Hutheesing Jain Temple
About The Place: This remarkably elegant temple created out of white marble has been sacred to many Jain families, generation after generation. It was built in 1848 A.D. at an estimated cost of 10 lakh rupees by a rich merchant Sheth Hutheesing as a dedication to the 15th Jain Tirthankara, Shri Dharmanatha. Traditional artisans working in stone belonged to the Sonpura & Salat communities. The Salat community constructed masterpieces of architecture ranging from forts, palaces to temples. The work of the Hutheesing Jain temple is attributed to Premchand Salat. One scholar has remarked, “Each part goes on increasing in dignity as we approach the sanctuary. Whether looked at from its courts or from the outside, it possesses variety without confusion and appropriateness of every part to the purpose for which it was intended.”
Located outside the Delhi Gate, the temple is spread over a sprawling courtyard, a mandapa surmounted by a large ridged dome, which is supported by 12 ornate pillars. The small garbhagruh (main shrine) on the east end reaches up into three stunningly carved spires and encircled by 52 small shrines dedicated to the various Tirthankars. There are large protruding porches with magnificently decorated columns and figural brackets on three outer sides. Also, a recently built 78 ft Mahavir stambha (tower) fashioned after the renowned tower at Chittor in Rajasthan, flanks the outer courtyard by the front entrance. Some of the motifs used in the design remind one of the Sultanate minarets of the Mughal period.
History : This The construction of the temple was initiated originally planned by Shet Hathisinh Kesarisinh, a wealthy Ahmedabad trader who died at 49. The construction was supervised and completed by his wife Shethani Harkunvar. The total cost was approximately Rs. 8 lakh., then a major sum. The temple is dedicated to Lord Dharmanatha, the fifteenth Jain Tirthankar.
Lockwood de Forest who was a business associate of Muggenbhai Hutheesing, the son of Sheth Hathisinh, estimated the cost as “over a million dollars”. The temple was built during a severe famine in Gujarat. Building the temple employed hundreds of skilled artisans which supported them for a period of two years.
The temple is managed by a Hutheesing family trust.
How to get there
By Road: Gujarat has one of the better-developed road networks in India. Ahmedabad is well connected with all major cities and towns by road. Prominent bus stops are located at Gitamandir near Kalupur Railway Station and Paldi. Regular bus services are available by Gujarat state transport buses and private operators to all the major destinations of the state.
By Rail: The main railway station is located in the Kalupur area. This station falls under the prominent national railway circuit and is connected to all major cities of India. If you are on the western side of the Sabarmati river, then you can go to the Gandhigram station near Ashram road to buy your railway tickets easily.
By Air: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel airport at Ahmedabad is an international airport with direct flights to USA, UK, Singapore, Dubai and other international hubs. Numerous domestic flights are also operational from here.