Jagannatha Samrat

Paṇḍita Jagannātha Samrāṭ (1652–1744) was an Indian astronomer and mathematician who served in the court of Jai Singh II of Amber, and was also his guru.

Jagannātha, whose father's name was Gaṇeśa,[1][2] and grandfather's Viṭṭhala[2] was from a Vedic family[1] originally from Maharashtra.[2]

At the suggestion of Jai Singh, he learned Arabic and Persian, in order to study Islamic astronomy.[1][2] Having become proficient in these languages, he translated texts in these languages into Sanskrit.[1][2] These translations include:

His original works include:

  • Siddhānta-samrāṭ, which describes astronomical instruments, their design and construction, and observations. It also describes the use of these observations in correcting parameters and preparing almanacs. It mentions how J‌ai Singh, who earlier used astronomical instruments (such as the astrolabe) made of metal, later switched to huge outdoor observatories (such as the Jantar Mantar), as they were more precise; also they were made of stone and mortar rather than brick, to diminish the effects of wear-and-tear and climate.[1]
  • Yantra-prakāra, which describes astronomical instruments, measurements, computations, etc. in more detail, and also observations made by him.[1]

Jagannātha held that when theory and observation differed, observation was the true pramāṇa and overruled theory.[2] While he used and described a number of astronomical instruments, telescopes were not one of them.[2]


  1. K. V. Sarma (1997), "Jagannātha Samrāṭ", in Helaine Selin (ed.), Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 460–61
  2. Achar, Narahari (2007). "Jagannātha Samrāṭ". In Thomas Hockey; et al. (eds.). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer. p. 584. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. (PDF version, Google Books)
  • Harilal Harshadarai Dhruva. "The Rekhaganita or Geometry in Sanskrit", pp. 35 ff. Bombay: Bombay Sanskrit Series, no. LXI, 1901.
  • The Rekhaganita Sanskrit text with English introduction. Two volumes. (PDF)

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