Ideal Time: 1-2 hours
Open Time: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Cost: Indians: INR 40, Students : INR 15, Foreigners: INR 200
Located near the City Palace in the regal city of Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is the largest stone astronomical observatory in the world. 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 observer 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 in the olden times. An amalgam of various disciplines, Jantar Mantar stands proudly as a witness of the wisdom and mathematical prowess of a former age. Owing to its rich cultural, heritage and scientific value, Jantar Mantar has also been featured on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
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 calender and and make accurate astrological predictions for both individual and social benefit. To achieve this, he decided to build Jantar Mantar in the year 1718. He made extensive studies on the astronomical principles of Hindu, European, Islamic and Persian civilizations and built five different observatories across North India. The construction of Jaipur's Jantar Mantar took place in the period between 1727 and 1733 and was renovated time and again. The instruments here were built such that they covered a very wide range of cosmological applications which further accelerated developments in this field. It got featured on UNESCO's list of World Heritage in the year 2010 and has been an even greater attraction ever since.
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a collection of different architectural and astronomical instruments. It has 19 major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, ascertaining the declinations of planets, determining celestial altitudes and tracking stars in their orbits. This attraction is spread over an area of 18,700 meters and some of the instruments here are the largest of their kind. Sawai Jai Singh II decided to build the observatory instruments with stone and marble because stone can withstand extreme weather conditions much better as compared to metal, which has a tendency to wear and tear easily. Some of these instruments were conceptualized and designed by the Raja himself. On the other hand, a few of the instruments here are built from copper and still work with startling accuracy. In terms of its area, Jaipur's Jantar Mantar is the largest one as compared to its other counterparts in the north of India.
The largest instrument here is the Samrat Yantra sundial which can give the local time with an accuracy of up to 2 seconds. The structure is built from local stone and marble and each of these instruments carries an astronomical scale. However, the Samrat Yantra is not open to the public as observers still use it for their calculations. There is a smaller sundial present here which works on the same principle as the Samrat Yantra, and it is open for the public to use and explore. Ram Yantra is used to measure the local coordinates of altitude and azimuth of a celestial object while the Jai Prakash Yantra is used to find the position of heavenly monuments.
Other instruments here in the premises include Narivalya Yantra which remains parallel to the plane of the Earths equator, Karnti Yantram for measuring celestial latitude and celestial longitude of an object in the sky, Raj Yantram for the measurement of time and the positions of celestial objects, Unnsyhsmsa Yantra for measuring altitude the angular height of an object in the sky, Chakra Yantra for determining the global coordinates of declination and the hour angle of a celestial object, Disha Yantra, Dakshina Yantra and Rashayas Yantra.
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Rajasthan is a desert state and has very oppressive summer heat. The best time to visit Jantar Mantar would be during spring season or winter months, that is, from September to March.
Once you reach Jaipur, you can opt for an autorickshaw, bus or taxi to reach Jantar Mantar. All of these modes of transport are quite readily available as well.
If you are planning on staying somewhere near Jantar Mantar, Jaipur has quite a few options for you. Some of the top hotels here include Alsisar Haveli, Hotel Mahadev Villa, Hotel Blue Heaven, Fort Chnadragupt, Golden Tulip, FabHotel Castle and Rajputana Haveli among others.
You can have a great meal at restaurants such as The Palace Cafe/Restaurant, The Tattoo Cafe, Shri Gopi Pavitra Bhojanalaya, Midtown Multicuisine Restaurant, Kailash Veg Restaurant and Heritage Buffet among others.
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.
3. You must visit the orientation building here which has a short film giving a description of the place.
4. It is recommended that you hire a guide to understand the working of the instruments better. Typically they charge somewhere around INR 200.
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