These are two sunken hemispheres that map out the heavens. Some historians believe that Jai Singh invented this instrument himself, to verify the accuracy of all the other instruments in the observatory.
These are two small twin cylindrical models of the larger Ram Yantra, an instrument for measuring altitude and azimuth, (a mathematical concept defined as the angle between a reference plane and a point), of celestial objects.
This "small sundial" is constructed on latitude 27 degrees North (Jaipur's latitude) and calculates Jaipur's local time up to an accuracy of 20 seconds. The sundial is actually 27 minutes behind Indian Standard Time (IST) due to it's positioning.
Jai Singh believed that gigantic instruments would give more accurate results and they don't come much bigger than this! Standing some 23m (75 feet) high, this huge sundial (the largest in the world) forecasts the crop prospects for the year. The shadow it casts moves up to 4m per hour.
When I was queueing for my ticket, I turned round and there behind me was a guy called Rodriguez I sat next to and talked to on a bus back from Khajuraho to Jhansi a few weeks beforehand. He was now with his father and sister and they paid for a guide to explain to them how the instruments work which was very interesting otherwise you're not entirely sure what they are used for.
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the largest of five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1733 with the others being in Delhi, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. A keen astronomer himself, Jai Singh kept abreast of the latest astronomical studies in the world and was most inspired by the work of Mirza Ulugh Beg, the astronomer-king of Samarkand. The observatory has been described as "the most realistic and logical landscape in stone", its 16 instruments resembling a giant sculptural composition. Some of the instruments are still used to forecast how hot the summer months will be, the expected date of arrival, duration and intensity of the monsoon and the possiblity of floods and famine. Others calculate the time of day, the altitudes of heavenly bodies, and positions of constellations. Thoroughly restored in 1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
Open: 9am-4.30pm. Admission: Rs10 for all. Camera is Rs50 for foreigners.
Sawai Jai Singh. He founded Jaipur.
He was a most remarkable man of his time and a man of science.
Fellow travelers interested in your Horoscope this is your place to visit, I found the most of all interested places to visit in Jaipur
This place evokes an air of magic.
Jai Singh II was frustrated by the small size of astrolabs of the day and choose to construct on a grand scale in marble and other stones these fixed focus astronomical observatories. Thus, these constructions designed by Jai Singh II himself represent both architectural and scientific genius. Four were built in all, with one in Delhi, but the largest is in Jaipur at Jantar Mantar, which translated from Sanskrit means "magical device". Most of the devices are sundails of one sort or another, oriented in ways to determine time in the heavens related to the constellations, for example, as they were conceived within the Hindu religious cosmos to which Jai Singh II subscribed. It should also be mentioned that the city of Jaipur was itself designed very neatly by Jai Singh II, according to Hindu doctrine, dividing the city according to the caste system. The largest of these devices at Jantar Mantar, known as Samyat Yantra, is essentially a watch for telling time, with a shadow's edge the the staircase cutting across a semi-circular path of precise stonework. The shadow's edge by ordinary inspection from the staircase is accurate to within 4 minutes, while use of a special rod provides accuracy within 30 seconds. Nearby are twelve zodiac gnomes on a smaller scale. Given that these are 18th century structures, Jai Singh II's astronomical knowledge was certainly exceptional for his time, and the execution of this knowledge in such large architectural stone devices is remarkable even today. Indeed, even after the discovery and use of the telescope and other instruments in modern astronomy, Jantar Mantar provides a wonderful lesson for visiting architects, artists, astronomers, and for children learning the basics of the sun, moon, and stars.
It was built by Raja Sawali Jai Singh 2. There are various kinds of statues for reading time (hour/minute), second and watching 12 constellations etc. Because of inaccuracy, we have to add extra 17 minutes for reading time. Anyway, in general observatory shows the great science and technology of old India!
This instrument is made up of vertical columns which support an equal number of horizontal slabs in two identical stone structures. The sides are cut out so you can get close and see what’s happening. As the sun rises and falls, the shadow also does the same as it moves around the instrument.
The Rashi Valaya Yantras is made up of 12 instruments all placed at different angles. The pieces represent the zodiac signs and are placed differently so as to face the appropriate constellation. They were used by astrologers to make accurate horoscopes
Samrat Yantra is a large sundial standing 90ft high and 148 ft wide. It is marked with hours and minutes. On the left is an arc which shows the time from sunrise to midday and on the right is an arc which shows midday to sunset. The time is all based on the shadow and where it is sharpest. The Laghu Samrat Yantra is a smaller sundial and can calculate Jaipur’s local time within an accuracy of 20 seconds.
The Raj Yantra is said to be the King of all Instruments. It is used only once in a year to calculate the Hindu calendar. This instrument is a map of planetary positions which is depicted on a 7ft wide metal disc.
This instrument is actually two sunken bowls and measures the rotation, longitude and latitude of the sun. A map of the visible heavens is inscribed on the inner surface of the bowls. There are additional scales which include the zodiac divisions around the rim of the bowls. There is a small ring which is suspended from cross wires. From this the shadow obtained projects the position of the sun onto the inscribed celestial map.
Another Sundial of Jantra Mantra but this one is an equatorial sundial although it performs the same function. It can measure the local solar time at the latitude of Jaipur. Narivalaya Yantra actually has two dials. There is a winter dial (pointing to the south pole) for when the sun is in the southern hemisphere and a summer dial (pointing to the north pole) for when the sun is in the northern hemisphere. At noon the sun falls on the north-south line enabling the reading of time in a normal way.