Shri Adishwar Temple
The Palitana temples are the large groups of Jain temples located on Shatrunjaya hills near Palitana in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat, India. Also known as Padliptapur of Kathiawad in historic texts, the dense collection of over 800 small shrines and large temples here has led many to call Palitana as a “city of Temples”. It is one of the most sacred sites of Svetambara tradition within Jainism. These temples were built in and after the 11th-century CE.
The Palitana site contains nearly 1000 temples on the hills spread mostly in nine clusters, some being vast temple complexes, while most are small in size. The main temple is dedicated to Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara; it is the holiest shrine for the Svetambara Murtipujaka sect. Marble is the preferred material of construction. The Palitana temples complex is near the top of the hills, in groups called Tonks (Tuks) along the various ridges of the hill tops. According to Anadji Kalyanji Trust, more than 400,000 pilgrims visited this pilgrimage in 2010.
Jains believe that 23 of 24 Jain Tirthankaras, except Neminatha, sanctified the Palitana hill by their visits. This makes the site particularly important to the Jain tradition. These temples are reached by most pilgrims and visitors by climbing stone steps along a hilly trail of about 3500 steps. Some hire pallanquin in the town at the base of the hills, to be carried to the temples complex. The Palitana temples, along with the Shikharji in Jharkhand, is believed to be the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Jain community. Jains believe that a visit to this group of temples is essential as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to achieve nirvana or salvation.
Digambara Jains have only one temple here on the hills. Hingraj Ambikadevi (known as Hinglaj Mata) is considered as the presiding deity of the hill, who is a Jain Yakshini (attendant deity). As the temple-city was built to be an abode for the divine, no one is allowed to stay overnight, including the priests.
How to get there
By Road: Frequent bus connections, link towns and cities all over the state; Rajkot (4hours), Ahmedabad (5 hours), Vadodara (6 hours), Palitana (2 hours).
By Rail: You can opt for a train to connect to Ahmedabad and Mumbai with frequent connections.
By Air: Bhavnagar Airport is about 3.5km from town and is reasonably well connected to major cities of India.