Popularly known as the Jantar Mantar, this is one of five observatories built by Jai Singh, Maharaja of Jaipur, who was also the Mughal governor of Ujjain. It was constructed between 1725 and 1730 and is the only one of the three surviving observatories of Jai Singh still in use. The Samrat Yantra, or the Supreme Instrument, is an enormous sundial indicating solar time with the accuracy of a few seconds. Another instrument looks like a high, red wall with two white arcs crossing it.
According to the experts in the Observatory, this is their Transit Instrument. Using these two, and three other static instruments, the specialists in the observatory calculate the ephemeris. or table giving the predicted positions of celestial bodies for a year. Their tables influence the courses of millions of lives all over India and in many other parts of the World. Unlike conventional Observatories, this complex is not interested in stars i general. Their focus is on the movements and positions of Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the ascending and descending nodes which are treated as planets, and the Sun.