Jantar Mantar Observatory, Jaipur
Founded by Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II nearly 300 years ago, Jaipur is a tourist destination with palaces, cities, and monuments. The King built many monuments including the major tourist attraction called Jantar Mantar. This means ‘instruments to measure astrology’. First called ‘Yantra Mantra’ ancient tools like this was used by ancestors of the medieval age for astronomy.
Since the ruler of Jaipur thought small tools are not sufficient to measure the movements or harmony of heaven, he decided to built a large tool. Today, tourists throng to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jaipur.
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History of Jantar Mantar
The Jantar Mantar is a large structure situated in several places in India. However, the solar observatory at Jaipur is the largest of all five situated across India. This UNESCO World Heritage is also the largest solar observatory in the entire continent of Asia.
It took 12 – 15 years to complete the construction of this structure that started in the early 17th century (1724 – 1736). Spread across an area 18,700 sq. km. close to other top tourist sites City Palace & Hawa Mahal in Jaipur.
The National Monument was originally constructed using materials like marble and natural stone. However, it has undergone restoration during the British rule and the last one more than a decade ago. Although its original accuracy in measures remains same different materials replaced the originals. There are a total of 19 geometrical designs that are preserved by which visitors see the orbits around the sun & astronomical positions. Each has a unique specialty.
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Major Attractions at Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
1. Vrihat Samrat Yatra
This is a Sanskrit term for sundial and this is the largest in the whole world. It gives the same time with only 2 seconds difference in accuracy. It measures 22.6 meters in height with a radius of 15.5 meters.
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2. Laghu Smarat Yantra
This is not as large or accurate as the first ‘supreme instrument’ as it is a smaller version of the above. However, the accuracy of this smaller sun dial is of 20 seconds.
This is a curved brass object inside to measure the altitude. It means ‘high degree of arch’. There are two horizontal and vertical poles inside the large brass circle. On the circle there are even angles of 1/10 of a degree.
It means North South meridian that measures altitude of an astronomical object that comes across the dividing wall. There is a semi-circular arc on the western wall and intersecting arcs on the eastern wall.
The name of the astronomical instrument means sextant. It is a meridian with two semi – circular arcs to calculate zenith and declination. The measuring scales of this instrument include degrees and time with one minute as the least count of time.
The solar observatory Jantar Mantar is a famous tourist destination situated close to the Hawa Mahal and City Palace.
However, these are the two very famous destinations but there are several other things you can do when you go to visit Jantar Mantar.
1. Ride to Jaipur in Tuk – Tuk: These are colorful auto – rickshaws that may charge you more, so negotiate the price.
2. Go bicycling in Jaipur: This is for the healthy people who like to ride a bicycle in the hot sun. Cyclin’ Jaipur offer bicycling tours.
3. Culture Walk in Jaipur: Some offer a tour walk around the tourist area to give an insight into the historical structures of olden era.
4. Block printing Workshop Creates: Visit to see the art & craft ton how the famous Block printing is done for a different experience than sightseeing.
Jantar Mantar Visitor Information
Indian National: Rs. 50/-
Foreign Visitor: Rs. 200/-
Timings: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Spend at least 45 minutes, if you want to see quickly or if you are interested in astronomical measurement then give at least 2 hours of your time.
Closed On: Open on All Days
It is advisable to take the assistance of tourist guide as it is a vast place and so many instruments to see. There are also audio guides available at extra cost.
If you have visited Jaipur yet, surely you can include Jantar Mantar in your next travel destination and experience the incredible vacation through the most famous luxury train – Palace on Wheels.
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