The other Indian monument in the race for the UNESCO’s World Heritage status is the Jaipur’s celebrated astronomical observatory, Jantar Mantar. It is a collection of architectural astronomical observatories built by Maharajah Jai Singh II of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. He had constructed five such facilities at different locations. It is modeled after the one that he had built at Delhi. However Jaipur observatory is the biggest of these.
The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides.
Pink City’s observatory has been nominated as UNESCO is marking this year as ‘International Year of Astronomy’. International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an evaluating agency appointed by UNESCO, submitted a positive report terming Jantar Mantar as a site of ‘outstanding universal value’ after which it has been included in the list.