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Friday, 22 February 2013


In the heart of the pink city Jaipur, India, there exist a century old observatory used for numbering the stars and counting the minutes. 

Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (king) Jai Singh II at Jaipur city of Rajasthan, India. It was built between 1727 to 1734. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage list.
The name Jantar means instrument and Mantar means calculation, therefore Jantar Mantar means 'calculation instrument'.

There are in all 14 geometric device in Jantar Mantar for the study of time, dates, stars, space and Indian Jyotish Shastra ( Astrology).  Though these instruments are not used now, but still proves to be important for astronomical science.
Samrat Yantra in Jantar Mantar holds the record for worlds largest sundial, its 27 meters tall.

Samrat Yantra's shadow carefully plotted to tell the time of day. Its face is angled at 27 degrees, the latitude of Jaipur. The Hindu Chhatri (small cupola) on top is used as a platform for announcing eclipses and the arrival of monsoons. Its shadow moves visible at 1 mm per second, or roughly a hand's breadth (6 cm) every minute, which can be a profound experience.

Today the observatory is a popular tourist attraction. However, local astronomers still use it to predict the weather for farmers.

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