Do you know “zero” for nothing, null, etc., being represented by the symbol circle ‘o’ was invented in India?
The evidence can be found on the walls of a temple in Gwalior.,Indian mathematicians were the first to treat zero as an equal, as a number in its own right.
This temple structure is small in size dedicated to Vishnu.Lord Vishnu has the appearence of Chaturbhuja, meaning (four)has four arms.
This rock-cut temple is inside the famous Gwalior fort which arguably is one of the oldest surviving fort complexes inIndia. The temple stands on a monolithic stone. There are two other temples nearby-the Sas Bahu (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) and Teli-ka-Mandir.
What is impressive about the Chaturbhuj Temple is not the structure or the idol which is carved out of a single stone but a writing or inscription on a stone tablet near the deity. The stone inscription has the first ever recorded or written form of zero.
IN this inscription, zero is written as a dot. This is the first written representation of zero and it has continued to this day.
The tablet records the date (in the local era, which started in 57 B. C.), the dimension of a land grant to a neighbouring temple, and the size of a daily gift of flowers to be paid for from an endowment made to this temple. That is “..… the whole town gave to the temple … which Alla, the son of Vaillabhatta, had caused to be built … a piece of land … 270 hastas in length …”.
Inscription of Adivaraha – Epigraphia Indica vol I – over the front door – written in Sanskrit, in 27 lines, in – dated in year (Vikrama) 932 or 875 CE – this Vishnu temple was constructed by Alla, the son of Vaillabhatta and the grandson of Nagarabhatta, belonging to the Varjara family migrated from Anandapura in Latamandala (Vadnagar in Gujrat). Vaillabhatta was the chief of the boundaries in the service of king Ramadeva, and his son, Alla, succeeded his father in office. Alla was appointed to the guardianship of Gopadri (present Gwalior) by king Srimad-Adivaraha.
Zero is also called as Shunya in Sanskrit and it is in this temple that the world saw the figure of zero. Hence, mathematicians and astronomers also call the Chaturbhuj as the temple of Zero.
The tablet appears to be much older than the temple and it gives us the precise date (57 BC) on which the land was granted to the temple and the size of the daily offering of flowers to be made to Vishnu from the endowment.
Locals say the temple was built in 876 AD.