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The Yanra Raj (or the King of Instruments) is the name given by Jai Singh to this adaptation of an astrolabe, for a latitude of 27 degrees.

An Astrolabe is a complex medieval astronomical instrument that can be used for measuring Time, positions of the Sun and that of some celestial objects in the sky and could also be used for help in computations of celestial positions and their changes. The instrument could, in general be used for measuring the time at night, using the positions of stars, and in the daytime, using the position of the Sun in the sky.

An Astrolabe usually has a base plate (Mater) with a hollow disk and a raised rim with markings, and structures known as tympan and Rete that can be pivoted through a central hole in the base plate. The tympan marks the major celestial co-ordinates like the Horizon and the Meridian, while the Rete is a mapping of the ecliptic or the annual path of the Sun and the relative positions of some prominent stars. These would be specific to a latitude and are therefore usually made as a separate segment of an astrolabe.

The Yantra Raj was made specifically for a latitude of 27 degrees and has the tympan and rete segments as part of the base plate. It has a separate attachment for a sighting tube, to determine altitudes of celestial objects.

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Page last modified on June 15, 2008, at 01:08 AM EST