Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur was built in the early 18th century. It is an ancient astronomical observation site. It has around twenty fixed astronomical instruments which had been designed to observe astronomical positions. It is a phenomenal architectural wonder which has amazing innovative instruments.
It is an extremely important historic observatory which showcases the brilliance of the olden times and is very well preserved that even today some of the instruments can be used if needed. Constructed towards the end of the Mughal period, Jantar Mantar is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built.
It is the perfect amalgamation of religion, science and art and built as a series in Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura. Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II during the 1720's. It also houses the world's largest sundial. The biggest conservatory in the country has been renovated a number of times and houses various instruments by the help of which time can be measured along with the declination of the sun and the positions of constellations and other astronomical phenomena as well.
It has fourteen major instruments namely the Brihat Samrat Yantra or the world’s largest sundial; Hindu Chhatri; the Jaiprakash Yantra which is a highly innovative sundial which provides and inverse image of the sky; and the Rasivalaya which helps to measure the ecliptic co-ordinates of celestial objects. The Jaipur observatory functioned for only seven years as accurate observations could not be deemed.
The name Jantar Mantar has been derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Yantra’ and ‘Mantra’ which mean ‘instruments’ and ‘formula’ respectively. The name was later changed to Jantar Mantar , ‘Jantar’ meaning magical. The magnificent structure is a very popular tourist spot and is always buzzing with people.
It is an intriguing structure and a must visit historical place in Jaipur. It attracts history lovers, tourists and even people enthusiastic about astronomy.