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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 difficult.



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