Looking around Galwar Bagh and Galta Kund - The Monkey Temple at Jaipur - and a walk up to the Sun Temple (with Photos).
The Temples are located within a narrow gorge near to Kaniya-Balaji town which is around 10km east of Jaipur (an auto-rickshaw will take you there and wait for around 300 or so Rupees). The present temples were built during the 18th century and remain an important and ancient Hindu pilgrimage
area. Free of charge to visit Galta is nick-named and generally referred too as the Monkey Temple because of it's huge population of monkeys. Note that if you have a camera with you and particularly if you are not an Indian then you will be forced to pay a 50 Rupee charge - and quite a lot more if you have a video camera with you.
The main temple'ss correct name is Galta or Galtaji and the area comprises of some very run down temples and three water tanks (kunds). However there is still water moving around in places and the design and shape of the variety of buildings there are still really
interesting to look at - lots of shaped roofs, balconies and arches. It's easy to imagine how beautiful this all would have been when in it's prime.
If you go to the temple remember to pick up a nice 4 or 5 kgs bag of mixed fruit i.e. bananas and oranges - from a market stall beforehand, Although monkeys are meant to like bananas you will find that the Galta's monkeys - given a choice - will prefer eating the oranges. Note that the Sisodia Rani ka Bagh
gardens are located on the way to the monkey temple so it's worth perhaps considering
visiting both locations on the one trip. Also remember to take some bottled water with you as there is little in the way of buying this at the temple.
When we visited the Monkey Temple we noticed that there were quite a few odd looking inhabitants (we do not mean the monkeys) hanging around who seemed to be living in the buildings and perhaps this would not be a good place to visit too much into the evening or at night - or perhaps on your own at any time. There are several tanks built into the temple area the second of which is
quite popular with local youths who use it as a swimming pool.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Once past the first buildings and pavilions you arrive at the tanks - the paved path goes up on the right hand side of these and then continues on up towards the ridge above Jaipur. A little way up the path it splits left and right - the left hand side is fairly rocky but much quicker to walk up whilst the right hand loop is shallower and easier to walk as it's designed for motor bikes to use. When
the paths meet a little further on you can then see on the left and sat right at the top of the ridge a Sun Temple to look at. Beware of putting anything on the ground or on a wall whilst in the area and also keep a tight hold on sun-glasses and hats etc. - the monkeys are right little thieves and are liable to steal anything they can get their paws on.
Note that from the ridge you
can walk down the other side and on into Jaipur - this is a fairly steep paved path but makes for a nice walk although make sure you have plenty of water with you.