Palitana Jain Temple - Shatrunjaya hill
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PALITANA JAIN TEMPLE


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 Video - In and Around Palitana Jain Temple
Amongst all the Jain temples in the country, Palitana temples are considered to be the most sacred. The temple is located on Shetrunjaya hills and there are 863 temples which are exquisitely carved in marble.

Significance of the Temple
The temples here are exquisitely carved in marble with veritable prayers in stone. To the visitors these appear to be ivory miniatures when seen from a distance. Created by master craftsmen, the most important temple is that of the first Teerthankara, Shri Adishwar. It has ornate architectural motifs, though in its overall plan it is simpler than the Choumukh. Other notable temples are those of Kumarpal, Vimalshah and Sampriti Raja. Kumarpal Solanki, a great Jain patron, probably built the earliest temple. The temple has a fabulous collection of jewels, and these can be seen with special permission. The temples date from 11th to the 20th century. Palitana town is a good place to shop for textile related handicrafts and has a Jain kala sansta.

Palitana Jain Temple - Inner View
No one here is allowed to sleep overnight including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods. The town is considered by many Jains to be more important than the temple covered hills of Bihar, Gwalior, Mt Abu and Girnar. Palitana was the capital of a princely state of the Gohil Rajput clan. It is also one of the greatest tourist attractions in Gujarat for foreign tourists.

The entire summit of this great majestic mount Shatrunjaya is crowned with about 900 temples, each rivaling the other for beauty and magnificence, presenting an awe-inspiring spectacle to devotees and visitors. The peak is a 3 ½ km climb of over 3500 steps from the town. It consists of a cluster of over 800 temples which are divided into tuks. Throughout the cluster you can see detailed carvings, beautiful idols and images, jeweled statues and intricate toranas. Sunrise behind the temples is a great sight. One can enjoy views from the summit of the hills and the river Shetrunjaya. On a clear day, the Gulf of Cambay seacoast can be seen.


Commanding a special place on the Gujarat travelers map, Palitana is a `must visit' destination for the Jains and all those who would like to witness what the subtle combination of human enterprise, architectural skills, philanthropy and channelised religious fervour can achieve. The mount Shatrunjaya lies hardly a kilometer away from the town, the way, which is now thronged on both the sides by sarais and minor temples, including Kala Bhandars (museums). The mountain is associated with Rishabhdev, the first tirthankar, also known as Adinath.

The Palitana Jain Temple is believed that all the tirthankars, except Neminath, attained nirvana here. The multitude of temples, half palaces, half fortresses and made of splendid marble, with their spires aiming the skies present a spectacle unmatched for its scale and magnitude.

Every devout Jain here aspires to climb to the top of the mountain at least once in his lifetime, because of its sanctity and austerity. The journey is arduous. The walk up the stone stairway hewn into the mountain face takes about an hour and a half. For those unable or unaccustomed to the strain, sling-chairs are available at a bargain. The code for the climbers is stringent, in keeping with the rigours of the Jain faith. Food must neither be eaten nor carried on the way.

The descent must begin before it is evening, for no soul can remain atop the sacred mountain during the night. Such is the mystique of Palitana, the summit of Shatrunjaya. While atop one can also visit a Muslim shrine of Angar Pir.

Nearby tourist places to Palitana Jain Temple
Ajmer

Jaipur

Jaisalmer

The childless women seek the Pir's blessings to be blessed with children. They offer miniature cradles to the Pir and the shrine is strewn with such cradles.

How to Reach the Temple
  • Through Airways:Bhavnagar, the nearest airport lies at a distance of 51 kilometer from Palitana, but the most convenient airport is Ahmedabad as it is connected through regular flights to many important cities of the country like Mumbai and Delhi.

  • Through Railways:Palitana is a small railway station and has connection only with Bhavnagar. Most of the trains stop at Sihor, which is connected to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.

  • Through Roadways:There are hourly buses for Bhavnagar from Palitana. Regular buses are also available for Ahmedabad, Talaja, Una, and Diu. The total journey time to Una or Diu is around 6 hours as the roads are not in a good condition. Taxis are also available on hire for Palitana from Bhavnagar. The bus stand is situated 800 meters away from the Palitana railway station.