What is Galta ji? Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrim site in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It is located between the fissures of aravali hills from three sides. It consists of many temples, a natural water spring and seven Kunds (water pools).
Why Galtaji is called Monkey Temple?
Galta Temple is very famous in tourists from all over the world. The temple compound is situated away from chaos in between thick forest. The beautifully built temples are decorated with frescos of Hindu Gods, marriages, people and mythological stories.
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The holy site is a natural habitat of hundreds of Rhesus Macaque monkeys. These playful wild monkeys could be found in and around the temple compound during morning and evening hours.
Due to presence of rhesus macaque monkeys Galtaji is also referred as Monkey Temple of Jaipur.
If you are lucky you may spot Leopard around on aravali hills or forest area.
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Jaipur Monkey Temple History
The pilgrim center has been present for thousands of years now. However, the temples were constructed by Rao Kripa Ram in 16th century. He was Sawai Jai Singh’s envoy at moughal court. The pilgrim center is a Holy Ashram and governing office of Vaishnav tradition.
Monkey Temple Jaipur Religious Significance
It is believed that Saint Galav lived here all his life in Satyuga. He performed tapasya or penance for 100 years. It is said that Galav Rishi brought Ganga river in the valley with his hard penance.
For this reason Galtaji is named after Galav Rishi.
During the reign of Aurangzeb in Delhi, Holy Saint Payohari Swami Krishna Das ji moved here with his disciples and established Galta Gaddi (Peeth).
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Interesting Galta Temple Facts
- Goswami Tulsidas ji wrote Ayodhya Kaand of Shree Ramcharitmanas during his 3 years stay in Shree Galta ji.
- The natural spring water comes out of Gau Mukh (Cow’s Mouth). None is aware of the origin source of the spring.
- The main temple is made of pink stones.
- Whole compound is built around natural spring.
- It is believed that Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Trinity Gods) visit the holy place on full moon night if Hindu month Karthik. Thus, it is auspicious to bathe in the Kund on these days.
- Holy pilgrimage to four dhams & saptpuris is considered is considered incomplete unless pilgrim takes a dip in the holy kund of Galtaji.
- 2 separate pools for women & men are used for bathing here.
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Other places of interest around Galta Mandir
Tourirts are advised to combine their Galta temple trip with Sun Temple in Jaipur. Sun temple is just above the Galta kund on the top of aravali hill.
Other places of interest near Galta Mandir with their respective distance from the site are –
- Sun Temple (1 Kms)
- Rajrajeshwari Temple (13 Kms)
- Hawamahal (8.7 Kms)
- Birla Mandir (9.4 Kms)
- Albert Hall (8.4 Kms)
Galtaji Mandir Timings
Galta Temple could be visited from sunrise till sunset. So, the Galta Temple timing is 5 AM in the morning till 7 PM in the evening.
The site is in the middle of forest area surrounded by aravali hills from 3 sides. These forests are home to many wild species like peacocks, jackals, deer, monkeys, snakes and leopards. So, you must complete your journey before dark.
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How to reach Galta Temple in Jaipur?
Monkey temple is approximately 10 kms away from Jaipur city. It is situated in the foothills of eastern guarding aravali hill wall of Jaipur. There are two ways to reach Galtaji, namely;
- From Galta Gate – one can reach Galta gate or Surajpole gate on NH 248 via bus, car, cab, taxi or auto. Then the temple could be reached by foot. A little trek of 1 kms covered in 15 mins. The trek is full of photogenic views and objects.
- From Agra Road – this route is away from highway thus could be reached by car, taxi, cab, auto or rented bike.
Following is a list of nearest Bus Stand, Railway Station & Airport with their respective distances from Galta Temple in Pink city Jaipur.
- Sindhi Camp Bus Stand (11.3 Kms)
- Jaipur Railway Station (13 Kms)
- Jaipur International Airport (16.6 Kms)
Here are some points to remember before going to Galta Temple.
- The pilgrim site is open for all. Entry to the compound is free.
- However, you may need to pay Rs50 for still camera and Rs200 for video camera.
- Professional video makers need to take prior permission with temple administration.
- This site is a blessing for photographers as the site is visited by many villagers and of course for the wild monkeys.
- National Geographic has made a film series on the monkeys of Galtaji depicting their story in ‘Monkey Thieves.’