Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jantar Mantar - Jaipur

As a kid back in Philadelphia I used to love going to the Franklin Institute... an early "please touch" museum showcasing Benjamin Franklin's love of science. It was all about how fun science can really be. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur reminded me of that kind of wonder. In sanskrit Jantar Mantar (yanta mantr) means "instrument of calculation." Jai Singh, the city's namesake and designer started building this multi-instrument observatory in 1728.
At first glance it looks like a modern sculpture garden. Once you get close to these large calculation devices and with the help of a good guide their construction and accuracy will amaze you. You can see prototypes of each device and the still-accurate final instruments made of sandstone, marble and bronze. The Jai Prakash Yantra (above) was used in calculating celestial observations and tracking the signs of the zodiac. Jai created instruments for calculating the exact angle of the sun, positions of constellations (by calendar day and hour), and Calendar day. My favorite are his time pieces - two large sundials. The smaller of the two, which is about 15 feet tall, is accurate to 20 seconds...The large sun dial is 27 meters tall. It can calculate the time to 2 seconds - and it is nearly 300 years old!

5 comments:

harry potter said...

actually,there is one jantar mantar in Delhi too..just check that out too!

HouseBoy said...

Yes. Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog. We've heard about the Delhi Jantar Mantar as well. Hoping to make that a destination one weekend.

Jennifer Zimmerman said...

That place is so cool! You guys are great explorers. I love reading the blog. By the way, Mazzy really wants to see a snake charmer.

HouseBoy said...

Plenty of snake charmers to see - especially in Agra or Jaipur. The secret of the cobras is that they have all had their venom glands removed. "Naag" can still bite, but not poison.

anil gupta said...

A Big

Growing Jaipur Portal | Search In Jaipur