Jain Palitana temple Palitana.
About Jain Palitana temple
The Palitana Jain temple is Located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, the stunningly beautiful Temples of Palitana are an important pilgrimage for the Jains.It is located on Shetrunjaya hills in the city of Palitana in Gujarat. There are altogether 863 Palitana Jain temples made up of marble. The main temple is situated at a height that can be reached by traversing about 3500 steps from the foot hills. The main temple is dedicated to the first Tirthankara, Rishabhanath. The temples are believed to have been renovated about sixteen times since then.
Palitana is arguably the holiest pilgrimage center for all Jains. The first Tirthankar, Adinath, was born here. Its also the most expansive, and the most beautiful, this however is my own personal opinion. Palitana is the base town, and the temple complex is about a six kilometer (5000 steps) trek away on Shatrunjay hill. The complex is believed to house about 3500 Shwetambar Jain temples and one Digamber Jain temple. The temple construction is believed to have started about 900 years ago in the 11th Century AD. They are now maintained by various charitable trusts and personal donations.
The Adishvara Temple, dated to the 16th century, has an ornamented spire; its main image is that of Rishabha. The Chaumukh temple, built in 1616, has a four-faced Adinatha image deified on a white pedestal, each face turned towards the cardinal directions. Vimal Shah temple is a square structure with towers. Saraswati devi temple, Narsinh Kesharji temple, and the Samavasaran temple, with 108 life-sketches in sculpture, are also notable.
Every Jain believes that a visit to this group of temples is essential as a once in a life time chance to achieve nirvana or salvation. This site on Shatrunjaya hill is considered sacred by Jains and have hundreds of temples.
These temples have a unique architectural style. The ornamentation is such that in sunlight their appear to have been made up of ivory. One of the temples, Adishwar is considered to be the holiest one among all. The other temples include Sampriti Raj, Adinath, Kumarpal and Bimal Shah. The images of the deity are made up of marble and are beautified by gold ornaments studded with precious stones.
The Jain temple of the Digambars is one of the ancient temples. It contains nine shrines with a number of idols of the Tirthankaras encrypted on it. The main temple consists of the idol of Bhagwan Shantinath. This idol is 42 inch in height and is made up of pure white marble. In this temple beautiful idols of Bhima, Arjuna and Yudhisthir have also been also installed.
By air: Various domestic airlines connect Bhavnagar with Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
By rail: It is on the Western Railway Line. It is 777 kms. from Mumbai via Ahmedabad.
By road: State transport buses and private luxury coaches gives an easy connectivity to Bhavnagar. It is situated 791 kms. from Mumbai via Ahmedabad and 200 kms. from Ahmedabad via the State Highway.
1. Junno Killo-Sihor
Ghachi Vad, Bhavnagar District, Sihor, Gujarat-33.2 Km.
2. Old Fort-Sihor,Gujarat
Bhavnagar District, Sihor, Gujarat-33.2 Km.
3.Tarapur Fort-RH Save High School Road,Tarapur,Maharashtra
Palghar District, Tarapur, Maharashtra-166.3 Km.
4. Dahanu Fort-Dahanu,Maharashtra
Palghar District, Dahanu, Maharashtr-170.2 Km
5. Darbargadh Palace-Darbargarh Chowk
Old Morbi, Morbi District, Morbi, Gujarat-172.4 Km.
6. Shirgaon Fort-Mahim Shirgaon Road
Palghar District, Shirgaon, Maharashtra-174.9 Km.
7. Aakar Palace-Palace Road,Prahlad Plot,Rajkot,Gujarat
Prahlad Plot, Rajkot District, Rajkot, Gujarat-176.5 Km
8. Kelva Fort-Mangelwada, Kelwa
Palghar District, Maharashtra-179 Km.
The Palitana temples are considered to be the most sacred tirtha (pilgrimage place) by the Jain community. There are hundreds of temples, with estimates ranging between 863 and 1,008.The larger temples have considerable marble halls with columns and towers, and plenty of openings, unlike Hindu temples. They are situated in separate enclosures, surrounded by high fortified walls. Many of the temples are very small buildings only about 3 square feet (0.28 m2), with Jain emblems, and sacred to Mahavira. The marble floors have tesselated patterns. The interiors are intricately carved, with carved ceilings with geometrical lace designs, clustered together to form a canopy. The temples are arranged in systematic groupings with variation in height and space.
On one special day (Fagun Sud 13), which commonly falls in February/March, thousands of Jain followers visit the temple complex to attain salvation. Three times as many pilgrims come at this time, which is also called "6 Gaon". The special festival day is the "Chha Gau Teerth Yatra" at the temple complex held on Purnima day of Kartika month according to the Jain calendar, Vira Nirvana Samvat(October–November) as per the Jains, in very large numbers assemble on this day at the temple complex on the hills as it opens after 4 months of closure during the monsoon season.
Mahavir Jayanti, the birthday of Mahāvīra, is a notable festival celebrated at the temple complex.