The Secret of Jantar Mantar, Jaipur - KNT Diary

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Secret of Jantar Mantar, Jaipur



We visited Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, on January 18, 2020, during our one day trip to this city. It’s amazing to see the ancient Indian Astronomical instruments with the make eye. This part of the trip shows the Jantar Mantar with narrative in Khmer with English Subtitles about it and various instruments.

Hello everyone!
See you again on our video trip to Jaipur, Rajasthan.


Now we are going to a tourist destination which is called ‘Jantar Mantar’ located not far from Hawa Mahal where we've just visited as in the previous video clip.

In the following, we will get to know what are the importances and secret of Jantar Mantar.

Without any further delay, I’m going to describe briefly about Jantar Mantar for your information and general knowledge.
Jantar Mantar is also an important tourist destination in Jaipur which is located not far from Hawa Mahal and very near to the City Palace, our next destination.

The Jantar Mantar is an amazing collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments that allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.

Jantar Mantar was built in the 18th century by Rajput king Jai Singh II who founded Jaipur. It was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. It was recently in about nine years ago.

Meanwhile, astronomy is a natural science that studies the stars and other astronomical objects, including the natural phenomena created by these objects. For example: lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, comets, asteroids etc.

Other than that, at Jantar Mantar, there are nineteen astronomical instruments for the studies of time, space, calendar and so on.

I will try to tell you more about those instruments shortly but now let me introduce to you ancient Indian astronomy a little bit.


In the ancient time, when there were no modern scientific instruments, ancient Indian astronomy was so famous. Brahmins and Purohits in the royal court were well versed in the astronomical calculation.

India has astronomers and the knowledge of astronomy since over one thousand years BCE. Even scholars from China came to study astronomy from India. One of the famous Indian astronomers and mathematicians in the fifth century was Aryabhata who, according to some, was a native of Pataliputra, nowadays Patna, Bihar, India.


It is said he was probably the head of Nalanda University at that time because this university was very famous in India as well as abroad among Buddhist scholars and astronomers.

Aryabhata’s major work is Aryabhatiya written in Sanskrit in 499, which is a famous astronomical treatise till now.
 In this book, he formulated the process of calculating the motion of planets and the time of eclipses.

Aryabhata was the first to proclaim that the earth is round, it rotates on its axis, orbits the sun and it is suspended in space.

Especially, Aryabhata was the first person to create a symbol for zero, and it was through his efforts that mathematical operations like addition and subtraction started using the digit, zero.

His theory and history have been extensively referred to in modern time. And his statues have made as memorial of his efforts in the studies of astronomy.

Well, let turn your attention to some of the astronomical instruments out of the nineteen of them in Jantar Mantar that I revealed earlier.
Architectural astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (mentioned in the video embedded above). @KNT Diary 

The first instrument that we see is called Rasivalaya Yantra. Rasivalaya Yantra is comprised of twelve gnomon dial to measure ecliptic coordinates of stars and planets. They were also used to measure the coordinates of the twelve constellations that mark out the path on which the sun appears to travel over the course of a year, i.e. names of the twelve months with different zodiac signs. For example, Leo is a zodiac sign of the month of August.

Astrologers, on the other hand, use zodiac signs of all twelve months as a source of fortune or luck of a person.

And the instrument that is consisted of [two] bowl-shaped marble slabs is called Jaya Prakash Yantra with an inverted map of the sky. This instrument allows astronomers to move inside the slab to measure altitudes, azimuths of celestial bodies.

The instrument that looks like a giant gong is named Yantra Raj Yantra. It is used only once a year, calculates the Hindu calendar.

This instrument is called Nadi Valaya Yantra. There are two sundials on different faces of the instrument; the two faces represent north and south hemispheres. The accuracy of the instrument in measuring the time is less than a minute.

This instrument is called Unnatamsa Yantra a metal ring divided into four segments by horizontal and vertical lines, with a hole in the middle. The position and orientation of the instrument allow measurement of the altitude of celestial bodies.

And this giant instrument is Vrihat Samrat Yantra which is the world's largest gnomon sundial, measures time in intervals of 2 seconds using shadow cast from the sunlight.

I stop here though there are many other instruments left untold. Let you be in doubt. 😊

But before I finish this vlogging I want to unfold the secret of the name of Jantar Mantar. The name jantar is derived from yantra a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘instrument, machine’, and mantar from mantrana also a Sanskrit word ‘consult, calculate’. Therefore, Jantar Mantar literally means 'calculating instrument'.

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