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Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory
Jantar Mantar means 'instruments for calculation' or 'instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens' and is an observatory for making remarkably accurate observations of the planets. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is one of five built by Maharajah Jai Singh II in the 18th Century and is the largest of the five. The Jaipur observatory was constructed between 1728 and 1734 and contains 14 giant stone-built instruments whose roles included accurate measurement of time, tracking the positions of planets, and predicting eclipses and the arrival of monsoon rains. The giant sundial or Samrat Yantra is the world's largest sundial and is considered to be accurate to within 2 seconds. Many of the measurements possible with these instruments would have been used by astrologers to interpret horoscopes and identify auspicious dates for marriages, business deals and battles. The Jantar Mantar is located close to the City Palace and is open daily to the public. A small entrance fee applies as well as an additional camera fee. Guides are available to explain the intricacies of the structures.
Central Museum, the oldest museum of the state, has an extensive collection of archaeological and handicraft exhibits and is housed in the stately building of Albert Hall. The museum was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob. The building was inaugurated in 1863 by Prince Albert during the time of British rule in India. The museum was opened to the public in 1887 and is now a State Museum of the State of Rajasthan. It has various sections like Paintings, Art and Industry, Carpets, Toys & Dolls, Armory and Textiles, representing the culture, tradition, art, costumes and history of Jaipur and Rajasthan. The building is made of sandstone and marble and has been restored and repaired to a remarkable standard. The museum stands in the middle of the flourishing Ram Nivas Gardens, you can find one of the oldest zoos in India just opposite the museum.