Celestial Mirror

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Celestial Mirror: The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh II

In this book, Barry Perlus’s visually driven exploration brings readers to the Jantar Mantars and creates an immersive experience. Panoramas plunge the viewer into a breathtaking 360-degree space, while pages of explanatory illustrations describe the observatories and the workings of their many instruments. The book provides the experience of visiting the sites, the historical context of the Jantar Mantars, and an understanding of their scientific and architectural innovations.

Look inside for a preview of selected pages from several chapters in the book. Also check out the FB or Instagram pages for jantarmantar.org to see more details and stories from the book.


“I cannot imagine what an alien landing next to these mysterious observatories, the Jantar Mantars, would think! Thankfully we have Perlus’s beautiful book, which allows us to see and understand the cross-cultural breadth of astronomy.”—Anthony Aveni, author of Star Stories: Constellations and People

“This exquisite volume transports the reader to four fantastical observatories where the outsized instruments – free of lenses, mirrors, cameras, or telescopes – take the spiritual and scientific measure of the heavens.”—Dava Sobel, author of Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and The Glass Universe

Watch a book discussion with the author sponsored by the Nehru Planetarium in Delhi, India. Participants include the late Dr. Nandivada Rathnasree, director of the planetarium, Dr. Mark Subbarao, lead, NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Anisha Shekhar Mukherji a conservation architect and independent scholar of architectural history. https://youtu.be/XVED4nQDF80

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