Jantar Mantar is just a few minutes walk from CP. Most people would know Jantar Mantar as the place where mass protests are held from time to time. It can also be easily recognized as series of monuments all painted in vibrant red. Once a towering observatory, it is now dwarfed by sky scrapers surrounding the vicinity.
Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur began building Jantar Mantar in 1724. It consists of 13 astronomical instruments, mainly as an observatory towers to predict the movements and times of the sun, moon and planets. This was constructed during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah and made up one of the five such astronomical instruments built during his reign. Most of the structures have strange designs and interior and most of them open to the sky. There are four main instruments in Jantar Mantar; they are- the Ram Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Jayprakash Yantra and Mishra Yantra.
Two cylindrical buildings of circular wall surrounding a pillar opens to the sky. The height of the walls and the pillar is equal to the internal radius of the building. It was counted amongst Jai Singh’s medium precision instruments. Jai Prakash yantra was believed to be invented by Jai Singh. This is a hemispherical instrument that may be used for both night and day observations. The Samrat Yantra or the king of instruments is the largest and most imposing of the Yantras at the Delhi observatory. This was counted as Jai Singh’s high precision instrument. The Mishra Yantras was the only instrument not invented by Jai Singh II. This instrument was able to locate when it was noon at various places all over the World.
These structures of various astronomical instruments look odd in the midst of the ever changing city. But that is precisely the reason why it is so appealing.