Hindu Puranas state that Sage Agastya was ordered by Lord Shiva to proceed to the South to rectify the balance of the Earth as it tilted down in the south because of the congregation of Devas and people of the earth in the North, Himalayas to attend His (Shiva’s) marriage with Parvati.
Accordingly Sage Agasthya traveled down from the North to the South and had the Earth’s balance restored.
Is this a fantasy?
Hinduism narrates events and philosophy in two ways.
One is stating facts as they are, if in its opinion we are capable of understanding it.
For example the details on Astrology or the events related to the Ithihasas, Ramayana, Mahabharata.
In other cases they allude to events by interesting legends, like saying that there is Chanda Loka(world of the Moon) to convey a stage of spiritual development in Pranayama.
It is interesting to note that these two technics are followed to denote the same event, as in the description of Sun’s Movement in His Chariot and the description of Vishnu’s Naval Galaxy.
The incident narrated above falls into Allegory , relating to formation of seasons.
This is validated by Milankovitch Cycles.
‘Axial tilt, the second of the three Milankovitch Cycles, is the inclination of the Earth’s axis in relation to its plane of orbit around the Sun. Oscillations in the degree of Earth’s axial tilt occur on a periodicity of 41,000 years from 21.5 to 24.5 degrees.
Today the Earth’s axial tilt is about 23.5 degrees, which largely accounts for our seasons. Because of the periodic variations of this angle the severity of the Earth’s seasons changes. With less axial tilt the Sun’s solar radiation is more evenly distributed between winter and summer. However, less tilt also increases the difference in radiation receipts between the equatorial and polar regions.
One hypothesis for Earth’s reaction to a smaller degree of axial tilt is that it would promote the growth of ice sheets. This response would be due to a warmer winter, in which warmer air would be able to hold more moisture, and subsequently produce a greater amount of snowfall. In addition, summer temperatures would be cooler, resulting in less melting of the winter’s accumulation. At present, axial tilt is in the middle of its range.’
There is another legend relating to Agastya, which states that Agastya crossing over to the South and in the process made he Vindhya Mountain shorter.
I have written on this while writing on Canopus and stated that it coincides with the Migration of Manu from the South to Ayodhya.
Yet another states that Agastya drank Ocean( I shall be writing on this).
In astronomy, axial tilt (also called obliquity) is the angle between an object’s rotational axis and the perpendicular to its Orbital plane, both oriented by the right hand rule. At an obliquity of 0°, these lines point in the same direction i.e. the rotational axis is perpendicular to the orbital plane. Axial tilt differs from inclination. Because the planet Venus has an axial tilt of 177° its rotation can be considered retrograde, opposite that of most of the other planets.The north pole of Venus is “upside down” relative to its orbit. The planet Uranus has a tilt of 97°, hence it rotates “on its side”, its north pole being almost in the plane of its orbit.
Over the course of an orbit, the angle of the axial tilt does not change, and the orientation of the axis remains the same relative to the background stars. This causes one pole to be directed toward the Sun on one side of the orbit, and the other pole on the other side, the cause of the seasons on the Earth.
Citation and reference.