There are a lot of observatories everywhere throughout the world, however the Jantar Mantar is said to be one of the biggest observatories ever manufactured. The best thing about the place is that it’s condition is still very good. This special observatory bears witness to the wisdom of ancient times. Jantar Mantar is basically the name given to a series of five grand structures which are built five different cities of India including Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura.
History – During early 18th century, Jaipur was ruled by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who was also the founder of Jaipur. He was a very brilliant astrologer who loved to study philosophy, astrology and architecture. In 1718, the king desired to build an observatory on renown. So he thoroughly studied the subject of astronomy and then started this task. It took him seven years to complete this task. He constructed five different observatories in North India including Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura.
The first stone observatory was constructed in 1724 in Delhi. He built The Jaipur observatory of Rajasthan in 1728. Along with other scholarly astronomers, such as Pt. Kedarnath, He utilized these places for astronomical observations. Being the largest stone observatory in India, the Jantar Mantar at Jaipur has been renovated and again. The place contains several instruments which are used for time measurement, the azimuth, sun declination and much more. The Jaipur observatory was functional for seven years only, as the Maharaja was not very successful in deriving accurate, astronomical observations. The sad thing is that Jantar Mantar at Jaipur was active for just seven years as the King could not derive accurate astronomical calculations and observations.
Building design – This biggest observatory houses fourteen main geometric instruments to measure time, predict eclipses, track stars in their orbits, ascertain the declination of planets and also to determine the celestial altitudes and related parameters. All the instruments are very focused and fixed. The largest device of Jantar Mantar is The Samrat Jantar which is 90 feet high. By carefully plotting the shadow of Samrat Jantar they predict the time of the day. The face of Samrat Jantar is angled at 27 degrees, the latitude of Jaipur. Another device is The Hindu chhatri (small domed cupola) on top which is utilized as a platform to declare eclipses and the arrival of monsoons.
Most of these instruments are grand structures. The reason they are built on a large scale so that the reading can be very accurate. One must experience the fun of walking through solid geometry and witnessing a collective weapons system which is designed to probe the heavens. The Sundial usually draws the maximum attention of tourists among all the devices. This instrument tells the time to an accuracy of about two seconds in local time of the Pink City. The Sundial is believed to be the largest sundial in the world. In 1948, the beautiful Jantar Mantar is announced as a national monument.
The Jantar Mantar is the best symbol of the regal legacy of Jaipur and stands as an example of wisdom of ancient times. After so many years, This wonderful structure still knows how to attract visitors and cosmology fans. The Jantar Mantar is a charming structure, and is an no doubt must visit place in the Pink City.