Listed among the most important sacred pilgrimages for the Jains, the Palitana temples are dedicated to the Jain Thirthankars. Located in Palitana in Gujarat, 853 temples were built about 900 years ago. They are the hills with the highest concentration of temples in the world.
The mystery surrounds the authorship of these awesome temples. It is said that wealthy businessmen were the builders although it is also believed that Jain Tirthankars consecrated the temples with his visit.
The main temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabdev, the first Tirthankar. The temples were built in two phases and divided into nine separate wings; Each wing houses a central temple and the smaller temples that surround it. They are grouped into systematic groups with variation in height and space. They have four doors so that the idols are visible from all sides.
Larger temples have marble halls with towers and plenty of openings. They are surrounded by high walls. The interiors have been carved with geometric lace designs.
Most of the temples are located in the Shatrunjaya hills. Pilgrims climb more than 3,000 stairs to pay a visit to these temples located at a height of 603 meters. During the ‘Chha Gau Teerth Yatra’, an auspicious festival that falls during February and March, devotees surround the Shatrunjaya Hills covering a distance of 216 kilometers.
Eat and sleep
One can find several accommodation options in the city Palitana. There are cheap, mid-range and luxury hotels. The hotels are fully booked during the months of October to February and it is advisable to book a room in advance.
There are no places to eat in the temple complex, so it is advisable to bring a backpack with food and water.
If you still want to discover more secrets of India, do not miss the wonderful city of Pushkar.