Jantar Mantar Observatory in Jaipur
This time I have decided to visit Jaipur once more. A “Pink City”, how people call it in India, as it was built of an unusual pink stone. Jaipur is a capital of a Rajasthan state, which is a motherland of a group of the Rajput martial clans that were controlling this part of India during more than 1000 years.
My attention was attracted by one of the most popular places of interest – Jantar Mantar, Indian largest stone observatory. I was really impressed by the fact that people received accurate and right information without any devices. It is one of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in 1710-1724.
There are 4 stone instruments in the observatory and the most amazing one is Samrat Yantra. This is the most outstanding invention of Jai Singh II, a large and precision sun dial. Basically, it is the biggest in the world. Believe me, it’s really huge. Apparently, this sun dial is a large brick triangle more than 21 meters height, 35 meters long and about 3 meters width. The hypotenuse of such a giant triangle is 39 meters long. It is situated parallel to the Earth axis and pointed at the North Pole. I have noticed a quadrant astride the sun dial with scale divisions for measuring hours, minutes and seconds. Although, the sun dial wasn’t a glory at that time, Jai Singh II improved this simple stone instrument into a precision one for difficult measurements.
I have also examined other three instruments – Ram Yantra, Jaya Prakash Yantra and Mishra Yantra that were used to measure a declination, height and even an azimuth of the sun and other stars. With the help of Mishra instrument, astronomers could find out the time of a midday coming in different countries. All the mentioned tools were invented by Jai Singh II, except the Mishra Yantra. I was scrutinizing their fanciful forms for a long time. It’s really fascinating to understand that these simple stones are the ancestors of the modern devices and that the information, which was found out with the help of these instruments is the base of our today’s science.
I have also noticed a beautiful Jaipur City Palace, when I was leaving, so I’m going to visit someday. But, exactly this trip was a bit unusual for me. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the beauty of different monuments like always. My thoughts were engrossed by the history of the world astronomy, as all the stone instruments I have seen are very precise and the sun dial even shows the right time accurate within seconds. Isn’t that a glory?
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