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Architect Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II
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Location Jaipur, India   map
Date 1726 to 1734   timeline
Building Type astronomical observatory
 Construction System cut stone bearing masonry
Climate desert
Context urban
Style Hindu
Notes Architectural instruments, including the 90' Samrat Jantar inclined to the latitude of 27 degrees. Scientific sculpture in solid geometry.


Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior
Discussion Jantar Mantar Commentary

"The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. Each is a fixed and 'focused' tool. The Samrat Jantar, the largest instrument, is 90 feet high, its shadow carefully plotted to tell the time of day. Its face is angled at 27 degrees, the latitude of Jaipur. The Hindu chhatri (small domed cupola) on top is used as a platform for announcing eclipses and the arrival of monsoons.

"Built of local stone and marble, each instrument carries an astronomical scale, generally marked on the marble inner lining; bronze tablets, all extraordinarily accurate, were also employed. Thoroughly restored in 1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948.

"An excursion through Jai Singh's Jantar is the singular one of walking through solid geometry and encountering a collective weapons system designed to probe the heavens."

— from G.E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p98.

Sources on Jantar Mantar

Roderick Cameron. Shadows from India. London: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1958. exterior photo of Yantra Samrat. p109.

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405.

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion, p98. in-the-midst photo, p99. stairway photo, frontispiece. — Available at Amazon.com

Andreas Volwahsen. Living Architecture, Islamic Indian. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1970. exterior aerial photo, p162. exterior photo of a rashi, p163.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.—



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