Rajasthan & Holi Festival
23 March 2019
Land of Kings
From Jaipur, to Jodhpur, finishing with the celebration of Holi Festival in Udaipur… a culturally rich journey through the ancient Indian way of life.
Also located in Rajasthan, visit the posts below part of the UNESCO World Heritage series.
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is UNESCO declared World Heritage Site near the famed City Palace and Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. It is a complex system of nineteen astronomical instruments that are constructed by masonry, stone and brass using design principles and knowledge of astronomy as prescribed in Hindu texts. The stone sundial in this Jantar Mantar is officially declared by UNESCO to be the largest in the world. The Jantar Mantar built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was completed in 1734 and the place used as an observatory for planetary predictions and for observing movement of celestial bodies and planetary positions with the naked eye.
The name Jantar Mantar roughly translates to Instruments of Calculation. The different instruments listed in the observatory and whose purposes have been ascertained include:
- Chakra Yantra which is the modern day equivalent of 4 wall clocks simultaneously displaying 4 different time zones, an instrument to measure altitude and meridian of celestial bodies,
- Digamsha Yantra to predict accurate time for sunset and sunrise, an instrument to locate and find the distance of the pole star with respect to other celestial bodies,
- Kapali Yantra, Diksha Yantra, Kanali Yantra, an instrument to measure longitude and latitude, a smaller and slightly less detailed sundial, a three metre astrolabe which holds the feat of being the biggest in the world,
- Rashi Yantra that measures positioning of stars and the constellation systems,
- Vrihat Samrat Yantra that is accurate to within 2 seconds of correctly showing time and also the largest existing sundial in the world,
- Rama Yantra,
- Palbha Yantra.
Built from stone and marble these instruments display amazing tuning to be accurate and precise in their measurements and predictions till date.
Amer Fort is a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan, India. Amer is a town located 11 km from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attraction in Jaipur.
The town of Amer was originally built by Meenas, and later
it was ruled by Raja Man Singh I. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style
elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the
fort overlooks Maota Lake, which is the main source of water for the Amer
Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive,
opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists
of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas,
or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or
Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by
winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is
also popularly known as the Amer Palace.The palace was the residence of the Rajput
Maharajas and their families.
This palace, along with Jaigarh Fort, is located immediately
above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of
hills. The palace and Jaigarh Fort are considered one complex, as the two are
connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route
in times of war to enable the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort
to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.
At the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2013, Amer Fort, along with five other forts of
Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the group Hill
Forts of Rajasthan.