Jantar Mantar

Staying on the topic of giant clocks, I found some more old pictures from my trip to Jaipur in Dec. 2011, where we visited Jantar Mantar. I still remember the guide starting the tour by explaining, “Jantar means instrument,  Mantar means calculation”…and I am thinking to myself, “Shoot! Like forever, I thought jantar mantar were some magic words…like abracadabra“. Let me not tell you what that one sentence did to my sense of self-esteem!

The structure in yellow in the photo below is a sundial – essentially a clock! Funny how I managed to find not one, but two giant clocks thousands of miles apart! Both of them reputedly among the world’s largest. Not that I am particularly fond of clocks or good at time management. I mean, I don’t even wear a freaking watch.

The giant sundial, also know as the Samrat Yantra, in Jantar Mantar complex in Jaipur. Those specks along the sloping edge of the sundial are pigeons - all dutifully lined up as twilight approaches. (Dec. 2011)

The giant sundial, also know as the Samrat Yantra, in Jantar Mantar complex in Jaipur. Those specks along the sloping edge of the sundial are pigeons – all dutifully lined up as twilight approaches. (Dec. 2011)

Jokes apart – no, this is a truly fascinating place with all those structures basically used as astronomical instruments. Of the five such facilities built by Sawai Jai Singh, the one in Jaipur is the largest, best preserved one and becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sundial (called the Samrat Yantra) towers 90 feet – the canopy at the top was used as a platform for announcing eclipses and the arrival of monsoons. The photo below was taken from the roof of the Hawa Mahal…the sundial can be seen on the left, the royal city palace in the center, and you can also see the Nahargarh fort atop the hills in the background.

Jaipur is one of my favourite cities – it is also where we get our handmade paper products for Kalakosh.

The sundial (to the left) seen from the top of the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. On the hills in the background is the Nahargarh fort. And of course, there was that pigeon jumping up and down, wanting to be photographed too. (Dec. 2011)

The sundial (to the left) seen from the top of the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. On the hills in the background is the Nahargarh fort. And of course, there was that pigeon wanting to be photographed. (Dec. 2011)

Advertisements

14 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s