Album - Pge14


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         It is a rectangular brass sheet which has been bent to form a semi-circular trough. There is a gnomon on one side of the trough which throws its shadow on the scales engraved inside the trough. Upon the scales, one can measure the time both 60-minutes hours and in 24–minute ghatis. The trough is mounted on a stand at the back of which there is an arc which is graduated in degrees from 10 to 50. By sliding the trough along the arc up to the desired degree, the sundial can be adjusted according to the local altitude. The instrument must be placed always in a north-south axis. For this purpose, a magnetic compass is attached to the lower part of the stand.

            Interestingly enough, the legends on the instrument represent all the three scientific traditions prevalent in the nineteenth century. The scales are marked with the Arabic or English numerals. On one side of the trough, the Sanskrit names of the twelve zodiac signs are written in Devanagari script. Finally, the maker’s inscription within the trough is in Persian language and script. The inscription records that this instrument was manufactured at Patna in 1275 AH/AD 1859 by Mangaran who was a Shagird-i Rashid of Lalah Makhan Lal.

            In the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, there is another sun-dial made by Mangaran in 1284 AH/AD 1868. These two were clearly copied from a European model which was probably designed in France.




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