The Jantar Mantar is located in the modern city of New Delhi. It consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. The site is one of five built by Maharaja Jai Singh II ofJaipur, from 1724 onwards, as he was given by Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah the task of revising the calendar and astronomical tables. There is a plaque fixed on one of the structures in the Jantar Mantarobservatory 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 jantars have evocative names like Samrat Yantra, Jai Prakash, Ram Yantra and Niyati Chakra; each of which are used to for various astronomical calculations. The primary purpose of the oissue bservatory 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 astronomy.
In the early 18th century, Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantars in total, in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi; they were completed between 1724 and 1735. All of these were built as far back as AD 1724-1730 during the period generally known as the dark age of Indian history, when the last great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had died and the Mughal Empire was declining rapidly. Completed in 1724, the Delhi Jantar Mantar had decayed considerably by 1867.
This unique observatory was finished 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 commanded 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 twelvemonth. Interestingly, in December one pillar completely covers the other with its shadow while in June it does not cast any such shadow at all.
Goaded on by the completion of the first Jantar Mantar and with a view to verifying astronomical observations made in Delhi, Jai Singh built similar, if smaller observatories, at other important Indian cities-Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain, and Mathura. The state of these observatories is bad; the one in Mathura was demolished, while those in Ujjain and Varanasi are in a state of decomposition. But the observatory at Jaipur is the best preserved of all because in 1901 Raja Ram Singh, the then ruler of Jaipur, refurbished it with the assistance of a British engineer. All the masonry instruments were lined with marble so that the graduations on them are not wearied out.
The Jantar Mantars may have fallen into disuse, but they remain an integral component of India’s scientific heritage. The Jantar Mantar in Delhi is often projected in travel books, brochures, on postage stamps and was the logo of the 1982 Asian Games. The Jantar Mantar shows that the emotional state of scientific inquiry was not dead in India and would have yielded rich results if only an opportunity had been given to it to fructify. The Jantar Mantar on the Parliament Street remains one of the most intriguing structures of the capital, one that explodes in a explosion of questions in the mind of the inquisitive tourist.
Some of the Major Instruments at Jantar Mantar are :
- The Samrat Yantra ‘Prince of Dials’ (the largest device)
- The Ram Yantra – two circular buildings
- The Jai Prakash
- The Misra Yantra (north-west to the Samrat Yantra)
- Pillars on the southwest of Mishra Yantra used to measure the shortest and longest days of the year.
How To Reach Jantar Mantar :
Address : Sansad Marg, Cannaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Timings : All days of the week 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Sunrise to Sunset)
Tourists can reach the Jantar Mantar in many ways. They can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this monument, which is located in Connaught Place, the heart of the city, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis for the purpose. One can take buses from the bus termini located at Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan to reach this monument.
By Railways :
In total 33 trains such as Amritsar Express, Cdg Bsb Special, Puducherry New Delhi Express, Sarvodaya Exp, Jammu Rajdhani, Goa Smprk K Exp, Tamil Nadu Exp, Ndls Hwh Exp, etc., available from various states of India to reach NDLS. Local trains are one of the cheapest mode of transport and it is quite time saving. Taxis and cabs are easily available from railway station to Jantar Mantar Temple. Sabji Mandi Railway Station located in Dinanath Road, Sabji Mandi Railway Colony, Kherian Mohalla, New Delhi is nearest to Jantar Mantra in comparison to others. The distance between station and temple is 8 miles (13 km). Time required to travel the distance is around 35 minutes.
By Airways :
Cheaper flights are available from Mumbai, bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hydrabad etc., such as Indigo, Spice Jet, etc. From the airport, air conditioned taxis and other cabs facilities can be opt to reach Jantar Mantar Temple. Taxis are easily available from both the domestic and international airport. Indira Gandhi International Airport whose IATA code is DEL located in New Delhi has both International and Domestic Flights from all major cities. The distance between airport and temple is 2 km 556 mtrs. Time required is 9 minutes to cover the distance.
By Delhi Metro :
Metro fare is quite reasonable and pleasurable. The nearest Metro station to the Red Fort is Chandni Chowk Metro Station and from there regular auto-rickshaw which is cheaper is available for Red Fort. Metro is also a cheap source to travel from DEL to Jantar Mantar Temple. It takes approx. 10 minutes to reach over there.
By Roadways :
Both interstate and intrastate bus services are available to reach Jantar Mantar Temple. Delhi Transport Corporation operates special services from railway station to Jantar Mantar Temple and is one of the cheapest mode of transport. By road mainly 5 NH are connected from major cities. NH1 from Chandigarh, NH10 from Rohtak, NH8 from Jaipur, NH2 from Agra and NH24 from Noida. Amongst all these nearest is Noida and farthest is Chandigarh.
Coming to Our Last Topic of Staying In The City :
Hotel options are available on per day basis at nearby places from Jantar Mantar Temple. They are situated around 1 km of distance such as Hotel The Royal Plaza at Cannaught Place, Hotel Aman Continental at Paharganj, and many other such options are available in Cannaught Place and Paharganj. The traveler and visitors can easily book hotel, lodges and guesthouses. The rates are affordable and genuine depending upon the facilities and requirements.
So, being the capital state of India, Delhi is a place which should be visited once.