Observatory in Jaipur, Rajasthan !!


The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The monument was completed in 1734. It features the world’s largest stone sundial and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is ynear City Palace and Hawa Mahal. 18th-century park & heritage site with fixed instruments for making astronomical observations. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The monument was completed in 1734. It features the world’s largest stone sundial and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is near City Palace and Hawa Mahal. The instruments allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye. The observatory is an example of Ptolemaic positional astronomy which was shared by many civilizations.

The Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur constitutes the most significant and best-preserved set of fixed monumental instruments built in India in the first half of the 18th century; some of them are the largest ever built in their categories. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations. The observatory forms part of a tradition of Ptolemaic positional astronomy which was shared by many civilizations. It contributed by this type of observation to the completion of the astronomical tables of Zij. It is a late and ultimate monumental culmination of this tradition. Through the impetus of its creator, prince Jai Singh II, the observatory was a meeting point for different scientific cultures and gave rise to widespread social practices linked to cosmology. It was also a symbol of royal authority, through its urban dimensions, its control of time, and its rational and astrological forecasting capacities. The observatory is the monumental embodiment of the coming together of needs which were at the same time political, scientific, and religious.

UNESCO Site Id: 1338
Area: 1.8652 ha (4.609 acres)
Criteria: Cultural: (iii), (iv)
Inscription: 2010 (34th Session)

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is an outstanding example of the coming together of observation of the universe, society, and beliefs. It provides an outstanding testimony of the ultimate culmination of the scientific and technical conceptions of the great observatory devised in the Medieval world. It bears witness to very ancient cosmological, astronomical and scientific traditions shared by a major set of Western, Middle Eastern, Asian and African religions, over more than fifteen centuries. The observatory of Jantar Mantar in Jaipur has been affected by its outdoor situation in a tropical area, and then by its temporary abandonment in the 19th century, which has resulted in frequent maintenance interventions and then various restorations over more than a century. Nevertheless, the general integrity of the site has been essentially maintained and partially restored.

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur has captured the essence of many a wanderlust over the years. An open-air astronomical observatory, this UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the rare and timeless places of attraction in Jaipur, and the world. With an illuminating history that predates modern civilization, this observatory was far ahead of its time and showcased ancient ways of reading stars and skies. The Jaipur observatory is by far the most elaborate and complete of Jai Singh’s projects, comprising sixteen masonry instruments and six made of metal. The observatory occupies a plot of land just outside the City Palace, within the walls of the original city. The observatory includes several instruments that are not duplicated at the other sites. These include the Kappala Yantra, Rasivalaya Yantras, and Unnatamsha Yantra.


Jantar Mantar Observatory Jaipur Address: Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002

Jantar Mantar Observatory Jaipur Timings/Opening Hours:

  • Saturday: 9am–4:30pm
  • Sunday: 9am–4:30pm
  • Monday: 9am–4:30pm
  • Tuesday: 9am–4:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9am–4:30pm
  • Thursday: 9am–4:30pm
  • Friday: 9am–4:30pm




    Built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II in 1734, Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is an astronomical observatory, which features the world’s largest stone sundial. India has five of them, and the largest one is in Jaipur. This Jantar Mantar observatory is also a UNESCO World Heritage site that every tourist must add to their itinerary. Here’s all that you’ll ever need to know about the observatory before visiting it. Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a fascinating astronomical observatory, located at the heart of the city. This is one of the largest observatories in the World, comprising interesting stone structures that help to interpret the position of celestial bodies and calculate local time. Enumerated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur attracts architects, mathematicians, geographers, and historians.

    Exactly when Raja Jai Singh began construction in Jaipur is unknown, but several instruments had been built by 1728, and the construction of the instruments in Jaipur continued until 1738. During 1735, when construction was at its peak, at least 23 astronomers were employed in Jaipur, and due to the changing political climate, Jaipur replaced Delhi as Raja Jai Singh’s main observatory and remained Jai Singh’s central observatory until he died in 1743. The observatory lost support under Isvari Singh (r.1743-1750) because of a succession war between him and his brother. However, Mado Singh (r. 1750–1768), Isvari Singh’s successor, supported the observatory, although it did not see the same level of activity as under Jai Singh. Although some restorations were made to the Jantar Mantar under Pratap Singh (r.1778-1803), activity at the observatory died down again. During this time, a temple was constructed and Pratap Singh turned the site of the observatory into a gun factory.

    Ram Singh (r. 1835–1880) completed restoring the Jantar Mantar in 1876 and even made some of the instruments more durable by inserting the lead into the instruments’ lines and using stone to restore some of the plaster instruments. However, the observatory soon became neglected again and was not restored until 1901 under Madho Singh II (r. 1880–1922). The observatory consists of nineteen instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking the location of major stars as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. The instruments are (alphabetically). The Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur comprises 19 instruments to measure the position and distances of extraterrestrial bodies. These instruments are stone structures, depicting interesting geometric shapes. It is advisable to take a local Jantar Mantar, Jaipur guide, or an audio guide for a clear understanding of the instruments and how they work. What Smart Yantra is a gigantic sundial, placed at the center of the Jantar Mantar observatory. This is 27 m long and renowned as the tallest sundial in the World. The Samrat Yantra, translating to ‘supreme instrument’ is an equinoctial sundial and measures time up to the precision of two seconds.

    “Jantar Mantar” these two magical and mysterious words chanted in India by many people in their childhood to fulfill their magical dreams but these words are more than that. The term “Jantar Mantar” literally means “instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens”. In Jaipur city, there are palaces, temples, gardens, and ponds they all have their importance in their place but the astronomical observatory established by king Sawai Jai Singh has International importance. The Jantar Mantar houses various architectural and astrological instruments that have caught the interests of astronomers, historians, and architects around the world. It is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. The Jantar Mantar is an observatory comprising 19 instruments to measure the position and distances of celestial bodies. These 19 instruments are structures carved out of stone, depicting interesting geometric shapes. An open-air observatory that has seen many a ruler trying to revive it to its former glory, but none could do so as well as Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The instruments at the observatory help in depicting multiple celestial events and time changes that include predicting eclipses, tracking and locating major stars and constellations, declination of planets, celestial altitudes, measuring time, and other related astronomical and celestial navigations.


    The monument is an imposing collection of nineteen astronomical instruments, constructed out of local stone and marble, and spread over about 18,700 square meters. Each of these astronomical instruments carries an astronomical scale, generally marked on the marble inner lining. Bronze tablets, bricks, and mortar were also used in the construction of these instruments. This stone observatory includes complex instruments whose settings and shapes are scientifically designed, illustrating the glorious past of Medieval Indian astronomy. Jantar Mantar features the world’s largest stone sundial – Vrihat Smart Yantra.

    It is believed that the king employed the knowledge and skill of 23 astronomers of Jaipur to bring his dream to life. The observatory has experienced many hurdles during its time and has emerged to be an architectural masterpiece of the country. The monument itself is made of marble and stone, made locally. Each instrument in this observatory involved detailed planning and carries an astronomical scale. This humongous structure is spread over 18000 sq. meters. The tablets, bronze tablets, and mortar were the most prominent materials used to construct the structure, making it strong and sturdy even today. Today, the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is maintained by the Archaeological Sites and Monuments, Rajasthan, since 1961.

    In the early 18th century Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantar in total in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura, and Varanasi. They were completed between 1724 -1735. The Jantar Mantar observatory was constructed between 1728 -1734. It is the largest observatory among the five and best preserved and still running. It is a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments. It features the world’s biggest stone sundial “Samrat Yantra”, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The one observatory in Mathura has almost disappeared today.


    This observatory was built in 1734 for the study of space and time. The builder of the Jantar Mantar Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh was a brilliant star and a great scholar of his subjects like astronomy and Indian politics. He is the ruler of Amber and founder of Jaipur, a great builder and ruler, and an exceptional astronomer. Sawai Jai Singh II was commissioned by Emperor Muhammad Shah, to make corrections in the astronomical tables and to confirm the data, already available on the planetary positions. Jantar Mantar is an observatory was made by Jai Singh II and was a culmination of observational astronomy from various cultures. The observations that were made at this observatory contributed to Zij-i Muhammad Shahi. Jantar Mantar in Jaipur and the instruments at Jantar Mantar in Jaipur used to act as a mecca for astrologers and astronomers who used to come here and discuss their findings.

    The main aims of the Jai Singh II scientific program were to refine the ancient Islamic zij tables, to measure the exact hour continuously, and to define the calendar precisely. Another aim was to apply the cosmological vision deriving from the Ptolemaic one based upon astronomical facts to astrological prediction both social and individual. Sawai Jai Singh is aware of the Hindu tradition of astronomical data and he also studies all the astronomy-related books and data of European, Islamic and Persian civilizations and collects all the data, and adopts the data. That helps him for building the observatory. For collecting data Sawai Jai Singh II sent his envoys to various parts of the world. The emissaries came back with manuals and astronomical tables besides tonnes of data on the advances made in the fields of astronomy. La Hires’s tables were one of these manuals. The Jantar Mantar is also called the renewal edition of the observatory of king Ulugh Beg ruler of Samarkand 1339-1449 Uzbekistan. But it was more accurate compared to the Ulugh Beg observatory. Where Ulugh beg observatory is called a “mistake of its time”. The first prime minister of India Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru wrote “not a mistake of its time”.

    It took seven years to finish the task. He built the first stone observatory in 1724 in Delhi. The Jaipur observatory of Rajasthan was built in 1728-1734. King Sawai Jai Singh built three more observatories in various places. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and more accurate than others. Jantar Mantar is the most complete and best-preserved great observatory site built in the Ptolemaic tradition. It provides an outstanding testimony of the scientific and technical conceptions of the great observatory devised in the medieval world.


    Jantar mantar is located near City Palace and Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. The observatory is a collection of 19 geometric devices for measuring time and space for astronomy. It is also used for observing the orbits around the Sun. While the previous observatory like King Ulugh Beg was built from metal but it was less accurate and not used for a long period. So Sawai Jai Singh II decided to build the observatory instruments with stone and marble because stone life is longer than metal and does not wear and tear easily. The instruments allow the visitors to observe the astronomical positions with the naked eye. Some of the instruments are built from bronze. Jantar Mantar is situated in an 18,700 square meters area. The observatory was restored several times during these years particularly in 1902 under British rule and also in 2006 and replaced some of the original materials of construction with different materials. It is still in use today, both for teaching and calculation purposes, and retains extraordinary accuracy. Some of the instruments used are still a mystery for visitors and how we can use them and how accurate predication they gave in time of 18th century. And some of the instruments are the largest in the world. Now it is part of a National monument of Rajasthan and also a part of the UNESCO world heritage site.

    The careful and systematic manner in which the city of Jaipur was planned and laid out is only one indication of the intelligence of Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II. He distinguis­hed himself as a soldier, a builder, and a man of science. He was well-versed in Sanskrit and Persian and was deeply interested in mathematics and astronomy. After devoting the early years of his reign to military campaigns, he soon settled down to his favorite pursuits of astronomy and his­tory. He sent an ambassador to Central Asia to bring infor­mation about the research of Mirza Ulug Beg, the royal astronomer of Samarkand, who had constructed an obser­vatory at Samarkand around 1425. He also studied the ear­lier observatory built by the Persian astronomer, Nasir-ud­ din Al Tusi, as well as the instruments used by the Turkish astronomers and the tables of De la Hire sent to him by the king of Portugal. At the request of the Mughal Empe­ror, Muhammad Shah, he drew up a set of astronomical tables which he named Zij-i-Muharnmad Shahi. In the pre­face to this document, he explains how he came to build his unique astronomical observatories (later called Jantar Masters) at several locations in Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura, and Benares.


    In this extract, Jai Singh speaks of himself in the third per­son: “This admiring spectator of the theatre of infinite wisdom… was from the first dawning of reason in his mind and during his progress towards maturity, entirely devo­ted to the study of mathematical science… and by the aid of the Supreme Artificer he obtained a thorough know­ ledge of its principles and rules. He found that the calcu­lation of the homes of the stars, as obtained from the tables in common use (Sanskrit, Arabic, and European), in many cases give them widely different positions from those deter­ mined by observation, especially in the appearance of the new moons. Seeing that very important affair, both regar­ding religion and the administration of the Empire, depend upon these… he represented the matter to Emperor Muhammed Shah, who was pleased to reply: ‘Since you, who are learned in the mysteries of science, have a perfect knowledge of this matter, having assembled the astrono­mers and geometricians of the faith of Islam and the Brah­mans and Pandits and the astronomers of Europe, and having prepared all the apparatus of an observatory – do you so labor for the ascertaining of the point in question, that the disagreement between the calculated times of those phenomena and the times which they are observed to hap­ pen, maybe rectified’.