Out of the numerous tourist destinations in Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is an important one. It is a heritage site and the largest science observatory in the world. Do you know that this complex has the largest stone sundial in the world? Ancient king of India built numerous huge scientific tools to calculate the distance of the earth from different plants, stars and satellites. Jantar Mantar is an observatory filled with numerous such instruments that were built and used in 18th century.
Jantar Mantar is located in the heart of the Jaipur near Hawa Mahal and City Palace. You can find taxis, autos and buses to these destinations from any part of Jaipur. The observatory is located close to Conaughat Place. Buses running from and to Kahmere Gate or Sarai Kale Khan will halt near Jantar Mantar.
The observatory will be at prime beauty throughout the year. If you are planning to watch the instruments in action, you ought to visit when sun is out. Mid-day is the best time to visit the place. Thus, rainy season is the worst season to visit the observatory. Winter makes sightseeing easier with mild climate.
The observatory is open from 9 am until 5 pm. The place is open from Monday to Friday. The place will be closed for an hour before starting the light and sound show. You can stroll around the market place or visit any nearby monuments during this time.
The observatory is basically a large complex filled with numerous instruments. Top instruments to spot are
The other important instruments are Ram Yantra, NadiValayaYantra, PalbhaYantra and others.A light and sound showis conducted every evening. The show focuses on planetary bodies and space. The cost of the show is included in the ticket.
Guides are available near the ticket counter. The cost of hiring a guide changes from season to season. Audio guides are available in a few languages
Jai Singh II, the king who designed Jaipur was very interested in science and astronomy. He was in need of fail-proof methods to calculate the position and distance of various heavenly bodies. Thus, he travelled far, researched for long and created many large instruments for his use. There are five such observatories built by him in India. With the tools in this observatory, he collected information that were used for finding auspicious time. When Mughal controlled Jaipur, Jai Singh provided the auspicious time for royal ceremonies, war and others to the Mughals. During the initial period, Jai Singh used brass instruments, which were not very accurate. He later choose masonry instruments. After the fall of Shah, the use of Jantar Mantar was reduced. When Jaipur was under the control of British, Jantar Mantar was forgotten. Now, tourism department has brought back it to life for tourists and students.