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Cooling down Jaipur

Cooling down in Jaipur, India (with travel tips!)

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

It’s hot in India. Really hot. Is it possible here to escape the chaos of the city and cool down? Next to the high temperatures it hasn’t rained in a long time. People are waiting, almost praying, for the monsoon rains to arrive.

Jaipur Monsoon Festival

Water in India is scarce and rivers floating through cities are terribly polluted (honestly, they are just open sewers). No rain, means no harvest. No harvest means no food. It’s that simple. This is the time when the monsoon rains (normally) arrive. India is the land of festivals so welcoming the monsoon is a great reason to celebrate!

Monsoon festival india

This festival is called the Teej festival. We witnessed a couple of parades each day where women carry water in clay bowls on their head. Men carry water as well, but in jars attached to wooden sticks. There is music all around and some of the parades include decorated elephants. We were told these people carried the water all the way from the Galta temple (see later on) down to many of the Shiva temples in Jaipur. They walked the 2 or 3 miles on sand, stones and boiling asphalt on bare feet….

Monsoon festival jaipur

Monsoon festival parade

Monsoon festival india

Galta or Monkey Temple

People in India need rainwater but also adore holy water to bathe and rinse out their sins (who wouldn’t want that?). There is one great place in Jaipur where you can find holy water….and take a dip in it yourself if you dare to! This place is called the Galta temple (or Monkey temple because of the many monkeys swarming the place and bathing as well!).

Monkey temple Jaipur

Monkey temple

Thousands of people travel to the Galta Temple in Jaipur to bath in the holy water. The temple is actually build in a gorge amidst a lush green landscape. Going to the temple by foot provides great views of the area (but it’s a real challenge in these months when temperatures are always between 30 and 35 degrees Celcius!). But it’s worth the effort and not to be missed when in Jaipur!


You can see men and women bathing, complete families enjoying themselves. A fun thing to watch: it’s colorful and all the people seem happy…the cool water is so much welcomed.

Bathing at Galta ji

Cooling down Jaipur

Galta temple Jaipur

Cooling down Jaipur

Group at galta ji

India woman portrait

Indian woman

Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds

Cooling down…..also in the times of the Maharajas there was a desperate need for escaping the heat of the desert. The many (many) wives of the Maharaja here in Jaipur had to observe strict ´purdah´ (face cover) and weren´t allowed to go out on the streets that much. To still offer them a glimpse of the ‘real’ life without being seen, the Maharaja built the Hawa Mahal in 1799. It’s a very narrow facade where the women could take place behind one of the 935 small windows. Here they could look down on the streets…
Great benefit of the open structure of the building is the wind blowing right through it. They also call this the Palace of the Winds. The pictures below also show some of the street life in front of Hawa Mahal.

Palace of Winds India

Hawa Mahal

Girl at wind palace

Temple renovation

Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Thanks for following our trip all the way to Jaipur. It´s time for us to leave the country, so thank you India!  See you in Thailand!

Fellow blogger Wendy shared good information about a cycling tour in Jaipur. Great way to discover the city!


Travel India with kids

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terry Jordan November 1, 2017 - 21:02

WoW what a wonderful find . So much better than a taxi all the way up to the top
Ill be taking the same road with my grand daughter in 2 months time Weather is more mild then so should be no problem . Also I have booked the Umaid Bhawan for our 2 nights stay Antway thanks for a great find for us all Much appreciated

Emiel Van Den Boomen November 2, 2017 - 05:53

Thanks for leaving a comment Terry, very much appreciated! I am happy to hear that you liked it and excited to know you will be traveling the same road as we did couple of years ago. Have fun!

HomeGreens August 31, 2014 - 03:33

Thanks for sharing! We’re also planning a family visit to Rajasthan. Any good tips regarding hotels/guest houses in Jaipur, Udaipur? How about Delhi? For our kids- its going to be a real challenge, but a good one I hope 🙂 Thank you

Emiel van den Boomen August 31, 2014 - 21:55

Hi there! For Jaipur we have a really good hotel (including a great swimming pool for the kids!): Umaid Bhawan. You will love it! In Delhi it’s somewhat more difficult but we found a nice hotel with a good restaurant: Ajanta. Have fun preparing the trip!

Tuty December 25, 2013 - 21:16

Hi, Im so happy to read about your trip. I have been many times in India and Im coming back by the end of January. If it is possible please let me know what places you visited are a “must”. I love to read about your fascinating walk to the Galta Ji, I missed this temple, so now we will follow your steps with my kids(26 and 28years). Congratulations, nice article and post pictures. Let me know which one was the picure you were so happy and proud, we love pictures as well. Merry Christmas! Tuty

Emiel van den Boomen December 26, 2013 - 21:31

Hello Tuty! Thanks for your comment and great to know you will be visiting India again with your kids. Currently by coincidence we are also planning another trip, to Rajasthan this time. We really found Varanasi impressive. If you can add that to your itinerary you should. It’s quite an adventure if you have not been to India before, but you probably know that.
The places in this post are a must if you are in Jaipur. But it’s actually the street life that makes India so special. We would love to return to discover more places! If you travel from Jaipur to Agra by car, you might want to stop at the Abhaneri steep well (that’s a place I still want to visit). Udaipur is also on the list! So many great places…
The picture that I am proud of is the one I used in another post called “Thank you India” … 🙂 Please drop me an email when you have finalized your travel plans, would love to hear more about it!

monique at bringingtravelhome August 3, 2012 - 19:19

I can’t get past the vibrant colors of the clothing there. It’s such a beautiful contrast to their skin/ wonderful posts emiel, looking forward to continuing to follow you on the journey!

Emiel van den Boomen August 4, 2012 - 04:44

Thanks Monique, great to have you following us along the way. We are now kind of relaxing in Bangkok. Relaxing from the busy and chaotic time in India, we love it here as well.

Audrey Bergner August 2, 2012 - 09:44

WOW. I seriously want to visit all of these places. I have visited India before but I didn’t make it to Jaipur. I really like the various portraits of the women bathing at the temple, and the one of the girl at the palace. Stunning photos! 😀

Emiel van den Boomen August 3, 2012 - 17:29

Thank you so much Audrey, we love photography, far more than video. It’s real excitement if you are able to take that one great shot. Tomorrow I’ll post another short article about India with the picture I am most proud of!

Andrea Mueller August 2, 2012 - 08:34

WOWSA! What incredible photos and stories. So glad I found your blog! Makes me want to visit India even more now!

Emiel van den Boomen August 3, 2012 - 17:27

WOWSA Andrea, thanks for your comment! Go to India if you can, you will not regret and forget..

jenny_atasteoftravel August 2, 2012 - 01:46

Another fabulous insight to life in India. I love your photos. I feel I am there with you enjoying the colour and being amongst the people. I’m missing India…it gets under your skin!

Emiel van den Boomen August 3, 2012 - 17:27

India certainly gets under your skin Jenny! We are now in Bangkok and it’s a totally different world, it’s all so clean and structured here in Thailand 🙂

Jenna Francisco August 1, 2012 - 17:30

Wow wow wow. These are just incredible photos and the culture, colors, and so much more seem so alive in your post. I love the little boy after bathing. So cute.

Emiel van den Boomen August 3, 2012 - 17:26

Thanks Jenna!

vibeke August 1, 2012 - 11:12

Lovely! Glad you’re enjoying your adventures Emiel.

Emiel van den Boomen August 1, 2012 - 14:03

We do Vibeke, thanks for your comment.


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