Structures that revealed the sky-truths
Once the Mughal emperor had to go on a journey. He was a superstitious man. So he asked the learned men at the court to predict an auspicious date for undertaking the journey. Very soon, a debate arose among the maulvis and the pundits. Both the groups claimed that the date predicted by them was more auspicious. But none of them was sure about the exact planetary positions. The emperor was in a dilemma. He had to face a lot of difficulty in deciding the auspicious time.A Rajput King,Sawai Jai Singh was witness to this incident. He realized that there was a need for astronomical observatories in India. Jai Singh was the ruler of Amber in Rajasthan. Since childhood he had a scientific bent of mind.He was interested in astronomy and studied the works of Ptolemy, Euclid, and Persian astronomers. Using astronomical inventions from different cultures he built five astronomical observatories at Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Mathura, and Ujjain (between 1724 to 1730).These observatories helped in improving the Indian calendar by mapping the movement of planets and stars. The Samrat Yantra or the sundial was used to precisely locate the position of the sun. Also the time of the day could be measured accurately to within half a second.
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