Our time in Jaipur was pretty busy and our tour company had a lot squeezed into the day. After lunch, we headed to the Jantar Mantar Observatory that was constructed in the 18th century by Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh II who was also the founder of Jaipur.
The observatory is outside and is made up of 19 astronomical instruments used for determining the position of celestial objects and telling time. I have to admit that neither of us has any knowledge in this area of science other than knowing our zodiac sign. These are the instruments for our zodiac signs and are known as Rashi Valaya Yantra.
We actually had to do a little research when we got home to better understand what the instruments were and how they were used. It’s funny to think that today we can just pull out a phone and know the time anywhere in the world and we have technology that monitors the sky. An all they had were stone instruments and the genius to utilize what they had at hand.
The Chakra Yantra is used to determine the local time of places around the world: Greenwich in the UK, Zurich in Switzerland, Notke in Japan and Saitchen in the Pacific
The Nadi Valaya Yantra is used for telling time and its accuracy is less than a minute. It is made of up of 2 sundials on opposing faces.
This is Laghu Samrat Yantra, used for telling time.
The Jai Prakash Yantra is used to measures altitudes, azimuths, hour angles, and declinations.
The Yantra Raj Yantra is a bronze astrolabe that is used once a year to calculate the Hindu calendar.
The Dakshin Bhitti Yantra measures meridian, altitude, and zenith distances of celestial bodies.
- It is all outside, so wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- It was easy to walk around and there were very few steps that made it easy for anyone with mobility issues.
- Stay hydrated and always keep a bottle of water with you.