is the brain-child of Maharaj Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. Built in
1719 on Parliament St near Connaught Place, this manmandir or
astronomical observatory ranks second only to the one in Jaipur. Solar
and lunar movements and the
of other stars and planets can be observed from here. It is also a
repository of time-measuring instruments. There are also Jantar Mantars
at Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. It is open from sunrise to 22-00.
Nearby is the Hanuman Temple.About Jantar Mantar
of the five remarkable observatories made by Jai Singh in five different
cities, this is the best-preserved one. It shows the Maharajas
passion for astronomy. Translated into 'Instruments of Measuring the
Harmony of the Heavens', Jantar Mantar was built between 1728 and 1734.
It is a grand celebration of astronomical science. It appears to be a
collection of sculptures with each sculpture serving a specific purpose
of measuring attitudes, azimuths, calculating eclipses or counting of
stars. This is the only observatory out of five built in running
condition. Situated within the City Palace Complex, it is cut off from
the main buildings.
The samrat yantra consists of a massive
triangle with a curved structure on both sides. The jaiprakash yantra is
a two hemispherical bowl structure representing the celestial spheres
and the use of a vertical rod in the center, giving different positions
of celestial bodies during the day and night. The ram yantra is in the
form of a high cylinder. It is surrounded by circular walls and the
shadow of the sun on the vertical and horizontal marble gradations via
the cylinder, indicates the altitude and the azimuth or declination of
celestial bodies. The composite instrument is heart shaped and includes
a sundial and a massive hemisphere on the northern wall. Sawai Jai Singhs
attempt to introduce a renaissance in astronomy through Jantar Mantar
never took off due to chaos in the country. The first Indian Prime
Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said that so accurate was his work that
Jai Singh would have been remarkable anywhere. Thoroughly restored in
1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948.