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JAIN TEMPLES IN GUJARAT
JAIN-TEMPLE-GUJARAT

A Jain temple is the place of worship for Jains, the followers of Jainism.  Derasar is a word used for a Jain temple in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Basadi is a Jain shrine or temple. The word is generally used in South India, including Maharashtra. Its historical use in North is preserved in the names of the Vimala Vasahi and Luna Vasahi temples of Mount Abu. The Sanskrit word is vasati, it implies an institution including residences of scholars attached to the shrine
 
In other parts of India, the term Jain mandir is used for all Jain temples.
 
There are many Jain Tirtha or pilgrimage sites throughout the Indian subcontinent, many of which were built several hundred years ago. Many of these temples are classified according to Jain sects. Many Jain Temples are found in other areas of the world. This article lists and documents prominent Jain temples and Tirthas around the world.

 

Shri Hathising’s Dera Tirth – Ahmedabad

Hutheesing Temple is the best known Jain temple in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. It was constructed in 1848.
 
Among the Jain temples, the only world famous temple is known as Hathisingh’s temple. It is situated on the way to Shahibaug. Sheth Hathisingh Kesarisingh built this unique temple. The year in which the foundation stone was laid to build this temple, Sheth Hathisingh passed away. The remaining work of the construction was completed by his wife Harkunwarba.
 
In the campus of this temple, there are fifty-two Jain temples. The image of the chief deity of the temple is of the fifteenth Tirthankar Dharmanathji. It was ceremoniously established in 1847.  Premchand Salat designed the building of this temple.

 

History:

The construction of the temple was initiated originally planned by Shet Hathisinh Kesarisinh, a wealthy Ahmedabad trader who unfortunately passed way at 49. The construction was supervised and completed by his wife Shethani Harkunvar. The total cost was approximately Rs. 8 lakh., then a major sum. The temple is dedicated to Dharmanatha, the fifteenth Jain Tirthankar.
 
Lockwood de Forest who was a business associate of Muggenbhai Hutheesing, the son of Sheth Hathisinh, estimated the cost as “over a million dollars”. The temple was built during a severe famine in Gujarat. Building the temple employed hundreds of skilled artisans which supported them for a period of two years. The temple is managed by a Hutheesing family trust.

 

Mahudi

Mahudi is situated near Vijapur in Gujarat State of India. Mahudi is famous for Shri Ghantakarna Mahavir temple. Mahudi is very old Jain tirth. It is one of the important miraculous tirth place as per Jain Religion. Learned Saint Pujya Acharya ShrI Budhdhi Sagarji Maharaj Saheb did Pran Pratistha of Shri Ghantakarna Dev in Mahudi. Out of the 52 Vir, Shri Ghantakarna is one of them. Thousands of Jains and non Jains visit Shri Ghantakarna Mahavir temple in Mahudi everyday.
 
Mahudi is a town in Mansa taluka of Gandhinagar district, Gujarat, India situated on the banks of Madhumati river, a tributary ofSabarmati River. It is a pilgrimage centre of Jains and other communities visiting temple of Jain deity, Ghantakarna Mahavir andPadmaprabhu Jain Temple. It was known as Madhupuri formerly.
 
Mahudi Jain Temple was established by Jain monk, Buddhisagar Suri[1] in 1917 CE ( Magshar Sudi 6, Vikram Samvat 1974). There is an inscription in the Brahmi script of it. The foundation stone was laid in 1916 CE on land donated by Vadilal Kalidas Vora. He along with Punamchand Lallubhai Shah, Kankkuchand Narsidas Mehta and Himmatlal Hakamchand Mehta became trustees of trust established to manage the temple. The 22-inch marble idol of Padmaprabh as a central deity was installed. The separate shrine dedicated to protector deity, Ghantakarna Mahavir was also established. Guru Mandir, a shrine dedicated to Buddhisagar Suri was established later.
 
Devotees offer sukhadi, a sweet to Ghantakarna Mahavir. After offering, it is consumed by devotees within the temple complex. Tradition forbids the carrying away of such offerings outside premises.

 

72 Jain Temple Mandvi : Koday

Mandvi is an ideal base to visit the 72-Jinalaya, the Jain complex at Badreshwar, and the Jain temples of Naliya and Tera. The complex has residence facility at Dharamshala within it & dining facility at Bhojanalaya.

 

Hastagiri Jain Tirth

Hastagiri Jain Teerth located in Gujarat is a Jain pilgrimage centre. It is a four – mouthed, octagonal shaped Jain temple. The principal deity of the temple is Bhagawan Adishvar. Hastagiri Jain Teerth is a Jain pilgrimage centre. The sacred place is located on a hill on the bank of the River Shetrunjaya. The principal deity of the temple is Bhagawan Rishabh Dev. This hilly land is also known as Hastisengiri. According to the history of temple, the place is regarded as a sacred place of the times of Bhagawan Adishvar and peak of Mt. Shatrunjaya. The sacred place was established by Bharat Chakravrati, the son of Bhagawan Adishvar. Even today one can see the foot images of bhagawan in a small temple on the very ancient hill. Bharat Chakravati, the eldest son of Lord Adinatha, attained salvation here under instructions of the Acharya Vijayramachandrasurisavarji Maharaj Saheb and Mahatungasurisvarji Maharaj Saheb. He had observed fast unto death and attained swarga or heaven. He was also followed by his elephant. This place is named as Hastgiri after the event of fast of the elephant.
 
Temple of Hastagiri Jain Teerth : The Hastagiri Jain Teerth is a four-mouthed, octagonal shaped Jain temple. The principal deity of the temple is Bhagawan Adishvar. The temple has 72 devkulikas, with three hill forts. It also has a marvellous lecture hall. The four mouthed idol of Bhagawan Adishvar is white in colour and is very impressive to the eyes. According to the history of the temple, it was formally installed on the sixth day of the bright half of the Vikram Samvat Era. The temple is taller even than the tallest Jain temple of Taranga. Later with the efforts of the of Late Shri Kantibha Manibhai of Mumbai, an original native of Patan a beautiful temple was build here. Apart from this temple there are other temples located here. At the foot of the sacred place of Hastagiri a new Jain temple has been built.
 
The temples of Hastagiri have been magnificently designed. These group of temples on Mt. Shatunjaya on one side of the hill and the sight of Mt. Kamgiri on the other side is presents a beautiful sight to the eyes. The scenic beauty that surrounds the place is very appealing. This temple had been constructed by highly skilled craftsmen and stone masons. The temple serves as an apt pilgrimage place for spiritual pursuits. There are dharmashalas and bhojanalas for the pilgrims in the vicinity of the temple. Devotees can reach the Hastagiri Jain Temple via road. The railway station of Palitana is located at a distance of 16 kilometres. From here pilgrims board a bus or a taxi to the Jalia village that is situated at the foot of the hill. The ascending road on the hill is nearly a half kilometres long.

 

Palitana Temple

 

About Palitana Jain Temple.
Amongst all the Jain temples, Palitana Jain mandir are considered to be the most sacred. Located on Shetrunjaya hills there are 863 Jain Palitana temples in Gujarat, exquisitely carved in marble. No one 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 otherJain thirth yatra temple covered hills of Bihar, Gwalior, Mt Abu and Girnar. Palitana Gujarat 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.

 

Temple of Palitana – Location

Palitana is located in the western Indian state of Gujarat, 51 km south west of Bhavnagar. It is a part of the Saurashtra region famed for its spectacular temple sites, cities, beautiful beaches, and wildlife. The town has a good road and rail network that connects it to the other cities of Gujarat, especially Bhavnagar.

 

Jain Temple Palitana – Climate

The Palitana weather is generally pleasant. The summer season continues from March to June, with daytime temperature reaching 40°C.The monsoon reaches Palitana in July and remains there till September. Winter sets in around October and continues till February. The summer temperatures range from 24°C to 42°C and winter temperatures range from 10°C to 24°C.

 

Palitana History

The act of ascending a path to reach a place of pilgrimage is a part of the Hindu and Jain consciousness, which is why many of their holiest temples are located along hills and mountain ranges. The Jains have five separate hill locations for their holiest clusters of temples and Shatrunjaya Hill, Adinath Palitana is considered the most important among them. Another group is in Girnar (Junagadh), not too far away, while others are in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
 
Palitana India houses perhaps the largest cluster of Jain temples anywhere. From the base to the peak of the Shatrunjaya Hill, where the Palitana temples are located, there are in all 863 temples. These temples were built in two phases-the 11th and 12th centuries as a part of the resurgence of temple building all over India, and in the 16th century. Some of the earliest temples built in the 11th century were destroyed by Muslim invaders in the 14th and 15th centuries. The current temples date back to 16th century onwards. Not any one person or group was responsible for the construction of these magnificent temples. It was the effort of the wealthy businessmen who were followers of Jainism that these buildings came into existence and where today you can do the Palitana darshan .

 

Pilgrimage Attractions of Jain Temple In Palitana

 

Temple

The temples are exquisitely carved in marble, veritable prayers in stone. To an observer, 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.

 

Shetrunjaya Hill

The entire summit of 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. The cluster of over 800 temples is 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. It is believed that all the tirthankars, except Neminath, attained nirvan 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.

 

Belief

Every devout Jain aspires to climb to the top of the mountain at least once in his lifetime, because of its sanctity. 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. 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. Also these hills offer you a lifetime experience of capturing the beauty of these marble temples in the form of Palitana pictures or Palitana images in your camera. For more info Palitana map will help you.

 

Digambar Jain temple Shri Girnar

Shri Girnar Tirth is 5 kms from Junagarh District of Gujarat. Junagarh is connected by rail to Rajkot. Girnar Hill is a mountain range 3100 feet high from the sea-level near Junagarh  at a distance of 327 km from Ahmedabad. The five peaks of Girnar are topped by 866 intricately carved stone temples. The temples situated on the mountain make its top look like a village of temples. There are roughly 8,000  steps from the  trailhead to the last temple on the highest peak.
 
Girnar Hill is a famous Jain sidhh kshetra and a holy pilgrimage for both Jainism and Hinduism. The nearby Gir Forest is sanctuary for the famous Asiatic Lions.
 
The Jain temples at Girnar attract devotees of both Shwetambar and Digambar sects of Jainism. The Neminath Temple is the main attraction of Girnar. It was built during 1128 AD to 1159 AD. The main temples are of Lord Neminath, Mallinath temple and Rishabhadev Temple. Baghwan Neminath temple is the greatest temple on Girnar.

 

Neminath Temple
The 22nd Tirthankara  Neminath  became an ascetic after he saw the slaughter of animals for food on his wedding. He renounced all worldly pleasures and came to Mount Girnar to attain salvation. Here, Bhagwan Neminath reached the highest state of enlightenment, Keval Gyan and Moksha, after great austerities.
 
In the rectangular Neminath temple  there is an  idol of Lord Neminath in black granite with jeweled eyes. There are quadrangle courtyards, corridors and other shrines in the temple. The pillars are adorned with intricate carvings of Jain Tirthankars. The ceilings bear carvings and sculptures of Dancing Goddesses. His bride -to be also followed his path of salvation and founded the Sandhvi Sangh.

 

Mallinath temple

The Mallinath temple of the 19th Tirthankar Mallinath was constructed by Vastupal and Tejpal  in 1231 AD. The idol of Bagnwan Mallinath  is shown in blue color. Rishabhadev Temple, situated nearby, is in golden color.
 
Another Jain temple in the region is the Parshwanath Temple. It was built in the 15th century.

 

Tonks
There are 5 tonks on the hill. One has to climb 4400 steps to reach first tonk; 900 steps from 1st to 2nd tonk; 700 steps fron 2nd to 3rd; 2500 steps for 3rd to 5th and 1499 steps from 1st to sahartaramavan. 3rd to 4 th tonk is to be covered on natural way climbing the stones.

First Tonk:
  The first Tonk is that of Tirthankar Neminath. After climb of about 2 miles, one could see a digamabar jain temple and a cave called rajulmati cave where Rajulmati has done penanace and tap at this place. There is samll temple where 120 cms idol of Bhagwan Bahubali  and footprints of kundkund Acharaya. In the temple, the idol of Bhagwan Neminath
 
(Vikram 1924) is on the main vedi. The idols of Parsvanath and neminath are also there. There is stream called gomukhi ganga and nearby the footprints of 24 tirthanakaras are available
 
Second Tonk:
The second Tonk is that of Shree Ambaji. After 900 steps there are  the footprints of muni Anirudhhkumat and temple of Devi Ambika

 
Third Tonk: 
The third Tonk is called ‘Oghad Shikhar’ where the foot-prints of Lord Neminath have been ceremoniously installed. Here the footprints of Muni Sambukkumar are installed, who attained nirvana here.
 
Fourth Tonk:
Here the footprints of pradhyman kumar-son of lord krishna are installed who attained nirvana from this place.

 
Fifth Tonk: 
  Here the footprints of Bhagwan Neminath are installed and an digamabar idol of Bhagwan neminath on this tonk.

 

Sankeshwar : Viramgam

 

Shankheshwar is an important tirthas (place of pilgrimage)of Jainism. It is situated in the Patan district of Gujarat state of India. According to Mughal history, the Shankheshwar village was a lease-grant by Emperor Shah Jahan to Shantidas, a former nagarsheth (equivalent to mayor) of Ahmedabad. A fair is held here on the full moon days of the Hindu calendar months Chaitra, corresponding to March or April, and Kartik, corresponding to October or November, and the tenth day of the second half of Maghashirsha, corresponding to December or January. The temple ranks next only to those on Mount Shatrunjaya in Palitana, (Gujarat) in terms of importance to the Jaina.
 
In ancient inscriptions, this Jain tirth is referred to as Shankhapur. It is said that a Shravaka by the name of Ashadhi was gripped by doubts and miseries about his existence in the material world, asking “When shall I attain nirvana? When shall I be free from the bondage of the material world? When shall I be liberated?” Answering all these questions, Damodar Swami, the ninth Jain Tirthankara, said: “Parshvanath will be the twenty-third Jain Tirthankara in the avasarpinikala, i.e. the descending half of the wheel of time. You will be his Ganadhar (prime disciple) named Aryaghosha and attain salvation there.” Ashadhi then became fully engrossed in his devotion to Parshwanath.A formal History of the precursor to this tirth was written by Jain monk and eminent scholar Hemachandra Suri in the reign of Solanki king Siddharaj Jayasinh of Anhilwara (Patan).

The following is a history of the various renovations of the main temple:

  • In the year 1155 of the Vikram era (1099 CE), Sajjan Shah built the Shankheshwar temple on the banks of the Rupen river.
  • In the year 1286 of the Vikram era (1230 CE), Vastupal and Tejpal renovated this temple under the guidance of Jain Acharya
  • Vardhamansuri.
  • There were 52 deities in the temple. In the year 1302 (1246 CE), the reigning King was awestruck by the incomparable grandeur of the presiding deity and inspired by JainAcharya Uktasuri, he renovated this temple.
  • In the fourteenth century of the Vikram era, the temple was destroyed by Muslim invaders.
  • In the sixteenth century of the Vikram era, under the inspiration of Jain Acharya Vijaysensurisvarji, a splendid new temple was built with 52 deities.
  • In the year 1760 of the Vikram era (1704 CE), the Jain Sangha built the new temple and reinstalled the presiding deity. Since then, this vast and beautiful temple has stood there in this present form.

 
Apart from the original sanctum-sanctorum, this temple has an open square, a decorated square, a vast square and two assembly halls. Numerous miracles are associated with this temple and the presiding deity of Lord Parshwanath, represented by a six feet high statue in the Padmasana (lotus) position.
 
The sanctum of the presiding deity is flanked by a smaller sanctum with Lord Bhidbhanjan Parshvanath to the right and another sacntum with the Jain Tirthankara Lord Ajitanathato the left. The statues of Nagraj Dharanendradev, Goddess Padmavatidevi, Parshva Yaksha and Goddess Chakreshvaridevi can also be found in the temple. On the tenth day of the Jain calendar month of Pausha, the tenth day of the dark half of the Jain calendar month of Margashirsha, and during the festival of Diwali, thousands of pilgrims observe a three day fast at the temple.

 

Kumbharia Jain Temples

 

Kumbharia Jain temples, Ambaji:

This temple of Shri Neminatha Bhagwan having a 2.13 meters tall idol is located at Ambaji village, which is 24 kilometers from Abu Road railway station. it is said that the temple was built in 13th century and subsequently renovated in 17th century. The temple is situated in green surroundings within hilly terrain. The architecture and fine sculpture work done in the temple is unmatched and magnificent. The temple has great historical background. It was that place, where Shri Parshwanatha Bhagwan had removed pair of snakes from burning wooden log and gave sermons about ahimsa to Kamath Yogi.
 
Kumbharia Jain temples is a fascinating group of amazing temple structures at Ambaji Town which dates back to the 11th and 13th century, respectively. The Kumbhariya group of Jain temples are dedicated to the five theerthankkaras of the jain religion namely Mahavira, Parshvanath, Neminath Shantinath and Sambhavanath. According to the legend, Mata Ambika had directed Sheth Vimal Shah, the 11th century minister of the Solankis, to construct 360 Jain temples there. The temples were constructed without Ambe Mata’s idols installed. On noticing this, the goddess got furious and destroyed almost all the Templesexcept five of them. The minister realized his mistake and included the idols of Ambe Mata in the remaining temples.
 
The main shrine constructed in the center of a rectangular courtyard is the highlight of the temple. The beautiful shiksaras, balconies with porches and the excellent craftsmanship and artistic of the temple structure and style bears a striking resemblance to the famous Dilwara temples of Mount Abu in Rajasthan.
 
Kumbhariya is known for its five temples, which are all that remain out of the 360 Jain temples built by Vimal Shah in the 12th century. The white marble temples shine as specimens of reverence and artistic brilliance. Located 40 km away from Taranga, the temples are dedicated to the Jain tirthankars Neminath, Mahavir, Parshvanath, Shantinath and Sambhavnath. The walls, pillars and ceilings are ornately sculpted with motifs of gods and goddesses, apsaras, musicians and horsemen.
 
One kilometer from here are the temples of Chamunda Mata and Someshwar Mahadeva, in a beautiful spot near a stream.
 
Open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. Photography Rs. 40 and Videography Rs.150 for the interiors.

 

Taranga Hills and Jain Temple:

 

Present about 20 km from Vadnagar is the tranquil three peaked Taranga Hill that takes its visitors into a total different world. A place with intense connections with Buddhism, one begins to come across traces of importance of the religion at the spot, even as he takes the route rising towards these beautiful mounds. While many shoeless Jain monks can be found walking up and down the thoroughfares, present atop is a little shrine devoted to Devi Taranamata – a Buddhist goddess.
 
And perched atop is the glorious Taranga Jain Temple, a 12th century shrine that is popular among Jains and Buddhists yet quite unfamiliar among the tourist fraternity and thus remaining extremely calm unlike various other popular temples. Present within the magnificent structure is a five meter tall sculpture of Sri Ajitnath – the second Jain Tirthankar.

 

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