The Captivating Monkey Temple At Galtaji

Galtaji is a narrow valley on the eastern hill range in Jaipur. It is famous for  Galta Temple & Galta Kund, an important pilgrimage in Jaipur which dates to the ancient times. Complete details on the history of Galtaji is not available but according to the local legend it is named after famous Rishi Galav who made his penance here for 60,000 years. Pleased with his devotion, almighty blessed this place with a perennial source of holy water which many people believe is sacred water of Ganges. It still flows and accumulates in a tank meant for the holy dip called Galta Kund. Some reports suggest that ever since the spring water source dried up, water is sourced from a well with the help of an electric motor. I guess keeping the traditions alive is important to ensure devotees are not disappointed!



According to M.M. Ninan, an important author on Hinduism, Galtaji had a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva dating to 600 AD. Some claim that this temple still exists in the form of a cave temple. Galta Ji is popular among tourists as Jaipur Monkey temple.

Temple dedicated to Rishi Galav
Rishi Galav Temple


Having visited these temples many times over the years, I realized its real beauty during my recent explorations.

Beautiful Temples at Galta

1. What is History of Galta Temples?

Apart from the mythological aspect, historians and researchers have something more to add. As per common belief, Jogis or babas used to live here till the 16th century when one Ramanandi Sadhu by the name of Krishnadas Payo Hari came here & drove them away with his mystical & spiritual powers. It is believed that Krishnadas was a Payobhaksha, living on “milk only” diet. This led to the word Payo being added to his name. Over the years, it became an important center of Ramanandi Hindus. Galta Ji was a big center for Naga Sadhus who also took part in many wars.

Ramananda was a saint following Ramanujacharya sect of Vaishnavism (Hinduism) in medieval India. Ramanandis worship Lord Ram as well as Vishnu and consider themselves descendant of Luv & Kush, son of Lord Rama. Although Ramanandis fall under Ramanujacharya sect of Vaishnava Hindus, over the passage of time many differences developed between their philosophies. Center of Ramanjuacharya Hinduism is in Tamil Nadu (Totadri Math) and for this very reason, Galtaji is called Uttar Totadri (North Totadri).

Why You Should Visit Galta Ji?

Galtaji is an important religious center for Vaishnav Hindus. In recent years, there has been a strong tussle for power among Ramanandis and Ramanjuachrya sect, which led to a court case. There’s lots more to Hindu religion than what I can explain here; I’ll reserve it for the future post.

If you have a lingering question on the importance of these temples in the Hindu religion, here are some facts.

  • The famous Indian poet Tulsidas spent 3 years in Galtaji and composed “Ayodhya Kand” chapter of the famous Ramcharitramanas.
  • Shri Nabha Das composed  Bhaktamal/ Sri Bhakta Maal in Galtaji.
  • It needs to be mentioned that the International ISKON movement started by Swami Prabhupada used Govind Bhashya as its founding philosophy. This was written in 1718 AD by Swami Baldeo Vidyabhusan in Galta Ji.
  • It is being claimed that Mughal emperor Akbar also visited Galta Ji & sought blessings. Upon completion of his wish, he donated 2592 Bigha of land to the Acharya or head of Galta Ji. This grant is preserved and Galta Peeth considers it a historical document.

Galta Peeth follows a system of Acharya who presides over this place. The first Archarya was Payo Hari. It is now headed by 17th Archarya.

Kirti Stambh of Ramanujachrya sect of Hindus

It is being mentioned in the script of Galvashram Mahatmaya that on a full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik which is also known as Kartik Purnima, the trinity of Hindu Gods – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva visit this place.  Hence, taking a bath in the holy tank which is known as Galta Kund provides multiple blessings.


A Devotee taking a holy dip

There is yet another belief that holy pilgrimage of four Dhams popular in Vaishnav Hindus and Sapt Puri is not complete unless one takes a holy dip in Galta Kund.

Devotees at Galta Kund

I’m not sure if this is widely believed or followed. However, unlike Char Dham or Sapta Puri, you are unlikely to find hordes of devotees flocking to Galta Ji. It is definitely popular among locals and the neighboring area.

Rush on Makar Sankranti at Galta Kund

2. What are the things to see in Galtaji?

The beautiful architecture of Galta Temples, Galta Kund, and monkeys.

The beautiful architecture of Galtaji bath
Devotees and pilgrims at Galta Temples.


This place draws a large number of devotees from the nearby villages since it’s an important local pilgrim too. Makar Sankranti & Kartik Purnima are few occasions when people throng here in large numbers for the holy dip at Galta Kund.

Devotees at Galtaji Kund on Makar Sakranti.

Even though these temples are a big tourist attraction, I have always found that locals outnumber tourists.


These temples were built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, founder of Jaipur city in the early 18th century. There were small temples in nearby hills before these temples which are now in a ruined state.

Ruined Old Galtaji Temple, Jaipur


These temples have beautiful frescoes & paintings from the Indian mythology and Hindu religion on the walls & ceilings. The architecture is mesmerizing as it uses canopies/ chhatri, lattices, the windows in a unique style which is a hallmark of Jaipur architecture.

Lattice, canopy, windows, niche fuse together to create this stunning architecture.


Designs & colors on the wall and ceiling create beautiful visuals


Scenes from Indian mythology and history adorn the walls of these temples.
Beautiful Bangledaar or curvilinear Chhatri
Heritage paintings from mythology and religion adorn the walls and ceiling

Out of the three temples, two have been constructed in haveli style- Shri Gyan Gopal Ji temple & Shri Sitaram Ji temple. The latter being the biggest among all temples at Galtaji.

Shri Sitaramji Temple
Shri Sitaram Temple, Galtaji as seen from Sri Gyan Gopal temple.
Sanctum at Shri Sitaramji Temple, Galta

Shri Sitaramji Temple has five sanctums & idols of Lord Rama depicting various life stages.

Beautiful entrance of Shri Sitaram Ji Temple, Galtaji, Jaipur
Newly consecrated idols at Shri Sitaramji temple

There is a popular belief that the idol of Shri Ram Gopal Ji in Shri Sitaramji Temple resembles both Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. ram-gopal-ji-galta-temple-jaipur



There’s a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman in one of the annexes of this temple. The temple management claims that it has Akhand Jyoti, a flame that’s never put off since the idol was consecrated centuries ago. I’m not sure if this claim is true.

The idol of Lord Hanuman at Shri Sitaramji temple



Shri Gyan Gopal Ji temple is smaller of the two and contains idol of Lord Krishna. This compound also houses a school for the students and disciples.


Shri Gyan Gopalji Temple at Galtaji, Jaipur
Sanctum at Shri Gyan Gopal Temple
The simple yet beautiful architecture of Shri Gyan Gopal Temple


Paintings from Indian mythology and Hindu religion on the ceiling of Galta Temples, Jaipur

The entire stretch from the Galta Gate to Shri Sitaramji temple has many small temples. Sun temple or Surya Mandir which overlooks Jaipur city is the prominent one in this area.

Due to the 1981 Jaipur floods, Galta Temples were submerged. Thankfully, restoration brought back its glory.

Monkeys at Jaipur Monkey Temple?

Monkeys at Galta Ji Temple

The most common species of monkey you will encounter is Rhesus Macaque. In the past, other monkey species like Gray Langurs were also spotted but these have been driven away by Rhesus Macaque. Gray Langur is less aggressive in comparison to the red-face Rhesus Macaque.

Visitors will notice the presence of monkeys everywhere in Galtaji. While this may startle some but they are harmless unless provoked. Monkeys are used to seeing people around as devotees visit Galtaji to offer them food.

Devotees offering to monkeys
Offering for monkeys at Jaipur Monkey Temple

Stay safe by ensuring you are not carrying any food items with you. It is best to stash it in your bag, away from the prying eyes of monkeys. They cannot differentiate between a devotee & a tourist!

A guide offering an opportunity to befriend a monkey in Galtaji Jaipur- Monkey Temple

Monkeys and safety

You might come across a guide or a local who will offer you an opportunity to shake hand with a monkey or photograph with a monkey. Please note this is not a safe practice. A lot of travelers do but no one can guarantee safety from a monkey bite! These are wild monkeys and not trained to perform these acts. Many travelers have raised concerned regarding catching rabies from monkeys at Galta Ji. Some question these claims due to lack of evidence. I always advocate safety first.

A few guides also suggest tourists offer banana or peanuts to monkeys to earn good karma. I suggest not to do so. If they see humans carrying edible items they assume it will be offered to them; not offering them makes them aggressive.


Lord Hanuman also is known as Monkey God.

A new temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman has recently been constructed near the entrance.  Despite the fact that tourists refer Galtaji as monkey temple, there’s no connection of monkeys directly with the temple. It is being called so because of monkeys around.

3. How to reach the Galtaji Temple?

Galtaji Location- This ancient pilgrim is in a valley beyond the Sun Temple on the eastern hill range. Some people refer it as Galta hills while travelers call it Jaipur Monkey Valley owing to a large number of monkeys here.

Surrounded by hills on all three sides, one can reach Galtaji temple by a hilly path which starts from Galta Gate or through Ghat ki Guni. Former is essentially a pedestrian route and close to the city.

Galta Gate which leads to the Galtaji, Jaipur
surya mandir jaipur galta hills
Devotees on their way to Galta temples at Galta Gate, Jaipur

Caveat: Do note that Galta Gate path is filthy and full of aggressive monkeys.

How to reach Galtaji Temples? The pedestrian ramp from Galta Gate, Jaipur requires some energy as it involves ascend and descend through a hilly path.
Devotees on way to Galtaji temple through the pedestrian route which starts from Galta Gate, Jaipur
How to reach Galta Temples at Galtaji map and location. Note the red marked path which starts from the Galta Gate and leads to the Galtaji Temple.


The latter route is longer, approximately 10-12 km from the city center and passes through a beautiful alley called Ghat Ki Guni as well as a forest.

 Ghat Ki Guni route
Road to Galtaji passes through a forest land

If you don’t prefer the pedestrian path or walking, this is the only choice you have. There is no public transport facility from Ghat Ki Guni route. You will not find any cab or Tuk-Tuk/ Auto-Rickshaw for your return journey either.

Tuk-Tuk or Auto Rickshaw as it is locally called.

If you prefer to save money and use public transport or Tuk-Tuk, it is best to opt for Galta Gate route. Both public transport and Tuk-Tuk are available for Galta Gate from walled city area/ old Jaipur. It takes about 20 minutes of walking for a fit person to reach Galta Ji temple from the Galta Gate. I will suggest UBER Hire if you opt for Ghat Ki Guni route otherwise, UBER mini is available easily for Galta Gate from the city. Another alternative to UBER is OLA cab but fare tend to be slightly higher than UBER.



Read all related posts on  Heritage Temples of Jaipur

4. What is Galta Temple Timing

It is open throughout the day for visitors. You can visit Galtaji Temples from sunrise to sunset.

5. What is the entry fee to Galtaji Temple?

There is no entry fee for visiting Galtaji Temples. However, the temple management charges Rs 50 for camera/ mobile photography which I feel is not unreasonable. You can also make an offering if you wish, to help the management in maintaining this heritage & pilgrim site. Given the fact that temple management has limited resources to generate money, it counts.

Galta Ji is an offbeat tourist attraction in Jaipur. Recommended for those looking beyond the usual tourist places to see in Jaipur. A visit to Monkey Temple in Jaipur is an enriching experience as it depicts the local culture and religion. From my own experience, you will enjoy this important religious & heritage site when you have someone who can narrate its history, otherwise, it’s just another place.

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202 thoughts on “The Captivating Monkey Temple At Galtaji

  1. Galtaji temple looks really interesting! I’ve heard of a Monkey temple in Rajasthan. It’s probably the same.
    Next time I’m in Jaipur, I’ve got to check out your blogs to create my list of sights to research and visit.


  2. Fantastic photos and excellent information as well. Nobody who talked to us knew anything about the Shri Gyan Gopal Ji Shri Sitaram Ji temples so it was really interesting to hear about those and to see the photos of the ruined temple as well. I hope to make it back there again sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Todd, not all the sadhus living in the temple know much about these​temples because most of them are from other places. Only a few can probably explain the details.

      Do spend more time when you are back. Do visit sun temple too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your views. Yes, Rajasthan has many great architectural gems. We have a rich legacy though I’m not how far we will be able to preserve it. BTW, there is an ongoing cleaning drive in the city so all ancient water collection points ate being cleaned and repaired. Galta Kund has recently been cleaned. Have you visited Jaipur?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jaipur was always popular with tourists. The domestic tourism has grown multiple times in our country and therefore it is fastest growing sector – more than foreign tourists! IG? Well, more people are posting pictures and stories. There are many instagram worthy locations in Jaipur. Locals are cool with it. It has always been a popular place for the tourists. Where are you guys based?


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