STEVE ALLEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE ALLEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Jantar Mantar observatory. These structures, part of the Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur, India, were built to function as huge astronomical instruments. The structures were constructed from 1727-1733 on the orders of the Maharajah Jai Singh II (1688-1743), ruler of the Indian kingdom of Amber (later Jaipur). The observatory, based on one built at Delhi, consists of 14 geometric structures to measure time, track stars, and predict eclipses. The structure at right, the Samrat Jantar, is over 27 metres tall. The incline is at an angle of 27 degrees (the latitude of Jaipur), and it is used as a sundial to tell the time of day. Eclipse and monsoon predications were announced from the covered platform at its peak.
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