Advertisement

Astronomical Instruments in India

  • Sreeramula Rajeswara SarmaEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

The earliest astronomical instruments used in India were the gnomon and the water clock. In the early seventh century, Brahmagupta described ten types of instruments, which were adopted by all subsequent writers with minor modifications. Contact with Islamic astronomy in the second millennium AD led to a radical change. Sanskrit texts began to lay emphasis on the importance of observational instruments. Exclusive texts on instruments were composed. Islamic instruments like the astrolabe were adopted and some new types of instruments were developed. Production and use of these traditional instruments continued, along with the cultivation of traditional astronomy, up to the end of the nineteenth century.

Keywords

Fifteenth Century Plumb Line Sanskrit Text Conch Shell Astronomical Instrument 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Ôhashi Y (1988) Astronomical instruments of Bhāskara II and after. In: Subbarayappa BV, Murthy SRN (eds) Scientific heritage of India. Mythic Society, Bangalore, pp 19–23Google Scholar
  2. Ôhashi Y (1993) Development of astronomical observation in vedic and post-vedic India. Indian J Hist Sci 28:185–251Google Scholar
  3. Ôhashi Y (1998) The cylindrical sundial in India. Indian J Hist Sci 33:S147–S205zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Sarma SR (1986–1987) Astronomical instruments in Brahmagupta’s Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta. Indian Hist Rev 13:63–74. Reprinted in: Sarma 2008, pp 47–63Google Scholar
  5. Sarma SR (1992) Astronomical instruments in Mughal miniatures. Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 16–17:235–276. Reprinted in: Sarma 2008, pp 76–121Google Scholar
  6. Sarma SR (1994) The Lahore family of astrolabists and their ouvrage. Stud Hist Med Sci 13(2):205–224. Reprinted in: Sarma 2008, pp 199–222Google Scholar
  7. Sarma SR (1999) Yantrarāja: the astrolabe in Sanskrit. Indian J Hist Sci 34:145–158. Reprinted in: Sarma 2008, pp 240–256zbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. Sarma SR (2000) Sulṭān, sūri and the astrolabe. Indian J Hist Sci 35:129–147. Reprinted in: Sarma 2008, pp 179–198zbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. Sarma SR (2004) Setting up the water clock for telling the time of marriage. In: Burnett C et al (eds) Studies in the history of the exact sciences in honour of David Pingree. Brill, Leiden, pp 302–330. Reprinted in: Sarma 2008, pp 147–175Google Scholar
  10. Sarma SR (2008) The archaic and the exotic: studies in the history of indian astronomical instruments. Manohar, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  11. Sarma SR (2012) The Dhruvabhrama-yantra of Padmanābha. Saṃkṛtavimarśaḥ. Journal of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan 6:321–343Google Scholar
  12. Sarma SR, Bagheri M (2011) Shabnumā-wa-Rūznumā: a rare astronomical instrument extant in two specimens. Tarikh-e Elm 9:21–48Google Scholar
  13. Savage-Smith E (1985) Islamicate celestial globes: their history, construction and use. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  14. Winter HJJ (1964) A Shepherd’s time-stick, Nāgarī inscribed. PHYSIS: Rivista Internazionale di Storia dello Scienze 4:377–384Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DüsseldorfGermany

Personalised recommendations