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Jain Temples


Jain Group - Pilgrimage and Sacred Places Rajasthan & Gujarat 
There are many places in India which are of special importance to Jains because of associations with holy persons of the past. Some are the places where the enlightened ones left this world and achieved final liberation, some are places where celebrated religious events occurred, at others a famous temple (often many temples) or image draws the pilgrims. Pilgrimage to such places has long been popular. It is felt that there is great merit in visiting them: in earlier times (and often even today) the hardship of the journey was a form of austerity teaching endurance and control of the body. The religious atmosphere and the knowledge that here one is at the very place trodden by the great figures of earlier times and by countless Jain pilgrims inspire feelings of awe and reverence.

The pilgrims who make their way to the sacred places may be monks or nuns who travel, sometimes over long distances, on foot (the likelihood of crushing small creatures beneath the wheels, or otherwise harming them, means that monks and nuns must not travel by car or other conveyance), or solitary lay individuals, or families or large organized groups. For some the journey may mean real hardship and often well-to-do people undertake the praiseworthy task of helping others to go on pilgrimage. Most of the great pilgrimage sites are distant from the centers of population, almost always on the tops of hills or mountains, and often in surroundings of natural beauty conducive to devotion and meditation.

Jain temples throughout India are noted for their cleanliness and sacred atmosphere. The worshipper enters in a state of reverence with mind and spirit prepared, and with clothes and person clean. Shoes are removed, outside impediment like sticks and umbrellas are left behind. No worldly activities take place within the temple, no sleeping or sitting in casual conversation. The architecture and carving are often equal to any that India, a land of splendid sculpture and temple architecture, The focus is on the image of the Tirthankara, represented seated or standing, in deep meditation with the eyes directed to the tip of the nose, the expression solemn but tranquil. The image is naked, or wearing at most a single cloth, indicating renunciation of worldly things, but is often marked on the breast with a diamond-shaped figure. The Svetambara frequently adorn the image with jewels but in a Digambara shrine it will be left unadorned. A richly carved surround will set off the simple figure, perhaps with elephants, other animal, bird or human figures and celestial attendants. Each Tirthankara has a distinctive sign, a bull for Rsabha, a lion for Mahavira and so on, which is depicted on the pedestal. The twenty-third Tirthankara, Parsva, is shown with a canopy of seven hooded snakes. In a place frequented by pilgrims simple hostel accommodation will be provided free of charge, though it is customary for worshippers to leave a gift of money for the temple upkeep, according to their means.

.In Rajasthan, Jaisalmer has long attracted scholars to its famous library of Jain manuscripts and many thousands of religious books. Not only scholars, but also many other Jains make the pilgrimage to the splendid intricately carved temples of yellow stone. RANAKPUR is also in Rajasthan. The magnificent temple, or temple complex, dates from the fifteenth century. It covers 40,000 square feet on a lofty base, surrounded, as is common with Jain temples, by a high wall. Following a not-uncommon Jain style, the main sanctuary has four six-foot white marble statues of Rsabha, the first Tirthankara, facing the four directions, so the complex plan of the temple provides four approaches. Innumerable pillars, said to be 1444, richly carved and all different, provide unending vistas through the twenty-nine halls, interrupted by open courts. In the thirteenth century A.D. the Jain king of Gujarat, Kumarapala, founded a temple at TARANGA. After his successor reacted against Jainism the temple came to be largely destroyed but it was renovated much later in the reign of the Mogul emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century. It is picturesquely situated on the top of a hill with a difficult approach testing the endurance of pilgrims.

Undoubtedly the masterpieces of Jain architecture, and almost unrivaled in India for beauty and delicacy of carving, are the magnificent DELWARA temples on MOUNTABU in Rajasthan. The carving of the white marble is so delicate that it is almost translucent: the masons scraped away the marble rather than chiseled it and are said to have been paid according to the weight of marble dust removed. The transport alone of the blocks of stone from far away must have been very laborious and expensive. There are two major temple complexes. One was built around 1030 A.D. by Vimala Shah, a wealthy merchant, and dedicated to the first Tirthankara: it was restored in 1322. The forty-eight pillars of the main hall are probably unequaled anywhere for their decoration; the dome of eleven rings, alternate ones of which are decorated with human and animal figures, is impressive. The later temple, dedicated to the Tirthankara Neminatha, is the larger, 155 feet long. It was founded around 1230 by Tejapala, who with his brother Vastupala, prime minister to the regent of Gujarat, was responsible for more than fifty religious edifices, including foundations at Satrunjaya and Girnar. Each temple complex stands in a rectangular walled area decorated with statues in niches around the circumference. Not only the temples but also the splendid panoramic view from 4000 feet above sea level make this site a remarkable showpiece as well as a place of deep religious significance.
Two places of pilgrimage in Gujarat, GIRNAR and SATRUNJAYA, are so rich in temples and shrines that they have been described as temple cities. GIRNAR is celebrated as the place where the Tirthankara Neminatha achieved moksa. One famous temple at the top of Mount Girnar is over a thousand years old: an inscription is to be found there recording that it was repaired in 1278 A.D. The temple is in a rectangular courtyard surrounded by some seventy Tirthankara images. This is the largest temple but there are many others, including one founded by Vastupala in 1231 A.D. and dedicated to the nineteenth Tirthankara, Mallinatha.

SATRUNJAYA is an ancient Jain place of pilgrimage as it was here that the first Tirthankara, Rsabha, as well as his chief follower, is said to have reached moksa. Many hundreds of temples and smaller shrines are contained within the nine walled enclosures. Although most of them are modern, dating for the great part from the nineteenth century, there is a long history to the site and traditional accounts speak of sixteen restorations going back into far antiquity. A new temple of Rsabha replaced the old one in the mid-twelfth century and seven shrines were placed in front of it in 1231 by Vastupala. Some of the temples can trace their origins, if not their present form, back to the tenth century. Unfortunately Satrunjaya suffered much destruction during the Muslim conquests in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but rebuilding took place after 1500 and in 1582 the Emperor Akbar formally conveyed to the Jains the land which they occupied here. Some of the larger temples are truly magnificent with their high sugar loaf shaped domes or spires, a typical feature of Jain temple architecture, whilst the smaller ones have often a simple and impressive intimacy. Temple building has not ceased and a new temple complex constructed in the 1970s can bear comparison with the earlier ones. Rich ornamentation and statuary abound and demonstrate the skill of the stone carvers. From the late seventeenth century Satrunjaya became more and more important. As pilgrims flocked here guide books were written for them, detailing the routes by which the pious pilgrim may visit and pray before the many images. On a certain date every year pilgrims to the number of nearly 20,000 undertake a twelve- mile round trip: the hardship is great but the bliss experienced makes it well worthwhile. For the very hardy a twenty-four mile route can be walked. Special ceremonies are held on a number of dates in the year. Certain prayers, remembrances and rituals are laid down for the pilgrim

AHMEDABAD 

.We visit the Hathee Singh Jain Temple. This temple is dedicated to Dharamanath, the 15th Jina or Jain apposite. This temple is one of the best ornated Jain temples in Ahmedabad and is built of pure white marble and decorated with rich carvings. 
PALITHANA    

Palitana is a religious Jain city, It is located 50 km South-West of Bhavnagar  city and is a major Pilgrimage centre for Jains. Palitana is the place where millions and millions of Jain sadhu and muni got salvation.[ The Palitana temples are considered the most sacred pilgrimage place) by the Jain community. There are more than 1300 temples located on the Shatrunjata hills, exquisitely carved in marble. The main temple on top of the hill, is dedicated to 1st tirthankar lord  Adinath (Rishabdeva). On the top the Shatrunjai Hill is a cluster of Jain temples, built by generations of Jains over a period of 900 years, from the 11th century onwards. The temples are managed by the Anandji Kalyanji Trust of the Kasturbai Lalbhai group. From the foot of the hill to the top there are 3,800 and odd stone steps cut to facilitate climbing.

GIRNAR    

Girnar (also known as "Girnar Hill") is a collection of mountains in the, situated near Junagarh at a distance of 327km from  Ahmedabad. It is a holy place and an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Jains. There are a number of temples located here. Amidst the lush green Gir Forest, the mountain range serves as the hub of religious activity.. This has made Girnar a perfect example of unity in diversity in India . The summit has been an important religious place since the 3rd century. Girnar temples present a true blend of art, religion and devotion. The sculptural art used in these temples is outstanding. They have stood the test the time and the cruelty of various invaders. Despite that, the art forms of the temples still retain their magnificence. The Jain temples at Girnar attract devotees of both Shwetambar and Digambar sects of Jainism. The Neminath Temple at first peak is one of the main attraction of Girnar. 
Taranag    

Across the river and ascending the Taranga hills, the cluster of Jain temples dated from the 12th century, offers yet another insight into the devotional architecture of the Solanki Rajput period. Like the Jain temple clusters of  Dilwara, Palitana, Girnar, Gwalior  and Bihar, the temples of Taranga crown a hilltop and offer splendid views on everyside. The magnificent wall erected by Raja Kumarapala, are one of the most lasting remains of Solanki architecture, and inside you find the Ajitnath temple, dated to 1165 AD, which is the crown jewel of Taranga. The temple measures some 150'X100', the whole covered with breathtaking carvings , and the madapa inside has has 8 beautiful columns, ending in lovely lotus petals and  16 carved brackets depicting beautiful women. The central statue  has a bejewelled eyes sparkling with jewels. 

MOUNT ABU   

The Dilwara temples are located about 2½ kilometers from Mount Abu only hill station. These Temples built by chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of Marble. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred pilgrimage place of the Jains. Some consider them to be one of the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world. The marble temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high wall shrouds the temple complex.Dilwara Temples -Although the Jains built some beautiful temples at other places in Rajasthan, some believe that none come close to these in terms of architectural perfection. The ornamental detail spreading over the minutely carved ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels is simply marvellous.There are 5 temples in all, each with its own unique identity. Each is named after the small village in which it is located.Vimal Vasahi (Shri Adi Nathji temple) dedicated to the first Jain  Tirthankar lord Rishabh. +Luna Vasahi  dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankar lord Neminaths. +Pithalhar (Shri Rishabdev  Devi Ji  temple) dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar lord  Rishabh. +Khartar Vasahi (Shri Parshva Nathji temple) dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankar lord Parshva. Mahavir Swami (Shri Mahavir Swamiji temple) dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankar lord Mahavir.
SHRI PAVAPURI DHAM  SIROHI  


Shree Pavapuri Tirth Dham is situated at Sirohi district of Rajasthan. This campus is developed by K. P. Sanghvi Group and it comprises of a Jain Tirth (Temple complex) and Jeev Raksha Kendra (Animal Welfare Center).The Tirth derived its name after the Pavada Agriculture well that exists there.Shri Kumarpalbhai V. Shah inspired Late Shri Hajarimalji Poonamchandji Sanghvi (Bafna) and Shri Babulalji Poonamchandji Sanghvi (Bafna), the founders of K. P. Sanghvi Group, to construct a Tirth Dham. They started construction and development of the campus on May 30, 1998, Saturday (Jeth Shukla 15, 2054 V. S.). The initial thought was to construct a small temple and a shelter for 100 cows only but by God’s grace and blessings the campus is now spread over more than 500 acres of land. The temple complex occupies 31,01,472 sq. ft. area and the Jeev Raksha Kendra (Animal Welfare Center) occupies 71,96,112 sq. ft. area to provide shelter to 5,500 stray cattle.It took two and a half years to construct the temple with an average of 400 artisans working daily. The construction was completed on February 07, 2001, Wednesday (Magh Shukla 14, 2057 V. S.) and was finally opened for worship.

NAKODA JEE   

Shri Nakoda Tirth : Nakoda is a village in the Barmer District of Indian state of Rajasthan. The village name is Mewanagar in the Rajasthan state Government records. This village was known by the names of Nagara, Viramapura and Maheva at different times in the history. When Nakoda Parsvanatha Jain temple was made this village gained popularity by the name of Nakoda. Nakoda is a holy place of the Jains.

The ancient name of this Tirth is mentioned as Virampur. Virsen and Nakorsen of the third century of the Vikram era built this temple and His Holiness Jain Acharya Sthulibhadrasuri installed the idol. In course of time, this temple was renovated many times. When Alamshsh invaded this place in the year 1280 of the Vikram era (1224 AD), the Jain Sangha kept this idol hidden in the cellar in the Kalidrah village for protection. This temple was again renovated in the fifteenth century. 120 idols were brought here from Kalidrah and this beautiful and miraculous idol was installed here as Mulnayak (main idol of the temple) in the year 1429 of the Vikram era (1373 AD). Jain Acharya Kirtiratnasuri installed the idol Bhairav here. Apart from Nakoda Parsvanatha the other Jain temples here are dedicated to Rishabhadeva and Shantinath. The Parsvanatha Jain temple was originally a temple of Mahavira,

JAISALMER  

Jaisalmer Jain Temples  Lodurva

Lodurva was the original capital of the Bhattis, before Jaisal built the Jaisalmer fort in 1156. This town is much older than Jaisalmer and was sacked several times, most notably by Mahmud of Ghazni in the 11th century when he was en route to Somnath, and then by Mohammad Ghori in the next century. The latter invasion persuaded Jaisal to abandon Lodurva, and he shifted his capital to Jaisalmer, making Bhoj the last ruler of Lodurva. Now mostly in ruins, Lodurva is visited mostly for its great Jain temples, they contain the most exquisite jali work screens, grand ceilings and a magnificent triumphal arch at the entrance. The original carriage for the deity, made in 1675, has been preserved till now. The most interesting object dart is Kalpataru, a mythical tree of wish fulfillment. A great number of peacocks inhabit this area and hover around the temple walls, lending spectacular colour to this dry and stony landscape. The river Kak once flowed here and led to many a romance, the famous story of princess Momal, and prince Mathendru of Amarkot is now part of legend and folk songs. It is said that when the lovers perished, the river Kak stopped flowing.


The Parshvanath Temple  The Parshvanath Temple is the main Jain temple here. It predates the others and was even destroyed once in 1152, but was reconstructed in 1615 by Seth Tharu Shah with further additions. Its Torana Dwar or main archway is probably the most ornate of its kind in Rajasthan and interestingly the sentry outside is a Rajput, not a Jain. The ceilings of the Sabha Mandapa support a demonic looking multi-hooded serpent canopy surrounded by five bodies. As you walk around the mandapa the head seems to connect, in turn, with each of these in turn. The walls of the sanctum are carved with animal and human figures. The shikhara, is crowned by an amalak, and a water pot containing a lotus flower

Kalpavriksha(Celestial Tree) Within the walls of temple complex is the Kalpavriksha or the celestial tree. When the actual tree that grew here decayed, it was substituted by a true to life sculpture in an alloy of eight metals, making it an 'eternal tree' symbolizing enlightenment. The copper leaves are believed to have the power to fulfill the wishes of any one who has a pure heart . On the temple's outer wall there is a low - relief carving on stone, according to legend it is inhabited by a black cobra for more than for 400 years now. Rumour has it that he shows himself only 10-15 times every summer and anyone who catches a glimpse of him is blessed with good luck.

Rishabhnath Temple This is another Jain temples at Lodurva, located near the ruins of the palace of Moomal and the once gushing watercourse of the river Kak. The temple was commissioned by a wealthy Marwari Seth Sachcha and constructed in 1479. According to mythology Rishabhdevaji was a man who lived 20,00,000 years as a prince and no less than 63,00,000 years as a king. Legend further states that he neglected his body for 1,000 years and then deeply meditated for three and a half days, depriving himself of all food and water. After which, according to Hermann Jacobi in Jaina Sutras, he reached the infinite. 
Shambhavanath Temple The third important Jain temple in Lodurva it is dedicated to the Jain tirthankara or fordmaker Shambhavnath whose symbol is the horse. The whole temple complex is surmounted by an octagonal pyramidal roof, and a fortification wall nearby suggests that the community was apprehensive about defilement of their places of worship by aggressive Muslim and Hindu groups. A temple in each corner of the complex is dedicated to a different saint; Rishabhnath in the southwest, Parshvanath in the northeast, Ajitanath (whose symbol is the elephant) in the southeast and of course Shambhavnath (of the horse symbol) in the northwest. All these temples date back from 1618. 
OSIAN

Osian  is a small town located at a distance of 65 kilometers from the Jodhpur. It's a flourishing desert town in the ancient times lays on an important desert trail that was a significant trade route. One they the way to Osian from Jodhpur one can see acres of gold dunes with glittering blue-green peacocks dancing on them. Some of the Jain and Hindu temples in Osian date back to as far back as the 8th century. The ruins and temples in Osian gives a fair glimpse into the bustling life of the Gujara Pratiharas.

Jain Temples:- Osian has as many as 15 Jain temples, the most spectacular of which is the Mahavira temple dedicated to the 24th and last Jain Prophets. The temple was built around 775 A.D. and other smaller shrines were added on to the complex till about the 15th century.The entrance to the temple complex, which was constructed in 1015, has beautiful maidens carved on it, which is perhaps not very conducive to prayer and is quite untypical of a Jain temple. The roof is superbly ornamented and dates back to the 11th century. The temple complex sits atop a terrace and is built in sandstone. The Mahavir temple, the prima donna among the Jain temples has an inner sanctum and three balconied windows. The temple porch has beautifully ornate pillars and the second porch mandapa was built later. The original spire of the temple got broken and was rebuilt in the 11th century.
After lunch drive to jodhpur and sight seeing of Jodhpur .
Over night at Jodhpur 
RANAKPUR 

Ranakpur is a village located between Jopdhpur and  Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravali range . Ranakpur is easily accessed by road from Udaipur.Ranakpur is widely known for its marble Jain temple, and for a much older Sun Temple which lies opposite the former.The renowned Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Adinath  Light colored marble has been used for the construction of this grand temple which occupies an area of approximately 60 x 62 meters. The temple, with its distinctive domes, Shikhara ,turrets and cupolas rises majestically from the slope of a hill. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same. It is also said that it is impossible to count the pillars. Also all the statues face one or the other statue. There is one beautiful carving made out of a single marble rock where there 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails. One cannot find the end of the tails. The image faces all four cardinal directions. In the axis of the main entrance, on the western side, is the largest image.The temple is designed as chaumukha—with four faces. The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Tirthankara's conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos.The dating of this temple is controversial but it is largely considered to be anywhere between the late 14th to mid-15th centuries. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dhanna Shah, a  Porwad, is said to have commissioned it, under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of  Mewar. The architect who oversaw the project is said to have been named Deepaka. There is an inscription on a pillar near the main shrine stating that in 1439 Deepaka, an architect, constructed the temple at the direction of Dharanka, a devoted Jain.This temple was nominated as one of the top 77 wonders in a contest for the new seven wonders of the world.

RISHBHDEO JI 

Rikhabdeo (modern spelling is Rishabhdeo) is a  census town in udaipur.Rishabhadeoji is situated 65 km from udaipur and is on Udaipur-Ahmedabd Road. The name of the town is Dhulev (), however it is better known as Rishabhadeo. It is a well known pilgrim site. The main attraction is the temple of Rishabhadeoji , the first Jain Tirthankara. Local Bhils also worship the deity. Lord Rishabhadeo is also Kesariaji because a large offering of saffron (Keshar, a common ingredient in Jain rituals) is made to the deity.This temple was considered to be one of the four main religious institutions of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia Maharanas of Udaipur, as stated by Chatur Singhji Bavji:The main idol of this temple is Digambar Lord  Rishabha Dev carved in black stone in padmassan posture about 3.5 feet tall. Long hair of idol touch the shoulders. Two oxen are carved in the center of simhasana (platform) of the main idol, which also has 16 dreams of the mother of Tirthankar. Surrounding the main deity, there are 23 idols, 2 standing & 21 seated, in an ashtadhatu (composed of eight metals) parikar. In the north and south sides of the Khela Mandapa of the temple, idols of Tirthankaras  Vasupuiya,Mallinath,Neminath,Parasvanath & Mahavir Swami (collectively referred to as Panch-Balayati) are installed.There are 52 secondary ornate shrines (devakulikas) of the Tirthankaras.Elephants carved of black stone stand at the entrance of the temple. On the north is the image of Goddess Chakreshvari and on the southern side an image of goddess Padmavati.The structure and architecture of Idols and Temple shows clearly that its a Digamber Jain Temple, but since All Hindu castes and Jain sects are offering prayers here since long time, the management of the temple is done by state Government.A Jain Bhattarak seat had existed at Rishabhdeo until the 20th century. Their memorials are marked by foot-prints. The footprints are present besides the elephant statues. Outside of the village foot-prints of Bhattaraka Chandrakirti and other Bhattarakas mark their memorials at Suraj Kund.The Bhattarakas managed the temple for until they were removed by the Maharana who appointed a committee of some Brahmins and Shwetambara Jains for administration.The temple has a long history. The temple has about 65 inscriptions in the building and on several of the Tirthankara idols.According to Caroline Humphrey, the temple was founded in the ninth century by Digambar Jains.There is a 1376 (samvat 1431) inscription on the temple wall that mentions that Punja and Kota, sons of Shah Harda had the structure built as a result of the preachings of Bhattaraka Dharmakirti of Kashtha sangh. That is when the garbhagriha and the khela mandap was constructed.The compound wall was constructed in 1806 by a merchant Dhanji Karanji of  Sangwada. There is a long inscription in Sanskrit/Hindi that mentions Bhimsingh as the ruler. It gives a spiritual lineage of the Bhatarakas of Mula sangh mentioning Kundakunda, Sakalkirti up to the reigning Bhattaraka Yashkirti, who blessed the construction. Names of the family of Sanghi Dhanji Karanji of Humbad community, of Kamaleshvar gotra, are also given.The nakkarkhana (drum tower) was built in 1832. The smaller shrines (devakulika) were constructed later.


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