Shatrunjaya Temple Complex Palitana


About Shatrunjaya Temple



The Shatrunjaya Hills are located in the holy city of Palitana in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. It is a very popular pilgrimage place for the followers of Jainism and other religions as well. With more than 900 Jain temples, the temple complex is the largest in the world. It is one of the most popular and sacred pilgrimage spots in India.

As per Jain theology, the first tirthankara, Rishabha Dev climbed this hill around 99 times to attain Nirvana. The main temple is dedicated to him, which is the holiest shrine for the Shwetambar sect in Jainism.

It took around 900 years for the construction of these temples which was divided into two phases. One is from the 11th to 12th centuries and the second was in the 16th century. It is believed that there is no single person who is responsible for the construction of these beautiful temples, but there were many wealthy merchants who contributed to the making of these temples as they were strict followers of Jainism. The temples are spread around an area of about 3.5 kms. After climbing 3500 stairs, you reach these architectural wonders. There are some very strict rules according to Jain religion which must be followed once you are there in the temple complex. Keeping in mind the sanctity of Jainism, no leather products, such as shoes, bags, belt, purses, are allowed inside. You need to carry a proper dress code as well. No shorts or sleeveless tops or shirts are allowed. No tight clothing is advisable. Simple, loose clothes should be worn.

No food or drinks are allowed inside the temple complex. You need to keep everything at the entrance of the main temple complex. You should not talk, laugh inside the temples. For photography, special permission needs to be taken from the temple authorities. It is also advisable to plan your trip early in the morning as it becomes really hot during the noon time. There are spring chairs which are on hire for elderly people to take them to the temple area. Many rest areas with water selling vendors are available at every small interval.

One of the most important parts of these temples is that no person including the temple priests are allowed to stay in the temple complex during night, as it is the place of Gods and they should not be disturbed.

Location

The Shatrunjaya Hills are located at about 3 kms southwest of Palitana city. From the top of the mountains, you can see the wonderful city and the Shatrunjaya river.

How to Reach

The place is easily accessible through air, rail and roadways. The nearest airport to Palitana is Bhavnagar which is at a distance of 51 kms. Domestic airlines run on a daily basis connecting the city with major metro cities like Mumbai and Surat. Ahmedabad is at a distance of 215 kms and has an international airport, so connecting from there is also convenient.

There is a small railway station at Palitana which is connected with Songadh and Bhavnagar. Sihor is the main railway junction which then connects to cities like Ahmedabad and Gujarat.

Roadways are another convenient option to travel as the roads are in a very good condition. There is regular bus service which is operational from cities like Ahmedabad, Una, Talaja and Diu. Hourly bus services are also available from Bhavnagar to Palitana. If you wish to hire a taxi to Palitana, you can do so from Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad and Vadodra. The main bus stand is at a distance of just 800 metres from the Palitana railway station.

Best time to Visit

Gujarat's weather is a classic example of Indian summer. The summer season starts from mid-March till June, when the heat waves are the maximum. The maximum temperature can go up to 48 degree, making it very difficult to climb the hill in the afternoon.

Though the city receives good amount of rainfall during the monsoons, the weather becomes quite sticky and damp. The Temple complex is closed during the monsoon for about four months, starting mid-June till September as climbing the hill during this time is not recommended.

The best time to visit this holy place is between the months of October and February. The day-time weather is very pleasant with a maximum temperature of 24 degrees. The nights are quite chilly, with a temperature of about 10 degrees.

References: State Tourism Guides
WBPP16062014



Last Updated on : July 16, 2014