Jantar Mantar- New Delhi
Jantar Mantar of New Delhi is in fact an extraordinary solar observatory lying on the Parliament Street leading to Connaught Place. Situated amidst modern buildings, the medieval era structure of Jantar Mantar of New Delhi draws attention of all and sundry.
Jantar Mantar is a prime attraction of Delhi. It holds a prominent place in Delhi tourism. The medieval observatory, built of plastered brick, is painted in uniform salmon-pink colour. It's present unspoilt presence lends credit to the British. It was resored by the British in 1910 AD.
The solar observatory was commissioned by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur and came into existence in 1725 AD. The Maharaja commissioned five observatories of this type in five major cities of India- New Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Varanasi and Ujjain. The Jantar Mantar built in New Delhi was the first among them. These solar observatories helped to quench the quest regarding cosmos and at the same time helped provide accurate time and movement of various stars and planets to execute auspicious ceremonies.
The strange shapes are, in fact, giant versions of contemporary astronomical instruments. In the centre, the Samrat Yantra, in the form of a great triangular gnomen, measures time to an accuracy of 0.5 seconds. The huge sundial's name, meaning Prince of Dials, was chosen by the Maharaja. To the south, the varying positions of the stars are indicated on two indented circles.