Jantar Mantar is as interesting as its name. It is an astronomical observation house. There are many different structures. Those having a good understanding of astrology can comprehend the function of the structures better.
The fundamental feature of this place is that the Indian who closely followed the interaction of astrology, planets and their angles have built these giant observation models.
One functions as a sun clock while the other determines the position of planets and the other one determines the features of signs. The place is filled with such countless astronomical figures that function as something I truly do not understand. It is amazing when one take the date it was built into consideration.
Firstly, we see a giant sun clock which shows minutes. Even the minutes are divided into three, in other words, the smallest unit is 20 seconds. You should remember the 13 minute difference between your own clock and the sun clock as the New Delhi clock is being used also in Jaipur if you would like to check the validation of it. I checked it accordingly and it is truly correct. It works like clockwork.
The key part of producing a sun clock is to place the big stone block and calculate its angle, which gives the shadow, not to create the big semi-circle on which the shadow is casted, on which the dials of the clock are written. Because, these calculations change according to the distance from your location to the Equator.
This place was built between 1725 and 1745. It is rather impressive when the technology of that time is taken into consideration.
We see the clocks specially built for signs, and I still do not understand how they function. Our guide says that these clocks show which sign is under the influence of which planet in which period. As a matter of fact, this place is beyond my astrological knowledge.
Wondering how they could possibly build that detailed structures, we encounter a bigger sun clock. The smallest unit in this clock is 2 seconds.
A part of the sign section was under alteration while we were there. It was interesting that also women worked at the alteration. They wore their saris, they plaster with spuds on their hands, and carry heavy loads from place to another, which appealed to us.
After Jantar Mantar, we move on to fabric and clothing shop whose products are made through printing technique. The technique is called block printing. Block patterns prepared from wood usually on a cotton fabric are firstly dipped into root paint and pressed on fabric. Wooden patterns are made of 4-5 blocks which complete each other. They start with the largest piece and the process is completed with different colors with retouches.
For instance, the first piece is the external lines of an elephant, it is soaked in black root dye and pressed on the fabric. It is called the main block. Once it is dry, other areas are being pressed on with the 2nd color, for example yellow, and red, and blue gives the main color of the elephant. 3 blocks at least and 7 block at most are used.
Prices are rather high. Always do bargain even if the shop is supported by the state, in fact start the bargain with half of the prince they offer. You can buy the product for a rather different price.
I would also like to mention a fruit we have tasted in Jaipur. It is called custard apple. It is green, has many seeds and looks like a pine cone. Another thing you must taste is masala tea. It contains cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and clove. It is very delicious and served with milk.
Another group whose member number cannot be underestimated is Jain religion in India. Its followers do not wear shoes and walk around with their mouths shut or wear masks. The reason is that they do not want to harm any living thing. If they wore shoes, they would harm ants and insects. If they walked around with their mouths open, they might swallow a fly. Taking a risk of tetanus, hey walk around with no shoes on. We see a lot of Jains around the area.
Traffic is such a problem in Jaipur just like it is in India. 8 to 10 people get in tuktuks, which is the primary transportation vehicle of the local people, but it actually allows 3 persons at most. 2 persons step on the rear bumper and hold on to the rear side of the car. It is a matter of time that they fall out of the vehicle and be hit by a truck. The most favorite sticker is “please horn” of course.
They hang green pepper on the rear bumper as they believe it brings good luck.