: Jaipur, Rajasthan
: Birla Family
: Fresh Water Springs
: Pavalion of Temples
Located about 10 kms from Jaipur, Galta is a holy pilgrimage centre, having a temple dedicated to Sun God. This temple is only one of its kind in this part of the country.
Dotting the serene green landscape, beyond the gardens, is situated the astounding Sun Temple. The small Sun Temple, built by Diwan Kriparam on the top of the highest peak is visible from any spot in Jaipur. This old pilgrim centre stands amidst the low hills, guarding the city. To the east of Jaipur, the Galta Temple is 2.5 kms climb from Surajpol.
The 250 year old Galta temple was built by Diwan Kriparama who was a loyal courtier of Sawai Jai Singh II. The temple is located on top of a high peak and visible from all parts of Jaipur. According to ancient scriptures, sage Galav had lived and meditated at the place. The maintenance of the temple is financed by the Birla family.
The Temple Complex
Galta temple is located on a picturesque gorge amid low hills. It is a huge complex built of pink coloured stones. The interiors and exteriors of the temple walls have many intricate carvings and bright coloured paintings. The paintings have images of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Ganesha and Parvati. There are also a few friezes showing scenes from religious festivals and state occasions. All the pillars of the temple have also been exquisitely carved. The temple also had some beautiful frescoes in the past. Unfortunately, heavy rains in 1991 washed away many of them.
The roof of the temple is rounded and many pavilions could also be seen. It has been commented that the temple is a real visual treat. Large daily attendance could be witnessed in the temple.
There are some springs and natural reservoirs (kunds) near the temple. Bathing and taking holy dips in the waters has become an almost compulsory practice here. It is believed that the waters are sacred and cleanses all past sins. There are a total of seven kunds in the place. The Galta kund is regarded as the most sacred of all the kunds. It is said that this kund has never run dry. All the kunds are fed by a spring emanating from a rock curve named Gaumukh.
The Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti falling in mid-January is celebrated in a big way in the temple. Even in the biting cold of January, devotees never fail to take holy dip in the kunds. The temple always reverberates with the sound of drums and bells.
Another revered temple that devotees come across before visiting Galta temple is Balaji ka Mandir. It is a triple storied building and looks more like a palatial mansion.