Palitana – located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, 214 kms south west of Ahmedabad, the Palitana temples are believed to have been visited by 23 Jain Tirthankars. Built over 900 years ago at the height of 7,288 feet. It is believed to have the largest concentration of temples anywhere in the world with more than 900 temple, dedicated to the Jain Thirthankars. Pilgrims has to climb over 3500 stairs to visit holy deity’s.
The main temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabdev, the first Tirthankar. Temple premises are divided into nine separate wings and they are grouped systematically with a variation in height and space. Each temple has four doors so as to ensure that the idols are visible from all the sides. The larger temples have marble halls with towers and plenty of openings.
There are multiple routes to reach the last temple which is approximately a 3.5 km climb. The shortest route goes around the outer walls of the temples and passes Angar Pir, the shrine of a Muslim saint who protected the temples during Muslim invasions.
The second route goes around the foot of the mountain. However, a large number of pilgrims prefer to take the third route in the Phalguna month (February/March), that passes five temples sites over a distance of 45 km. Aged pilgrims who cannot climb the stairs are carried on dolis.
Adinath temple, Vimal Shah temple, Saraswatidevi temple, Narsinh Kesharji temple and the Samavasaran temple are the temples known for their architectural splendours. The Adishwar Temple and the Chaumukh and Sampriti Raj temples are also worth visiting.