A delightfully planned medieval astronomical center, replete with sun dials and massive astronomical instruments, the Jantar Mantar or the royal observatory in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India is a fascinating tourist destination in its own respect.
Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who was an accomplished astronomer himself, Jantar Mantar derives its name from the Sanskrit terms Yantra Mantra that literally mean instruments and formulas.
The idea of constructing this marvelous astronomical observatory took root when Maharaja Sawai Jai Singhji was commissioned by Emperor Muhammad Shah to conduct research on already available astronomical information and to make necessary corrections if required.
It took seven years for Sawai Jai Singhji too complete his research work and based on his available data he constructed a sandstone observatory in Delhi and later constructed the massive Jantar Mantar in Jaipur in the year 1728.
The magnificent Jantar Mantar in Jaipur houses gigantic astronomical instruments such as the Samrat Yantra, Jaiprakash Yantra and the Ram Yantra. Visit the Jantar Mantar and marvel at the precision with which the massive astronomical instruments show the time of the day and other interesting astronomical observations based on planetary positions.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singhji built seven such observatories though the ones in Delhi and Jaipur are the most famous and popularly visited.