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Jantar Mantar

This article is about the umbrella term Jantar Mantar found in four cities of India. For Jaipur monument, see Jantar Mantar (Jaipur).

The Jantar Mantar is an equinoctial sundial, consisting a gigantic triangular gnomon with the hypotenuse parallel to the Earth's axis. On either side of the gnomon is a quadrant of a circle, parallel to the plane of the equator. The instrument is intended to measure the time of day, correct to half a second and declination of the Sun and the other heavenly bodies.

There are four Jantar Mantar monuments in India, of which the largest is Jantar Mantar (Jaipur) which features many instruments along with the world's largest stone sundial.[1]


In the early 18th century, Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantars in total, in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi; they were completed between 1724 and 1735.

The jantars have evocative names like, Samrat Yantra, Jai Prakash, Ram Yantra and Niyati Chakra; each of which are used to for various astronomical calculations. The primary purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets.[2]

File:Exciting Jantar Mantar 02.JPG
Exciting Jantar Mantar 02


The name "Jantar Mantar" is at least 200 years old, finding a mention in an account from 1803.[3] However, the archives of Jaipur State, such as accounts from 1735 and 1737–1738, do not use this name, referring to it simply as Jantra, which in the spoken language is corrupted to Jantar.[3] The word Jantra is derived from yantra, instrument, while the suffix Mantar is from the practice of adding a (usually meaningless) rhyming word for emphasis.[3] The words jantar and 'mantar (or yantra and mantra) in their colloquial meanings are also related, referring to magical diagrams and magical words respectively.[3] It has also been suggested that Jantar Mantar is derived from Yantra Mandira, but no evidence for this has been found.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Smithsonian. Timelines of Science. Penguin. p. 136. ISBN 978-1465414342. 
  2. ^ Sankalp India Foundation. Jantart Mantar: Get lost in space! (2008-07-22).
  3. ^ a b c d e Sharma, V‌irendra Nath (1995), Sawai Jai Singh And His Astronomy, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd., pp. 98–99 ‌, ISBN 81-208-1256-5 

External links

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