Thursday, March 19, 2009

India's historic sundials

India's Jantar Mantar.

Jantar Mantar, the Astronomical Observatory or the Yantra Mantra in local vernacular (which means the Temple of Instruments) was built by the emperor Sawai Jai Singh II. He had deep interest in mathematics and his intention was to create a more accurate and permanent structure than the brass instruments of his time. Between 1726 and 1734, he constructed five astronomical observatories in north India, one each in Delhi, Mathura, Ujjain, Jaipur, and Varanasi and called them Jantar Mantar. While the Jantar Mantar at Mathura has been closed down, those in Ujjain and Varanasi are in ruins. The Jantar Mantar at Jaipur (see photo on the left), the largest stone astronomical observatory in the world was last restored in 1901 and was declared a national monument by the Government of India in 1948. Its coordinates are 26°55′29″N 75°49′28″E / 26.92472°N 75.82444°E / 26.92472; 75.82444. The cut stone masonry construction system was used here. Desert climate prevails in this region. The architectural instruments here include the 90' Samrat Jantar inclined to the latitude of 27 degrees and the scientific sculpture in solid geometry.

These structures look similar to geometric devices and are built with local stone and marble. The Jantar Mantar at Jaipur includes the Samrat Yantra or the Samrat Jantar, which is the largest sundial in the world measuring 27 feet in height with a huge triangular structure with arcs on its sides. The shadows of these arcs dispaly the time of the day from sunrise to sunset. While the arc on the left side shows the timings from sunrise to midday, the one on the right gives the time from midday to sunset!!! On the top of this structure is a small domed cupola used in those days as a platform to announce the eclipses and the monsoons. The other sites in Jaipur were used to track the planets and the stars.

The Delhi Jantar Mantar (see photo on the right) is undergoing conservation and restoration. Its color will soon be changed from the present red to white, which was its original color when it was built. The Archeological Society of India has documentary evidence for this.

Source: Google
Images: Google

0 comments on "India's historic sundials"



Is it true? Copyright 2008 Fashionholic Designed by Ipiet Templates Supported by Tadpole's Notez Blogger Templates