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.
Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur was keenly interested in these astronomical observations and the study of all the systems, and he erected this observatory upon the instructions of Muhammad Shah. Built out of brick, rubble and then plastered with lime, these instruments have been 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.