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The Brihat Samrat Yantra is a sundial that can give the time to an accuracy of 2 seconds.

The shadow of the gigantic triangular wall, falling on the large circular arcs, tells the time. The triangular wall, with the angle inside the wall equal to the latitude of this location, is placed exactly in the North South Direction.

The shadow of the triangular wall moves equal distances in equal time intervals, on the circular arcs. This movement is calibrated to read the time. The arcs are divided into 6 hours each, for the morning and the afternoon segments. The hours are sub divided into 1 minute divisions that are further subdivided into thirty 2 second divisions.

The correction factor to be added, for the day, is displayed in the observatory and can be used to convert the time obtained from this instrument, to the clock time.

The Uttarayana and Dakshinayana annual movements of the Sun can also be measured, using the Brihat Samrat Yantra. The scales marked on its triangular wall are for measuring Declination, the angular position of a celestial object with respect to the equator.

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Page last modified on June 25, 2008, at 04:19 AM EST