Despite not being an optical observatory, the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur serves to be one of the finest astronomical Mughal architectures in whole World. They’re a collection of architectural instruments which was constructed by Sawai Jai Singh, a Rajput king between the years of 1727 and 1734, for the observation of the night sky above his head. These beautiful structures with their striking combinations of geometric forms, have captivated the attention of architects, astronomers, engineers, and historians world wide, yet remaining unknown to the general public.
It is considered to be the largest of the five architectural observatories and also houses the world’s largest sundial. A sundial is a conventional astronomical device that can tell the time of day by utilizing the Sun’s position. The sun casts a shadow from its style onto a surface marked with lines indicating the hours of the day which was the one of the prominent methods during late 17th century for the indication of time.
The observatory consists of fourteen different geometric devices that were used for observation of the orbits around the sun, measuring time and also for tracking constellations. Popular structures within the Jantar Mantar are the Sundial, the “Hindu Chhatri” and “Jaiprakash Yantra” along with various geometric structures with astronomical devices to probe the theory of Physical Cosmology or simply “Universe”.
The King, Sawai Jai Singh would sit with other scholarly astronomers, for both theoretical sessions and also astronomical observations of the night sky, mainly locating constellations. But the observatory was functional only for seven years, as the Maharaja was not very successful in deriving accurate inferences from those observations.
Still the Jantar-Mantar remains to be one of the Royal Heritage of Jaipur and would serve as a treat for all the professional and amateur Astronomers, Space Enthusiasts and also for general tourists across the World
It’s amongst the top places to visit with a tour guide in Jaipur.