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Jantar Mantar

The Vedhshala was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Raja Jaisingh of Jaipur in 1719 when he was in Ujjain as the Governor of Malwa under the reign of king Muhammad Shah of Delhi. Besides being a brave fighter and a politician, Raja Jaisingh was exceptionally a scholar. He studied books on Astor-mathematics available in the Persian and Arabic languages at that time. He wrote books on astronomy himself.

The Vedhshala possesses instruments, or yantras, that are used to determine the locations of heavenly bodies for astrological purposes. The main instruments constructed by Jai Singh in the observatory were the Samrata Yantra, the Nadi Valaya Yantra, the Digansha Yantra, the Dakshinottara Bhitti or Bhitti Yantra, and the Sun Dial. They can be used to study the motions and orbits of the planets, due to which the Vedhshala is also referred to as Yantra Mahal. The Shanku Yantra was constructed later. The Vedhshala also has a small planetarium and a telescope for moon-gazing and observing Mars and Jupiter, and their satellites. The observatory is also currently used for weather forecasts.

The Major instruments at Vedhshala are -
  • Samrata Yantra
  • Nadi Valaya Yantra
  • Digansha Yantra
  • Bhitti Yantra
  • Sun Dial
  • Shanku Yantra

The observatory has been bringing out Ephemeris (Panchang) every year since 1942. The Ephemeris (Panchang) published from 1942 to 2013 are available at the office for sale.

The observatory executes weather activities viz. measurement of rainfall, temperature and humidity recording, state of clouds, speed and direction of air, air pressure etc. every day.