Location of Digambar Jain Temple
Palitana is located in district Bhav Nagar (Gujarat). Palitana is on the Shetrunjaya Mount at a distance of nearly six kilometers near the city of the bank of the river Shetrunjaya. Shri Shatrunjaya Giri, Palitana is an ancient famous place of salvation. This mountain has 3800 steps. On it, there are 700 temples with summits. 7000 idols are installed in them.
History of Digambar Jain Temple
The cluster of temples was erected in two phases – in the 11th and 12th centuries and in the 16th century. There were some temples that were built earlier than this period, but were attacked by the Muslim intruders in the 14th and 15th centuries. To built such huge artistic temples, it was not possible for a single group or a person to do so. Rather, it was the endeavor of the rich business executives (followers of Jainism). In olden days, Palitana was the capital of a princely state whose chief was Gohil Rajput known as Thakur Saheb.
Description of Digambar Jain Temple
According to the Jain calendar, it was installed in 1686. The Digambar Jain Temple, Palitana, Gujarat also houses handsome idols of Yudhishthir, Bhim and Arjun. Two other idols of Lord Parsvanath are placed here. One is called Chintamani Parsvanath, with the other being Vighnaharan Parsvanath. 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.
On the both sides of the northern gate, footprints of Lord Adinath and Lord Sambhavanath can be seen. It is said that Lord Adinath visited Shatrunjaya Hill 93 times. All the Jain temples in Palitana in Gujarat are carved in marble. Each and every temple is a specimen of ancient art. The temple trail starts from the foot of the hill. With such a laborious count of stairs, people take approximately two hours to reach the top. The steps were constructed in the 13th century, under the supervision of the Jain minister, Vastupal. On their way up, the devotees are not allowed to carry any food with them, only water. For this purpose several water posts are made available along the course. The pilgrims are allowed to have their nourishment only after they descend the mountain. The major attraction up the hill is the one with the footprints of the Tirthankaras.
Devotees at Digambar Jain Temple
The devotees make their chief offerings in the main shrine of Lord Adinath. The magnificent Digambar Jain Temple, Palitana, Gujarat has been rebuild a number of times. The original temple was made of wood. Later, Siddharaj Jaisimha’s minister Udaymehta built it in marble. Siddharaj’s descendant Kumarpal further annexed the temple. Besides these mentioned, there are other shrines dedicated to Adinath, Kumarpal, Vimalshah, Samprati Raja and the Chomukh. Other temples dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses can also be found here.
Devotees take around two hours to reach the top. The steps were constructed in 13th century, under the supervision of Jain Minister, Vastupal. On their way up, the pilgrims are not allowed to take any eatables along. They are only allowed to drink water. For the purpose, a number of water posts have been made available along the course. The pilgrims eat only after they descend the mountain. The major spot up the hill is the one with the footprints of the Tirthankaras. All the shrines contain the idols of the Tirthankaras, with bejeweled eyes.
Visiting information to Digambar Jain Temple
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.
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. 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.