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Manmandil Ghat [Benares].

Manmandil Ghat [Benares].

Photographer: Bromochary, Brajo Gopal

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1869

Shelfmark: Photo 984/(13)

Item number: 98413

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from the riverbank looking towards the Observatory overlooking the ghat from 'Views of Benares, from the River Side' taken by Brajo Gopal Bromochary in 1869. "This Ghat is principally remarkable for the Old Observatory, situated upon the banks of the river at this spot. This lofty building gives a noble appearance to the Ghat and commands a fine view of the river. The approach to it is not from the Ghat, but from a street leading to it, at a considerably higher elevation than the foundations of the edifice. The Observatory was erected by Raja Jay Singh, who succeeded to the ancient Rajas of Ambheri, in the year 1693 A.D. Now most of its astronomical instruments are out of order." The Observatory, built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur (r.1699 to 1743) in the 18th century, was one of five built by the Raja, the others being at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain and Mathura. Sawai Jai aimed to improve the Indian calendar and wanted to precisely locate the sun for the purpose of map making. The instruments were large masonry structures, equipped with protractors and marked grids, to aid in the precise measurement of the location of celestial objects.

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