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Thursday, March 20, 2008

India : Gujrat : The Temple clad Summit of Shatrunjaya : Palitana Temples - 1

Image Source: Palitana Temples by Google

Guys, let us move with me towards GUJARAT.

Fringed by the Arabian Sea, with a hint of the desert and with a sea coast 1650 kms long is Gujarat - the home state of Mahatma Gandhi. It is renowned for its beaches, temple towns and historic capitals. Added attractions are wildlife sanctuaries, hill resorts, and natural grandeur. Sculpture, handicrafts, arts also make the state rich. Gujarat is also among the most technologically advanced, housing the largest petrochemical complex in the country.

Gujarat has always been a major center for the Jains, and some of its most interesting sights are Jain Temple centers like those at Palitana and at Girnar Hill, near Junagadh.

Apart from its Jain temples, Gujarat's major attractions include the only habitant of the Asiatic Lions in India (In the Gir Forest) and the fascinating Indo-Saracenic architecture of Ahmedabad. The colourful tribal villages of Kutch make a visit to this barren land worth it.

Commanding a special place on the Gujarat traveler's map, Palitana is a "MUST VISIT" destination for those who would like to see what the subtle combination fo human enterprise, architectural skills, philanthropy and channelized religious fevor can achieve. The entire summit of the majestic moun Shantrunjaya is crowned with about 900 temples, each rivaling the other for beauty and magnificence, presenting on awe-inspiring spectacle to devotees and visitors.

Map Source : Gujarat Tourist Map by Google

Originally the town was an imperial thana which later grew into the capital of Palitana State of princely Kathiawad (Kathiawar). The feuds and rivalries culminating into battles during the region of the Rajput King Unadji reminds us of the sacrificial chivalry of an age that has passed into history. Taking advantage of the occupation of the Bhavnagar army with Maratha forces, Unadji had attacked Sihor. In retaliation Gohil Wakhatsinhji, the then ruler of Bhavnagar, laid siege on Palitana. Unadji's stubborn resistance which compelled the Bhavnagar forces to retire is even today, many generations later, remembered by the natives of this templetown.
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