Jantar Mantar

Next stop- the very famous Jantar Mantar (or Yantar Mandir as I read on wiki). Its located close to CP and using Google maps on my mobile found my way, albeit not easily, as I was distracted by an unusual activity. It was a bunch of college guys, with one amongst them photographing something with a setup that included a tripod (The tripod caught my attention first). I proceeded towards them to realise that they were photographing the cleaning of the glass windows of a building. The sight of two men suspended in mid air with an automated arrangement was a sight to behold indeed, at least for people seeing it for the first time.

Distracted by this, I inadvertently ventured back towards CP, without consulting my mobile. When I did find my way to Jantar Mantar, I realised that it was right next to the building whose windows I just watched being cleaned.

At first glance all these Yantras (instruments) seemed to be just some old age ruins . But on reading about the working and construction of these instruments, I soon found out they were more than that. The ingenuity of the people who thought of these things and then constructed them simply amazed me. Here we are at L&T struggling to raise columns and cast footings with perfect verticality and these people go on and create a giant sun dial with an angle of inclination equal to the latitude of Delhi! Sheesh!

The other Yantras were equally ingenious. The Mishra yantra whose photograph is always associated with the Jantar Mantar is actually a set of several instruments. The symmetry and precision with which these have been built is just outstanding especially taking into account the era when they were built.

Pic1. The windows being cleaned. Pic2. The giant sun dial. Pic 3. The Mishra Yantra.