Time Required: 1-2 hours
Located near the City Palace in the regal city of Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is the largest stone astronomical observatory in the world. Owing to its rich cultural, heritage and scientific value, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur has also been featured on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. This ancient study boasts of nineteen instruments built out of stone and brass and was built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh in 1727-33. The intelligent construction and placement of these instruments allowed the observers to note the position of heavenly bodies with their naked eye alone. Time has failed to lay dust upon this engineering marvel and it still works as well as it used to in the olden times.
The main objective of building this vast observatory was to study and gather information about space and time. The instruments here pertain to Egyptian study of 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. Another fact that makes this destination unique is that the world's largest sundial is situated here. The observatory in Jaipur is a part of a collection of five other such observatories built by Raja Jai Singh, which are located in New Delhi, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. The best experience here is undoubtedly the light and sound show that takes place every evening and Jantar Mantar lights up like a firefly!
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