Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Jaipur, India, January 24, 2023

I must have needed a break because I didn’t get going until noon and I was back at the hotel/dump by 4 PM.

My first visit was at the Jantar Mantar which is a park with 19 astronomical instruments completed in 1734. The instruments allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.  It was interesting but I would like to see how it works.  Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II founded Jaipur but he was also a scholar in physics, mathematics and astronomy.  This is thanks to his ingenious.

The site isn’t that big-

The Unnatamsa measures the altitude of an object in the sky-

The Dakshinodak measures the altitude of the sun as well as the declination (the angular distance of a point north or south of the celestial equator) and length of the day-

The Samrat Yantra finds the time and the hour angle of the stars.  It’s a sextant which is an instrument used to determine the angle between the horizon and the sun, moon or a star to determine latitude and longitude-

Rasivalayah measures the latitude and longitude of zodiac constellations.  Here’s Sagittarius-

The Rama Yantra measures the altitude and azimuth ( the compass direction from which the light is coming) of the sun and stars-

I watched a short documentary about the place and then thought about how I take all of this for granted. Today, these are just known facts but back in the 1700s what a mystery and what geniuses first of all to be interested but also to be able to figure all of this out. Our year is 365 days and the seasons fall when they are supposed to.  Imagine if our calendar year was off and we lost a couple of days of let’s say summer every year. Over time, summer would be fall and fall would be winter etc.  Thank goodness for the scientists who did this work to understand the rotation of the Earth to allow us to live the way we do today.

They have the largest sundial in the world measuring 27 meters-

Other devices-

This one has two marble hemispherical bowls that are sundials. The inverted image of the sky falls on the slabs and the movement of the inverted shadows helps to detect the elevation, azimuth, hour angles and the exact position of stars –

They had a very good marionette show on but I only saw the last 30 seconds-

After, I went to the City Palace but did not go in as I’m a little palaced out-

I started walking home, past the Hawa Mahal street view-

Trying to take a short cut - impossible in India, I ended up in the textile market-

Details for weddings-

The traffic was nuts-

A bathroom sign-

Eventually I made it home and spent time on the rooftop but it was windy and chilly.  I walked down the street looking for supper and ended up with two slices of bread mixed up with fried egg. It was all right.

I have to leave the hostel around 5 am to catch a 6 am train to Jodhpur.  Moving on!  

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