a temple for monkeys

January 6, 2015

A top experience in India.  A temple for monkeys.

Located in Jaipur, the pink city is a pre-historic Hindu pilgrimage site. Famous, the Galtaji Temple.  One of the jewels of Jaipur, the temple complex encompasses natural freshwater springs and 7 holy ‘kunds’ or water tanks. 

A spring of pure water flows from the ‘Gaumukh’, a rock shaped like a cow’s head, into the tanks. Looking at this magnificent temple, that is built in pink sandstone. Really takes your breath away.  

The Galta Monkey Temple has a backdrop of a gorgeous landscape featuring lush green vegetation and a view of the city. The temple is famous for the many troops of monkeys that live there.  The religious hymns and chants, combined with the natural spring AND monkeys are my top highlights.

This has been on my to-do list for Pink Jaipur.  As we drove up this little road we look up and were astounded by what we saw.  This ancient temple is built into rocks, with over 400 hundred monkeys living in this beautiful space.

In addition, I wouldn’t dare to call these monkeys wild. To tell the truth, its clear they have their limits because our guide warned us, they bite.  Moreover, I saw this firsthand, they bit a woman drawing blood!  Coming from South Africa, I was very against feeding them but soon realized that this is what Monkey Temple was all about.

Above all, fat, happy monkeys that are fed daily by the “Monkey God” and all its visitors.  We spent at least two hours watching these monkeys groom themselves, have love spats, and of course, eat from many hands.

Actually, while visiting, a tourist who had a 600m lens had taken a photograph of a leopard.  Apparently, there are at least 45 different leopards. Living on the mountains that feed off the monkeys or the odd baby calf.

I winked at my partner and said NO WAYS can leopard live so close to a massive city. seems a bit far-fetched.  Pushing my way through the crowd, to see the photograph of the said leopard! And there it was, a medium-sized leopard took literally a km from us in the mountain above. On a safari, if you see the elusive leopard. This is a blessing.  A leopard in India! This made my day! 

In summary, I loved visiting Monkey Temple. In short, it’s fun and exciting but also ancient, interesting, and beautiful. It’s smelly and very dirty. Wear closed shoes and don’t get too fresh with the cute monkeys. They bite and are very cheeky.  If you wish to smoke Indian marijuana, you will get many offers here. I asked the guide curiously, why don’t you offer the other tourists? Awkwardly said, it’s only the Americans & English speaking that are interested.

With this in mind, I laughed. And I said we Africans. 🙂

Here are the photographs I took. Click here

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