Palitana Jain Temples Gujarat

Palitana is located in Gujarat, 51 km south west of Bhavnagar. The town has a good road and rail network that connects it to the other cities of Gujarat. Bhavnagar, the nearest airport lies at a distance of 60 kilometer from Palitana. Siddha Kshetra Shri Shatrunjaya Teerth is situated on a hill, which is decorated by 3500 temples. Spires of the temples attract pilgrims from a far distance. Nagarjuna founded Palitana, which derives its name from Guru Padalipta or politta. The chief attraction here is the holy Jain shrine Shatrunjay Hill, 3 km away from the railway station.

On the top of the hill 873 temples were built of white marble, the work beginning in the 11th century and continuing for 900 long' years. However, destroyed by the Muslim invasions in 14th and 15th centuries, the temples were built anew in 1500. They are unique- in their architecture and sculpture. The ornamented temples look like ivory miniatures in the sunlight, seems to be wedding cake. Notable among the temples are Adinath, Kumarpal, Sampriti Raj, Bimal Shah. The holiest temple among the cluster, according to the Jain pilgrims, is the temple of Adishwar, the first Jain Tirthankar. It is also the most beautifully wrought. The marble image of the deity is bedecked with gold ornaments studded with precious jewels. The largest temple built in 1618 is that of 4-faced Adinath, the first Tirthankara.

Bhagawan AdishvarJain Teerth:
It is on the Shetrunjaya Mountain at a distance of nearly six kilometers near the city of the bank of the river Shetrunjaya. This mountain has 3800 steps. On it, there are 700 temples with summits. 7000 idols are installed in them. The artistry and sculpture of these temples aptly illustrate the ancient art.
Historical Details: This tirth is known as the eternal tirth. The ancient name of the city of Palitana was Padliptapur. In olden times this mountain was also called Pundarikgiri. Palitana is a city of temples. Worshippers come to Palitana, take a bath in the river, bow down to the 99 idols and cross the ocean of re-births.

Jain Tirthankara in Palitana jain temple

The temple was renovated 16 times as under.
First Renovation : By Chakravarti Bharat, the son of Bhagawan Adinath. Second Renovation : By the King named Dandavirya. Third Renovation : By Shri Ishaneshvar in the interim period between the times of the first and the second Tirthankaras. Fourth Renovation : By Mahendra of the fourth upper world (dev-loko). Fifth Renovation : By Brahmendra of the fifth upper world. Sixth Renovation : By Chamarendra, Indra of Bhavanapatis. Seventh Renovation : By Sagar Chakravarti, the second Chakravarti of the times of Bhagawan Ajitnath. Eighth Renovation : By Vyantarendra in the times of Abhinandan Swami. Ninth Renovation : By King Chandrayasha in the times of Chandraprabh Swami.

Tenth Renovation: By Chakradhar, the son of Bhagawan Shantinath in the times of Bhagawan Shantinath. Eleventh Renovation : By Ramchandraji and Lakshamanji in the times of Munisuvrat Swami. Twelfth Renovation : By the five Pandavas in the times of Bhagawan Neminathji. Thirteenth Renovation : By Sheth Javed Shah of Mahuva in the year 108 of the Vikram era. He spent a million gold mohurs. Fourteenth Renovation : By the advisor Bahud in the times of Kumarpal in the year 1213 of the Vikram era. Fifteenth Renovation : By Shri Samara Shah in the year 1371 of the Vikram era. Sixteenth Renovation : By Shri Karama Shah of Chitod on the auspicious sixth day of the dark half of the month of Vaishakh in the year 1587 of the Vikram era.

The Digamber Jain temple

The Digamber Jain temple on Shatrunjaya Teerth is an ancient temple, has 9 shrines with various Teerthankaras idols installed. On the main shrine of temple, the magnificent idol of principal deity 1008 Bhagwan Shantinath is installed, this is 42 inch in height; in Padmasana posture made of white stone & was installed in V.S. 1686. According to the inscription on idol, a famous businessman of Ahmedabad installed this.

. In this temple, beautiful standing idols of Yudhishthir, Bheem and Arjun are also installed in V.S. 2025, these three Pandavas attained salvation from here. Two another idols of Bhagwan Parshvanath each 24 inch in height in Padmasana posture are installed here, one is called Chintamani Parshvanath and other is called Vighnaharan Parshvanath. Both were installed in V.S. 1734. On the both sides of northern gate of temple foot images of Bhagwan Adinath and Bhagwan Sambhavanath are installed. On the inner shrine with attractive spires, there are three foot images of three Pandavas are also installed.

In Palitana city at Mandavi Chawk, there is a beautiful magnificent temple of Digamber Jains, with sky-high attractive spires. This was constructed in V.S. 1948 and installation ceremony of this temple was organized in V.S. 1951 by Seth Shri Haribhai Deokaran and Seth Shri Motichand Padamchand of Solapur under the headship of Bhattaraka Kanak Keerti. Sabha Mandap of the temple is very beautiful. Metallic idol of principal deity Bhagwan Shantinath is very attractive, 30 inch in height in Padmasana posture is installed on the main shrine of this temple. Another idols on this shrine are Bhagwan Adinath and Bhagwan Chandraprabhu each 26 inch in height and Bhagwan Arahnath and Bhagwan Ajitnath each 20 inch in height in Padmasana posture. Other small metallic idols of various Teerthankaras are also installed here.

Shatrunjay Hill
Not only temples, Shatrunjay Hill also offers a beautiful view of the surrounding scenery. From here you can also see the biggest irrigation project in Saurashtra. The waters of the flowing Shatrunjay river are said to confer merit in the bather as well as cure various diseases. On the Poornima day, large number of devotees visit this place to worship at this temple. They come from every nook and corner of the country. On the first day, the number reaches nearly a lakh visitors The Gulf of Cambay is also, visible from the hill. There is an immense Jain museum in front of Takhatgarh dharam-shala on Taneti Road which displays various facts of the Jain religion. Behind Takhatgarh is the Temple of Mirrors, the dome of which is encased in coloured glass. At the start of the stairs, on the right is the Circular Sameswaran temple and other temples.

Chhah Gau Yatra
Chhah Gau Yatra is a journey of about 16 kms in pilgrim town Palitana in the Bhavnagar district. It is mainly a kind of penance that helps a devout set off the evil results of past deeds and makes his journey to Nirvana or salvation faster and shorter say Jain saints and scriptures. Over the year the Chhah Gau Yatra is becoming more popular and in 2008 year on a single day Palitana had more than 1.5 lakh Jain pilgrims on the auspicious day, 2 days before Holi festival.

Chhah Gau Yatra starts from Jap Taleti on the foothills of Shatrunjaya and ends on the other side at a place known as Siddhavad. The name Siddhavad is after a Banyan tree here and it is said thousands of jains have achieved the final stage of life-death cycle, Nirvana or salvation and become free from the bondage of Karma.
The Chhah Gau Yatra covers all jain temples in Palitana. Siddhavad is near Adipur, known as the birth place Lord Adinath the first Thirthankar. It is believed that every Jain should visit Palitana at least once in his lifetime to get “Bhavya” status (fit to attain nirvan or salvation). There are a total of 1250 temples located on the Shetrunjaya hills, exquisitely carved in marble. The main temple on top of the hill, is dedicated to 1st tirthankar lord Adinath (Rishabdeva). This year, the auspicious day of Chhah Gau Yatra begins on March 8.

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