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Vedhshala in Ujjain

There are many significant places in Ujjain and Vedhshala is one of them. It is the first observatory of India. Constructed by Sawai Raja Jai Singh between 1719-30 when he was in Ujjain as the Governor of Malwa , the Vedhshala is a must visit place in Ujjain. A number of astronomical studies and predictions were done here in the remote past. Such was the efficiency of the instruments and the techniques that even the planetary motions were also studied at a time when science and technology was in a state of infancy, not only in India but also in the whole world. However in due course of time this observatory faded and lost much of its glory, when it was renovated back to its earlier form in the year 1923 by Madhav Rao Scindhia the then Maharaja of Gwalior.

Specialty of Vedhshala

Vedhshala was not the only observatory built by Raja Jay Singh! In fact he built four other observatories in Mathura, Delhi, Varanasi and Jaipur. But what is so special about Vedh shala in Ujjain is that till date most of the instruments are in sound working state. Even today this observatory is used for conducting astronomical studies and noting of planetary positions.

Vedhshala in Ujjain

Also available in Vedh shala is a telescope and a planetarium for viewing certain nearby planets and the moon. If you visit this place and observe the instruments and the sculpture carefully, you can get an idea of the hard labour and immense care that went in building this place.Raja Jai Singh was a man of high intellect and here it is worth mentioning that he learned astronomy for years and constructed four important instruments in Vedhshala all by himself. It is due to his hard perseverance and patience and later on due to the initiatives taken by Madhav Rao Scindia that the Vedhshala has retained its pride till today.

Attractions of Vedhshala

The instruments devised by Raja Jay Singh
The four instruments viz. Sun-Dial, Narivalaya, Digansha and Transit instruments are made by Raja Jaisingh in the observatory.

Shanku Yatra: This is an extraordinary instrument devised by Raja Jay Singh, which is capable of predicting the shortest and the longest day of the year. Along with these it can also predict the two days (21st March and 23rd September) in a year when the day and night are of equal length. With the help of mid-day shadow, we can also determine the altitude of Ujjain city. The seven lines drawn on it indicates the 12 zodiac signs.

Samarata Yantra: This yantra is mainly used to determine the declination of any celestial body towards the north or south.

Nadivalaya Yantra: On the south side of the Samarat yantra is the Nadi valaya yantra which consists of a circular dial. Over the centuries this instrument has been accurately helping astronomers to get an idea of planetary positions and also the exact time of the Ujjain city.

Sun dial: Constructed in such a way that the upper planes of the two walls on the sides of the steps of the sun dial are parallel to the axis of the earth. The local time of Ujjain can be very well predicted by using this device.

Diganash Yantra: This instrument is applicable in fixing out the Altitude (distance from the horizon) and the Azimuth (angular distance from the east or the west point measured along the horizon) of any celestial body.

Transit Yantra : This instrument built in the plane of the meridian circle (i.e. the circle joining the south-north and the zenith point) is used for observing the zenith distance of any celestial body (corresponding to its mid-day).

The observatory of Ujjain is a symbol of Ujjain’s strong astronomical background! Even today astronomical investigations are being carried over in this place with the same instruments that were once used by Jay Singh. Renovations and maintenance works are being done from time to time by the Government of Madhya Pradesh to maintain the dignity of this observatory.

How to Reach Vedhshala ?

If any travel agent has taken responsibility of your tour, then you may not worry about the transport and communication as they provide their own mode of transport. But in case you are traveling independently then you can catch a bus or hire an auto rickshaws or taxi to reach this place in Ujjain.

Address: Chintaman Rd, Jabsinghpura Marg,
Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 456010

Important points to be kept in mind while visiting Vedhshala

  • Do not spit or scribble on the walls or on instruments’ body. Feel proud of your country’s assets!
  • Do not touch or harm the instruments
  • Carry a notebook with you, in case you want to note down any important fact/detail
Whenever traveling to Ujjain do not forget to visit this famous place which is a glaring example of the advancements made by Indians during medieval period. The efforts of Raja Jai Singh had bore fruit paving the path for the advancement astronomical in India.

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