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Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Jantar Mantar Overview

Jantar Mantar, with Yantra meaning instruments and Mantra meaning formulae, was built in the year 1724. Situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi Jantar Mantar counts amongst the numerous astronomical observatories erected by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The other observatories consist of the ones built in Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. It basically comprises of the instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Jai Singh, after finding the existing astronomical instruments too small to take correct measurements, built these larger and more accurate instruments. The instruments at Jantar Mantar of Delhi display promising brilliance. However, there is a little problem, that, these instruments can no longer make accurate observations because of the numerous tall buildings that have been built around the observatory. Delhi Jantar Mantar is also a reminder of the technological achievements that took place under the rule of the Rajput kings. There is an interesting legend associated with the construction of the Jantar Mantar. It is said that Jai Singh, ardent adherer of astronomy, oversaw an argument between Hindu and Muslim over certain planetary positions. Since it was utmost necessary to solve the argument and know the positions precisely, he offered to rectify the available astronomical tables. The offer was accepted by the Mughal emperor and that led to the construction of Jantar Mantar in Delhi. At first, brass instruments were used in the observatory. However, they were found to have a number of intrinsic flaws. So after much deliberation, Jai Singh adopted the style of Prince Ulugh Beg, builder of the 15th century observatory at Samarkand, Uzbekistan. This is how the Delhi Jantar Mantar became what it is today.

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