History of Chittorgarh Jain Temples
The Jain temples at Chittorgarh are located in a Fort. This fort of Chittor occupies a very important place in Indian history. Built by Maurya King Chitrangada, the fort is spread over an area of 280-hectare on top of a 180-metre-high hill. The fort is also known as Chitrakoot. Later in the 8th century Chitrangada was conquered by Guhil Vanshi King Bapa Rawal and the fort went into his hands. In 12th century Siddharaj Jaisingh took possession of the fort. It remained in the possession of his heirs till the period of king Kumarpal. In 1231 Ajaypal was defeated by Guhilvanshi king Samantsingh who took possession of the fort. Even during the Muslim era the fort remained in the possession of Guhilvanshi Sisodiya.
Acharya Siddhsen Diwakar, one of the honoured members of the court of Samrat Vikramaditya, stayed here for his Sadhana in first century of Vikram Samvat Era. Acharya Haribhadra Suri of the 8th-9th century was also born here.
Jain Temples in Chittorgarh
In the year 1322 a temple of Lord Parshwanath was built here by Sushri Jaytalladevi, the wife of Maharaj Tejsingh and mother of Shri Samar Singh. A temple of Shri Adinath Bhagwan is located here. The flag on this temple was hoisted by Prince Amarsingh on Falgun Shukla in the year 1335. In 15th century a temple of Lord Shreyanshnath was built by Shri Veesal, the resident of Devkulpatak. Shri Bal, son of Shreshthi Gunraj had also built a huge Jin temple all around the Kirtistambh. Three Jin idols were also installed in the temple by Acharya Shri Somsundar Surishwarji. The place also has Jin idols in 11 Jin temples that were established by the ruler of this estate, Samar Singh. Shri Jinsen surishwarji has established the idol of Lord Shantinath in the temple. It was named as Shri Shanti Jin Chaitya in Ashtapadavtar, which is presently called as Shringar Chouri. Many other temples have also been built here by Saranpalji, the Chief Minister of Maharana Maukal and Shri Pethad Shah, the Mahamantri of Mandavgarh. Apart from these, 32 Jin temples have been built here that finds its mention in books like 'Teerthmala' written by Jayhem in 1566 and 'Teerthmala' written by Gayandi.
The fort of Chittor, probably built in 14th century houses many palaces within it like Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Tower of Victory (Vijay Stambha), Kirtistambha, Padmini's Palace, Mirabai temple and many Jain temples. The Bavan Jinalay of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev, temples dedicated to Lord Parshvanatha, Lord Shantinath and Lord Mahavira are located here. The most famous among them is the Jain Kirtistambh. It is the biggest temple in the fort. The temple is a seven-storied structure and is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Bhagwan Rishbh Dev. The Kirtistambh is 22 meter in height and has cramped stairway of 54 steps. The stambh belongs to 12th century AD and is decorated with intricate Jain sculptures. It is 30 feet at the base and narrows upto 15 feet at the top. The Jain Kirtistambh houses a five-feet-high statue of Bhagwan Rishbh Dev.
Apart from the main temple of Rishabh Dev there are other temples also. Two temples of Lord Parshwanath are located here. Temples dedicated to Lord Mahavira and Lord Shantinath are present in Rampol, which is situated, in the inner portion of the fort. The temple of Lord Shantinath is known for its artistic beauty. Another temple dedicated to Lord Parshwanath is located near Gaumukhi Kund. It is known as Choumukhji temple.
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