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Palitana Shatrunjaya

Palitana is one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. It consists of a cluster of nearly 900 marble temples dedicated to Jain Tirthinkars on the Shatrunjaya hills.
Situated 51 km from the main city of Bhavnagar, Palitana was the capital of the princely state belonging to the Gohel Rajput clan. This state was founded by Shahji. Palitana is also associated with the times of the Mahabharata. It is believed that the three Pandavas (Yudhishthir, Bheem and Arjun) received salvation here.  Therefore Palitana is also known by the name of Siddhakshetra, or the place where one attains nirvana.
Palitana is famous for its Jain temples situated on the top of Shatrunjaya Hill. This cluster (called tuks) of almost 900 Jain temples dedicated to the 24 Jain Tirthankarars  is one of the most frequently visited pilgrimage centers of Jainism and features several exquisitely carved marble temples built over a period of 1000 years.
The construction of these temples was initiated in the 11th century, and a majority of the temples were destroyed by Muslim rulers in the 14th and 15th centuries.  The temples were rebuilt in the 16th century by wealthy Jain businessmen.  It was an engineering challenge to first clear the hill surface, then carry the heavy pillars from the base to the hill top, and finally install them.
Huge walls hold nine groups of temples, wherein each group has a main temple surrounded by several smaller temples.  The most significant of these temples is the Chaumukh temple, which contains the four-faced idol of Lord Adinath. The idol sits on a huge marble pedestal. The shrines, from the early 17th century, are different from traditional Hindu structures in that they are open on all four sides. The Adhishwar temple is intricately decorated with marble statues and carvings. There are several other unique temples built along the hillside, like Sampriti Raja, Kumarpal, and Rampa..
As pilgrims pass all these beautiful temples on the path to the top of the hill, they can look down on the Shatrunjaya River. Pilgrims have to climb nearly 3950 steps to reach the summit, covering a distance of nearly 4 km. On a clear day, one can even see the Gulf of Cambay.
The journey up the hill is strenuous, and it takes nearly two hours to reach the top. Pilgrims are supposed to follow Jain principles strictly while they are on the pilgrimage to Shatrunjaya Hill. It is advisable to start the journey early in the morning since no-one is allowed to stay on the hilltop after sundown. Even the priests descend from the temple in the evenings and leave the gods alone.
Chaumukh Temple
The most significant temple at Palitana is the Chaumukh Temple which contains the four-faced idol of Lord Adinath. This temple was built in the early 17th century. The shrine is open on all four sides, and the idol sits on a huge marble pedestal. The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and and a fine example of artistic construction. The innermost part of the Chaumukh temple has five separate wards with domes, which, according to Jain priests, represent the five sacred hills of Jainism. It is believed that Adinatha, the first Jain Tirthankara, visited the hill several times and one of the first temples here was erected by his son.
Adhishwar temple
The Adishwara temple is intricately decorated with marble statues and carvings. The tremendous beauty of the carved roofs and pillars will take your breath away. This temple exemplifies the highly skilled artistry and painstaking labor of the craftsmen of this period.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
AHMEDABAD 224 Km 03H 52m
BHAVNAGAR CIVIL AIRPORT 61 Km 01H 12m
RAJKOT 165 Km 03H 01m
Bhavnagar Terminus 55 Km 01H 03m
Palitana 2 Km 00H 04m
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 23 °C 44 °C
Winter 10 °C 32 °C
The climate of Palitana is generally pleasant. The summer season continues from March to June, with daytime temperature reaching 40°C.
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