Deccan Odyssey is proffering a golden chance to explore the world’s only mountain that has a collection of 863 temples dedicated to the Jain gods. Palitana is located in the western Indian state of Gujarat, which is 51 km away from the southwest of Bhavnagar. This is a part of the Saurashtra region renowned for magnificent temples, stunning beaches, and rich wildlife. The specialty of this city is that it is completely a vegetarian city. The temple of Palitana is very important for the Jains and hence eating non-vegetarian food is prohibited here.
The town oozes with the glory of temples. These temples are located on the top of the mountain and to reach there you have to climb about 3950 stairs. These entire temple complexes are spread over an area of about 3.5 km. According to archaeologists the temples of Palitana are believed to have been built for 900 years and the oldest temple was built in the 11th or 12th century. These beautiful temples are not only a pilgrimage place for the Jains, but they have also become tourist sites for many people and other religions.
According to the Jain region Shatrunjaya Hill, located in the city of Palitana is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimage sites and the temple there is dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. Bordered by strong walls and the temples have been grouped into nine enclosures, each having several minor temples united around a central temple.
The most notable temple here is the Chaumukha temple with its four-faced deity of Adinath enshrined on a marble pedestal in a shrine open on all four sides. Also known as the Adishwar temple, it is the most lavishly decorated in Palitana. It was built in the early 17th century and planned as a large square subdivided into smaller squares, each structure topped by a dome. The innermost five dome-topped squares form a cross and represent the five hills sacred to the Jains.
The pillars and the roof of the temple are decorated with intricately cut marble in the shape of dragons. There is one Muslim shrine of Angar Pir, who was a childless couple, which is just near the Adishwar temple offerings of miniature cradles at this shrine in the hope of being blessed with children. Some other important temples include Rampal, Kumarpal, and Sampriti Raja.
Apart from its magnificent temples, Palitana boasts several bustling bazaars where you can enjoy shopping. Shopping items like handcrafted, woven bamboo products can be bought here as souvenirs. Festivals like Makar Sankranti, Kite festival are celebrated here with great enthusiasm.