Jantar Mantar is very popular among tourists
and the people of Delhi. The structure is
another great masterpiece of Indian architecture
which shows the scientific acumen of ancient
India. Jantar Manter is situated at Parliament
Street, very close to Connaught Place. Jantar
Mantar is also called Delhi Observatory.
It is maintained by the Jaipur government
because it was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai
Singh II of Jaipur in 1710 A.D.
It is a remarkable structure which consists
of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring
time, forecasting weather changes, predicting
behaviour of planets and finding extraterrestrial
altitude. All these devices are fixed structures
and point to a specific direction. The largest
device or instrument is the Samrat Jantar
which is 90 feet high and its shadow is
plotted in such a manner so that is shows
the exact time of the day. Any weather change
or the onset of monsoons can be ascertained
by the Hindu Chhatri, which is a small domed
The whole structure is made of stone and
marble with each of then having an engraved
astronomical scale. Jantar Mantar finally
got the status of a national monument in
1948. It has always attracted architects,
historians and scientists from all over
Maharaja Jai Singh was a fanatical astronomer
himself who studied various works from Hindu,
Muslim and European astronomy. He had the
perception that the tables used by the pundits
were deceptive and the actual planetary
changes and predictions of eclipses would
not have been possible through these measuring
parameters. So he thought that he would
find an improved and efficient means through
which exact prediction could be made. It
was his own inspiration and foresightedness
that gave shape to such an instrument. He
built other observatories at Jaipur, Ujjain,
Benares and Mathura to have an exact calculation.
It took almost seven years before the whole
structure was fully operational because
he wanted to be fully satisfied with the
accuracy of the instruments at Jantar Mantar.
Some of the major instruments at
Jantar Mantar are:
- The Samrat Yantra 'Prince of Dials'
(the largest device)
- The Ram Yantra - two circular buildings
- The Jai Prakash
- The Misra Yantra (north-west to the
- Pillars on the southwest of Mishra
Yantra used to measure the shortest and
longest days of the year.
The Samrat Yantra measured the accurate
time of the day. It also measured the declination
of the sun which can be seen by the shadow
moving around the structure.
The Jai Prakash shows the sun's position
at the time of equinox. There is a hole
near the bottom of the structure which witnesses
sunshine only once in a year that is on
21 march, called vernal eqinox.
Another important structure called the Ram
Yantra, consists of two large buildings
with open top. Both these two buildings
form a complete device. The device is used
to measure the altitude of stars which is
equivalent to the latitude and the longitude
on the earth.
To the north-west of the Prakash Yantra,
there is a structure or instrument called
Mishra Yantra. It consists of five instruments.
Pillars on the southwest of Mishra Yantra
are used to measure the shortest day (21
December) and the longest day (21 June)
of the year.
It is no denying the fact that the structure
does represent the scientific heritage of
India, though not being used in the modern
scientific research. Having said that, we
must give accreditation to the Jantar Mantar
for its scientific acumen which could have
reaped more fruits had there been appropriate
motivation and resource given for research
Summer (Mar. to Jun.): Warm
Winter (Nov. to Feb.): Pleasant
Monsoon (Jul. to Aug.): Warm
Best time to visit: October and March
- Air: The nearest airport
to Jaipur is the Sanganer Airport in Jaipur,
10 km from the city. Domestic flights
connect Jaipur with Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai,
Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
- Rail: Jaipur is well
connected by trains to all the major cities
of Rajasthan and India such as Delhi,
Agra, Chennai, Jodhpur, Mumbai, Udaipur,
Bikaner and Ahmedabad.
- Road: A well-developed
network of road connects Jaipur to important
tourist towns of Rajasthan and north India.
There are private as well as government
buses that connect Jaipur to all the nearby
major cities such as Delhi and Agra.