Atlantis is one of the greatest mysteries of the world. The name itself evokes a mystical sense and some lost memories. Atlantis is said to be a lost continent which was the home of first civilisation. It was an earthly paradise and vanished due to a natural catastrophe when it was at the height of its power. Most claim that Atlantis lies at the bottom of the ocean with the tops of its mountains at times seen from the ocean floor. There are two views about Atlantis and its existence. One group feels, that Atlantis is only a legend that was invented by Plato as a backdrop for two of his famous dialogues – Timaeus and Critias. While the second group think that Atlantis was a true precursor to early civilisation. They feel it was not located in the Atlantic at all, instead it was situated in Greek Islands of Crete or Santorini as opposed to the earlier belief that it was situated near Azores, Madeira or the Canary Islands.
The name of Atlantis is derived from Atlas a Greek giant God who is said to have supported skies. In Greek the word Atlantis means “daughter of Atlas”. Plato describes Atlantis as a garden of Eden which had abundance of minerals and crystals. Orichalcium which is a red coloured crystal and is more valuable than gold was found in plenty in Atlantis. The city had mighty mountains, fertile plains, marshes, rivers and lakes with a prosperous population of animals including elephants. There was plenty of wood for the carpenters. There were herbs, fruits and flowers which were used both as food and medicinal purposes. The Atlanteans constructed palaces, temples, harbours and docks in which they used black, white and red stones which dug out from underneath the centre of Atlantis. While some buildings were very simple others were elaborate with gold, brass, tin and red orachalcium coating. There was a beautiful temple with gold and silver pinnacles, ceiling of ivory, walls and pillars lined with Orachalcium. This temple was dedicated to Poseidon, the God of Sea, earthquakes and horses. There were many golden statues within this temple with the main statue of Poseidon standing in a chariot with six horses.
There were both hot and cold springs and a variety of trees found on this island. There were spas used by the king and public. There was a horse racing course, a large and busy harbour where merchants and vessels from all over the world used to dock. There were beautiful mountains that were residences for the rich villagers. There was enough food for everyone and it was land of plenty.
There was a large rectangular plain which played an important part in the growth of their civilisation. Straight canals which were about a hundred feet in width were cut to transport wood and fruits from the mountains into the city. All inhabitants of this island were divided into various groups with leaders for each group who were responsible for a particular area. There was no problem with law and order, everyone enjoyed a divine life.
According to the Hopi myth Atlantis was a land in which great cities flourished and new crafts were invented. With a passage of time people of this island became corrupt, violent and war like. Some say the civilisation was destroyed by internal wars, while others feel a natural calamity such as an earthquake was the rue cause.