Jaipur: Light Years Ahead

Posted on Feb 15, 2024 in India Discovery,Student Speak


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He was an astrologer, an astronomer, and a town planner, whereas I still can’t even manage student life. Sawai Jai Singh, a man of many talents, also wore the hat, or rather, the crown of the Maharaja of Jaipur. He established one of the oldest yet still functional observatories in Jaipur known to us as Jantar Mantar.

Jantar Mantar was constructed in 1728 under the careful instructions of Sawai Jai Singh, and was meant to serve as an instrument of calculation, as its name suggests. A wrist watch is all we need to tell the time today, but 300 years ago, it was up to the Maharaja’s innovation and surprisingly accurate ‘yantras’! Could you ever imagine telling the time using the sun? In fact, Jai Singh made two sundials, the latter of which was more accurate, accounting for even hours when there is no sunlight. The largest sundial he made was accurate up to two seconds. It indicated the time using the shadow of the wall between two curved walls. It was only 18 minutes off the Indian Standard Time, showing the local time in Jaipur instead.

One of my personal favorites, the Yantra Raj, is a miraculous device which has accurately depicted the position of stars for 300 years. This Yantra is a flat metal disc with multiple lines carved through its center with the names of stars. All one has to do is to place the telescope in the center and align it with the line of the respective star. There it is, right in front of you, the very star you are looking for.

Suffice to say, the Jantar Mantar is a historic marvel, one which I can say I have not fully comprehended. There was definitely a connection between physics and geography that I learned about (and regretted not studying either) and and have taken home a renewed sense of respect for our past and leaders.

Writen By Adavya, Halvika, Saisha, Saraya, Simran & Shresht (Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurugram).


EdTerra Edventures conducts various other programs for the youth. If you go to school and are under 17 years of age, ask your school to contact us to arrange a visit to your school for an introduction to “Jaipur: Make an Impression” and other journeys under EdTerra’s India Discovery Program.

For queries call +91-11-48885800 or visit EdTerra Browse Journeys page to know more about the programs for school students. Visit our FB page by clicking HEREAlso, check our podcast page by clicking HERE.

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