Palitana Jain Temple, Gujarat

Usha Biswal Rout

24, Nov 2017 @ 12:26 PM
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Related to: Gujarat Travel Guide

About: Palitana Jain temple which is situated on Shantrunjaya hills in the city of Palitana in Gujarat is considered to be the most sacred Jain Temple in India. Palitana is the world’s only mountain that has more than 900 temples. Being the world’s largest temple complex it is considered as the most sacred pilgrimage place (Tirtha) by the Jain community. There are more than 3000 temples exquisitely carved in marble located on the Shatrunjaya hills.

Palitana Jain Temple, Gujarat
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Historical facts: On the top the Shathrunjaya hill is a cluster of Jain Temple and the main temple on the top of the hill is dedicated to the first Tirthankara Rishabhnatha (Rishabhadeva) which can be reached by traversing about 3800 steps from the foot of hills till the top of the hill. The construction of the temple had started in the 11th century and is believed to have taken around 900 years to complete. In the 14thand 15th century these Jain temples were destroyed during the Muslim invasion. The temples are believed to be renovated sixteen times since then.

Architecture: The temples are exquisitely carved in marble,  veritable prayers in stone. The ornamentation is in such a way that in sunlight they appear to have been made up of ivory and they can be seen with special permission only. The main temple of Adishwar is considered the holiest among all the temples. There are other temples around which include Sampriti Raj, Adinath, Kumarapal and Vimal Shah. Kumarpal Solanki , a great Jain patron is said to have probably built the earliest temple. The images of the deity is made up of marbles and are beautified by gold ornaments studded with precious stones which can be seen only no special permission. The temples date from 11th century to 20thcentury.

Every Jain devotee aspires to climb to the top of the mountain at least once in lifetime because of its sanctity. As per the Jain scriptures it is said that not only the temples on the hill are scary, but the entire hill right from the bottom till the top is scary. It is said that the journey is very hard to endure. For those who are unable to climb,  sling chairs are available at bargain. No soul is allowed to remain atop the scary mountain during the night and hence the descent must begin before it is evening time.

It is said that there is a Muslim shrine of Angar on the top where childless women seek Pir’s blessing and offer miniature cradles to the Pir believing that they’ll be blessed with children.

How to reach: Palitana can be reached by through the nearest airport Bhavnagar which lies at a distance of 51 kms. Palitana also has a small railway station that is connected to Sonagadh and Bhavnagar. There is even a road transportation available through state transport buses and private luxury coaches gives an easy connectivity to Bhavnagar.

Related Links: Architecture of Palitana Jain Temple, Gujarat Palitana Jain Temple, Historical facts of Palitana Jain Temple, Palitana Jain Temple, Temples in Gujarat
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