April 10, 2012

India : Jaipur - Jantar Mantar

Continuation from here ...

Next, my destination was Jantar Mantar, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yeah.. yeahh.. another one. 

It is a large futuristic park containing eighteen huge astronomical devices constructed between 1728 and 1734 by Jai Singh, a star craze. If you've been to Delhi, there is actually another Jantar Mantar there. Altogether, there are five of these Jantar Mantar built at different locations in the whole country. However, this one in Jaipur is the largest and best preserved. 

The observatory was able to identify the positions and movement of stars and planets, tell the time and even predict the intensity of the monsoon. Impressive right? Considering they were built almost 300 years ago. 

Some of the instruments...

#1 Samrat Yantra : a 27 metre high sundial, which can calculate the time to within two seconds.
Vrihat Samrat Yantra

#2  Unnatamsa : used to measure the height of an object in the sky 


#3 Narivalaya Yantra : a distinctive sundial with two dials.
One dial faces the south and reads time when the sun is in the southern hemisphere.
 Narivalaya Dakshin Gola

The other one faces north and reads time when the sun is in the northern hemisphere.   
Narivalaya Uttar Gola

#4 Jaya Prakash Yantra : The idea is to see the position of sun in the sky. There are two hemispherical bowls, each representing the sky sbove.
Jaya Prakash Yantra

#5 Krantivrtta Yantra : With this instrument, celestial latitude and longitude of a celestial object can be found.
Krantivrtta Yantra

#6 Yantra Raj : It was used only once a year to calculate the Hindu calendar. 
Yantra Raj 

But one of the most interesting parts of the park is the Rashivalaya Yantra. It's a collection of twelve zodiac sign instruments, representing each sign of the zodiac. 

This is my sign!
I'm a Cancerian!

If you get a guide here, they'll show you the workings of the observatory. I didn't get one but I managed to learn a few things from other people's guides. Overheard their explanation since they explained to their tour groups in English. Muehehehe...*taktik orang budget* 

Jantar Mantar is open daily.
Visiting hours are from 9 am to 5 pm.
Entrance fee is Rs100 for foreigners and Rs20 for Indians.
Location: Within the Pink City next to City Palace 

Learning back all these astronomical thingy sure was fun. ^_^

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