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Surya Mandir/ Sun Temple, Jaipur…Stupefying Views!

Surya Temple or Surya Mandir as is locally known, is situated on the Eastern hill range of Jaipur, popularly called Galta ji ki Pahadi meaning Galta hills. Surya Mandir is located en-route the Galta Temple.

 

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Surya Temple as viewed from the nearby Hill

 

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The Sun Temple as seen from the approaching path.

 

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Surya Temple as viewed from the Galta Gate

What makes this entire area special is the fact that there are many small temples located on the way to the Galtaji  temple. Some of them are quite famous like Surya Mandir and Galta temples.

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Galta ji famed for the holy dip

 

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The famous Monkey temple or Galta Mandir as is locally known

Hindu devotees visit this area in large numbers. You will come across many people feeding the cows and monkeys (it is a part of a Hindu ritual to earn good Karma) which indirectly becomes the reason for all the filth and litter on this route-at least till you reach the hill top.

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Devotes earning good Karmas. On way to the Sun Temple, jaipur
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Surya Temple and the surrounding area

You are bound to encounter monkeys on your way up to the Sun Temple.

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Monkeys at Galta hill. On way to Surya temple, Jaipur

The monkeys are quite aggressive & sometimes do attack people if they are carrying eatables! Not their fault!! They are so used to being fed by the devotees and people.

Stash away all food items safely inside your bag – away from their eyes and you’ll be safe and good!

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Monkeys of Galta hills, Jaipur

How to reach Sun Temple -The route to the  temple bifurcate at the hill-top. One part of the path descends towards Galta Temples, while the other one leading to the Sun temple takes a right turn.

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Take right from this junction for reaching the Sun Temple in Jaipur.

From this junction it only takes another minute or so to reach the Sun temple. In all, it takes around 10-20 minutes to reach the Sun temple from the Galta Gate (located on Jaipur-Delhi road)

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Surya Temple, Jaipur– Entrance

The temple premise is  constructed in an old style having a huge wooden entrance gate locally called pol, which you often see in the havelis located in the walled part of Jaipur city.

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Entrance to the Surya Temple, Jaipur

History of Sun Temple or Surya Mandir!

The Sun Temple was built by Diwan Rao Kripa Ram in 1734 AD under the guidance of Maharajah Sawai jai Singh II. As per information available, Rao Kripa Ram was a minister in the Jaipur court.
Jaipur city was laid out as per the Sthapatya Veda (old Indian architectural science) because of which the temples were placed at all strategic points. Sun temple is situated on the Eastern side of East-West axis of the old Jaipur city. The road which originates in front of the Sun temple used to be the most important arterial road connecting the East gate with West gate of the city (the walled city or old Jaipur). Suraj Pol was on the East side and Chand Pol on the west side. Suraj = Sun and Chaand = Moon. Each gate finds its name on the basis of astronomy. It was logical to build the Sun temple on the Eastern hill range as the Sun rises from the East direction.

Read more about these gates or Pols of Jaipur : Old City Gates of Jaipur

One might be tempted to ask as to why so much importance has been given to the Sun Temple? The answer lies in the ancestry of Jaipur Royalty. The rulers of Jaipur are believed to be from the lineage of Lord Ram through the descendants of his son – Kush. As Lord Ram was a descendant of Surya or Sun his lineage was therefore called Suryavanshi.

Before Indian independence, a procession used to originate from the Sun temple on a specified date running through a pre-marked route in the city. It was an important event attended by the King and drew huge crowds of public as well. This explains the importance of Surya temple for the Jaipur royalty. Even to this day, an effigy which was used in the procession is still placed prominently in the temple.

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Picture of the effigy used in the Rath Yatras for centuries, at Sun Temple, Jaipur

On a closer inspection, one finds that this temple has a similar architectural style as the Kalki temple. Although on a scale, the Sun temple is much smaller. Both these temples were made under the order and guidance of Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II – the founder of Jaipur city.

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The architecture of Surya temple, Jaipur resembles very closely to that of the Kalki temple, Jaipur

The temple faces north direction while the entry into the  temple is from the East side. The temple opens to the public around Sunrise and closes soon after the Sunset.The ancestry of the current priest  has been serving this temple for many centuries.

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Surya Mandir, Jaipur. Side view
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Surya Temple, Jaipur. Another view
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Idols – Surya Temple, Jaipur

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The entrance Gate or Pol of the Sun Temple along with the Vimana or tower of the temple

Sun Temple Timing 

Surya Mandir or Sun temple must be visited in the early morning hours or just before sunset in the winter season. Although the temple doesn’t boast of any striking feature, or uniqueness, still it’s a great vantage point. You can also club it up with a visit to  Galta ji temple or Monkey Temple, if the weather permits.

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View from the Sun Temple, Jaipur

TIP:

The only sour point while visiting the Sun Temple is the filth one has to encounter from the Galta gate side. You can avoid all this if you take an alternative route through the Agra road via Sisodia Rani Bagh .

How to reach Galtaji and Sun Temple in Jaipur

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How to reach Galtaji and Sun Temple from the Galta Gate, Jaipur-Delhi highway side
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How to reach Sun Temple, Jaipur from Agra Road, Jaipur

By the way, there is another Sun temple in Jaipur. It predates this one and is situated in Amber town.

Click here to check out other Heritage Temples of Jaipur

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37 thoughts on “Surya Mandir/ Sun Temple, Jaipur…Stupefying Views!

    1. Bellybytes …monkeys are one of the smartest animals around. They have a strong reactive and analytical sense which is hard to find in other animals. When you add swift body response… it is a rare combination! Monkeys used to humans feeding them in popular places assume that whatever you carrying is meant for them. In that sense they are only exercising their right! 😉

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      1. Sure, I would love to suggest you few good places. Let me know which season or month you are planning to visit along with time available, will suggest you accordingly. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that you liked my pictures. Let me also take opportunity to appreciate your Photography skills too! 🙂
      I love to explore unique aspects about place, culture, people and traditions! 🙂 thanks for checking it out on this blog

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, I do love Hindu temples, I’ve seen quite a few and lots of Buddhist temples too. I find temples with Ganesha idols the most interesting and your photos are beautiful, thanks for the sharing, Noi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Noi, there is no doubt that your native country has one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples on this planet. I came across lovely Ganesha image just outside the Central mall in Bangkok. There are some differences in the image form though but that’s justifiable given the difference of country and art forms.
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts here. Keep visiting this blog for more such temples. 🙂

      Like

  2. Interesting history and information along with the lovely travel photographs. Those monkeys look a little angry in the pictures. I’m not sure feeding them has been good for their Karma. How about the cows? I didn’t see any photographs of them. Is it proper to take pictures or are they not allowed to be photographed? Visiting from BUYB.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to know you liked this post. Well, we have two types of monkeys here – the red face and the black face with long tail also called langur. The former is more aggressive, intelligent and notorious too. Generally, I prefer to stay away from them. I haven’t posted any pictures of cow here but there are plenty. Probably, I’ll post one soon in a follow up post which is long overdue. There’s no problem in taking their pictures…there’s no rule from authorities on photography. Have you ever visited India?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have never been to India. It is so intriguing to me and so foreign that I cannot imagine it really! Like others can’t imagine seeing moose like we have in Maine, I can’t imagine monkeys with attitude. Or cows roaming free due to their significance to the Hindu religion.

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      2. I guess most tourists from your region find everything here exotic because it is all alien and there is tremendous sensory blast – sights, sound and smell! I think you should visit India some day. It will definitely be a great experience.

        Liked by 1 person

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