Jantar Mantar built by Sawai Jai Singh II is an example of the scientific advancements of medieval India. Constructed in 1724, this structure lies at the heart of the city as a symbol of the technological strides of the Rajput dynasty. Jai Singh built four such observatories in Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi.
During Muhammad Shah’s rule, the Hindu and Muslim astrologers were involved in an unending discussion about the planetary positions. They wanted to determine an auspicious hour for the king’s expedition. So Sawai Jai Singh decided to put an end to this issue by rectifying the astronomical tables.
This resulted in the construction of Jantar Mantar. So Jai Singh sent a mission to the King of Lisbon which brought back a telescope and an astronomer called Xavier De Silva. The Jantar Mantar in Delhi was set up inspired by the observatory in Samarkand.
There are different structures in different shapes in Jantar Mantar to measure the movement of the planetary bodies.
The vast red sloping structure in Jantar Mantar is the sundial or the Samrat Yantra. It is an equinoctial sun dial. The sundial cast the shadows which are used to calculate the time and the movement of planetary positions.
The Misra Yantra can measure the shortest and longest day of the year.
Besides this there is the Ram Yantra and the Jay Prakash Yantra meant to monitor the movement of celestial bodies.
The Jantar Mantar is therefore a reflection of the rational mind of Indians which developed years ago.
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