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Man Mandir Observatory

Location: Man Mandir Observatory is located above Man Mandir Ghat close to Kashi Vishwanath Temple at the bank of River Ganga.

How to Reach: You can reach Man Mandir Observatory by alighting at Godaulia. Godaulia can be reached by car, auto rickshaw etc. Since no vehicles are allowed beyond Godaulia so you have to walk for 5 minutes to reach Man Mandir Observatory.

Visit Timings: Open from Sunrise to Sunset.

Entrance Fee: Citizens of India, visitors of from SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries – Rs. 5/- per head.

                               Others: Rs. 100/- per head

                               (Free entry to children up to 15 years)

Highlights

Man Mandir Observatory is located at Man Mandir Ghat on the banks of River Ganga, much above the high water level next to the Dashashwamedha Ghat and adjoining the palace of Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur. Compared to the instruments of Jantar Mantar at Jaipur and Delhi, there are few instruments in Varanasi but it has a unique equatorial sundial which is functional and facilitates measurements to be observed and recorded by one person. The palace Man Mahal, popularly known as Man Mandir is located adjacent to the Man Mandir Observatory. Man Mandir Observatory is famous especially for its masonry observatory. Man Mandir Observatory was built in 1737 A.D by Sawai Jai Singh II (1686-1745 AD) who himself was a great astronomer, the founder of Jaipur city and a descendant of Raja Man Singh. Besides inventing a number of instruments, tables and formulae, Sawai Jai Singh II constructed five masonry observatories located at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. These are popularly known as Jantar Mantar which is actually supposed to be known as Yantra- Mantra meaning thereby the calculation with the help of instruments. The plan of the observatory in the palace of Man Mahal was prepared by Jagannath, an astronomer and the work was executed by an architect from Jaipur named Sardar Mohan under the supervision of Sadashiva. .Samrat Yantra (Small and large) Digamsa Yantra, Nadivalaya Yantra, Chakra Yantra and Dakshinottara Bhitti Yantra are the main instruments of this observatory. These are meant for calculating time, preparing lunar and solar calendar and studying the movements, distances, angles of inclination of the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of Jaipur had organized major restoration work to Man Mandir Observatory in year 1912 with the help of his court astronomer Pandit Gokul Chand Bhavan as it had turned into ruins during the middle part of 19th century. Due to the efforts of Maharaja Sawai Singh even now these ancient astronomical instruments are well-preserved and provide an amazing insight into how much our forefathers knew even centuries ago. The exquisitely painted ceilings and palatial windows which double up as balconies are added attraction for the visitors who are delighted by the expansive views of the entire western and eastern banks of holy River Ganga that can be seen from the spacious terrace.