Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar now a world heritage site

August 4th, 2010 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) India has added the 18th century Jantar Mantar in Jaipur to its list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites July 31 after winning a bid in the race for inscription at Brasilia last week, a top Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official said Wednesday.
The number of world heritage sites in the country has now risen to 28 with the inscription of Jantar Mantar on the UNESCO World Heritage List July 31.

“We successfully bid and won the Jantar Mantar, the 18th century monument, in Brasilia last week and it has been inscribed on the World Heritage list. The monument is under the custody of the archaeological department of the Rajasthan government,” ASI director general Gautam Sengupta, who led the Indian delegation to Brasilia, told IANS.

“The Rajasthan government has set up a site management planning committee to conserve and beautify the monument related to astronomy,” he said.

The ASI, however, is the nodal agency for implementing the conservation plan for the monument, Sengupta said.

The UNESCO will monitor the conservation of the monument round the year. The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural monuments built by Maharaja Jai Singh at Jaipur, his capital between 1724 and 1734. Jai Singh, an astronomer himself, had built five Jantar Mantar in different locations, including Delhi.

The observatory comprises 14 major geometric devices to measure time, predicting eclipses, tracking location of the stars as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes.

It is also of astrological significance.

The significant world heritage sites in the country include Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Qutab Minar archaeological complex, rock shelters of Bhimbetka, Khajuraho and the Hampi monument clusters.

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