Travel chronicles : Jantar Mantar ,the ancient observatories

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber built five astronomical observatories in five different cities, Delhi, Jaipur , Mathura, Ujjain and Varanasi during the 1720s. The underlying idea was to collect the data to update the existing tables. The request came from the reigning Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah.

It is widely believed that Maharaja Jai Singh himself designed most of these astronomical instruments. The Jaipur observatory boasts of the largest Sundial in the world.

The Indian capital Delhi is home to Mishra Yantra or Composite Instrument, built by Maharaj Madho Singh ( son of Maharaja Jai Singh II ) during the 1750s.

The Mishra Yantra

Though the observatory consists of 13 Astronomical instruments,
The Mishra or composite Yantra is unique to Delhi Jantar Mantar. It is composed of five different instruments, “Dakshinottra Yantra ,Niyat Chakra, Kark Rasivalaya, The Samrat Yantra and the western quadrant.”
This marvelous instrument was capable of indicating the noon in various cities across the globe.

Another important instrument is The Rama Yantra which is used to observe the position of any celestial object.The Ram Yantra consists of Two large cylindrical structures with an open-top, used to observe the celestial position of the celestial stars.

The Ram Yantra

All the instruments are made of stone. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh somehow did not like the idea of using bronze.


The grandeur of Jantar Mantar lies in the monolithic structures, the geometric precision, and marvelous architecture, which fascinates the architects and the visitors alike.

In Delhi, Jantar Mantar is located in the heart of bustling CBD and is a must-visit place for architect connoisseurs.

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