Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantar in total in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi in the early 18th century. India has a total of five such observatories the largest of which is in Jaipur. Jantar Mantar is not an ordinary tourist spot, it shows that science and technology of Indian Historic Period were so efficient and so advanced that we can’t even imagine. Here are few reasons which will make you keen to visit the World famous Jantar Mantar of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory used to measure the distances and positions of celestial objects. Term 'Jantar Mantar' is derived from the Sanskrit terms 'Yantra' and 'Mantra' meaning 'instruments' and 'formula' respectively. The term 'Yantra' was replaced with 'Jantar' which means 'magical'. It literally means ‘calculating instrument’.
- It consists of nineteen instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking the location of major stars as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides.
- The instruments are (alphabetical). Interestingly, as a viewer, you will find all of these instruments huge in size or shape. However, from the context of a mathematician, they all were positioned as proportional to their accuracy.
- The monument features instruments operating in each of the three main classical celestial coordinate systems: the horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system and the ecliptic system.
- The structure was first made in wood & measures were adjusted. Later, it was replicated in stone the moment dimensions were perfected. Stone was used as it lasts longer than any other material.
- The most significant among these is the Vrihat Samrat Yantra which is the world’s largest sundial. Others are Chakra Yantra, Dakshinottar Bhitti Yantra, Digamsha Yantra, Disha Yantra, Dhruv Darshak Pattika, Jai Prakash Yantra, Kanali Yantra, Kapali Yantra, Kranti Vritta Yantra, Laghu Samrat Yantra, Misra Yantra, Nadivalaya Yantra, Palbha Yantra, Ram Yantra, Rashivalaya Yantra, Shastansh Yantra, Unnatamsa Yantra, Yantra Raj.
- It offers precise measurements of time, the azimuth, declination of the sun and the positions of constellations, along with several other astronomical phenomena.