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Jantar Mantar (Man Mahal) of Varanasi

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Founder King of the Jaipur city, established five Yantra Mantra (the instrument and formula) or Jantar Mantar in five cities of West Central India between 1727 and 1734 at Jaipur, Delhi, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. Most famous being the ones at Jaipur and Delhi; very few people know about the other three and fewer have even visited them.

Graffiti at Rajendra Prasad Ghat
I came to know about Varanasi’s own Jantar Mantar few years ago, when wandering at Ghat we noticed a building near the vegetable market at Rajendra Prasad Ghat.  This Ghat is next to the famous Dashaswamedh Ghat of the city. The building is locally known as Man Mahal or Man Mandir (25.307699, 83.010807), and the adjacent ghat as man Mandir Ghat.. As per ASI, it was erected by the Maharaja Man Singh of Amber in around 1600 AD. Later Maharaja Savai Jai Sigh II (1699-1743 AD) constructed the observatory on the terrace of the palace. This observatory is not as big as those at Delhi or Jaipur, but has got some six astronomical instruments.


Dashaswamedh Ghat
Dashaswamedh Ghat is the one the most revered Ghats of Varanasi, and is situated near the Godowlia and the old Vishwanath Temple; and is easily accessible from the Varanasi Railway station or Airport. Archaeological Survey of India maintains the Mahal. The panoramic view of Ghats of Banaras from the top terrace of the Mahal is an additional benefit to visit the place.


Following is the photo-post on the Man Mahal or Jantar Mantar of Varanasi:

Samrat Yantra
Samrat Yantra
Samrat Yantra – Instrument to find Time, Declination and Hour angle of the heavenly bodies

Laghu Samrat Yantra – Another Instrument to find Time, Declination and Hour angle of the heavenly bodies

Dakshinobiti Yantra
Dakshinobiti Yantra – To know the Altitude of the heavenly bodies when on the meridian


Chakra Yantra
Chakra Yantra - For measuring Declination of Sun, Moon and Stars and their distance in Time (Hour angle) for the meridian
Digansa Yantra
Digansa Yantra- Azimuth of heavenly bodies


Narivalaya Dakshin and Uttar Gola
Narivalaya Dakshin and Uttar Gola - To know whether heavenly bodies are in Northern or Southern hemisphere, and to know the time.

A Panoramic View of Ghats on Ganga at Banaras/Varanasi
While studying more about the Jantar Mantar, I came across a beautiful site maintained by Barry Perlus, Professor of Art at Cornell University. This site provides a mesmerizing virtual tour of Jantar Mantar. To visit click here.



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