Jantar Mantar, the observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh, was used for several astronomical observations as early as 1724. At that time, there were no large buildings around this monument. However, it is impossible to make accurate observations with this monument any more due to the large number of tall buildings in the vicinity.
Maharaja Jai Singh was a recognised astronomer. The Jantar Mantar in New Delhi is one of the five observatories made by this emperor. Incidentally, Jai Singh had been commissioned by Emperor Muhammad Shah to confirm data available about the exact planetary positions.
Description of Jantar Mantar
Many instruments are present within the New Delhi Jantar Mantar. Samrat Yantra, for instance, is used to obtain the exact time of day, with correction of half a second. This is a striking yellow structure on the observatory’s right side, and it is 70 feet high and 114 feet long.
Jai Singh himself designed the Jai Prakash. It has two concave hemispherical structures which can decipher the position of the sun as well as other planetary bodies. Then there are two circular buildings visible to the South of Jai Prakash. These constitute the Ram Yantra, for the horizontal and vertical angles of heavenly bodies. Misra Yantra is in the North, and combines four instruments. One can also see the temple of Bhairava to the east of these instruments.