A land of spectacular sites, Jaipur, the pink city, is known to draw visitors from all over the world for its mesmerizing palaces, majestic mountain views, sprawling markets, tantalizing delicacies, enchanting temples, vibrant fabrics, multi-coloured mojris and captivating cultural performances that mirror the rustic charm of this quaint town. However, the alleys of this city also have an element of enigma, which makes the city popular. One such thing that has an esoteric charm is the famed Jantar Mantar.
Literally translated as “instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens”, “Jantar Mantar” is an astronomical observatory, which was established by the famous king, Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur, who founded Jaipur. Besides politics, his interests dabbled across an array of disciplines such as science and astronomy. It is one of the five space repositories constructed by the famous ruler; the other four of them being in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. Today, this monument enjoys international acclaim as it has been conferred upon with the prestigious label of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was constructed to promote the scientific study of the twin phenomena of space and time, mainly to refine the ancient Islamic zij tables, to compute the exact hour impeccably and to delineate the dates of the calendar precisely. Another desired outcome was to use the cosmological vision inspired by Ptolemy so as to arrive at more precise astronomical predictions about the social phenomena in general and the individual in particular. So interested and involved was Sawai Jai Singh with this monument that he sent envoys to various parts of the world to muster data to advance scientific discoveries.
Reckoned amongst the largest observatories in the world, it was constructed enduringly with great perseverance from 1728 to 1734. This monument houses numerous architectural and astrological instruments that have never failed to capture the interest and imagination of astronomers, historians, architects and budding scientists alike. These geometric devices were built using stone and bronze (an alloy of copper) instead of metals because stones take longer duration of time to denude. It is home to the biggest stone dial in the world – the “Samrat Yantra”. It also has a “Chakra Yantra”, a “Dakshin Bhitti Yantra”, a “Disha Yantra” and a “Shashtang Yantra” among other things.
After you have satiated your quest for scientific enquiry, you can unwind at Hotel Royal Orchid which is situated at a distance of about 2 km from the hotel. Having opulent rooms, a salubrious pool and a bar where you can enjoy scrumptious delicacies inspired by Continental, Thai and Mexican cuisine, it is the ultimate retreat for any vacationer.