A Wander From Jaipur, India in December 2012
As a little girl, I did my fair share of cloud staring, but what really sparked my curiosity were spaces and design. I channeled most of my musings into drawings and living room theater productions. Whether it was the religious backdrop of my childhood or my natural inclinations, science was sort of lost on me. For that reason, I am in awe of the intense, sky-staring curiosity that manifests as a park of mammoth instruments… à la Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, India!
Jantar (“instrument”) Mantar (“calculation” or “formula”) is an astronomical observation site. It constitutes the most significant and best preserved set of fixed monumental instruments built in India in the first half of the 18th century; some of them are the largest ever built in their categories. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, the monumental masonry installations embody several architectural and instrumental innovations.
To this day, the observatory is used by astrologers, for instance to calculate the auspicious date for weddings. Students of astronomy and Vedic astrology (Jyotish) are required to take lessons at the observatory, and it can be said that the observatory is the single most representative work of Vedic thought that still survives, apart from the scriptures.
(Learn even more here)
Rashivalaya Yantras (pictured above)
A group of twelve instruments, with a graduated quadrants on both the sides, used to find the direct determination of celestial latitude and longitude.
Jai Prakash Yantra (pictured above)
A map of the visible heavens is inscribed on the inner surface of the bowls, with additional scales (including the zodiacal divisions of the year) around the rim. A small ring is suspended from cross wires. Its shadow projects the position of the sun onto the inscribed celestial map.
In the midst of meandering amongst all these scientific, cosmological structures, I found my way into an Aquarian corner. While we’re talking heavens and stars (and maybe love and life?), how about a little astrological musing for my fellow Aquarians?
Your romantic side is flying high today, Aquarius! The opposite sex in general, and your own partner in particular, are going to seem especially attractive to you. You could also see in an entirely different light in someone you think of as a friend. An increasingly busy social life is in the air, so expect some invitations to parties or other social events.
Your work ethic is especially strong today so use it. You have the stamina to put your nose to the grindstone for many long hours. Work overtime if you can. The rewards will be plentiful and it will certainly earn big points with the people in charge.
Pretty good, right?
Here’s to the Heavens!
A Wednesday Wander is a way to revisit journeys past and work my way through my many photos and journals that might otherwise collect proverbial dust. Thanks for wandering with me!