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India - Jaipur - 002 - Jantar Mantar Observatory | by mckaysavage
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India - Jaipur - 002 - Jantar Mantar Observatory

The Jantar Mantar Observatory in Jaipur.

 

Built by the Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1730, the Jantar Mantar is a working observatory for marking the time and position of the astrologically important stars,planents and constellations and contains 14 major geometric instruments. Instruments visible include the smaller (of 2) sundials (red brick, centre), instruments for obtaining the exact time even at night, dual sunken hemispheres for mapping the exact crossing of planets and zodiac (centre) and sundials for marking the position of each zodiac sign (front and to the left and right of the frame). The larger sundial (not seen, behind, it was under repair) is accurate to 2 seconds (that is Jaipur time. With the advent of standard time, the local time must of course be adjusted to IST to match your watch.)

 

These instruments were built for calculating the astrological chart of a person at the exact time of his/her birth that is belived to have a vital influence and guidance for a person's life. They could also predict recurring phenomenon such as eclipses and the monsoons.

 

It is a good example of how important trying to clock time accurately has been for millennia and what tools they used prior to our quartz crysal digital watches, atomic clocks and GPS satellites.

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Taken on July 7, 2007