Monkeys in the Palace


India is home to an estimated 50 million or more monkeys, and Jaipur's most common species is the mischievous Resus Macaque. The most common of the Old World monkeys, these guys are extremely adaptable creatures, and are thriving in their modern environment, taking over Indian cities like urban jungles.

Thanks to the reverence that Hindus place on these creatures, they live (almost) harmoniously alongside local people and all the other city wildlife -of which there is a lot! The people are wise to the monkeys' tricks and as such know how to operate in a way that allows the monkeys to do their thing with minimal disruption to the lives of the people.

And I find that pretty admirable; how the locals here are happy to let nature meet the urban landscape, and treat their animal friends as (almost) equals. It's pretty different to our western culture, where generally we feel the need to tame any creature that we interact with on a regular basis. Observing the city wildlife here is a beautiful teaching in how to live among nature, rather than feeling the need to constantly be controlling everything, and everyone, around you.

Expect to find these guys everywhere, palaces included. Just make sure you hide your food and don't get too close, and you'll be able to enjoy their company too.