Jain Pilgrimage Tourism in India

The Jain Temples and innumerable Jain shrines dotting the Indian landscape, area testament to the Jain Tirthankars (enlightened ones), who spread their message of peace, non violence, love and enlightenment as a way of salvation, freeing themselves from the continual cycle of birth and rebirth and, in the process managed to build some of the most stunning architectural landmarks in the country. Dedicated to Lord Mahavira-the founder of Jainism, these temples also have idols of Hindu deities in them. The essence of this great religion and its preaching can be seen in the cave temples, in the elaborately decorated carved stones and in the numerous illustrated manuscripts scattered across India.

The most popular Jain Temples in India are :-

Dilwara Temples
The five legendary Dilwara temples in Rajasthan, 2.5 km from Mount Abu are an example of extraordinary architecture of the Jain Temples. These temples can be dated back to the 11th and 13th centuries and are made of Marble, shaded by groves of simple beauty and exquisite elegance. They are a reminder of honesty and frugality encouraged in the Jain religion. Although the Jains built some beautiful temples at other places in Rajasthan but none come close to these in terms of architectural perfection. These are the most popular Jain Temples all over India. The inside of these temples have beautiful carvings, depicting the various gods and goddesses.

Palitana Temples
These temples are located on the shetrunjaya hills and are considered to be the most sacred of all Jain Temples. There's a huge complex consisting of nearly 863 temples, exquisitely carved in marble. The construction of these temples took more than 900 years . These stunning temples are a must see in your visit to northern part on India

Ranakpur in Rajasthan is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites for Jainism. Situated in the Aravali hills, it is home to extraordinarily gorgeous temples, the first to have been built by the Jain community. It is said that the town of Falna donated more than 90 kg of gold for the inner decoration of this temple. With its beautiful marble carvings and 1500 pillars, each different from the other, this is an extraordinary temple. Watching the sun shift through these pillars as they change colors from gold to pale blue will be a remarkable experience.

Gomatheshwara temple(shravanabelagola)
Gomateshwara is a monolithic statue standing at 60 feet (18 m) above a hill in a place called Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. The statue was built by the Ganga minister and commander Chamundaraya in honour of Lord Bahubali. It was built in the 10th century AD and is the size Jains believe humans used to be. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world flock to the statue once in 12 years for an event known as Mahamastakabhisheka. The colossal monolithic statue of Gomateshwara or Bahubali is situated at Shravanabelagola, 158 km away from Bangalore. This gigantic statue of lord Bahubali, the Jain saint, is carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically on top of a hill. For centuries, Shravanabelagola has remained a great Jain center and thousands of pilgrims flock to see the magnificent, gigantic statue. The saint is shown completely nude, in the Jain custom. It is 17 m. (55 ft) high and is visible from a distance of 30 km. This statue is regarded as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world.

Jain temple(Mudabidri)
Moodbidri, is a small town located at a distance of 35 km north-east of Mangalore in Dakshina Kannada district. Moodbidri is known as the 'Jain Kashi' of South India and it is an ancient center of Jain learning. Moodbidri houses 18 Jain temples (basadis). The oldest of them is the 15th century Chandranatha Basadi, which is also known as the 1000 (Thousand) Pillars temple or 'Savira Kambada basadi'.
Thousand pillars temple: This is a large granite temple built in 1430 A.D. The main entrance of the thousand pillar temple, which faces the east, opens onto a wonderful 15 meter tall monolithic pillar called Mahastamba in front of the doorway. The 2.5 meter tall bronze idol of Lord Chandranatha Swami in the sanctum hall is considered to be very sacred. The pillars of this basadi are decorated with carvings typical of Vijayanagara style. The temple boasts of a valuable collection of jewel-encrusted metallic images of Jain tirthankaras, and superb monolithic columns in the Jain tradition, each with a different carving. The Jain Mutt near the main temple entrance has a library protecting some beautiful 12th and 13th century palm leaf manuscripts.

Taranga (Jain Temple)
Taranga (Taranga Tirtha) is a Shvetambar Jain temple and pilgrimage center, in Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. It was constructed in 1121 by the Solanki dynasty king Kumarpal, advised by his teacher Acharya Hemachandra. A 2.75 m marble statue of Adinatha is the central idol. The compound consists of 14 temples in all and some five others from the Digambar sect near shwetambar temples.Mulnayak: Nearly 2.75 m high, white colored idol of Bhagawan Ajitnath.

Other Jain Temples in India are
Jain Golden Temple in Falna, Sravanabelagola, Khandagiri Caves, Udaigiri, Kalugumalai in Tamil Nadu, Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir (Delhi), sittannavasal in Tamil Nadu, Chitral in Tamil Nadu, Hati-gumph in Orissa, Tirupparut-Tikunram in Tamil Nadu, Girnar, Vallimalai, Ajitnath Temple in Gujrat.

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