Palanpur - The divine abode of Lord Pallaviya Parshwanath

Located around 150 km from Ahmedabad and just 50 km from Mt. Abu lies the town of Palanpur, the abode of one of the most ancient and divine idols of Lord Parshwanath – Shri Pallaviya Parshwanath. Despite holding a special mention among the holy 108 Parshwanath Tirths, Palanpur is less frequented by pilgrims due to lack of awareness regarding the historicity and divinity of this holy tirth.

The divine idol of Lord Pallaviya Parshwanath

The antiquity of the temple dates back to more than 800 years and is noted for its intricate marble carvings similar to Dilwara temples of Mt. Abu. Earlier known as “Prahaldanpur Patan”, the city of Palanpur was founded by Emperor Prahaladan Dev of the Paramar dynasty in the 13th century. 
The Jinalay of Pallaviya Parshwanath Bhagwan

The Jinalay of Pallaviya Parshwanath Bhagwan

Once, to please his subjects, the emperor ransacked a 4 tonne Panch-Dhaatu statue (a statue made from an alloy of 5 holy metals- gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc) from the Jain temple of Mt. Abu and melted the same to make a large idol of Nandi (bull- Shiva’s mount) for the Achaleshwar Mahadev temple in Achalgarh. Shortly after installing the Nandi, the emperor started suffering from leprosy which could not be cured despite the best efforts of renowned vaidyas (medicine practitioners) from across the kingdom. 

The beautiful dome of Sabha - Mandap

Witnessing the emperor writhing in pain, the royal practitioners shifted the emperor to a forest where he could be treated by some medicinal herbs. For months, the treatment continued with no signs of recovery. Dejected, the king decided to stop the treatment and return back to his kingdom to die in peace. On the way back, the royal entourage happened to meet a Jain Acharya, Shri Shalibhadra Surishwarji Maharaja. Seeking a last recourse, the emperor decided to consult the Acharya for a cure. The revered Acharya, through his profound knowledge stated that the leprosy was a punishment for melting the divine idol of lord and the only way Prahladan could atone for his sins was by building a temple dedicated to Lord Parshwanath.

The intricate carvings
On the instructions of the revered Acharya, the emperor constructed a grand temple in the new city of Prahladanpur Patan and installed the divine idol of Lord Parshwanath in the holy presence of Acharya Kakkasurisvarji in Vikram Samvat 1274. After the Anjanshalakha Mahotsav, the king applied the Navhan (holy water after ceremoniously bathing the idol) on his body and got cured of leprosy. Witnessing the divine miracle, the lord came to be known as "Prahladan Parshwanath" which in contemporary times, became "Pallaviya Parshwanath". Converting to Jainism, the emperor dedicated many literary works to Lord Parshwanath, of which "Parshwa Parakram Vyasang" is the most well known.

The beautiful dome of the Sabha Mandap

The dome of the Rangmandap
In subsequent times Palanpur came to be known as a haven for Jains. Wave after wave of invaders swept down attracted by the wealth and propserity of the region. In 1572 the Mughal emperor Akbar himself conquered Gujarat, and Palanpur became a part of the Mughal empire. Akbar gave a foster sister in marriage to a Nawab of the Kingdom of Jhalore in Rajasthan, and as a wedding gift gave the Nawab, the territory of Palanpur. The Jains found patronage under the Nawabs and their relationship evolved into one of mutual interest, and respect. In Palanpur, the Jains became key advisors to the Nawabs.

Beautiful carvings adorning the ceilings

The beautiful carvings adorning the ceilings
Years of neglect and repeated attacks led to the dilapidation of the temple. However, in 2007, the renovation of the temple was initiated by the sangh and after 8 years of hard-work, the holy idol of Lord Pallaviya Parshwanath was re-installed in 2015 in an intricately carved marble Jinalay resembling the temples of Mt. Abu & Ranakpur. With all the pratimaji's (idols) dating back to the era of Emperor Samprati, the temple is a treasure trove of rich Jain heritage and architecture. Apart from pilgrims, the temple attracts devotees from nearby towns daily as the locals deeply revere the lord.


The beautiful carvings adorning the ceilings
On entering the temple one can just gape at the huge Sabha Mandap laced with intricate carvings. The dome of the Sabha Mandap is embellished with an inverted lotus flanked by idols of 16 Vidya Devi's. The inner portion of the temple houses 3 Rang-Mandap's (with equally attractive domes), the main "Garbha-Griha" (Sanctum Sanctorum) in the center flanked by four smaller Gabharas (smaller chambers) on the right, left and on the eastern and western Rang-Mandap's of the temple. Huge pratimaji's dating back to more than 2,500 years are housed within each of the smaller gabharas. There are many smaller shrines in the circumference surrounding the main temple.The idol of mulnayak Shri Pallaviya Parshwanath Bhagwan is carved out of marble in the padmasan mudra (cross legged posture) and is around 45 cm in height. Till this day positive vibrations can be felt by just a sparsh (touch) of the divine idol.

The beautiful carvings adorning the ceilings

Intricate carvings on ceilings

The leaf of Kalpavriksha - A replica of the original one at Ranakpur
The temple is very unique for the fact that all the pratimaji's inside the "Garbha-Griha" are dedicated to Lord Parshwanath. Also, in one of the Gabhara's, all the idols are dedicated to Lord Neminath. A living testimony to Prahladan’s faith stands today in the form of a statue of the emperor in a corner of the temple- the only surviving idol of the founder of the city. On the right hand side of the entrance to the Sabha Mandap beautiful marble idols of Vijay Sheth and Vijaya Shethani known for their Akhand-Brahmacharya (life-long celibacy) have been installed.

When carvings depict stories !
Ceiling Art
Idols of Vijay Sheth & Vijaya Shethani

Emperor Prahladan's idol. Image Credits- palanpuronline.com

Apart from the ancient jinalay of Pallaviya Parshwanath Bhagwan, the other major temples are dedicated to Lord Shantinath (Nanu Derasar) & Amizara Parshwanath Bhagwan. The idol of Shantinath bhagwan in the Nanu Derasar has been placed in a colorful and intricately carved wooden Jharokha. The Bhoyra (basement) of the Jinalay houses the beautiful idol of Lord Adinath Bhagwan along with other ancient idols. Miracles happen everyday at the Amizara Parshwanath Bhagwan's Jinalay as the tiny idol of Lord Parshwanath oozes fragrant liquid every morning ! Once a Gruh-Jinalay (House temple) the same has been re-converted to a Shikharbandhi Jinalay in recent years.

The idol of Shri Shantinath  Bhagwan

Shri Adinath Bhagwan in the Bhoyra of the Nanu Derasar

The jinalay of Amizara Parshwanath Bhagwan

How to Reach


  • Via Rail: Based on Ahmedabad-Abu Road rail route, regular trains available from Ahmedabad and all major towns of Gujarat.
  • Via Air: Nearest Airport at Ahmedabad is 150 km away.
  • Via Road: Palanpur can be reached via Ahmedabad-Palanpur State Highway. The town is 47 kms from Abu Road while 68 kms from Mehsana, 57 kms from Ambaji via Danta. Ahmedabad city is 146 kms and Baroda is 257 kms from this place.



Where to Stay: Yatrik Bhawan or Shwetambar Jain Dharmashala & Bhojanalay, Gathaman Gate, Palanpur. Phone: 02742 - 263192 / 262731 / 262351 / 09328321089.


Comments

  1. Thanks for the virtual darshan and detailed tour of this exquisitely carved monument which is truly a world treasure in Jain-inspired architecture.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully written...we have such a vast treasure of history in each of these temples...simply enchanting...keep up ur good work

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Arpit bhai for this amazing virtual yatra. Hoping for many more.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this month

Instagram Feed