10 Amazing Jain Temples in India
Historically speaking, Jain religion is said to have first developed in India during the period of the Indus Valley Civilization. According to the 2011 census report, there were about 4,451,753 followers of this religion in the country. Now, there also exists a number of Jain temples available all throughout the country. So, then the question to be asked is, which are the best Jain shrines in India?Here is presenting the answer in the form of an exclusive list of ’10 Amazing Jain Temples’ in India that are truly worth exploring.
a. Gomateshwara Temple, Karnataka:
Gomateshwara Temple Map
“The Great Bahubali” is the primary deity worshiped at a popular Jain temple located in Karnataka known as Gomateshwara. Situated in the Hassan district, this shrine is renowned for a 58 feet tall statue of Gomateshwara (also referred to as Bahubali). Furthermore, this majestic idol possesses an inscription at the bottom which praises a king who funded and his General Chavundaraya who helped construct this magnificent statue. In addition, this idol was constructed in the year 983 AD. And so, it is the presence of the splendid idol of Gomateshwara that makes this shrine one among a few Jain Temples in India worth visiting.
Dilwara Jain Temple Complex Map
Constructed by Vimal Shah is a beautiful Jain temple situated in Rajasthan which is known as Dilwara. Located in at distance of about 2.5 kilometers from Mount Abu, this shrine is said to have been designed by Vastapul Tejpal and built in between the 11th and the 13th centuries. It is renowned for its unique architecture which includes the use of exquisite marble carvings. Furthermore, it also comprises of beautiful ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels. In addition, within this complex lies a total five temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara. It is therefore the use of magnificent architecture which makes the religious shrine one among a few Jain Temples in India that deserves to be explored.
Ranakpur Temple Map
Funded by a local businessman is a Jain Temple situated in Rajasthan known as Ranakpur. Situated in a village known as Ranakpur, this beautiful shrine constructed during the 15th century was dedicated to the first Trithankara in the Jain religion known as Rishabhanathha. Furthermore, it is renowned for its magnificent architecture and consists of a variety of domes, shikhara, turrets, and cupolas. In addition, this temple also includes about 1444 pillars that have been produced using marble. And so, it is the splendid use of marble based architecture which makes this shrine one among a few Jain Temples in India truly worth visiting.
d. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, New Delhi:
Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
Considered to be one of the “oldest Jain shrine” in the country, is the Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir situated in New Delhi. Located in the Chandini Chowk area in close proximity to the Red Fort, this shrine is supposed to have been constructed by the Agrawal Jain community. Apparently, it was Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who provided the Jain community with land so that they could build a temple. Furthermore, the primary deity located at this temple is Thrithankara Parshva. In addition, the idol of Lord Rishabhanatha, the first Thirthankara of the Jain religion can also be found over here. A manastambha (column of honour) can also be seen in front of the temple. It is therefore the presence of idols of Thirthankaras as well as the column of honour (manastambha) that makes it one among a few Jain Temples in India that must be visited.
e. Shri Digambar Jain Siddha Shetra, Madhya Pradesh:
Shri Digambar Jain Siddha Shetra Map
Situated at a distance of 60 km from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh lies a Jain Tirth known as Shri Digambar Jain Siddha Shetra. Located in close proximity to the Datia district, this complex comprises of about 103 Jain temples. Apparently, this sacred site is visited by large number of devotees and saints with the intention of inculcating self discipline as well as to acquire “Nirvana”. A statistic indicates that about “5.5 crores saints” have acquired moksha at this holy Jain temple complex. And so, it is due to the “spirituality” that surrounds this holy site filled with Jain Temples, which makes it an Indian pilgrimage site that must be visited.
f. Palitana Tirtha- Gujarat:
“Shatrunjaya hill” is the spot on which the popular Palithana Tirtha is situated. Located in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, this shrine is supposed to be dedicated to the Svetambara Jains. Considered to be extremely “sacred”, this tirtha comprises of about 863 Jain temples that have been carved out of marble. Furthermore, the main temple of this beautiful complex is dedicated to Lord Rishabhanatha, the first Thrithankara. In addition, to reach the main shrine in the complex one needs to climb 3500 steps. It is therefore the “spirituality” as well as the beautiful marble architecture found in temples within this complex which makes it one among a few Jain Temples in Indian that deserves to be visited.
g. Shikarji Temples- Jharkhand:
Located on top of the Parasnath Hill are a number of Jain temples known as Shikarji. Situated in the Giridih district, these temples are considered to be extremely “sacred” with regards to the Jain religion. Apparently, about 24 thirthankaras and many other monks in the Jain religion have said to have acquired “moksha” in these temples. Furthermore, these shrines are basically dedicated to the Digambar Jains. Thus, it is the “spirituality” and “religious significance” that surrounds these temples which makes it one among a few Jain Temples in the country a must visit.
h. Shantinatha Temple- Madhya Pradesh:
Included in the list of “UNESCO World Heritage Site” is a wonderful Jain shrine located in Madhya Pradesh known as Shantinatha Temple. Situated in Khajuraho, this shrine has also been classified by the “Archaeological Survey of India” as the “Monument of National Importance”.Furthermore, this shrine has also been included in UNESCO’s list of “World Heritage Sites”. It was dedicated to Lord Shantinatha, one of the Jain tirthankara. The inner sanctum of this temple comprises of a 43 meters high idol of Shantinatha. It also consists of a Adinatha statue that is about 45 meters high. And so, it is the presence of beautiful sculptures which makes this shrine one among a few Jain Temples in India truly worth visiting.
i. Kulpakji Temple- Andhra Pradesh:
“Kolanupaka” is how a Jain temple located in Andhra Pradesh called Kulpakji is also referred to as. Situated in the Nalgonda district, this shrine is said to be about 2000 years old. Furthermore, this temple comprises three statues namely Lord Rishabhanath, Lord Neiminatha, and Lord Mahavira. Apparently, the idol of Rishabhanath has been carved out from a green stone and over time has become known as “Manikyaswami”. In addition, this shrine is considered to be extremely important to the Svetambara Jains. Therefore it is the presence of beautiful sculptures and religious significance which makes this pilgrimage site one among a few Jain Temples in India a worthy visit.
j. Dharmanath Temple- Kerala:
Dharmanath Temple Map
Devoted to the 15th Thirthankara is a Jain Temple known as Dharmanath located in Kerala. Situated in a town known as Mattancherry, this shrine is visited by the Jain community from around the country. Furthermore, it is renowned for its magnificent architecture and for being extremely clean and well maintained. In fact, the the whole interior of this shrine has been constructed using marble. And so, it is religious significance and splendid architecture which makes this shrine one among a few Jain Temples in India truly worth visiting.
Also Read: 8 MOST VISITED PILGRIMAGE SITES IN INDIA
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons