[INDOLOGY] Astrolabes in Udaipur

Dipak Bhattacharya dipak.d2004 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 16 06:15:18 UTC 2016

16 7 16

Dear Dr. Michel,

I cannot give you information about the artisans. There are tales of
horribly cruel treatment of artisans in India, both traditional and modern,
the thumbs of Muslin makers being cut-off so that Manchester textile
industry came to no harm, of the masons of the Taj being buried so that a
second Taj was not built. Stories are current about some other monuments
too – no one could verify the veracity of the popular beliefs.

All of these could not be true. Not long ago I saw masons coloring marbles
for renovating the Taj. Perhaps they still do, but I have not visited the
Taj for a long time; coloring may be observed in Jaipur too.

I tried to talk with the artisans without much success.

But temples all over India are renovated; gathering information will not be



On Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 9:30 PM, Jean-Michel Delire <jmdelire at ulb.ac.be>

> Thank you to Hartmut, Dean Michael and Dipak for their answers. Of course,
> I know very well all the Savai Jai Singh's observatories (Jantar Mantar) of
> India, having visited them several times and read everything I could about
> them. I also know about the ancient astrolabes made in India, thanks to
> S.R.Sarma, who just edited a famous catalogue of all Sanskrit instruments
> extant in the world. And, again, I have seen many of them in different
> museums. My question concerns more specifically the fabrication (nowadays
> or in a recent past) of such Sanskrit astrolabes in India. Once, I saw a
> not too ancient astrolabe in an antiquary shop in Mumbai. It was not so
> expansive but I didn't buy it, due to its weight and my lack of money. Now,
> I regret my decision and that is why I try to find another such astrolabe.
> It seems that some artisans, in Udaipur, Jodhpur or Jaipur, are still able
> to fabricate them but nobody here want to give me any clue as how to find
> such an artisan. That is why I ask the question again to the list and will
> try to see, when in Jaipur very soon, if something can be done.
> Many thanks again,
> Jean Michel
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