Rajasthan News: You check your wall clock to see what time it is when you need to know. You can check the time on the wall (or, more recently, on your fancy wristwatch or smartphone watch!) to find out when you need to get up, eat and go to bed. However, a clock wasn’t found until the 14th century. Have you ever wondered how time was kept before clocks? They did utilise sundials, though.
The Timekeeping Mastery of Sundials and the Samrat Yantra
A sundial is a time-telling tool that relies on the sun’s location in the sky. And you would be mistaken if you believed it to be inaccurate. The accuracy of our ancient astronomers’ work was so astoundingly good that these sundials could estimate the right time with only a few seconds of error. You know what’s even more incredible? The Samrat Yantra, the biggest of these contraptions in the entire world, is installed in India in our very own pink city, Jaipur. The renowned Jantar Mantar observatory, which was constructed in the 18th century, contains the Samrat Yantra in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The largest sundial in the world, Samrat Yantra, which translates to “great king of instruments,” is nearly 27 metres high.
The Precision Sundial with Unique Forecasting Abilities
The sundial’s face is tilted at a latitude-appropriate 27 degrees. With an accuracy of just 2 seconds off from the local Jaipur time, the yantra’s shadow, which is cast by the sun, indicates the proper time of day. The chatri, a little dome-shaped structure at the apex of the instrument, is capable of foretelling climate changes, star positions, eclipses, and monsoon arrival. The largest sundial in the world may be seen in the Jantar Mantar, one of the most advanced historic astronomical observatories constructed by the Hindu ruler Sawai Jai Singh II. Around 1734, the observatory was most likely finished. The observatory contains 19 instruments, most of which are made of marble and stone. Up until 1800, the observatory was in use.
Jantar Mantar Observatory’s Revered Status and Astronomical Wonders
The observatory’s enormous architectural, historical, and astronomical significance led to UNESCO designating it as a World Heritage Site in 2010. Other instruments carry out a variety of tasks, including as predicting the date of eclipses and determining information on the positions and movements of celestial bodies and constellations. It would astound you to see how accurately these old equipment portray astronomical data.