Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is one of the oldest astronomical observatories, featuring the world’s largest stone solarium located in the center of Jaipur. It is no longer a functioning science center but remains as a monument of great importance, with education activity sessions, guided tours, and music and light shows held here every year.
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is one of the largest observatories in the world, with remarkable stone assemblies that help interpret the positions of celestial bodies and calculate local time. Counted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar attracts tourists, historians, astronomers, architects, mathematicians and geographers.
The collection of nineteen astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar allows observation of the astronomical position with the naked eye. The monument is an example of architectural innovations that were built on the ideas of various religious and social beliefs in 18th century India.
Jantar Mantar is a very beautiful testament to the architectural brilliance and celestial innovations of the Rajput era. Built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of the city of Jaipur, the monument was completed in 1734. Maharaja Jai Singh II was a great astrophysicist and took keen interest in astronomy. The name is derived from the Sanskrit language – ‘jantar’ from ‘yantra’, which means instrument or machine, and from mantra meaning to consult or calculate.
Hence, in literal translation Jantar Mantar means ‘instrument used for calculation’. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur was restored several times during the British colonial rule. It was declared a national monument in the year 1948. It was restored again in 2006. Jantar Mantar is managed under the Archaeological Sites and Monuments Act of Rajasthan since 1961, and is protected as a National Monument of Rajasthan since 1968.