Jaipur is sequined with some resplendent religious temples and shrines. In this pink hued land of majestic temples, Galta Ji is another valley nestled in the mounds of Aravalli. Crowned on the peak of the mount, this holy place is adjacent to Jaipur City. We start the exploration from Galta Gate and make our way through the valley till Shri Niwas Balaji Temple.
Walking up the hill, we first encounter the balcony of Jaipur, Sun Temple.
A walk through Galta. How would you describe the experience?
Going for an early morning or a sun lightened evening walk is a discipline one should inculcate. It is extremely liberating and freshening. Walking through a midst of royal teal-blue-green peacocks and other magnificent variant of birds is another level of joy! Also, I bet you’d feel on a different plane, a different world!
Have a taste for little history?
As we come closer to Galta ji temple, the history starts to narrate itself through the beautiful architecture. Galta ji Temple was built by Diwan Rao Kriparam, an attendant to Sawai Jai Singh II, in the 18th Century. With stark surroundings and an aesthetic backdrop of luscious green landscape, the temple complex enshrines Lord Ram, Lord Krishna & Lord Hanuman.
We come across the sacred spot known for a spring of pure water flowing from the ‘Gaumukh’, a rock shaped like a cow’s head, into the tanks. Legend has it that Rishi Galav attained salvation here after 100 years of meditation. Pleased with his penance, the Gods offered him abundance of water, today seen as 3 water bodies surrounding the temple. The water is considered holy enough to wipe out ones sins.
When do you think is the best place to do this walk?
Certainly not the scorching summers. A summer walk would just leave you sunburnt and tanned! However, monsoon and especially chilly winters are the best. The dimming and misty walks are an ultimate bliss.
We also see various clans and tribes of monkeys dwelling in this place. The best time to visit this place would be during ‘Makar Sankranti’, large crowd of visitors take a dip in the holy kund formed by the ever flowing spring. We also see a hoard of monkeys during that day.
As we through the temple, we encounter a beautiful boulevard. We pass through Vipassana Center of Jaipur and then end at Shri Niwas Balaji Temple.
Carrying forward the spirit of the valley, Shri Niwas Balaji Temple is also a place of monkeys (but not many). It is a temple of Hanuman, the Lord of monkeys. It’s a beautiful place to just sit and relax after a long walk from Galta Gate.