Jai Singh II, a maharaja of Jaipur, loved astrology so much, he built one of the most amazing collections of sun dials and astrological instruments of his time. It’s well preserved and open to the public, so we went in to check it out on our fourth morning in Jaipur.
Having seen pictures of the instruments at Jantar Mantar, I envisioned this as a wide open space with lots of structures my son could climb and we could enjoy. However, entering into the courtyard I immediately noticed the chains and guardrails around all the instruments. I guess they weren’t going to let us climb the 200+ year old structures after all. In addition, there was zero shade and we arrived around 10:30am on a hot day. I was shocked by the lack of shade but as my husband pointed out, you need the sun for sun dials to work!
|Spoiled my plans||An ancient sun dial|
|Would have been fun to climb|
Good news, the area was relatively flat so my son happily stayed under his SPF 50 sunshade in the stroller as we walked around and checked out the instruments and only occasionally ventured out to play with his trains when we settled into a shady area.
The sun dials and instruments are fascinating and if you know how to make the calculations, extremely accurate. In addition, there is a fun section where there is a structure for each sign of the zodiac, allowing all the tourists to take pictures in front of their zodiac sign.
|Joining in on the tourist fun|
I overheard a few tour guides and wished we had hired one to explain the instruments. However, with the heat we did not want to spend too much time with the kids in the sun. This would be a great place to visit early morning or evening, and if you have the time and all ages in your group would appreciate it, hire an Archeological Survey of India licensed guide.
My favorite part of the visit however was near the end. Near the exit is a nice shady spot with trees and a shop to buy water and cold drinks. We rested here while I nursed my daughter and my son stretched his legs and played with the trains. Several people around got involved sending the trains to my son and having him chase them. It was a pleasant end to our quick visit and left large smiles on all our faces.
|Trains can be fun just about anywhere|
- Timings: 9am – 4:30 pm
- Fees: 20 rs, entrance is also included in a 300 rs combination ticket which includes Amber Fort, Albert Hall, Hawa Mahal, and Nahargarh Fort
* Stared photos taken by Atma Photography