The following Galtaji Temple photo was shot by Lala Deen Dayal in 1886 AD. He was one of the first Indian photographers to click pictures of the royalty, street life, and popular monuments. Lala Deen Dayal set up photo studios in 3 Indian cities. He became photographer of the Viceroy of India during the colonial days.
It captures Shri Sitaramji temple in Galtaji with a few make-shift shelters of the poor people. The upkeep of the temple is disappointing.
One can see many changes taking place during 130 years. The tree seen in the previous picture outside Shri Gyan Gopalji Temple is missing. In place of a raised floor surface near temple entrance is a staircase. There is a major structural change in the façade of temple with the wall on second floor giving way to the stone railing. Open chhatri (dome) replaces the covered chhatri seen in the previous photo.
If you have followed my earlier posts on Galta Gate and Galta Temples, you must have read about history of Galtaji. If you have not read a complete post on Galta Temples, it is good time to it check out: 5 Things You Need To Know About Captivating Galta Temples
This set of pictures overlooks the Galta Kund as well as pathway which leads to the Sun Temple & Jaipur city through Galta Gate. The photographer of this vintage picture of Galtaji from 1886 AD is Lala Deen Dayal.
It is not possible to capture this view from the same spot as it has been cordoned off by Galtaji management. So this is all I could manage.
On comparing old & new photos of Galtaji, the upkeep is better now than a century ago. Until the turn of 20th century area around Galtaji was a forest. Tigers, leopards, hyenas, black bears were in abundance. People avoided traversing through this region after sunset for the fear of wild animals. All that has changed now!
Human race is selfish & doesn’t like to share natural resources with the other species. It did everything that led to the wiping out of wild animals from the Galta hills. Population of wild animals in the forest around Galtaji dwindled at a very fast pace between 1930’s & 1970’s. The only fierce and dangerous species that one finds in Galta hills now is Humans!
Check out other posts in Jaipur Then and Now.
Old picture courtesy artnet.de