Jantar mantar – Trip to Jaipur, Rajasthan

jantar mantar

I was very eagerly waiting for our trip to the pink city of  Jaipur in Rajasthan.Finally the most awaited day arrived as we were all set to go on a flight journey to Jaipur, with 54 energetic and enthusiastic group of students accompanied by six escort teachers. On 30 september 2011 we all assembled at the Mc Donald’s point in ground floor Shamshabad Airport Hyderabad. We received all the parents handing over to us their children at our responsibility for the next four days to come. We could feel the excitement of the children as many of them were making journey for the first time individually and few were showing matured levels of expression with lot of confidence and ensuring their parents about their personal care and safety. It was a picture of their parents waving bon voyage to these young adventurers who were all set on a happy and joyous journey. Amidst all these finally we boarded the plane and reached Jaipur within two hours.  Each one of us thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent in flight   When we entered the city, it was dusty and most of the old buildings were in pink and few palaces were exotic especially the Hawa Mahal which we witnessed on one of the main roads in the city. The first question came in my mind was why I came here? But after visiting different places such as Amber palace, city museum and other places, I got my answer that it is a worthy place to visit as I found the palaces were  very beautiful and  one of the finest examples of  great architecture of the Rajput rulers. The most fascinating architecture which I came across was the scientific observatory known as  jantar mantar.

About jantar mantar, Between 1727 and 1734 Maharajah Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five astronomical observatories in west central India. The observatories, or “Jantar Mantars” as they are commonly known, incorporate multiple buildings of unique form, each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement.

Small sun dial is known as “Laghu Samrat Yantra” in Hindi.  When we enter the observatory, it is the first instrument to be observed.  It is made of red sandstone and marble.  It is in triangular shape.  Its hypotenuse is inclined at an angle of 27 degree, which is equivalent to the latitude of Jaipur.  It is calibrated in the scale of tangent so as to measure the declination of celestial bodies.

It has two quadrants on either side inclined in the plane of celestial equator by 23 degrees and divided by 6 hours.  Each hour is divided in 60 minutes and each minute by three fractions so that the precision of the time observed is 20 seconds.

The shadow of the gnomon falls on the quadrants and by observing it; we can read the local time.  The difference between the Jaipur time and Indian Standard time varies from 10 minutes 25 seconds to 41 minutes 6 seconds.  For ascertaining the declination of sun, we can place a pointer on the gnomon.  The shadow of the gnomon already falls on the quadrants and when the shadow of the pointer intersects that shadow, the point on which the pointer is kept is the declination of the sun.

During night, this instrument is used for observing the declination of stars.