Jantar Mantar

  • Built In

1728-1734

  • Built By

Maharaja Jai Singh II

  • Renovated By

Major Arthur Garrett

  • Highlight

Listed on UNESCO World Heritage List

  • Managed By

Government of Rajasthan

  • Visiting Hours

9:00 AM to 4:30 PM everyday


Jantar Mantar is a collection of astronomical instruments constructed on architectural structures. This observatory was constructed by Mughal commander Sawai Jai Singh. He was a commander during the regime of Aurangzeb and his successors. Jai Singh was honored with title of Sawai and King by King Mohammad Shah. During the period between 1727 and 1734 Jai Singh II of Amber renovated and built his capital in Pink City of Jaipur. Number of observatories is also located in Mathura and Ujjain.

Jantar Mantar at Jaipur was built after a similar observatory was built in Delhi which remained as capital of Mughals. His interests in field of astronomy and belief in power of this ancient science made him build five observatories in North India including Jaipur and Delhi. Among the five observatories, Jaipur observatory is largest and well preserved. Jantar Mantar features in World Heritage sites of UNESCO and is described as a site of cosmological concepts and astronomical skills of Mughal period. The site underwent initial restoration with appointment of Major Arthur Garrett as Assistant State Engineer of Jaipur District. He had keen interest in astronomy.

Jantar Mantar derives its name from two Sanskrit words Jantar meaning Instrument and Mantar meaning calculation or formula. Hence the literary meaning states site as a place of calculation using instruments. This place also has some religious significance as Hindu religion also believes in science of astronomy.

There are numerous observatories and conservatories in world. However Jantar Mantar is considered as largest observatory with an excellent Historic importance combined with art, science, and religion. In India these observatories by same name are located at Mathura, Jaipur, Ujjain, Delhi and Varanasi.The city of Jaipur was on zenith of prosperity during the regime of Maharaja Jai Singh II when Jantar Mantar was built. Jantar Mantar houses a largest sundial of world. Number of astronomical instruments housed at Jantar Mantar has become an area of interests for historians, architects, astronomers, and tourists across the world.

History

Pink City or Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II. He had excellent knowledge of astronomy and was a great scholar. He had studied architecture, religious scriptures, astrology and philosophy. He also had profound knowledge in subjects of Ptolemy's Syntaxes, Euclid's Clements and Aryabhatta works. His interests in field of astronomy made him undertake task of building an observatory in 1718. His passion made him build 5 observatories around various parts of North India. He used to spend considerable amount of time at all these observatories with other intellectuals in same field like Pt. Kedarnath and record observations. The 'Jantar Mantar' located at Jaipur is country’s biggest conservatory. Jantar Mantar houses numerous astronomical instruments to forecast various astronomical observations. This observatory functioned only for seven years as the Maharaja failed to derive concrete and accurate astronomical observations.

Architecture

Jantar Mantar houses 14 major astronomical instruments for recording time, forecasting eclipses, locating zodiac signs, planetary motions, analyzing declinations of planets and measuring height of heavenly bodies. All these instruments are fixed keeping the required focus. The biggest instrument of this observatory is Samrat Yantra which stands tall at a height of ninety feet. Shadow of this instrument helps in measuring time of the day. The face of instrument is placed at an angle of twenty seven degrees, which is latitude of Jaipur city. The Hindu chhatri which is another instrument helps in effectively forecasting onset of monsoon and eclipses.

All instruments are constructed using marble and local stone. These structures are provided with an astronomical scale which is positioned in inner lining of marble. Some instruments also contain bronze tablets which are believed to provide precise reading. The complete structures were renovated and restored in 1901. The structure was announced as a national monument in 1948.

A visit to this observatory and spending some quality time here would help us understand basics of astronomy and deductions followed to arrive at an astronomical observation.

Most instruments in observatory are of huge sizes while the modern astronomy believes that a large size of the structure helps in providing accurate readings. The sun penumbra is approximately thirty mm wide and this is believed to make one mm scale of Samrat Yantra ineffective. Further, the masons involved in construction of these structures had absolutely no knowledge of astronomy. So they did not exercise any precision while installing the scale. Main attraction of observatory is Samrat Yantra which is a tall structure or a giant sun dial which can read local time to precision of 2 seconds. It is very interesting to see the shadow movement and time calculation.

Jantar Mantar is a hot tourist attraction for people visiting Jaipur. The observatory is still being used by local astronomers to forecast weather for farmers. However, with invention of modern astronomical instruments their veracity is becoming dubious. The students in field of Vedic astrology and astronomy should definitely visit this site to make a note of various representations of this ancient science. This observatory displays the classic example of Vedic thought still persisting. Some smaller instruments like Ram Yantra present excellent culmination of architecture and astronomy.

The fourteen Yantras present at Jantar Mantar

  • Samrat Yantra- This Yantra consists of a Sun Dial which is used for calculating time during day.

  • Disha Yantra- Disha Yantra is highly helpful Yantra which always points to North direction.

  • Dakshina Yantra- This Yantra proved very useful in observing movement of celestial bodies while passing through a selected meridian.

  • Large Samrat Yantra– This Yantra is much accurate and 10 times bigger than Samrat Yantra. This helps in accurately predicting monsoon arrival and its extent.

  • Ram Yantra– Ram Yantra is used to calculate azimuth, altitude and declination in celestial bodies.

  • Kranti Yantra–This Yantra is helpful in measuring latitude and longitude of celestial bodies.

  • Raj Yantra– This Yantra finds application only once in a year for calculating Hindu calendar.

  • Unnsyhsmsa Yantra– This Yantra is helpful in calculating height of celestial bodies.

  • Jai Prakash Yantra– This Yantra is made use of to locate position of celestial bodies during nights and day time.

  • Dhruva Yantra–Dhruv Yantra helps in identifying positions of Pole star at night and twelve Zodiac signs.

  • Narivalya Yantra– This is unique Yantra which consists of two dials for reading time of both hemispheres.

  • Chakra Yantra– Chakra Yantra is helpful in calculating angle of an object with reference to equator.

  • Rashivalayas Yantra- This Yantra consists of twelve sundials which are for Zodiac signs.

  • Jai Prakash Yantra- This Yantra is a master Yantra for checking quality of all other instruments.

How to Reach

Jaipur, the capital of Indian state of Rajasthan is well connected by Train, Road and flight from all major Indian cities. Further, road within the city is excellent making tourists to enjoy every moment of their stay in Jaipur.

By Air

There is excellent flight connectivity from national capital which is located at a distance of three hundred km. There are also regular flights from other important destinations like Jodhpur, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Varanasi and Calcutta. Numerous low fare airlines operate from Jaipur airport.

By Rail

Jaipur is a major railway station with regular express and superfast trains to major Indian cities

By Road

Tourists can travel to almost all nearby major destinations by Road. There are regular bus services operated by state governments and private tour operators. An excellent road network of Jaipur makes it ideal to undertake road journey. There are regular bus services to Udaipur, Ajmer, Agra, Jodhpur and Delhi and at a very reasonable fare.Tourists can also opt for Volvo, luxury and AC coaches.

Tourist Attractions in the neighborhood

  • Jalmahal

  • Jaigarh Fort

  • Jaipur City Palace

When you are in Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is a must see site. A combination of architecture and astronomy put into the form of an observatory presents extraordinary skills of people during that period. It is a structure of delight for astronomy enthusiasts and tourists world wide. The structure stands as a symbol of glorious reminder of royal legacy and testimony of Jaipur.

Best time to Visit

Ideal time to visit Jaipur is post monsoon season from Oct to Mar. Temperature remains pleasant during this period and the effect of desert sun subsidizes.

Timing and Tickets


Tourist Timings: 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m - Daily

Photography charges: Indian: Rs. 50.00, foreigner: Rs. 50:00

Entry Fee: for Indian: Rs. 40.00 and Foreigners Fee: Rs.200.00

Location: Next to the City Palace, Jaipur.

Related Image

Jantar Mantar 1
Jantar Mantar 2
Jantar Mantar 3
Jantar Mantar 4
Jantar Mantar 5
Jantar Mantar 6

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