Must Visit

Jantar Mantar, Delhi

4.3 / 5 76 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 2 hours

Timings:

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Entry Fee:

Indians: INR 5,
Foreigners: INR 100
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Jantar Mantar, Delhi Overview

Located in the Parliament Street, south Connaught Circle of New Delhi, Jantar Mantar is a vast observatory built to help and improve upon the studies of time and space as was known. It was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the year 1724 and forms a part of a collection of five such observatories located in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura.

How Does it Work?

Delhi's Jantar Mantar consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments which can be used to compile the astronomical tables and to predict the movement and timings of the sun, moon and planets. The intelligent construction and placement of these instruments allowed the observer to note the position of heavenly bodies with their naked eye alone.

Jantar Mantar observatory consists of masonry built astronomical instruments that have stood the test of time and still work as well as they did in the olden days. Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur was keenly interested in these astronomical observations and the study of all the systems, and this observatory was erected by him upon the instructions of Muhammad Shah. Built out of brick, rubble and then plastered with lime, these instruments have been repaired and restored from time to time without making any significant alteration. The apparatus here pertains to Egypt's Ptolemaic astronomy and follows three classical celestial coordinates to track the positions of heavenly bodies- namely horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system and the ecliptic system. There are four primary devices constructed here: The Samrat Yantra, the Jai Prakash, Ram Yantra and Misra Yantra. There lies a small temple of Bhairava to the east of the main site and even that was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II.

More on Jantar Mantar


There are various instruments within the observatory of Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, namely Samrat Yantra, Jayaprakash, Misra Yantra. The Samrat Yantra is a giant triangle which is 70 feet high, 114 feet long and 10 feet thick. It is a sundial meant to measure the exact time of the day with the accuracy of half a second. Although at that time sundials did already exist, but Samrat Yantra was a revolutionary one as it was extremely precise and could be used to measure the declination angle of planets as well.

Jayaprakash Yantra consists of hollowed out hemispheres with some marking on the concave surfaces. An observer can align the position of a star with various markings or a window's age from inside. The Misra Yantra was designed in order to determine the shortest as well the longest days of a year. It also indicates the exact moment of noon in different cities and locations regardless of the distance from Delhi. Interestingly, the Misra Yantra is the only tool in the observatory that was designed by Raja Jai Singh. There is also a Ram Yantra which represents the two circular buildings to the south of Jai Prakash.

King Sawai Jai Singh was an accomplished scholar himself and was commissioned the task of confirming and rectifying the current data available on the movement of celestial bodies by Emperor Muhammad Shah. Jai Singh wanted to refine the ancient Islamic zij tables so that the exact hour of the day could be determined. Eventually, he wanted to define a precise calendar and make accurate astrological predictions for both individual and social benefit. To achieve this, he built Jantar Mantar in the year 1724 and the observatory in Delhi was the first one to be built. Eventually, other observatories were constructed in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura as well. However, the condition of this observatory deteriorated quite a bit by 1867. After ceaseless efforts on the part of the government to restore it to its former glory, Jantar Mantar is now a popular tourist destination famous all over the country.

Best time to visit this destination is during the months of September- March when the weather is pleasant.

1. If you are visiting during summers, try to visit this destination during the morning or evening hours.
2. Don't forget to carry a bottle of water with yourself to keep yourself hydrated.

Jantar Mantar is located on the Parliament Street, Janpath and hence, it is very accessible. The nearest metro stations are Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk and Janpath Metro station at a distance of 1 km. You can hire an autorickshaw or taxi from outside the metro stations. Alternatively, you can also opt for a bus. The Palika Kendra Bus stand is located right outside the entry gate of Jantar Mantar.

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