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An Emperor’s Discovery

It was the year 1719, the illustrious rural of Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh II was witness to a noisy discussion in the court of Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. The heated debate regarded how to make astronomical calculations to determine auspicious date when the emperor could start journey. This discussion led Jai singh to think that the nation needed to educate on the subject of astronomy.

Astronomy however was maharaja’s real passion. He was a scholar, with a miscellaneous collection of astronomical manuscripts and tables from Arabia and Europe. He also acquired different kinds of telescopes from Europe, and started to research on observations using astrolabes and other instruments.

Five observatories were built at Delhi, Mathura, Varanasi, Ujjain and his own capital Jaipur, in between 1732 to 1734. Maharaja called these observatories Jantar-Mantars, and in Sanskrit it translates to ‘the formula of Instruments’. Relying primarily on Indian astronomy, these buildings were well equipped with drafting devices and grid indicators and used to accurately measured the planetary positions and read the time accurate to one second. Among five, Jaipur’s was big and still operational.

Jantar Mantar also consists some of the instruments designed by King Jai Singh II himself, like ‘Ram Yantra’, ‘Samrat Yantra’, and ‘Jai Prakash Yantra’.



Profile photo of Nikhil Kumar

Almost two year ago when I start thinking about travel I had a shortsighted view of what I should attempt to do. I was an entrepreneur, just passed through a critical phase of life, and a level of dissatisfaction with the nearly perfect life. To achieve my objects I had worked so hard, although it gave me happy movements, but never blessed me with an impressive personality or a full frontal lobotomy. I didn’t get happy; As a young professional I was missing all the thing or about love, balance, meaning, but I had no idea what they were called or where to look for them. I was searching something else, a way? An idea about what was important. I decided to blow it all up and do the things which I really wanted to do. For one, changing carrier can be a karmic kick in the butt. So, in February 2011, I started looking. I moved from one city to another, and that was all it took. “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” This was the little thing that was holding me back all that time. My life will not apart if I do things differently. Anyway, it took me a stupidly long time to realize that but then it unlocked several doors. I started my carrier in writing. I gave myself permission to try and fail at every step that result me something positive. For me, healthiest thing which I have ever done was broken up with my past memories, habits, some friends and others. Now I am writing crappy pitches to glossy magazines, surprisingly writing some awful short travel stories, scraping by making a living, just starting a blog, taking picture and roaming many destin

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