In Jairpur, the capital of Rajasthan situated in the west of India, you will find one of the most timeless and culturally independent pieces of architecture in the world. A place of religion and science still in its own unsecularized integrity, only comparable with the witnesses.
Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. During the period between 1727 and 1733. Jantar Mantar has a remarkable collection of architectural astronomical instruments. It portrays noteworthy attempt of the ancestors, who were interested in astronomy and knowledge of celestial bodies. Above all, this observatory still, provides accurate information, which can be compared with today's modern instruments undeniably. The compound instruments, whose settings and shapes are scientifically designed depicts the forte of Medieval Indian Astronomy.
Jantar Mantar is wholly constructed with stone and marble. The observatory has fourteen statistical instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses and to ascertain other astronomical events. Amongst all the instruments, the Sundial usually attracts the maximum attention of people, which tells the time to an accuracy of about two seconds in local time of Jaipur. Jantar Mantar was carefully renovated in 1901 and was declared a national monument in 1948. Today, Jantar Mantar has become a major tourist attraction in Jaipur
Raja Jai Singh had a deep interest in astronomy. He read all the known works on the subject at the time (c1800's). He also collected the most advanced instruments he could find. During his studies, he noted inaccuracies in existing astronomical tables and decided to produce his own astronomical instruments. Because he felt that the instruments' size limited their accuracy (they were too small), his solution was to build gigantic instruments from stone, masonry, and marble rather than the traditional brass.
Today, the instruments are still used to forecast such things as how hot the summer months will be, the expected date of arrival, duration, and intensity of the monsoon, and the possibility of flood or famine.
Samrat Yantra: a 89 foot high and 148 foot wide sundial. When the sun moves across the sky, it casts a shadow on finely calibrated arms extending on either side. It measures local time, zenith distances, meridian pass times, and the declination of the stars. It is used to forecast the crop prospects for the year.
Laghu Samrat Yantra is not as accurate as the Samrat Yantra. However, it calculates Jaipur's local time to an accuracy of 20 seconds.
Jaiprakash Yantra: the last instrument installed in the observatory, it consists of two marble bowls. This instrument aids in celestial observations and verifies calculations of other instruments in the observatory.
Rashi Yantras: a collection of twelve instruments, each representing one of the twelve zodiac signs. Therefore, each instrument faces a different angle and constellation. It is used by astrologers to make accurate horoscopes.
Summers are quiet warm with temperature rising up to 45 'C and proper care should be taken of water intake to stay fit during these conditions. In winters days are usually fine but during the night time temperature might drop to about 3 'C.
Jaipur is during the months of October to February. During this period, the heat of the desert sun is less intense, the weather is cool and it is the best season for going sightseeing. The Elephant Festival and the Gangaur Festival are held in Jaipur at the tail end of March; another good reason to plan a trip as winter is on the wane and summer is yet to set in.
Air : Jaipur is connected to Delhi (300Km), Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Calcutta and Varanasi by domestic flights.
Rail : The train service to Jaipur is available from all the major parts of the country.
Road : Jaipur can be accessed from all the major places in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai by bus.
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