[INDOLOGY] Fwd: Indian astronomical instruments Revised Edition of the Catalogue

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Sun Feb 3 13:52:22 UTC 2019

Dear List Members,
A new revised edition of the Descriptive Catalogue of Indian Astronomical
Instruments has now been released by Prof. Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma. I
want to both congratulate Prof. Sarma with this achievement and thank him
for making it generously available to all those interested.
An earlier version was announced on this List by Dominik around one and a
half year ago.
An accessible introduction to the objects described in this Catalogue and
their use and cultural historical context is found in Prof. Sarma's book
The Archaic and the Exotic: Studies in the History of Indian Astronomical
Manohar publishers and distributors, Delhi, 2008.

The list of categories of Indian scientific instruments which Sarma
envisaged for his catalogue then still only in preparation (p. 27) gives a
good impression of the varieties of Indian instruments available in- and
outside India:
1.1 Water Clocks, Outflow Type
1.2 Water Clocks, Sinking Bowl Type
2.1 Sun Dials with Vertical Gnomon
2.2 Sun Dials with Horizontal Gnomon
2.3 Equinoctial Sun Dials
2.4 Column Sun Dials
2.5 Other Kinds of Sun Dials
3.1 Sand Clocks, calibrated for Ghaṭīs
3.1 Sand-Clocks, calibrated for Hours
4.1 Quadrants, Sanskrit
4.2 Quadrants, Indo-Persian
5.1 Armillary Spheres, Sanskrit
5.2 Armillary Spheres, Indo-Persian
6.1 Ring Dials
6.2 Universal Ring Dials
7.0 Noctumal-cum-Quadrant (Dhruvabhrama-yantra)
8.0 Phalaka-yantras, as described by Bhāskara II
9.1 Astrolabes, Indo-Persian, by. Allahdad Family
9.2 Astrolabes, Indo-Persian, by others
9.4 Astrolabes, Sanskrit, for several Latitudes
9.5 Astrolabes, Sanskrit, for a single Latitude
10.1 Celestial Globes, Indo-Persian, by Allāhdād Family
10.2 Celestial Globes, Indo-Persian, by others
10.3 Celestial Globes, Sanskrit
11.0 Other Instruments, inscribed in Sanskrit
12.0 Other Instruments, inscribed in Persian

---------- Forwarded message ---------

Since the release of the full catalogue in January 2018, I came to know of
some new instruments. I have prepared a revised edition of the catalogue,
after incorporating these new instruments and several indexes.

There has been a suggestion that a shorter version of the catalogue,
consisting of all the introductory essays and appendices, but excluding the
catalogue proper, would be easier for the general reader to handle.
Following this suggestion, my son Ananda prepared the abridged version.

The Revised Edition of the Catalogue (4454 pages) as well as the Abridged
Version (656 pages) can be accessed at my homepage. With this I conclude my
work on Indian astronomical instruments which I began long ago.

I wish to express my deep sense of gratitude to all the museums and the
private collectors who permitted me to study the instruments in their
possession and to the many friends and well-wishers across the globe who
helped in various ways in the preparation of this catalogue. Special thanks
are to my son Ananda who prepared the online version.

S. R. Sarma

Höhenstrasse 28 { 40227 Düsseldorf { Germany { www.srsarma.in


*Jan E.M. Houben*

Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology

*Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite*

École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, PSL - Université Paris)

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

54, rue Saint-Jacques, CS 20525 – 75005 Paris

*johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr <johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr>*

*johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu <johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>*


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