Galta, or the "monkey temple"

Galta is a cluster of buldings, temples, ruins and monkeys tucked away into a beautiful, small valley to the east of Jaipur.  There are two ways to get there:  Either you leave by the eastern gate of Jaipur and climb about 100m or you take an autorickshaw around about 12 km to reach it from the east.  We did both ... almost.

The first day, we tried the climb, not being sure what we were getting into.  We thought we were going to the so-called Monkey Temple at the top.  Maybe we did; we're still not sure just what or where it is.  The walk was interesting, though, but hot and dry.

The climb towards the Monkey temple Indian animals -- goats, monkey and dog

Sacred cow and tourist on our slow climb up over uneven stone slabs As we got to the end of the long climb, we finally understood that this was not the right place. We saw Galta down in the valley set in between the arid mountains.

The next day, we went back -- by auto-rickshaw.   It was worth it just for the trip, which was quite interesting for the mountainous scenery and the blooming bougainvillea.  You walk up the valley, past some ruins of what was once splendid palaces, then up to the bathing tanks, where men, women and children are washing and enjoying themselves in the water.

The next day we had the rickshaw driver take us the right way to Galta, a much longer distance from Jaipur. A temple to the right in the court yard at Galta

Climbing to the kunds (tanks) Looking back down

Bathers Bathers

In the last picture, notice how the women get quite wet -- in their saris. You can see one woman pouring water over the head of another with a pitcher. And they laugh constantly!

Higher up, there is a temple to Hanuman, the monkey god.  And the greatest reason for this tour is for the monkeys, who are really the stars of the place.. They are at home here and are a barrel of fun as they play or climb all over everything. This is no zoo, it's for real. They play, they tease, they wrestle, they do somersaults on the ground and in the air. They were all over the place in great numbers but this lawn was their major playground.

A somersault Playing

Wrestling On a balcony

Walking back down the same road, there are more monkeys waiting to eat out of your hand.  And the bougainvillea along the road returning to Jaipur are magnificent.

A hungry monkey... ... gets a handout

A pregnant monkey Bougainvillea

Homeward-trotting monkey family  returning from an outing

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