Galtaji Temple in Jaipur is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site in the town of Khaniya-Balaji , Rajasthan. Diwan Rao Kriparam, an attendant to Sawai Jai Singh II, in the 18th Century, built the Galtaji Temple. The story behind this temple is that Saint Galav spent 100 years here in performing his 'tapasya'. Happy with the Galav, the gods blesses him with abundant water. The site consists of several temples and sacred kunds (water tanks) in which pilgrims bathe.
History – Dedicated to the Sun God, Lord Surya, it is situated on Jaipur-Agra Highway at a distance of 10 kms far from Jaipur. The history of this temple date back to 16th century but still the exact year of the construction of this place is unknown. But the temple at this place was constructed in 18th century. Deewan Rao Kriparam who was in the court of Maharaja Sawai jai Singh II, constructed this temple. Even before the 18th century, when the temple was not built here, the place used to hold great importance for Vaishavites Ramanandis.
According to popular belief, famous Saint Galav spent 100 years of his life here to convince God. Seeing this, God came in front of him and blessing his place of worship with unlimited water. In the honor of the Great Saint, this beautiful temple was constructed here and it was named after the same saint. It is said to be very auspicious to take a dip in the natural springs of this temple and it is believed to clean the sins of people.
Special Attractions – Galtaji temple is the best example of the unique pure Rajasthani Architecture which is also popular as Rajput Architecture style. It consisted long straight halls. Perched balconies and dome at the top. All the temples of this place are quite similar. The only difference can be found in the area. There is a beautiful fort here which is sandwiched between two heels. In the front of the fort, there is a grand vast lower Kund or water tank which adds charm to the beauty of the place. Previously this Kund was constructed as a water harvesting body but now it holds religious significance. Before offering ‘Pooja’ in any of the temple, devotes take a bath in the Kund.
This historical place is mainly popular for the temples and the number of tourists.The place has so divine atmosphere that offers calmness to its visitors. Tourists are welled into complete surrender to the God.
Galtaji is also the home of the Indian Monkey and that’s why it is also known as Monkey Temple. One can find here a large numbers of monkeys and all the tourists do respect these monkeys because according to Hindu mythology, Monkeys represent Lord Hanumana. The special thing is that these monkey never cause harm to any visitor.
This outstanding temple draws thousands of students, tourist, archaeologists to witness the beauty of the large natural water springs which keeps the Kunds full of fresh water. Tourists feel refreshed after taking a bath into these springs. The place looks its best on the Hindu Festival ‘Makar Sakranti’.
How to Reach – If you are one of those adventurous guys, you can trek to Galtaji from the East end of the city. If not, you can select to take a taxi to the spot and delight in extraordinary perspectives of the Sisodia Gardens on the way.