Amazing Jain Temples in India

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India is a diverse country. And this diversity is reflected well in the many religions of the country. Jainism is one of those religions founded on this spiritual land and is based on three main principles, namely non-violence (ahimsa), multiple reality (anekantavada) and non-attachment (aparigraha). India has many beautiful Jain temples which mark the vast existence of this religion across the country. Here is a list of the best Jain temples in India that are definitely worth a visit.

1. Gomateshwara Temple, Vindhyagiri Hill (Karnataka)

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Gomateswara Temple is very famous for the Bahubali Statue which is the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world with a height of 58 feet. The temple is built on top of a Vindhyagiri Hill at an altitude of 3347 feet. A flight of 620 steps provide access to this temple from the entrance near the pond. This image was created during the period of Chamundaraya, a minister of the Ganga King Rajamalla between 982 and 983 CE. The eyes of the statue are open as if viewing with work without any detachment. The statue has an ant hill behind, representing Gomatha’s long penance. Creeper emerges from the ant hill adorning his legs and arms. The entire figure stands on an open lotus. On either side of Bahubali, two standing figures of Chauri bearers called Yaksha and Yakshi appear in his service. There is a large pillared mandapa around the statue which has 43 carved images of Jain Teerthankaras. Gangaraja, a general of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana has erected these mandapas. The bottom part of the statue has kannada inscriptions. The main temple is surrounded by a large outer wall which has carved images of Jain figures, Monkeys, Lion, Fishes, Cow and female figures carved all along the wall. The marble statue of Chandra Natha Theerthankara placed in an enclosure within the same complex of Gomateswara Temple is beautiful. There are several Jain basadis on Vindhyagiri Hill including Tyagada Brahma Pillar, Siddhara Basadi, Odegal Basadi, Chennanna Basadi and Chauvvisa Tirthankara Basadi. The Siddhara Basadi and Gullekayi Ajji Mandapa are just outside the main temple of Gomateswara. It takes about 2-3 hours to climb up the hill, visit all monuments and come down. Dolis are available at the entrance of the hill that charge about Rs. 800 including return. Early morning is the best time to visit the hill. The hill offers beautiful view of the Shravanabelagola village, Temple pond and Chandragiri hill.

  • Address: Vindhyagiri Hill, Karnataka
  • Timings: 6:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM
  • Entry Fees: Free of cost, you can hire a guide for around INR 200
  • Best Time To Visit: October to February

2. Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur (Rajasthan)

Located in village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan, Ranakpur temple lies at a distance of 95 kms in the north of Udaipur city. The temple is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur as regular buses are easily available. Ranakpur got its name after the name of the Rajput Monarch and likewise the temples. The temple complex is positioned in an isolated valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. The Temple structure is highly compound having four different doorways to get into the chambers. These chambers ultimately take you to the main hall where the image of Adinath is positioned. The four faced image also symbolizes the Tirthankara’s quest for the four directions and ultimately the cosmos. The image is surrounded by many small shrines and domes. One more range of cells with separate roofs encircles these shrines and domes all over again. The five spires elevate above the walls and around 20 cupolas rise from roof of the pillared hall. Each spire houses a shrine and the largest shrine is the important one that addresses the central altar. The temple ceilings are festooned with foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and boasts of not less than four additional shrines. It has 24 pillared halls with 80 domes that are supported by 400 columns. The upper and lower parts of the domes are linked by brackets that have deities’ sculptures. Above all, you would be amazed to see at a height of 45 feet engraved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures. Each column is intricately carved and it is surprising to know that no two columns have the similar design.

  • Address: Ranakpur Road, Sadri, Rajasthan 306702
  • Timings: 5:30 AM to 11:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Entry Fees: Free of cost
  • Best Time To Visit: October to February

3. Palitana Temples, Bhavnagar District (Gujarat)

The Palitana temples of Jainism are located on Shatrunjaya by the city of Palitana in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat, India. The city of the same name, known previously as Padliptapur, has been nicknamed “City of Temples”. Along with Shikharji in the state of Jharkhand, the two sites are considered the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Jain community. As the temple-city was built to be an abode for the divine, no one is allowed to stay overnight, including the priests. Every Jain believes that a visit to this group of temples is essential as a once in a life time chance to achieve nirvana or salvation. This site on Shatrunjaya hill is considered sacred by Jains and have hundreds of temples. There are approximately 863 marble-carved temples on the hills. The main temple is reached by stepping up 3500 steps. It is said that 23 tirthankaras, except Neminatha, sanctified the hill by their visits. The main temple is dedicated to Rishabha, the first tirthankara; it is the holiest shrine for the Svetambara Murtipujaka sect. Digambara Jain have only one temple here.

  • Address: Palitana, Bhavnagar District, Gujarat
  • Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fees: Free of cost
  • Best Time To Visit: October to February

4. Bawangaja Temple

Bawangaja temple is one of the most famous Jain pilgrimage sites in Madhya Pradesh. Located in the district of Barwani, this temple is world famous for the statue of the first Tirthankara, Lord Adinatha, which is carved out of the side of the mountains which are in the Satpura range of mountains in the central part of the Indian subcontinent. The statue, which is carved out of one single rock, is impressive in its dimensions, location, and its sculpture. It stands 84 feet tall and is carved right in the middle of the Satpura mountain range at a height of 1300 feet, which is at the base of the mountain. This is similar in planning to that of the other famous Jain temples in India, such as Lord Bahubali’s statue at Shravanabelagola. The statue pf Adinatha is renowned for being the world’s tallest known statue of the first Thirthankara in Jainism. It was sculpted in the early part of the 12th century and still retains its glory and magnificence. This idol also holds the record for being the highest in the world. At the top of the mountain is the temple called Chulgiri, also known as Siddha Bhoomi. This is a holy place because it is where three renowned Jain scholars as well as countless others meditated on the Divine and attained self realization.

  • Address: Barwani, Madhya pardesh
  • Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Entry Fees: Free of cost
  • Best Time To Visit: October to February

5. Dharmanath Temple

Situated in the town of Mattancherry, in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala in the Indian subcontinent, this temple attracts devout Jains from across the world every day. The entire temple and the complex surrounding the temple is impeccable in its architecture and cleanliness. The sculptures and designs of the temple are similar to those in the Mount Abu temple of Jain Dilwara. The interior of the temple is adorned with marble which has sculptures of the different Gods and Thirthankaras of the Jain faith. There are also other Jain pilgrimage sites etched into the pillars and walls of this temple in a very artistic manner. The temple is now a ‘theerth’ as it is more than 100 years old by now. The temple was renovated as part of the celebrations of attaining the much admired ‘theerth’ status. There were four more deities installed in the temple during these celebrations. Right from the imposing temple gates, which have a picture of the beautiful Gajalakshmi on them, to the inner sanctorum where the idol of the Lord Dharmanath is installed, every inch of the temple is designed to create the feeling of peace and devotion in the pilgrim.

  • Address:  5/688, Gujarati Rd, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002
  • Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Entry Fees: Free of cost
  • Best Time To Visit: October to February

 

 

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