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On Wikipedia page we can read:

Vimāna is a mythological flying palace or chariot described in Hindu texts and Sanskrit epics.

Early 20th-century sanskrit Vaimānika Śāstra claim that the vimānas mentioned in ancient Sanskrit epics were aerodynamic flying vehicles.

The topics covered include, "definition of an airplane, a pilot, aerial routes, food, clothing, metals, metal production, mirrors and their uses in wars, varieties of machinery and yantras, planes like ‘mantrik’, ‘tantrik’, and ‘kritak’" and four planes called Shakuna, Sundara, Rukma, and Tripura are described in greater detail.

The question is: what are the main differences between those four planes?

  • Is this too broad? Maybe comparing two would be acceptable but I don't think comparing four would make for a good answer, just a long list of differences. We'll see what the community thinks, but maybe you could narrow it down? – Daft May 8 '15 at 15:15
  • @Daft In my understanding they have much in common and comparing the main/basic differences isn't too broad. – kenorb May 8 '15 at 15:17
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    According to the works of Desmond Leslie in the 1950s, they are different types of craft. As you suggest: military, transport, etc. It is a long time since I read the book so I can't give a definitive answer as to which is which, but try looking him up. – Judith May 12 '15 at 18:31
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    I am very curious for answer to this as well - hence why I have placed a bounty – user124 Jul 18 '15 at 6:33
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    Would probably be better suited on Hinduism.SE, if only because people there might actually know the answer. Mythology.SE has only a few people knowledgeable about Hinduism, and since none of them (including me) are responding, I'm guessing it would be better asked there. – MalayTheDynamo Jan 1 '18 at 13:37
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I know this is an old and possibly forgotten question, but I'm going to try to answer it anyway (also I have no clue about Hinduism, so I'm going to try my best of what I can find on the web).

So from what I learned, these four objects look very similar on the outside, but if you take a look on the inside (blueprints), you can see that they vary slightly.

The Rukma has four different platforms all inside a cone shaped object. It has 2 passenger platforms (top), and two control platforms (bottom). It also has two fan blades at the front, and a light bulb (I think).

The Tripura is more of a submarine like craft, with a propeller at the front, and a ruddar at the back. Measuring 100 feet in length, it has it's entrance (I don't know what it's called, but it's like two small pillars with a hatch) in the top middle.

The Shakuna is more of a warship looking craft, but it has 3 extra fins, two at the sides, and 1 at the back. At the top is an antenna looking thing, making up half the height of the ship.

And finally the Sundara. It's similar to the Rukma, but it only has one fan at the top, and it has a wider base.

Like I said before, I don't know anything about this, so I only provided the physical descriptions. Sorry for the lack of information. Hope this helps!

EDIT: Like @MalayTheDynamo said, try asking this somewhere else where more people would have the answer. Right now, I find this site more about Western topics, but hopefully it will change in the future.

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