PalitanaEarth : Asia : South Asia : India : Western India : Gujarat : Saurashtra : Bhavnagar : Palitana
As a "Second Class" princely state, founded in 1194 (one of the major states in Saurashtra, where there were many smaller states), Palitana covered 777 km² and had 58,000 inhabitants (in 1921) in 91 villages, generating a 744,416 Rs revenue.
It used to be a native state of India in the Kathiawar agency of the Bombay presidency. Area, 289 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 52,856, showing a decrease of 15% in the decade. The chief was a Gohel Rajput, with the title of Thakur Sahib. Gross revenue, £42,000; tribute jointly to the Gaekwar of Baroda and the Nawab of Junagadh, £700. The capital of the state is Palitana; pop. 12,800. It was ruled by a Thakore sahib (also spelled Thakor Saheb), enjoying a 9-guns salute, of the Hindu Gohil dynasty, which received a privy purse of 180,000 Rupees at the state's accession to independent India on 15 February 1948.
No one is allowed to sleep overnight including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods. There were Sixteen Renovation of temples as bellow.
- First Renovation : By Chakravarti Bharat, the son of Bhagawan Adinath.
- Second Renovation : By the King named Dandavirya.
- Third Renovation : By Shri Ishaneshvar in the interim period between the times of the first and the second Tirthankaras.
- Fourth Renovation : By Mahendra of the fourth upper world (dev-loko).
- Fifth Renovation : By Brahmendra of the fifth upper world.
- Sixth Renovation : By Chamarendra, Indra of Bhavanapatis.
- Seventh Renovation : By Sagar Chakravarti, the second Chakravarti of the times of Bhagawan Ajitnath.
- Eighth Renovation : By Vyantarendra in the times of Abhinandan Swami.
- Ninth Renovation : By King Chandrayasha in the times of Chandraprabh Swami
- Tenth Renovation : By Chakradhar, the son of Bhagawan Shantinath in the times of Bhagawan Shantinath.
- Eleventh Renovation : By Ramchandraji and Lakshamanji in the times of Munisuvrat Swami.
- Twelfth Renovation : By the five Pandavas in the times of Bhagawan Neminathji.
- Thirteenth Renovation : By Sheth Javed Shah of Mahuva in the year 108 of the Vikram era. He spent a million gold mohurs. In exuberance of joy, he died and was re-born in the fourth upper world (dev-loke).
- Fourteenth Renovation : By the advisor Bahud in the times of Kumarpal in the year 1213 of the Vikram era.
- Fifteenth Renovation : By Shri Samara Shah in the year 1371 of the Vikram era.
- Sixteenth Renovation : By Shri Karama Shah of Chitod on the auspicious sixth day of the dark half of the month of Vaishakh in the year 1587 of the Vikram era.
- By Air
Bhavnagar, the nearest airport lies at a distance of 51 kilometer from Palitana, but it connects only with Mumbai. For people coming from other places, a more convenient airport would be Ahmedabad which has an international airport or Vadodara a.k.a Baroda as it is connected through regular flights to many important cities of the country like Mumbai and Delhi.
- By Rail: Palitana is a small railway station and has connection only with Bhavnagar. Best way is to take a train to bhavnagar and go by road to Palitana using local transport. There is now a direct train from Mumbai via Ahmedabad but it only runs once a week, every Thursday night, arriving at 3 in the morning.
- By Road: There are busses for Bhavnagar from Palitana. Regular buses are also available from Ahmedabad, Talaja, Una, and Diu. Taxis are also available on hire for Palitana from Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad or Vadodra. The bus stand is situated 800 meters away from the Palitana railway station. Since Palitana is an important destination for a lot of people who follow Jainism, and the fact that there are a lot of people in Mumbai (Bombay ), there are buses that run daily between Mumbai and Palitana.
Palitana is the fantastic hilltop Jain temple city, an essential holy pilgrimage destination for this nonviolent community. A city of gleaming marble monuments housing representations of the few human souls that have managed to be liberated from the cycle of life, Palitana has over 850 temples atop sacred Mount Satrunjaya (the “hill that conquers enemies”),which makes it highest number of temple city. Many of these temples date to 15-16th centuries while some of them date to even earlier periods. The top is reached by climbing (or by being carried up) 3,572 steps—a stiff 2-hour ascent. Amid the massive warren of white marble shrines and temples, you’ll encounter many devotees dressed in white, some wearing gauze masks to filter innocent microbes from the air that they breathe. Some of the devotees attain ecstatic heights, practicing their faith with devotional singing, clapping, and humming. Others create devotional patterns on the ground using rice and nuts, or are seen gently waving fly-whisks over the idols as a gesture of respect.
Tirthankar Adishwar Bhagwan(god) is the "MUL-NAYAK"(main) bhagwan(god) on the top of PALITANA and the most holy thing to do in life is to do puja (nine places on body of god). You can take help of any Jain tourist if you do not know the process of Puja. By performing puja you internal soul will get enlightment.
You can buy very good quality Indian handicrafts in Palitana.
Palitana is famous for its Bhel with Pomegranate seeds.
There are plenty of dharmashalas where everybody is wellcome and can choose to stay. However, please ensure to abide by the religious code of conduct, while staying there.