Jantar Mantar

Blessings to my mother-in-law for treating us to an amazing trip to Jaipur!

The place that I can’t keep thinking about is the Jantar Mantar — the name translates to English as ‘calculating instrument — an astronomical observatory there constructed in the early 1700’s by the Maharajah Sawaii Jai Singh. 

It’s more like an astronomer’s playground! To behold the scale of the sundials and other celestial instruments is just — well you need to take a pause

The Samrat Yantra (the largest gnomon sundial above ) is capable of determining the time based on the sun position to within an accuracy of two seconds. 

Two second accuracy — 300 years of precision!

The smaller of the sundials (the Laghu Samrat Yantra) is shown above, it was accurate down to the second when we checked. You can see a time lapse video here

The Jai Prakesh Yantra  is capable of tracking Zodiac/Constellation positions measuring altitudes, azimuths, hour angles and declinations.

There is such a rich history of Indian astronomy, so much so that Jai Singh constructed several observatories of similar scale throughout India with no need for the works of Kepler and Galileo.

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