Jantar Mantar
Source: Mukul Banerjee Photography

This place in Delhi which sounds like some Magical Spell, is actually comprises of two Sanskrit words: “Jantar” meaning Instrument and Mantar meaning “Formula”. A 200 year old astrological and astronomical observatory by Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber has not just historical but scientific and technological relevance as well.

Built in 1723, the task was given by Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah to revise the astronomical tables and calendar and this resulted in the creation of this marvellous observatory. Interspersed between concrete paths and well laid out lawns, one can find huge brick and mortar structures arranged in an Aesthetic Manner

Major Instruments At Jantar Mantar:

For measuring the altitude of celestial bodies, Mishra Yantra had been used. It is a combination of five different instruments – the Dakshinottara Bhitti, Niyat Chakra, Western Quadrant, Samrat (smaller version) and Karka Rasivalaya.

To measure the Vertical and Horizontal angles of Celestial Bodies, Ram Yantras had been used. The shadow of the column gives the position of the Sun.

To determine local time of a place, this largest instrument called Prince of Dials or Samrat Yantra is used. With the height of 70 feet, the shadow of the gnomon travels at a rate of 6 cm per minute and thus gives the highest accuracy possible.

To measure the position of Sun, Jay Prakash Yantra had been used. Also known as “Mirror of the Heavens”, one can access the position of a star by the means of crosswire stretched across the rim.

The sizes of these Yantras were deliberately enlarged to gain more accuracy and Samrat Yantra is the largest sundial in the world located in Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar.

A ticket of Rs.100 is required to be purchased by Indian residents and $1.25 for US residents to get entrance to its premises. For carrying a Video Camera an additional charge of Rs. 25 ($0.35) is required to pay.

Similar observatories were created in West-Central India between 1727 and 1734 and all were named as Jantar Mantar. Jaipur, Mathura, Varanasi and Ujjain are such places.

Address: Sansad Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi (Map)
Contact No.: 011 2336 5358
Timings: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM