Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed to view the photos in this post. Any non-3D photos are labelled.
So, I covered Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park last post, my 43rd World Heritage site visited. I try to split my UNESCO World Heritage posts apart, as… well, as I’ve only seen 43, and don’t want to use up all my photos of them. However, I’m making an exception here.
Writing-on-Stone became a World Heritage site AFTER I visited it… which means it is almost a free bonus for me to check off the World Heritage list(I’m going to start calling these NeuNESCO sites). It also means that I can’t guarantee that I took any 3d or multispectral photos when I visited. As I mentioned, Writing-on-Stone is the third site that I visited before they became World Heritage sites; the first was the Forth Bridge(I’ll get to that someday), and the second was the city of Jaipur. It was announced that Jaipur was declared a World Heritage site on the morning of July 6th, preceding Writing-on-Stone by a few hours.
Jaipur City has amazing architecture and buildings. The Observatory in the city was already a World Heritage site, meaning that it is a site-within-a-site. There is a pink colour scheme to the buildings, and….
…and let’s be honest. Nobody cares about that. I mentioned MONKEYS, and that’s what everyone is here for. In fact, lets skip Jaipur City altogether, and talk about it more some other time.
My family hosted a lot of Japanese exchange students over the years- I was always astonished by how they would take photos of every squirrel they saw. The above photo, in Delhi, wasn’t great, but who knows- it might have been the only time I saw a monkey. It wasn’t… of course it wasn’t. They are everywhere.
The usual routine seems to be this for tourists:
1: See new species- Quickly take a photo before it runs away
2: See some more of them- Take several pictures in an attempt to get the perfect photo.
3: Realize how many there are, only take photos when it is likely to result in a unique image.
4- Ignore the animals altogether.
5- see new species- repeat step 1.
…I never got to step 3. I have so, so many monkey photos.
I’m only focusing on one place right now: Galta Ji Temple(also written as Galtaji)
Galta Ji Temple is on the outskirts of Jaipur. Inside the city? Outside? I don’t have a clue. Wikpedia says outside, Google says inside. The UNESCO map seems include it in the World Heritage boundaries, inside the blue bulge to the right. As such, I’m categorizing this as a UNESCO related post, but I could be wrong. But it has MONKEYS, so who cares?
The temple itself is composed of several smaller temples, in varying degrees of restoration. There are several holy pools used for ceremonies, but I only saw one of them. They are in a narrow valley, with buildings built into the cliffs.
There are a few black and white photos here, as the colours of the temples and visitors’ clothing sometimes make them look ‘off’ when seen through red/cyan glasses.
Maybe we should talk about the other wildlife before we get to the monkeys:
…On second thought, let’s skip the other wildlife. Lets try to forget all about it.
The main species of monkey I saw were Rhesus Macaques. They are wild, but habituated to humans, and live throughout the area. Some were on the road through the complex:
They were clustered around one of the pools. If I had any doubts that primates were related to humans, the were quickly dispelled. For the record, I didn’t have any doubts, but if I did, I wouldn’t any more.
The adults were laying around in the shade and grooming themselves:
While the young ones were busy splashing around and playing in the water.
The water was too murky to tell the depth, but seemed fairly deep. There was a ridge under the water used by the Macaques to stand on…
… and occasionally to jump off of:
Many of the macaques were very social with the visitors, climbing on them. I enjoyed have one climb on top of my head… however, after seeing another macaque stand on the pool’s submerged ridge, poop in the water, then jump in after it, I suddenly felt the need to have a long shower. I also felt a need to hide my eyeglasses, as another macaque ran off with a tourist’s sunglasses. He never got them back, either. I was told that it was a regular occurrence there.
Some of the youngest macaques used the ridge to balance on, as they were clearly unsure of the water(I’d assume they’re still learning to swim, but given the previous paragraph, they might just be germophobes).
Some of the more confident macaques had no fear of the water. They would isntead find a higher platform…
… to jump from.
Yes, they were calmly waiting one-at-a-time to jump off the top of the fountain… maybe they’re not related to us. On the other hand, one pushed another off the top of the wall into the water, and I’ve done that to my sister a few times.
The other monkey species at Galta Ji were the Grey Langurs. These were much less willing to interact with visitors; they just sat there ignoring us.
I didn’t see any langurs swimming; they mostly sat on the shady side of the pool, and the macaques gave them a wide berth.
Some were still nursing; the youngest langurs looked more like macaques, with pink skin and dark fur:
Any young grey langur that was not in contact with its mother, however, already had the silvery fur and dark skin of the adults. I’d guess that they change colour while still very young.
Both species were interesting to watch; I could seriously stay there all day taking pictures. However, I think my favorite monkey out of all of them was a very young macaque along the main road with its mother.
As the mother groomed itself, the young one would crawl away…
…examine the wall…
…try to climb it…
… and fall off and run back to the mother for consolation. A minute or two later and the cycle would start over…
It’s been a couple of years since I went there. The young macaque has probably learned how to climb the wall, and now sits on the ledges looking over the pools and complex at Galta Ji.
… and maybe it’s wearing a nice pair of sunglasses.