Heritage Walk organised to celebrate National Science Day

Around a hundred Delhiites, including school and college students, astronomy enthusiasts and several tourists on Tuesday participated in a heritage walk to celebrate National Science Day.

Organised by an NGO Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) in collaboration with the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the heritage walk took place at Jantar Mantar, the 300-year-old astronomical observatory.

According to Mila Mitra, scientific officer at SPACE, demonstration and discussions on the working of ancient instruments like Samrat Yantra, Misra Yantra, Ram Yantra and Jai Prakash Yantra were held with the participants.

“Participants were shown how Samrat Yantra can be used as a giant sundial to tell time and how Ram and Jai Prakash Yantra having two separate structures gave access to ancient astronomers who could step inside and do their measurements,” she said. “The walk also commemorated 100 years of Delhi as a capital and 150 years of the Archeological Survey of India,” added Mitra.

Mitra further said the enthusiasts were excited to find out how ancient astronomers studied the motions of the sun, moon and planets without satellites or telescopes and told time without clocks. Akshit Goyal, a student from St Stephen’s College said: “It is a great exposure for students to have an outreach experience with SPACE on astronomical background.”

For Sudhir Ranjan who had visited Jantar Mantar on several occasions but never got to know how the instruments worked there, the walk was an eye-opener. He said, “It was a riddle for me as to how the instruments there were used to measure the movements of the heavenly bodies in the sky.

The mystery has been solved today,” The National Science Day is celebrated on February 28 across India to commemorate Sir C V Raman’s Discovery of the Raman Effect. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for the phenomenon called Raman scattering.

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