Monday, August 18, 2008

Shwetamber Jain Temple

Jains consider themselves as either Digambar or Shwetambar depending on their belief. Both the sects consider this area as Sidhakshetra, meaning of which was described in previous post.

Jain temple shown above is situated just outside the royal enclosure, very near to Halol Gate. In fact standing at the temple’s main gate one can see minarets of Sahar Ki Masjid in East and the mighty Pavagadh in the West.

This temple i
s dedicated to Shri Chintamani Parshwanath God, Shri Padmawati Devi Goddess & Shri Manibhadra Veer Dev. The entire complex houses a Dharmshala or Guest house, a Jain restaurant and gardens.

Shri Manibhadra Veer Dev came into being with God Indra’s meditation. It is a common belief that during adverse times Shri Manibhadra Veer acts as savior and many jain pilgrims have experienced miracles in this “Siddhipeeth” of Veer Dev.
The entire temple is decorated with colorful designs and paintings. Domes, walls and pillars are painted with all imaginable artistic designs and colors. The main dome is thoughtfully decorated when seen from inside, compare this with one of the other domes’ interior seen earlier ... remember?
Roofs are also painted with various scenes from Jain beliefs:
One newly constructed jain temple can be seen near the town bus-stand "Shri Digamber Jain Mandir Pavagadh Siddha Kothi dedicated to Shri 1008 Chintamani Parshwanath God.
A huge, almost 30 ft. high deity of God Bahubali stands tall in the temple’s vicinity.

Due to strict timings and discipline maintained in Jain temple complexes, I missed my lunch, and hence my jain menu. I am not sure if I was allowed in Jain restaurant at all...! And there are hardly any restaurants in Champaner!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jain Temples

“Shri Mahabiraya Namah”
Shri Pavagadh Digambar Jain Sidhakshetra Kothi Main Post Pavagadh. Dist.Panchmahal (Gujarat) Pin Code 389360”
“List of Jain Temples. There are two temples in Dharamshala compound:-
1. Shri Mahavir Swami God’s Temple. 2. Shri Chintamani Parshvanath God’s Temple. 3. Near the bus stand Shri Chintamani Parshvanath, Dharanendra, Padmavati Goddess Temple. There are seven temples on the mountain. Three temples on the right hand side of ropeway. There exists Shri Chandraprabhu God’s temple on way back. There are three Jain Temples near Dudhiya Talao. Luv & Kush and five kodi Muni have attained Moksha from Pavagadh.”

Jain consider this area as “Sidhakshetra”, a proven area or a place which is trusted and demonstrated to help attain “Moksha” after tapasya. This is an ancient religious place, a teerth or pilgrim for Jains.

Both these temples are situated inside the Royal Enclosure. At the main entrance of Shri Mahavir Temple one can see two pillars with inscriptions on marble placards and a lion seated on each pillar. Inscription on the right hand side pillar is interesting, have a closer look:



BY ORDER NO 7239 / D 8-11-1909"

Once inside the main gate, another pair of small pillars with a lion seated on each pillar are visible and a huge & imposing marble pillar, the “1008 Maan Stambh” is seen with deity of Jain God seated inside the pillar close to its base, in all cardinal directions and probably on the top too. Behind this pillar is the main temple.

Main temple of Shri Mahavir Swami God is rather small but very neat & clean. There were no hawkers to bug you and no priests to perform puja on your behalf. In fact I saw people passing by this temple without noticing its presence.

Lav & Kush, sons of God Rama, king of Laat estate Shri Narendra, five crore Muni and saints, after tapsya attained Moksha from this “Sidhakshetra”. These incidents are described in “Nirvan-Kand”.

Once inside main hall, pure & absolute peace of the sanctum sanctorum just mesmerizes you and you feel like spending rest of the day in surrounding calmness.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Well & Vav update

It was in the month of Oct. '07 when I first visited the Helical stepped well . At that time the well was quite full with water and I could not see the steps beyond a point. Yesterday I saw the inner beauty of this well, most of the helical steps were visible ... or so I thought, and I noticed that the actual well is rather deep. Compare the pictures : then ....

& now....!
And here is a picture taken from top left side of the well with helical steps in full view :

Sometime back I had visited another simple yet sophisticated water management structure at Champaner, called Gebanshah's Vav or stepwell. I was informed that first landing level of the well was just the beginning, this well has several levels and is quite deep. True. Yesterday I saw its second & partly filled third level. Compare the pictures : then ....

& now ....!

I am not sure if this vav dries up during summer season, which is fast approaching. However, if and when that happens, I will be there to see how the entire structure looks in absence of any water.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Iteri & Kamani

Not all monuments in Champaner-Pavagadh are in good condition. Two structures that I visited were in total disrepair and dilapidated condition, namely, Iteri Masjid and Kamani Masjid.

Iteri mosque was built on a high plinth and main construction material was brick while sand stone is observed as main building material in other similar structures. This gives us an insight into the period when this mosque was built.

Two styles of construction most notable in Champaner are, beam-column-dome system and arch-dome system. Kamani mosque falls under the latter category and is so called because of its pillared construction full of Kaman or arches .

Flower, Foliage motif and the Pot design element was seen in this mosque - as seen in various other structures - albeit in a bit dilapidate condition.

Also seen at one end of the Kamani complex is a minaret base like structure that probably was a full minaret sometime, but just one minaret? This gives rise to several questions and reminds me of another structure – not yet described here – Ek Minar ki Masjid.

The path that took me to Kamani mosque (similar paths take you to several other monuments at Champaner), was quite narrow and full of thorns.

However, my “Hero Honda Splendor” (two-wheeler) did not let me down and I hope to continue to cultivate many more impressions of this beautiful but forgotten city!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Shakar Khan na Rauza

Usually most of Rauza, Tomb or Cenotaph in Champaner are located adjacent to a Masjid or Mosque. However, Shakar Khan na Rauza is one such individual tomb structure that does not have a Mosque close by, it is a single room structure with openings in all cardinal directions. This structure is close to Pataal Talao or the Courtesan’s Tank.

Constructed on a low plinth, this structure is square in plan and is very symmetrical in shape. Infact it looks same from all directions with central arched doorway, flanked by two smaller arches and doors and has a huge central dome.

However, this Rauza does not have any grave or tombstone inside. An old well and some brick wall remains are seen in the surrounding area of this beautiful structure.

I tried to learn who Shakar Khan was, no details are available as of now; anyone out there, please update me if you have more details relevant to this post.