Updated May 22nd, 2024 at 01:16 IST

Spiritual Sojourn In Palitana: The City of 900 Temples

Located in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district, the Palitana temples span Shatrunjaya Mountain, covering approximately 20 acres and encompassing nine hilltops.

Palitana temples | Image:Pinterest
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India’s spiritual landscape is dotted with sacred sites, from Sabarimala in Kerala to Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir. Among these, Shatrunjaya Peak in Palitana, Gujarat, stands out with its astonishing 900 temples, a testament to the country’s deep religious devotion and architectural brilliance.

Palitana Temples: A spiritual marvel

Located in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district, the Palitana temples span Shatrunjaya Mountain, covering approximately 20 acres and encompassing nine hilltops. This holy site, a major pilgrimage destination for Jains, was developed between the 11th and 20th centuries. The mountain’s sanctity stems from its association with 23 Tirthankaras, revered figures in Jainism who have attained nirvana.

Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

Architectural splendour

Constructed mainly of marble, these temples showcase extraordinary craftsmanship with intricate carvings, jewel-encrusted sculptures, and magnificent idols. The temples’ towering walls and exquisite details blend the grandeur of European mansions with the majesty of Indian monuments.

Historical significance

The Palitana temples were first built by Kumarpal Solanki, a devout Jain, starting in the 11th century. However, the original structures faced destruction in 1311 AD at the hands of Turkish Muslim invaders. Under the stewardship of monk Jinaprabhasuri, the temples were eventually restored to their former glory.

Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

Visiting Palitana

To reach Palitana, travelers can fly into Ahmedabad or Bhavnagar and take a taxi to the town. Accommodations are available at Dharamshala, located 5-10 minutes from Shatrunjaya Hill, offering timely Jain meals. The optimal time to visit is from October to March, avoiding the monsoon season when the pilgrimage is suspended for four months.

The Palitana temples on Shatrunjaya Hill offer a unique glimpse into India’s spiritual and architectural heritage. This sacred site not only reflects the profound devotion of the Jain community but also stands as a symbol of resilience and reverence through centuries of history.

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Exploring the city of 900 temples is a journey through time and spirituality, making it an essential destination for those seeking to understand India's religious depth and cultural richness.

 

 

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Published May 22nd, 2024 at 01:16 IST