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The Largest Sundial In Jaipur

Discussion in 'Rajasthan' started by LMackey, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. LMackey

    LMackey New Member

    I'm fascinated by everything astronomical and was reading about Jai Singh who built an astronomical observatory, out of stone, in New Delhi. He also built the largest and most accurate sundial, the Samrat Yantra, in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It is at least 75 feet tall. Has anyone seen this huge sundial?

  2. Polaroid

    Polaroid New Member

    No I haven't but I saw a video of it posted on Facebook the other day. It is very beautiful and to think that a sundial was built so many centuries ago is amazing. I will see whether I can go for a visit to the sundial when I am in India.

  3. rz3300

    rz3300 Member

    That is certainly something that I would love to see; I love the things like this and in my opinion these are the reasons why you travel. I love the historical context of it and what you can learn from something like that. Unfortunately I was pretty far away from this area when I was in India, but maybe I will be blessed by getting to return there one day and I can bet to see this.
  4. violet

    violet New Member

    Wow. This is something I'd like to see. I googled it and it's huge and a beautiful color. I love these old historical sites with things you know were built so long ago.
  5. Elizabetonth

    Elizabetonth Member

    Yes! It's wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. It's accurate to TWO MINUTES, and my favourite thing is that it's accurate to Jaipur time. I know that makes sense, but I still like it when that happens - it's like the church clocks in the UK that are still set to the local village time, which is usually a few minutes behind or ahead of London time. The part of the sundial that casts the shadow is a flight of steps that you can walk up, or at least you could a couple of years ago, and you can stand in the middle and look down, and it is just extraordinary. As I'm sure you know, it's in the middle of an astronomical park, and the whole thing is stunning. He designed and had made these beautiful, intricate things out of stone, that stand higher than people, and can track the movement of the planets, the stars, our solar system - so many things. They're such incredible feats of intellect and design and craftsmanship, and they're also so, so beautiful. The sundial is this huge gleaming white elegant sculpture, and the other things are made of white marble, black marble, gold inlay... It's a wonderful place. Definitely make it part of your trip if you're going to that area of India.
    amelia88 and Jaynee like this.
  6. Jaynee

    Jaynee New Member

    I love your enthusiasm Elizabetonth, so I had to look for pictures of the sundial, and it is impressive. I have never been able to figure out how to read one of these things, so am mighty glad I don't live in a time where they are in daily use.
    Elizabetonth likes this.
  7. Elizabetonth

    Elizabetonth Member

    :) Yay, @Jaynee, that made me very happy. I googled it to see what you would have seen, and I have to say that it looks and feels much better in real life. There's something about being able to walk up it, and the reflection of the stone in the heat etc. that make it feel much more magical than those photos indicate. And, ha, me too! I'm also definitely not always in a place where they'd be enough sun to make them work in the first place.
  8. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    It sounds fascinating - it's amazing that it's so accurate, to me! I think in the days we have now of all this 'modern technology' it's nice to see the wonder and beauty of getting back to basics and seeing how time was measured before we all had smartphones and fancy watches. Something is so much more charming to me about using a sundial to know what time it is, and it sounds like it's just a beautiful thing to see in itself, being made of marble and gold it sure does sound intricate!
  9. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Thanks. I looked into this and it is a must see. I recommend people unfamiliar with it to google images.
  10. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member


    The Samrat Yantra is not only the largest sundial in Jaipur, it is the largest sundial in India and the world as well. The Samrat Yantra actually translates to "Supreme Instrument" which is just fitting for it. It is about 27 meters or 90 feet tall. It is a fixed tool and is angled at 27 degrees.

    The way it works is that it casts a shadow which tells the time of the day. There's this small cupola at the top of the sundial and this is used for predicting eclipses and predicting when monsoon season is about to come. It is not only the biggest, but it also delivers the most accurate prediction out of all the instruments.

    Time can be calculated through this device by observing the solar system. It can actually predict local time in India as accurate for up to two seconds. Each edge of the sundial's quadrants is marked in hours, minutes and degrees. To read the time, you'll have to stand at the steps facing the form of the hypotenuse.

    The arc on the left shows the time from sunset to midday. The one on the right tells the time from afternoon. For the most accurate reading, you would need to read the dial at the point where the shadow is very sharp.

    It's definitely a must visit since it shows just how people from older times have managed to know time and seasons. There's also some signages on the observatory which tell you how to use the equipments. Or you can hire a guide that knows how to do such things.

    Good luck!