Known by locals and rickshaw-wallahs simply as Monkey Temple, the eccentric, surreal Galwar Bagh is a popular pilgrimage site and temple complex on the outskirts of town. The temple itself, (not one of the area's most stunning), is called Gulta Ji Mandir; it's a 30-minute walk from the ceremonial gate called Gulta Pol, located at the far eastern edge of the city. If you visit on a hot day, make sure to bring plenty of water, though avoid carrying unsealed food,
as this can attract monkeys, who generally have no qualms about mugging unsuspecting humans for their lunch. Alms seekers will also make their presence known. The walk leads you over a small mountain pass and past a few small temples and shrines. Jaipuri Hindus believe that at the site of the Gulta Ji Mandir a local saint named Gala Rishi—nicknamed Gulta Ji—brought forth a spring (kund) of holy water from the Ganges that filled a water reservoir 18 feet deep. The waters here are believed to be spiritually connected to the Ganges—if you bathe here, you are said to get the same benefits as a pilgrimage to the Ganges, but as with that river, spiritual cleanliness does not equal physical cleanliness, and we don't recommend going in. The temple, which venerates Brahma, creator of the universe, is in violation of a curse by Brahma's wife Savitri; she confined his temples to Pushkar.
Outside Suraj Gulta Pol, near Agra Rd., Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302003, India
Jul 6, 2005
a day trip outside jaipur was exactly what i needed to get away from the crowded tourist environment. a beautiful, subdued trip to galwar bagh and the temple itself was a place to rest and reflect and absorb the daily going-ons around you. with monkeys everywhere!