Jantar Mantar, with Yantra meaning instruments and Mantra meaning formulae, was built in the year 1724. Situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi Jantar Mantar counts amongst the numerous astronomical observatories erected by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The other observatories consist of the ones built in Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. It basically comprises of the instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Jai Singh, after finding the existing astronomical instruments too small to take correct measurements, built these larger and more accurate instruments.
The instruments at Jantar Mantar of Delhi display promising brilliance.
However, there is a little problem, that, these instruments can no
longer make accurate observations because of the numerous tall buildings
that have been built around the observatory. Delhi Jantar Mantar is also
a reminder of the technological achievements that took place under the
rule of the Rajput kings. There is an interesting legend associated with
the construction of the Jantar Mantar. It is said that Jai Singh, ardent
adherer of astronomy, oversaw an argument between Hindu and Muslim over
certain planetary positions.
Since it was utmost necessary to solve the argument and know the
positions precisely, he offered to rectify the available astronomical
tables. The offer was accepted by the Mughal emperor and that led to the
construction of Jantar Mantar in Delhi. At first, brass instruments were
used in the observatory. However, they were found to have a number of
intrinsic flaws. So after much deliberation, Jai Singh adopted the style
of Prince Ulugh Beg, builder of the 15th century observatory at
Samarkand, Uzbekistan. This is how the Delhi Jantar Mantar became what
it is today.