Sacred Indian temple that’s all monkey business.
The pink stone Temple of Galtaji at Galwar Bagh is an idyllic sanctuary in the heart of Jaipur. Here, Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe in the sacred springs and reservoirs of the massive complex, which is situated on a hill, high above the flatlands of Rajasthan.
A total of seven pools of natural spring water are within the area of Galtaji. The most sacred is Galta Kund, a reservoir that never goes dry. Alongside the lush natural springs are a number of other temples dedicated to various deities and spirits.
A temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman is one of the most famous on the site because a tribe of his present day monkey relatives resides there. Along with living in the Galtaji temple, the monkeys also dangle from the intricate temple facades and cause chaos for visitors and pilgrims. They are well known in Jaipur and especially in Galtaji for their mischievous ways.
Ironically, the monkeys’ famously naughty behavior is in stark contrast to their seemingly tranquil home. They even engage in fights, robberies, and general havoc right next to calm and sacred pools. Luckily for the monkeys, they are protected by their sacred status and connection to Hanuman.
While it is unclear whether their behavior has made them a pest in the temple, it is obvious that it has brought them a small degree of fame. The dramatic antics of these so-called “Rebel Monkeys” achieved reality TV-worthy status, when the primates snagged their own show on National Geographic.
Know Before You Go
Located 10 km outside of Jaipur.
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