Jantar Mantar


Located in the heart of New Delhi, Jantar Mantar was constructed at the behest of Sawai Jai Singh, Maharaja of Jaipur who had an avid interest in astronomy. Built during the 18th century, Jantar Mantar was originally known as Yantra Mantra meaning Instrument Formula but the British used to refer it to as Jantar Mantar and that name got firm.

Jantar Mantar came into being because Sawai Jai Singh felt the need to correct the anomalies that have crept into the calculating algorithms used to detect the positions for celestial objects. Keeping this in mind, the king ordered the construction of masonry.

Jantar Mantar is designed according to the style followed by Arab astronomer Prince Ulugh Beg, who built the observatory at Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The Jantar Mantar Observator is made up of brick and plaster. The observatory consists of four main instruments that have separate functions. These are - Samrat Yantra, Misra Yantra, Jayaprakasha Yantra and Ram Yantra.

The Samrat Yantra was meant function like a sundial and measure accurate time of the day within half a second and the declination of the sun while the Misra Yantra determined the shortest and the longest day of the year. The Jayaprakasha Yantra are the two complimentary concave hemispheres that used to show the local time, sun's declination and zodiac signs in an instant whereas the Ram Yantra are complimentary circular buildings that aid in the easy determination of local celestial co-ordinates.

Even though Jantar Mantar is not used in today's era, it is a proud reminder of India's scientific prowess. Travel to India and witness the country's scientific heritage in all its glory.

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Delhi History Delhi Travel Guide
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