Developed as an observatory by Jai Singh in 728, Jantar Mantar lies next to the City Palace in Jaipur. The name ‘Jantar Mantar’ is derived from the Sanskrit words – yantra mantra – meaning ‘instrument of calculation. Jantar Mantar that appears like an assimilation of bizarre sculptures was added to India’s list of World heritage Sites in 2010. Jai Singh’s love for astronomy was even more than his inclination for war and town planning. He sent scholars abroad to study foreign constructs before commencing the construction of the observatory. Including Jantar Mantar which is the largest and best preserved (it was restored in 1901), Jai Singh constructed five observatories in total.
While the three are in Delhi, Varanasi andUjjain, there are no traces of the fifth, the other that was built inMathura. Every structure within Jantar Mantar serves a purpose ranging from locating the positions of the stars, measuring altitude and azimuth to calculating eclipses. If you want to figure out the fascinating operational system of instruments installed inside the Jantar Mantar, you may choose to pay the half-hour to one-hour guide, every penny of which is worthwhile. The audio guide device will cost you Rs. 200 and Rs. 250 in Hindi and English respectively. The visiting hours are 9am–4.30pm.