculations are used in the preparation of almanacs in Odisha.