Galtaji, a significant pilgrimage of Vaishnav cult, is a temple situated in the state’s capital Jaipur. The site was built in the 18th century by Diwan Rao Kriparam, a courtier of Sawai Jai Singh II. The temple was built to honor a saint named Galav, on whose name the place is christened. There’s even a shrine of the saint within the complex of the temple.
It is believed that the saint had performed hard penance in this place, in order to attain Moksha (or Nirvana) for a hundred years. Pleased by the his pertinence, the saint was granted the boon, and was further rewarded with spring of water, that according to the legend, never dries. The spring is now known as the great Galta Kund.
Many regard the water of Galta Kund holy, and believe that it has curative powers. On special occasions like Makar Sakranti, and Holi, thousands of pilgrims visit the place and take dip in this holy water reservoir.
One of the most fascinating fact about the temple is that it is now gaining recognition as the Monkey temple. Credit for the name goes to the National Geographic documentary that had demonstrated the life of multiple gangs of Mackay Rhesus residing in the temple. Indeed, the cumulative number of Mackays you find here is hard to find anywhere else.
There’s a hanuman temple in the complex, presence of which can easily justify the presence of such a large crowd of monkeys. Apart from that, the other temples that are established here include that of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha with his mother Goddess Parvati. With so many temples built in the same place, it is surprising how the main attraction of the place is the fresh water spring- Galta Kund.
The temple itself is so magnificent that the grandeur of it matches to that of historical palaces. Apart from Galta kund, there are other 6 water tanks in it. The site has numerous pillars with fascinating carving on them. The roofs of the site too are quite amazing and have the similar arced shape that most of the significant places in Rajasthan have. Indeed, situated on the amidst rocky surfaces of Aravalli range, Galtaji temple is indeed an architectural masterpiece, beauty of which no words can describe.