Jantar Mantar is a fantastic collation of astronomical instruments planned by the visionary ruler of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Singh II. After a successful construction of Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the Maharaja built the same in Jaipur, which also happens to be the largest observatory in India. In 1901, the devices were restored with white marble and red sandstone for better clarity in denoting time. Jantar and Mantar mean instrument and calculation respectively. The Jaipur location comprises of 16 geometric instruments that measure time across various dimensions including latitude, longitude, position of the sun, planet inclination and declination. Starting from the small sundials, compass, Jai Prakash Yantra (instrument), Nadivalaya (Northern and Southern hemispheres), Yantra Raj, Rashivalaya Yantra (Sun Signs instrument) and moving on to the Rama Yantra, Digmasa Yantra, Chakra Yantra, all of which record accurate time. This biggest sun dial in the world standing 44 meters tall is the highlight of this center. Here, it is best suggested to book a guide who will provide a detailed insight into the center. A great place of interest for historians, scientists, artists and mathematicians, Jantar Mantar is highly educating and awe-inspiring for people from all walks of life.
If at all there was a ‘Jewel in the crown’ contest, as far as Jaipur is concerned, the Albert Hall would run away with all the honors. This hall still manifests British influences in terms of architecture, which incidentally, is a rare occurrence in a city replete with Rajputana designs. Built-in the late nineteenth century to welcome the erstwhile Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, it was actually envisaged as a town hall but was converted into a museum by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II. Today, however, one can be audience to a mixed bag of exhibits that range from pottery, sculptures, musical instruments, weapons and scriptures. Look out for the Egyptian mummy that is on display on the ground floor. Not only the exhibitions but even the paintings adorning the walls of the entrance, the miniature fountain in the main veranda and the delicate marble work, speak of class and elegance that by far remains unmatched for its old-world elegance. With so much of history behind each carefully picked exhibit, it is best advised to get a guide to take you around, or perhaps opt for an audio guide that is available at the ticket counter in more than five different languages.
Nestled in the Hawa Mahal property, Hawa Mahal Museum is a must-visit for all history and art enthusiasts. This museum is popular for exhibiting ancient terracotta sculptures and other artifacts from around India. Besides the artworks, the museum is home to war and house-hold equipment from as early as second Century. These equipment have been used by the royalties and soldiers from that time. All in all, history enthusiasts are sure to enjoy their visit here.
You would hardly find S.R.C Museum of Indology in the regular list of tourist attractions; this does not come as a surprise because nestled in a residential area, this museum is easily overlooked. Spread over two floors, the entire collection belongs to Late Shri Ram Charan Sharma. The first storey is where you will find ancient astronomical instruments, crockery from England and other European nations and old and misprinted currency notes of India. The second storey is divided into two sections, the first displays some of the oldest manuscripts dating as far back as 1143 CE. Here you will find interesting exhibits like the Quran written by Aurangazeb or the entire Bhagvat Gita written on a paper as tiny as a computer chip. The second section is a mixed bag of various exhibits from different eras in history. Right from weapons, coins that are easily 7-8 centuries old and pre-historic tools to paintings from the Mughal and Rajput era, this section is definitely all about history. It is also high on the weird factor; check out the fossilized eggs, flexible stone, a piece of meteor and the floating stone. Do not forget to ask for a guide to take you around as it is included in your admission fee.