HereNow4U - Living Jainism Tour 2006 - 07.09 Jaipur (9) Visit To Observatory & Jaipur Impressions

Posted: 23.05.2007
Updated on: 29.11.2012

29th November 2006, 09:00 – 12:00

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Time had passed in an amazing speed; this was our last day in Jaipur! Nevertheless, luggage had to be prepared in the morning, as in the evening we would take the train to next destination after attending the highlights our affectionate friends had prepared to make our Jaipur visit another unforgettable destination of HereNow4U’s Living Jainism Tour.

Last evening, Balwantji and Premji Mehta took Shivani Bothra and us to a little restaurant where they use to dine from time to time. It was a calm location, aloof from Jaipur’s tourist busses, and we enjoyed a good meal there. Afterwards, we spent the evening at Balwantji’s and Premji’s home where we listened in a very homely and relaxed atmosphere to Balwantji’s remembrances of his stay in Berlin two decades ago.

Next morning, our caring friends proposed to prepare luggage and to inquire how many kilograms we were allowed to Europe. They knew that we had been showered with gifts already and imagined that their number even would increase. Balwantji Mehta provided the information (23 kilograms), and we were grateful to Shivani Bothra for the two extra bags she had bought for us in the market.

All done, we had some time left before appointment with Mrs. Bothra, Sanjeev’s grandma, and Shivani Bothra to pick them up for next destination. Balwantji Mehta suggested another sight seeing tour, including visit to famous Jaipur observatory Jantar Mantar.

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Jaipur tourist busses were not yet busy this morning; people were on their way to work, preferably on scooters, some on motorbikes, only few on three-wheelers, bicycles, or cars. We even saw two cows relaxing on Main Street in Old City, and discovered the speciality of Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) when preparing this report. The building is only one room thick and was built for the court ladies to watch without being seen.

We then reached famous Jaipur observatory, known as Jantar Mantar, constructed by Maharajah Jai Singh II of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. The buildings of Jantar Mantar consist of several complexes, each being special work of art as well as precise instrument for astronomic research, without distinction between astronomy and astrology. It is unique in its combination of spirituality and science.

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Nadivalaya Yantra - This instrument follows the passage of the sun between the northern and southern hemispheres. From March 21 to September 23 the sun is in the northern hemisphere, and from September to March it's in the southern hemisphere. When one side of the instrument is in the sun, the other, identical side is in the shadow.

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View on Big Sun Dial, closed for public, from beginning up to present accessible only for the Maharaja and priests.

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The hemispherical ball instruments are composed of two hollow graduated hemispheres.

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Jai Prakash Yantra - Invented by Jai Singh, this is a multi-purpose instrument. It tells the time, measures the coordinates of celestial bodies, and among other things, the zodiac symbol of the day. It's possible to climb inside between the slabs.

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Laghu Samrat Yantra (Small Sundial) - The white arc determines the time, which is Jaipur local time. Before standard time, each town had its own time, which was completely accurate, though out of step with other places. It is accessible for visitors.

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Outside, every day life went on, and for us it was time to pick up our friends.

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