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  >> Delhi Travel    >>   Sightseeing in New Delhi ( India )
JANTAR MANTAR
 

The Jantar Mantar is the name given to observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. While it exists in four cities in all, the sundials at Jaipur are considered to be the most exquisite and mysterious.

Jantar comes from Yantra or instrument, and Mantar comes from Mantra or chanting, which makes the Jantar Mantar a "chanting instrument".
 

For instance, one of the instruments is an equinoctial dial, consisting a gigantic triangular gnomon with the hypotenuse parallel to the Earth's axis. On either side of the gnomon is a quadrant of a circle, parallel to the plane of the equator. The instrument is intended to measure the time of day, correct to half a second, and declination of the Sun and the other heavenly bodies.

Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed two of these massive solar dials

The Yantra Mandir (literally the 'temple of instruments', and often called the Jantar Mantar) is in the modern city of New Delhi, Delhi. It consists of a collection of architectural astronomy instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, for his own use, from 1724 onwards. The primary purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets. Some of these purposes nowadays would be classified as astrology.

Jai Singh later had another similar observatory, now known by the same name, built for him at Jaipur.

Introduction
Jantar Mantar is an important landmark of Delhi and a unique edifice. It is an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the erstwhile ruler of the princely state of Amber and a contemporary of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The various abstract structures within the Jantar Mantar are, in fact, instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Nevertheless, the Jantar Mantar is not only a timekeeper of celestial bodies: it also tells a lot about the technological achievements under the Rajput kings and their endeavor to unravel the mysteries pertaining to astronomy.
 

Monument of India
This unique observatory was completed in 1724 and remained operational only for seven years. Astronomical observations were regularly made here and these observations were used for drawing up a new set of tables, later compiled as Zij Muhammad Shahi dedicated to the reigning monarch. Jai Singh named his observatory Jantar Mantar (actually Yantra Mantra, yantra for instrument and mantra for formula). It is dominated by a huge sundial known as Samrat Yantra, meant to measure the time of the day accurate to within half a second and the declination of the sun and other heavenly bodies. Jai Singh himself designed this yantra. Other yantras were also meant for the study of heavenly bodies, plotting their course and predicting eclipses. The two pillars on the southwest of Mishra Yantra are meant to determine the shortest and longest days of the year. Interestingly, in December one pillar completely covers the other with its shadow while in June it does not cast any such shadow at all.

 
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