In the northwestern province of Rajasthan, India, you will find its capital, Jaipur, at the very heart of the province. Jaipur is a very colorful and vibrant city, both literally and figuratively. The city is largely proud of its rich heritage and displays a number of multi-colored traditional buildings that have given tourists reasons to visit. One of the more interesting places you can visit at Jaipur is the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory consisting of 19 stone instruments used to measure the stars. One of the largest and oldest observatories in the world, Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of four sites, the Jaipur site was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who also founded Jaipur in Rajasthan. It paved the way for new discoveries at the time and today, the Jantar Mantar attracts thousands of tourists to be fascinated by the ancient technology of studying the stars. To further pique your interest, check out our guide to Jantar Mantar below.
Things to do / highlights
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, is a unique kind of tourist attraction because you will be treated to several sights all in one place. These are the different kinds of instruments you will see scattered over the property. There are about 19 of them but check out the most iconic ones below.
Vrihat Smarat Yantra
The Vrihat Smarat Yantra is regarded as the largest sundial in the world. Standing at 27 meters (88 feet) tall, the primary function of a sundial is to tell time. It was the ancient way of telling the time of the day using only the shadow of the sun. There is also a Hindu chhatri, which is a kind of dome located at the top and is used for determining eclipses and monsoons.
Ram Yantra is another unique instrument to check out in Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. Its primary purpose is to determine the direction and elevation of the Sun and the planets. The Ram Yantra is made up of two tube-shaped instruments with a pole in the center. Aside from Jaipur, you can also find the Ram Yantra in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
Most of the instruments in Jantar Mantar are pretty much used to study the celestial bodies. There are also other fascinating instruments in the observatory worth checking out like the Digamsa, which is a structure that helps determine when the sunrise and sunset happen, and the Nadivalaya, which is meant to represent the Earth’s hemisphere. Don’t miss the special lights and sounds show either! It presents the history of Jaipur and the cultural relevance of the observatory through a colorful display you’ll surely enjoy.
Best time to visit
Because the primary purpose of the site revolves mostly around astronomy, physics, and time, it is important to know what time of the day is best for you to visit in order to maximize your visit. The observatory is open from 9am to 4:30pm daily but the best time to visit would be around noon to mid-day when the Sun is at its peak. This way, you will be able to get a full experience of how the instruments work. Based on the experience of previous guests, it will only take you approximately 30 to 45 minutes to visit the entire observatory, but of course, you can stay longer than that.
Get a tour guide
Astronomy, though very interesting, is not everyone’s cup of tea and some of the technical terms may be difficult to understand. For a better understanding of the instruments, it’s best to get a guide, whether a human tour guide or an audio guide. It will allow you to be more involved in the operation of each instrument and will further fascinate you once you know how these.
How to get there
About an hours’ flight from the Indian capital of New Delhi, Jaipur is a busy and bustling city that caters to numerous tourists every day. You can expect a lot of local transportation to help you get around the city. Many of these are private cars or taxis which you can rent for your own convenience and privacy.
Jantar Mantar is located in the center of Jaipur and it’s a popular tourist attraction so it’s not difficult to find. Your nearest landmark is the equally popular City Palace. Simply ask your driver to take you to the observatory and admire the colorful sights along the way.
There are several ways to book your tickets to Jantar Mantar. The first one is to book directly online at their official ticketing website. There are also several third-party websites where you can purchase tickets. Some of these may already include your transportation, so it’s worth a buy.
Of course, you can also get your tickets on site. Tickets are 200 INR or about 3 USD for foreign tourists and 50 INR or less than 1 USD for Indian locals. Students also get a discount provided they bring their IDs. Foreign students are charged 25 INR and local Indian students at 15 INR, which are both less than 1 USD as well.
Jantar Mantar Skip the Line E-Tickets with Guide
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur information
Address: Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
Cost: From 3 USD
Official website: Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
Department of tourism: Visit Rajasthan
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