Celestial Mirror: The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh II

Celestial Mirror: The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh II

by Barry Perlus


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Explore the eighteenth‑century Indian astronomical observatories called the Jantar Mantars, massive, stunning structures built to observe and understand the heavens

Between 1724 and 1730, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five astronomical observatories, called Jantar Mantars, in northern India. The four remaining observatories are an extraordinary fusion of architecture and science, combining elements of astronomy, astrology, and geometry into forms of remarkable beauty. The observatories’ large scale and striking geometric forms have captivated the attention of architects, artists, scientists, and historians worldwide, yet their purpose and use remain largely unknown to the public.
In this book, Barry Perlus’s visually driven exploration brings readers to the Jantar Mantars and creates an immersive experience. Panoramas plunge the viewer into a breathtaking 360‑degree space, while pages of explanatory illustrations describe the observatories and the workings of their many instruments. The book provides the experience of visiting the sites, the historical context of the Jantar Mantars, and an understanding of their scientific and architectural innovations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300246278
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 07/02/2020
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 10.62(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Barry Perlus is associate professor of art in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University. He has taught courses in photography since 1984 and received support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for his creative work.

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