Reference numberL&P/6/248
TitleLetter, 'Of the Brahmin observatory at Benares [Jantar Mantar, Jaipur]' from Robert Barker to John Pringle
DescriptionDescription of the astronomical observatory Jantar Mantar, Jaipur completed in 1734 by order of Raja Jai Singh (1681-1743), founder of Jaipur.
The paper describes the observatory as disused, with lower parts of the edifice 'converted into a stable'. The edifice is incorrectly dated 'said to have been erected two hundred years' by Emperor Akbar (reign 1556-1605). Barker recognises the 'mathematical exactness' of the stone construction as modern and notes the extraordinary 'serenity and clearness of the atmosphere in the night time' outside of monsoon season.

Jantar Mantar is composed of 19 instruments, quadrants, sundials, only 5 are described and 1, the Laghu Samrat Yantra sundial, drawn in details.

Includes 3 plates, one watercolour view of Jantar Mantar, a watercolour perspective and cross-section of Laghu Samrat Yantra (sundial), attributed to then Lieuntenant Colonel Archibald Campbell, chief-engineer for the East India Company (future colonial governor of Madras, Georgia and Jamaica).

Subject: Astronomy

Published in Philosophical Transactions, as 'An account of the Bramin's observatory at Benares. By Sir Robert Barker, Knt. F.R.S.; in a letter to Sir John Pringle, Bart. P.R.S.'
Read 29 May 1777
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rstl.1777.0031
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7207Barker; Sir; Robert (? 1729 - 1789)? 1729 - 1789
NA6809Pringle; Sir; John (1707 - 1782)1707 - 1782
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