Jantar Mantar

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Jantar Mantar


Jantar Mantar, Delhi, is one of the five observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, raised between 1724 and 1730. The name of this noteworthy astronomical observatory, Jantar Mantar means 'instrument for calculation'. For being a reputed astronomer, Jai Singh was commissioned by Emperor Muhammad Shah, to correct the astronomical tables and to confirm the data that was available on the planetary positions. Some of these purposes nowadays would be classified as astrology. Maharaja Jai Singh II built five Jantar Mantars in India, located at Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura.

Jantar Mantar of New Delhi was built with a view to help the practicing astronomers in observing the movements of the Sun, Moon and all other planets. The relevance of this science would then be introduced to the general public. There are four distinct instruments within the observatory of Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

The Samrat Yantra, is the huge sundial meant to measure accurate time of the day within half a second. A striking yellow structure on the right side stands 70 feet high, 114 feet long and 10 feet thick.

The 27m high arm adjusted at an angle of 27 degrees reflects the local time accurate in four minutes and also measures the declination of the sun. Jai Prakash is an instrument designed by Sawai Jai Singh himself. The imagination consists of hollowed out hemispheres with markings on their concave surfaces which together ascertain the position of the sun and other heavenly bodies. Mishra Yantra is the only observatory that was not invented by Sawai Jai Singh II. The two pillars on the southwest of Mishra Yantra determine the longest and the shortest days in the year.

Fascinatingly, one pillar overshadows the other in December while in June; it does not cast any shadow at all. Ram Yantra consists of two large buildings open to the sky. This yantra is used for measuring the altitude of stars. All these instruments are used for various astronomical calculations.

Jantar Mantar of Delhi till date is used by modern day scholars to ascertain the determine position of astral bodies in our universe.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Delhi is between February and April or from August to November. The weather at this time is quite pleasant. Summers in Delhi can be hot with temperatures rising up to 45 degrees while the temperatures dropping down to 5 degrees in winters.


There is plaque fixed on one of the structures in the Jantar Mantar observatory in New Delhi that was placed there in 1910 mistakenly dating the construction of the complex to the year 1710. Later research, though, suggests 1724 as the actual year of construction.


The Delhi Jantar Mantar is open to public from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

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