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Category Archives: Indian history

Jantar Mantar: Ancient Astronomical Observatory

IMG_4176┬áLocated in the ancient famed “Pink City” of Jaipur, is a park-like museum filled with huge astronomical equipment that was used to determine eclipses, measure time and tracking the movements of stars and planets.

The towers and strange geometric installations were constructed in the mid 18th century. Built by Jawai Sai Singh II of Amber, it is one of five such observatories that were constructed in India at that time, but this one is the best preserved and restored. The facility is still used to this day to calculate auspicious planetary alignments that determine whether or not a couple’s wedding day will be blessed or doomed.

The accuracy however of some of the structures is not adequate to be entirely 100% correct since the builders were not used to such massive constructions and subsidence has also caused errors in alignment.

Still, they are incredibly imposing and fascinating and well worth the visit. Our visit was in the late afternoon and the light was not optimal for photography.

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Note the observation platform at the apex of the tower.

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This is part of a gigantic astrological marker, here the sign of Cancer

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Scorpio

This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, and not something I had expected ever to see!

 

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