This story is about how an unexpected Tuk Tuk drop-off turned out to be one of our best experiences in India. We learned that when you want to be surprised, you just have to fully trust your local Tuk-Tuk driver (also if you only know him for like 30 minutes).
Galti Ji or Monkey Temple
One of the top places to visit in Jaipur is Galta Ji, also known as the Monkey Temple. It’s situated in a valley and can easily be reached by car. A car will drive you passed the hills and will drop you almost directly at the entrance.
There is however another way, far more interesting. Hire a Tuk-Tuk driver who has no intention of driving you all the way out of town to the other side of the hill, but has more faith in dropping you as quickly as possible on the edge of town.
We were disappointed (not angry) with the guy at first, realizing he dropped us off for a 30-45 minute hike in 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit). But he knew he would be providing us with one of the most fascinating walking trips of our stay in India! Look at the pictures of all the people we met and you can imagine that afterwards we felt like Dorothy on her yellowbrick road!
This is the City Gate where we started our trip. We had to move some cows before our Tuk Tuk could pass….
There are plenty of opportunities to prepare for the trip….
Steep start towards the Monkey temple
The trip starts with a steep walk to the top of the hill. The sun can really be a burden with not many shadow places, so be prepared. After 15 minutes (depending on your physical shape) you will reach the top of the hill, offering a great view on the city of Jaipur. There are lots of local people who are also making the walking trip to the temple, so you are never without friends!
Fascinating man….he didn’t say a word
The second part of the trip is (luckily) rather flat. Watch out for the monkeys (they don’t call it Monkey temple for nothing!). Don’t carry any bags and certainly no bananas in sight…
We stumbled upon a group of women who were sitting down while taking a rest. At that moment on we knew this trip was tough but worth it: we were meeting so many colorful and interesting people!
Temple of the Sun
Right before the road makes it descent towards the actual temple you arrive at a crossing which seemed to be a favorite hangout for local boys, girls and holy cows.
We also met this smiling man at a small shop/cafe, who told us he was managing the Suraj Devra Mandir or Sun Temple, a bit off the main road. He was so funny and even left his bottle of Coke behind to accompany us along the way!
Finally we reached the temple…..or at least one of the entrances. A young priest approached us. He was kindly (but with devotion) convincing us to first enter his small temple before moving on to Galta Ji itself.
We were taking it slow, so why not? His small temple looked nothing more than a hole carved out of the rocks. But according to the priest this was a very special place. “Look here”, he said, “this stone right here shows our Hindu God Hanuman.” We looked at the stone and actually did saw a resemblance with Hanuman, also known as the Monkey God.
“Come in please!” He prayed and with a single upward stroke he marked us with red powder on our forehead: the so-called tikka. Although very spiritual, he did asked us to make sure the door was closed. He didn’t want the monkeys to come in and steal his food (or our shoes for that matter!).
Final descent towards the Monkey Temple
The great thing about approaching the Galta Ji from this side is that you can walk down with a continuous great view on the temple (click here to read more about this temple). And after the first part of the walking trip we were now about to meet even more fascinating people!
If we will have another opportunity to visit the temple, we will for sure be taking the long and winding brick road!
If you want to take this road, ask the Tuk Tuk driver to drop you at the Galti Ji gate at the end of Surajpol Bazar road (it’s actually at the end of the main road through the Pink City – the historical center of Jaipur)
Make sure to also check these other posts about Jaipur and other places in India:
- Cooling down in Jaipur (with more pictures of this Galta Ji temple!)
- Delhi surprises
- The architect and the Jama Masjid
- Tribute to the colorful people of India
[…] there is said to be a secret hike that leads you to Monkey Temple. While we can’t speak from experience, from what I’ve heard, it’s a beautiful […]
Hello, Thanks for sharing such a fantastic blog.I really appreciate your blog to share information about Jaipur …Visiting in Jaipur is amazing experience. Jaipur is a place with a glorious past and a very rich historic background. People come from far off places just to get the taste of its beautiful monuments and their architecture.
Which was your route going back? Did you wnet nack the same way? Is there plently of taxis at the temple to just get one to gp back to Jaipur?
Hi Lucy, as far as I can remember we took a tuktuk or taxi back from the temple area. So we did not walk back the same way. Maybe we even asked the driver that took us to wait for us on the other side of the temple, but honestly I don’t remember exactly… have fun!
Thanks.. im excited to take this route. I just didnt want to make one of those mistakes where you are in this place..the sun is going down and you are stranded in this temple and you end sleeping with monkeys? Haha. Do you consider that lottle hike safe enought for a solo female or at least ok for 2 woman (not sur yet if my friend wil be able.to come with me)..of course im aware of all the solo female traveler tips in India..just not sure if those will be enought for thia off the beathen path route. 🙂
Hi again Lucy. I’m afraid I will not have the answer for you. There are a lot of female solo travelers that also run a blog and might be able to answer your question. As you can see on the picture, we met both men, women and lots of children. The road was not that off-the-beaten-path like being desolated or far away from everything. Don’t underestimate the knowledge of local people who can help you, for example the manager of your hostel.
Thanks! And thank you for your blog.. is great.
[…] If you didn’t get the Zelda reference don’t worry. So you can find it almost everywhere: here and here and for sure here. […]
[…] here are some interesting articles on this temple. Got the opportunity to quickly do darshan, including that of the Akhand Jyoti, which was lit since the Moghul years. […]
I too visited the temples by this route by accident. It was definitely the best way to enter and gave a whole different perspective than coming in by the front gate. Reading the other comments, I bet sunset is a great time to visit.
Absolutely! I just read your article about Jaipur, very extensive and good information. Thanks for adding a link to my post!
[…] The secret road to the monkey temple in Jaipur (actoftraveling.com) […]
[…] banana. So no thanks, no monkeys for me (but there must be a monkey temple close to Jaipur, I read this post about […]
I am an Indian and have been to the temple a couple of times, always taking the route you mentioned, though usually around 4 pm. The sun begins to set and the tourist crowd starts to disappear. That’s also the time when you see the monkeys in their full glory, and it can be pretty damn scary at times. Great place, must visit!
Thanks for leaving a comment Sumir, appreciated! I can imagine that also at the end of the day this is a beautiful walk. Indeed a place that we highly recommend to visit.
Hi Sumir, thank you for sharing this important information about monkeys in their glory at the sunset at the Galta Ji. Since you are from India, what other places would you recomend in Rajasthan? I love India, I have been there many times and I cant wait to come back, coming with my childrens. What other places will ypu recomend? We are planing to come back at the end of January and visit Dehli, Varanassi, Khajulraho, jabslpur, Udaupur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra. Could you advice what places or temples you consider a most to visit? Thanks again. Kind regards, Tuty
You don’t have Jaisalmer on the itinerary, it’s a must visit place. Forts, palaces, havelis, thar desert (evening shows/dance performances etc.) can be fun for the entire family.
Agra: Be sure to go to the Taj Mahal, early morning to beat the rush hour crowd and get a good view.
Khajuraho has a nice light and sound show in the temple grounds in the evening, again – fun for the entire family.
Not a big fan of Jodhpur, though the Jodhpur fort is quite nice; go late afternoon. Max 1 day for the city, nothing more.
You should read other posts on this website and the lonely planet guides for most of the places you mentioned. They have a comprehensive to-dos list for each city.
Let me know if you have any specific queries for any one city. I stay in delhi so I could help you out with the captial! 🙂
Have a fun time in India! Cheers!
Thanks Sumir for answering Tuty’s questions! As a coincidence our family is looking into another trip to India as well! As you know we have been to Delhi and Jaipur in 2012 and we are now looking to explore Rajasthan. We cannot visit all the great places, but our itinerary now looks as follows: Jodhpur, Ranakpur, Ghanerao, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Bundi, Pushkar, Agra. It’s a bit the South of Rajasthan. We are not sure yet, but can you let us know why you are not a big fan of Jodhpur? Jaisalmer sounds really great, but it’s it a bit far away to the West.
If I were to choose between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer I’ll choose the latter. Jodhpur just has the fort, which is great no doubt, but as an experience Jaisalmer is better. Smaller town, lesser crowds, flexibility to explore more, ad way more to do and spend quality time with family/friends.
Love the colors, face paint, and nose ring! What a cool-looking place. I’m so excited to eventually do India.
Thanks Kristin, I hope you will make it to India someday!
So I hear my daughter yell out. “Look . . . A cobra!”
She has been teasing me that we have yet to see a snake on our trip and she found your post on the computer and started reading.
You have very quickly helped to move India up on the list!
Great pics! And love how it all came from the Tuk-Tuk drop off!
Look Justin, your daughter already has a great eye for interesting destinations! And yes, serendipity is still a great way to travel 🙂
Lovely photos! I like all the smiles and bright colours!
Indeed Audrey, the smiles, the people, and the colours are all making India such a great destination.
Colours in India are fabulous Audrey!
Amazing photos of amazing people! Wow!
Thank you Laura!