Our time in Jaipur was pretty busy and our tour company had a lot squeezed into the day. After lunch, we headed to the Jantar Mantar Observatory that was constructed in the 18th century by Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh II who was also the founder of Jaipur.
The observatory is outside and is made up of 19 astronomical instruments used for determining the position of celestial objects and telling time. I have to admit that neither of us has any knowledge in this area of science other than knowing our zodiac sign. These are the instruments for our zodiac signs and are known as Rashi Valaya Yantra.
We actually had to do a little research when we got home to better understand what the instruments were and how they were used. It’s funny to think that today we can just pull out a phone and know the time anywhere in the world and we have technology that monitors the sky. An all they had were stone instruments and the genius to utilize what they had at hand.
The Chakra Yantra is used to determine the local time of places around the world: Greenwich in the UK, Zurich in Switzerland, Notke in Japan and Saitchen in the Pacific
The Nadi Valaya Yantra is used for telling time and its accuracy is less than a minute. It is made of up of 2 sundials on opposing faces.
This is Laghu Samrat Yantra, used for telling time.
The Jai Prakash Yantra is used to measures altitudes, azimuths, hour angles, and declinations.
The Yantra Raj Yantra is a bronze astrolabe that is used once a year to calculate the Hindu calendar.
The Dakshin Bhitti Yantra measures meridian, altitude, and zenith distances of celestial bodies.
- It is all outside, so wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- It was easy to walk around and there were very few steps that made it easy for anyone with mobility issues.
- Stay hydrated and always keep a bottle of water with you.
20 thoughts on “Jantar Mantar Observatory”
What a beautiful observatory- our boys would LOVE to visit! There is an observatory in Los Angeles and when we live there for a summer they visited
It’s so interesting! Your boys would have a blast!
It is amazing that all of these primitive structures were used to tell time, the calendar, etc. So cool to see.
They are all so intricately calibrated, it’s pretty amazing
So interesting learning what those in the past used to tell the time! We’re very lucky to have the technology we do today. Very useful tips at the end too!
Thanks! There are just so many things you don’t realize until you are right in the middle of it.
I was in Jaipur in 2008. The city amazed me. Also, Jantar Mantar Observatory was fantastic! I would like to come back to this part of India someday.
We loved Jaipur, as usual much more to see and taste than you ever have time for.
Looks like an interesting place to explore, even if you’re knowledge of the celestial world is a bit limited. Some lovely objects and bits of architecture here, and perfect for photographing.
Agreed, our knowledge was pretty limited and we learned a lot. The calibration on devices that big was incredible.
I had no idea that there is na Observatory in Jaipur. That is new for me. Would love to visit it. Snce the Indian culture gives value to astrology in a different way, I do believe that it is a fantastic thing to do in India
It’s pretty incredible to see what they built.
Beautiful photos! It’s amazing to think about how they used to tell time back then.
Thank you! It’s pretty incredible how much they were able to do centuries ago.
Haven’t visited India but have heard a lot about Jaipur. It’s interesting to learn about the instruments they use to tell time.
India is AMAZING, there is so much to see and do.
Ahhh I was supposed to have been there in April! Going next year – I’ll definitely save this for later. The tools are so cool!
Sorry, we understand that completely… we were in India when the world began to close and missed seeing anything in Mumbai. We were also scheduled to go to Machu Picchu and the Amazon in October but that’ll have to wait for another time too. You absolutely want to see India!
This is one of the interesting places to visit in Jaipur. I visited Jantar Mantar many many years back with my parents! Took me back to those memories when i was reading through the post!
Glad it could bring back come wonderful memories!