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tude between the places where they stood, the observations and calculations agreed.” " He found the calculation to agree perfectly with the observation. And, although, even to this day the business of the Observatory is carried on, a table under the name of His Majesty, the shadow of God, comprehending the most accurate rules and most perfect methods of computation, was constructed; that so, when the places of the stars, and the appearance of the new moons, and the eclipses of the sun and moon, and the conjunctions of the heavenly bodies, are computed by it, they may arrive as near as possible to the truth, which, in fact, is every day seen and confirmed in the Observatory.
Such is the account of the erection of the Benares Observatory and the invention of its instruments, written by the native astronomer himself, whose genius planned and carried out this important enterprise. Some of the instruments are of gigantic size, and are built of strong masonry capable of lasting for ages, and yet of such delicate adjustment as, for the most part, to continue serviceable according to the original purpose of their designer. But little use, I fear, is now made of them, beyond the calculation of eclipses, festival days, horoscopes, and other matters of practical interest to the people. Many Europeans passing through Benares visit this famous Observatory; and, doubtless, the Brahman in charge of it reaps a considerable harvest thereby. One would naturally suppose, that, if not the celebrity of the place, at least the emoluments which they derive from European and other
sight-seers, would be an inducement to the Brahmans to keep the building and its instruments in repair, and so prevent them from falling into decay; but they seem to be utterly careless on these points, and are allowing the hot sun and the drenching rains of summer to play upon exquisitely enamelled surfaces, the parts of which are divided and subdivided into regular distances with the nicest accuracy, without attempting to restore the breaches in the mortar, and to keep the instruments from injury.
On entering the Observatory, the first instrument you come to is the Bhittiyantra, or Mural Quadrant, which consists of a wall, eleven feet high, and nine feet one and a quarter inches broad, in the plane of the meridian. By this instrument the sun's altitude and zenith distance, at noon, may be ascertained; and, also, the sun's greatest declination, and the latitude of the place. Not far distant are two large circles, one built of stone, the other of lime; and also a large square, built of stone. These may, perhaps, have been used for the purpose of ascertaining the shadow of the gnomon cast by the sun, and the degrees of azimuth; but all the marks upon them are obliterated.
There is an enormous instrument, called Yantrasamrát (or prince of instruments), whose wall is thirtysix feet in length, and four and a half feet in breadth, and is set in the plane of the meridian. One extremity is six feet four and a quarter inches high, and the other, twenty-two feet three and a half inches, sloping gradually upwards, so as to point directly to the north pole. By the aid of this instrument, the distance
from the meridian, and the declination of any planet or star, and the sun, and also the right ascension of a star, may be known. There is, also, here a double Mural Quadrant, and, to the east, an Equinoctial Circle made of stone. There is, likewise, another Yantrasamrát, of small dimensions.
Hard by is the Chakrayantra, between two walls, an instrument used for finding the declination of a planet or star; but it is now out of order. In this immediate neighbourhood is a gigantic instrument, called Digansayantra, constructed to find the degrees of azimuth of a planet or star.
It consists of a pillar four feet two inches high, and three feet seven and a half inches thick, surrounded by a wall of exactly its own height, at a distance of seven feet three and a quarter inches, which is again surrounded by another wall, double its height, and distant from it three feet two and a half inches. The upper surfaces of both walls are divided into three hundred and sixty degrees, and are marked with the points of the compass. On the south side of this instrument there is another Equinoctial Circle ; but the marks and divisions upon it are totally effaced.
I am indebted to the interesting paper of Pandit Bápú Deva Sástrí, - Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy in the Government College, Benares, which he contributed to the Benares Institute, for this information respecting the instruments found in the Mán-Mandil Observatory.
The Nepalese Temple, rising from the banks of the Ganges, at no very great distance from the Mán-Mandil