Jain Pilgrimage Destinations in India

Jainism, was originated  in Ancient India. The Jains follow the teachings of Tirthankaras. The 24th Tirthankara Lord Mahavira lived in ca. 6th century BC. Jainism stresses spiritual independence and equality of all life with particular emphasis on non-violence. Self-control is vital for attaining Keval Gnan and eventually moksha, or realization of the soul's true nature.

1. Palithana Amongst all the Jain temples, Palitana temples are considered to be the most sacred. Located on Shetrunjaya hills there are 863 temples, exquisitely carved in marble. No one is allowed to sleep overnight including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods. The town is considered by many Jains to be more important than the temple covered hills of Bihar, Gwalior, Mt Abu and Girnar

2. Ranakpur is tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravali range. It is situated around 60 km north of Udaipur in Rajasthan. is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of Jainism. It houses an exceptionally beautiful temple complex in the Aravali ranges. The three other Jain temples in the same complex, including a temple of the Sun God, are all well worth a visit. One kilometer away from the temple complex is the temple of Amba Mata.

3. Shravanabelogola ,a great centre for Jain pilgrimage is situated at about 100 kms from Mysore. The hill of Sravanabelagola, also called Vindhyagiri looms majestically at 3347 feet above sea level. The 17 metre high colossal statue of Gomateshwara (or Lord Bahubali) carved out of monolithic stone, stands in majestic splendour and is visible even from a distance of 20 kms. From the base a flight of 614 steps, finely carved from the granite of the mountain, leads to the summit. At 58 feet 8 inches high, it is the tallest free-standing statue in the world. 

4. Udaygiri & Kandhagiri Caves Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are one of the earliest groups representating Jain's rock-cut shelters. The caves of Udayagiri which means Hill of Sunrise and Khandagiri means Broken Hills holds a unique identity in the filed of history, rock-cut architecture, art and religion. Some of caves are natural but most were carved by Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela, belong to earliest Jain rock-cut temples. Udayagiri hill has 18 caves. The largest and the most beautiful cave among all 18 caves is Rani Gumpha or Queen's Cave. Khandagiri hill houses 15 caves of which Ananta Cave is the most impressive one. Along with the caves, there are a couple of Jain Temples as well.

5. Kaushambi is situated in the west of Allahabad in U.P. Ancient Jain scriptures reveal that there had been 16 Mahajanpadas in the 6th century B.C. Vats Desh was one such Mahajanpada whose capital was Kaushambi. The town, however, got its due importance with the presence of the 6th Tirthankar Padmaprabhu, who was born here. He also grew up and received his education here.

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