Jantar Mantar, located in the heart of the city of New Delhi consists of a number of astronomy instruments. The place of New Delhi is one of the five such sites built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, from the year 1723 onwards. It is said that he was given by Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah the task of revising the calendar and astronomical tables. The purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets. This branch of science in contemporary world is known as astronomy.
History of Jantar Mantar at Delhi
Jantar Mantar contains 13 architectural astronomy instruments. Jantar Mantar of Delhi was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur – Sawai Jai Singh II in the year 1724. In the early 18th century, he constructed five Jantar Mantars in total, in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. It is said that they were completed between 1724 and 1735. The purpose of Jantar Mantar was to trace the astronomical phenomena and to find out scientific data from the same. The observatory in Delhi emphasizes the thirst for scientific knowledge of the Mughals. It is said that the Maharaja of Jaipur was disconcerted with the errors of the instruments in the observatory and took upon himself the feat of amending the errors and making the instruments accurate for recording astronomical phenomena.
The origin of name Jantar Mantar is at least two centuries old. it got mention in the year 1803.However, the archives of Jaipur State, such as accounts from 1735 and 1737–1738, do not use this name, referring to it simply as Jantra, which in the spoken language is corrupted to Jantar, it is said.The word Jantra is derived from yantra, instrument, while the suffix Mantar is derived from mantrana meaning consult or calculate. The words jantar and mantar means calculation instrument.
After the completion of Jantar Mantar, the observatory remained functional for seven years. Data of each day was collected, charted and dedicated to the reigning emperor. The name ‘Jantar Mantar’ is a colloquial form of the original terms ‘yantar’and ‘mantra’.
One of the remarkable aspects of Jai Singh’s observatories is that every observatory is different in size, area, designing and style. While the instruments he designed are essentially the same in principle, the versions at different sites vary in size, materials, and construction.
The instruments at Jantar Mantar are fascinating for their ingenuity, but accurate observations can no longer be made from here because of the tall buildings around.
Timings of Jantar Mantar Observatory
The Delhi Jantar Mantar is open to public from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
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