Jaipur – Jantar Mantar
15 March 2019
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is UNESCO declared World Heritage Site near the famed City Palace and Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. It is a complex system of nineteen astronomical instruments that are constructed by masonry, stone and brass using design principles and knowledge of astronomy as prescribed in Hindu texts. The stone sundial in this Jantar Mantar is officially declared by UNESCO to be the largest in the world. The Jantar Mantar built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was completed in 1734 and the place used as an observatory for planetary predictions and for observing movement of celestial bodies and planetary positions with the naked eye.
The name Jantar Mantar roughly translates to Instruments of Calculation. The different instruments listed in the observatory and whose purposes have been ascertained include:
- Chakra Yantra which is the modern day equivalent of 4 wall clocks simultaneously displaying 4 different time zones, an instrument to measure altitude and meridian of celestial bodies,
- Digamsha Yantra to predict accurate time for sunset and sunrise, an instrument to locate and find the distance of the pole star with respect to other celestial bodies,
- Kapali Yantra, Diksha Yantra, Kanali Yantra, an instrument to measure longitude and latitude, a smaller and slightly less detailed sundial, a three metre astrolabe which holds the feat of being the biggest in the world,
- Rashi Yantra that measures positioning of stars and the constellation systems,
- Vrihat Samrat Yantra that is accurate to within 2 seconds of correctly showing time and also the largest existing sundial in the world,
- Rama Yantra,
- Palbha Yantra.
Built from stone and marble these instruments display amazing tuning to be accurate and precise in their measurements and predictions till date.