Galtaji (The Monkey Temple)

India, Jaipur, Uncategorized

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Where: about 10 km outside of the center of Jaipur. We hired a tuk tuk for the day to take us to many different sights, so prices might vary depending on whether you hire a tuk tuk for a single trip or Uber.

Duration: 1.5-3 hours. You must walk up and down a rather large hill in order to get to the temple, which is situated in a valley between mountains.

Cost: 20-50 Rupee donation to get into the actual temple complex, 100-200 for a guide if you wish (might be recommended based on things said in the notes).

A Brief History: It’s a Hindu complex centered around monkeys. People travel from all over to cleanse themselves in the waters that flow from within the temple. It was built in the 18th century—something I’ve noticed is that many of the gorgeous structures in India are not nearly as old as I thought them to be (not because they look old, but because I imagine them to be relics of an ancient people—much like the Jungle Book).

Point of Interest: The whole thing, quite literally.

Recommendation: 4.5/5. I feared the monkeys, I’m not going to lie. Having one on my shoulder was the strangest experience ever and I didn’t necessarily enjoy it. When the monkeys took food from my hand, it was amazing to feel that their hands were probably softer than mine. The entire place literally looks like it crawled out of the Jungle Book with hundreds of monkeys crawling over the structures. Although it’s in the middle of Jaipur, the temple seems to be hundreds of miles from civilization with its base being in a mountain valley.

*Note: These are wild monkeys. They are not trained, they will follow you, they will fight with each other. At first, we didn’t want a guide to the monkey temple until we realized we had no idea how to deal with monkeys (it is perfectly okay to let them follow you. Don’t make any sudden movements around them that seem to be grabbing/attacking).

**Note: You can buy bags of peanuts to feed the monkeys with, but you should keep them in a secure place such as a deep pocket so the monkeys don’t steal them. My friend bought two bags of chips for herself and they were nearly instantly stolen by a particularly bold monkey so she had to buy two more and keep them well-guarded.

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