Jantar Mantar Delhi
first sight, the Jantar Mantar appears like a gallery of modern
art. It is, however, an observatory. Sawai Jia Singh II of Jaipur
(1699-1743), a keen astronomer and a noble in the Mughal court,
was dissatisfied by the errors of brass and metal astronomical instruments.
Under patronage from the emperor, he set on himself the task of
correcting the existing astronomical tables and updating the almanac
with more reliable instruments. Delhi's Jantar Mantar is the first
of the five observatories that he built with large masonary instruments.
The observatory has the Samrat Yantra, a simple equal hour sun dial,
the Ram yantra for reading altitudinal angles; Jai Prakash for ascertaining
the position of the sun and other celestial bodies, and the Misra
Yantra which is a combination of four scientific gadgets.
These observatories may have fallen into disuse but they remain
an integral part of India's scientific heritage. It presents that
the spirit of scientific enquiry was not dead in India and would
have yielded rich results if only an opportunity of research and
development had been given to it. This monument still remains one
of the most intriguing structures of the capital, one of the must-see
if you are planning to travel to New Delhi.