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Jantar Mantar - Jaipur


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Jantar Mantar, Observatory

Introduction of Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the one of the most prominent one among the other five observatories which are founded by Sawai Jai Singh, it is situated close to the gate of City Palace of Jaipur. Jantar Mantar is the main stone observatory in the world, it is still in a running condition. The name 'Jantar Mantar' is derived from Sanskrit word 'Yantra Mantra' which means instruments and formulas. Due to mispronunciation of the Sanskrit word it was amended to the name Jantar Mantar.

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who was the Rajput ruler of Amber and the founder of Jaipur was well educated and an astronomer, who was extremely interested in the working of the celestial bodies, so he built the observatory known as Jantar Mantar. Maharaja Jai Singh II built 5 observatories in central and west part of India between 1727 to 1734, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the largest among all of them.

Sawai Jai Singh II was commissioned by Emperor Muhammad Shah, to make corrections in the astronomical tables and to verify the data which is already available on the planetary positions. Sawai Jai Singh II took 7 years to finish the task. He built the first stone observatory in 1724 in Delhi.

History of Observatory

There is a very exciting history behind the foundation of the observatory. Sawai Jai Singh II sent his men to various parts of the world. The men came back with guidebooks, data and astronomical tables on the advances made in the field of astronomy. One of these guidebooks is La Hire's "Tables". Sawai Jai Singh II wants the observatory to be built according to the data given in the guidebook. It was revealed after the foundation of Jantar Mantar, that it was more accurate than the Table itself.

Regarding the construction of the Observatory Sawai Jai Singh has 2 options, he may either use metal instruments or he may use stonework. According the text of the Islamic school of astronomy, metal instruments used in the construction did not measure up to Jai Singh's expectations.

So, he removed them in favor of the instruments of stone and masonry that he himself designed. In this Observatory one can view the wonderful stonework. The observatory has the Jaiprakash Yantra, Diganta Yantra, Large Kranti Yantra, Dhruva Yantra, Ram Yantra, Jai Prakash Yantra, Chakra Yantra, Raj Yantra, Disha Yantra, Dakshina Yantra, Unnathamsa Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Ram Yantra and the Composite instrument, which includes a large hemisphere and a sundial. Jantar Mantar was built not only to verify astronomical observations made at Jaipur, but also to arouse interest in astronomy.


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