Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur

After the tour of the Amer Fort, we headed off to the Jantar Mantar which was something quite different and a real eye-opener. But we did have lunch first.

Naan is our unofficial tour guide and was never to be seen without a tour-book or guide in hand. She said we should go to the LMB Hotel restaurant. It is much more swish than any other restaurant we dined in but prices were reasonable and there was an army of waiters.

I ordered this dessert which was refreshing and cooling. I looked up the menu and it was a Kulfa which consisted of scoops of ice-cream garnished with saffron, dried fruits and covered with a milk syrup. It was so good that I forced myself to eat another.

I think it was Bruce and Jennifer who ordered a pizza.

Meanwhile, Peter ordered the Royal Thal. It was an incredible amount of food and Peter was talking about it for days.

Biscuits and sweets for sale at the entrance.

A white horse for a wedding. 

My one glimpse of the symbol of Jaipur, the Hawa Mahal. It is a high screen wall that allowed women to view street festivals while remaining unseen.

One of Peter's hobbies is astronomy and he insisted that we visit the Jantar Mantar which lurks behind this wall.

And it turns out to be an incredible observatory.

A Jantar Mantar is a gigantic sundial. Maharaja Jai Singh II built five of these complexes and the largest is in Jaipur.

A smaller version of the larger sundial. It can measure time to within a few seconds.

India uses just one time zone for the entire country. Local time at Jaipur using the sun as the clock results in a difference of 39 minutes from Delhi.

The larger sun dial is accurate to two seconds and is the largest in the world.

I am not going to try to describe how each of these instruments were used.  However, the complex was finished in 1734. Oddly enough, our guide told us that the main purpose of the precise measurement system was for astrological and religious reasons.

Since we were feeling high tech, we returned to our hotel in an electric tuk-tuk. It struggled with our combined weight and on one hill our driver asked some other drivers to give us a push. We gave him a good tip.

Here is Peter sitting in the driver's seat. It was a fun ride.

Yes, this is the remains of a toilet roll. We have all brought our own but we do use whatever is provided at the hotel. Most of the hotels provide very skimpy rolls and it seems like one roll lasts only one day. It is not difficult to get more rolls but you have to be careful before sitting down.

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