‘The Almost Complete’ History and Architecture of Shree Satyapur Tirth, Sanchor

Navigating through a labyrinth of local shops in the narrow roads of Sanchor we were attempting to find the correct jain tirth. The town of Sanchor located in Rajasthan currently has 6 Jain temples in the same locality. We only had a name “A Jain Temple near Pipli Chowk”, nothing else.

A good fellow guided us to a Jain temple nearby. We did visit it but we were sure it was a wrong one because one of us in our group had heard the description of the temple and it was nothing like the description. Also the Moolnayak were supposed to be Shree Mahavir Swami, but in this temple the Moolnayak were Shree Vasupujya Swami.

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The temple pujari then guided us to the temple we were looking for.

History

The gold idol of Mahavir Swami residing in the temple is believed to be made during the life and times of Mahavir Swami.

During ancient times, Sanchor was known as Satyapur / Satyapuri. Hence currently on the Internet it is known as ‘Shree Satyapur Tirth’

As mentioned before in the  ‘The Almost Complete’ History and Architecture of Parshwashanti Dham, Sanchor, the place was mentioned in Jagchintamani Sutra composed by Shree Gautam Swami, a chief Disciple of Shree Mahavir Swami. The renowned temple had a Gold Idol of Shree Mahavir Swami.

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Shree Gautam Swami, Photo by http://jinavachan.blogspot.in

The famous Satyapur Tirth was attacked many times in the history.Some suggest that because it was very famous during its times. I personally feel the main motivation for the attacks were the Golden Idol itself.  The first unsuccessful attempt was made by king of Malwa in 11th Century (quite possible King Bhoja of Malwa belonging to Parmar Dynasty who had occupations in modern Gujarat as well as Rajasthan). The 2nd attempt was made by the Mughals in V.S. 1348 i.e 1291 A.D. The 3rd attempt was made by Ulugh Khan, brother of Alauddin Khilji in the year V.S. 1356 i.e. 1299 A.D.

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A Statue of King Bhoja, Bhopal; Photo Credits – Wikimedia Commons

However all attacks were unsuccessful and the invaders failed to damage the Idol.

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A 17th Century Portrait of Alauddin Khilji, Source – Wikimedia Commons

At last Alauddin Khilji made sure of the invasion personally and stole the Idol. He then took the idol to Delhi and the Idol was lost in history forever.

Architecture

The exterior of the temple is decorated with seamless inlaid marble depicting various floral decorations and a jain variant of Aum as depicted in the photo below. The Aum in Jainism deserves a whole new blog post which should be coming up soon, so  stay tuned.

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Jain Version of Aum depicted in the walls of the Temple.

There is a Yakshdev temple just outside the temple. Yakshdevs are gods who protect the temple.

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Yakshadev Temple

The current moolnayak of the temple is Shree Mahavir Swami sitting in Lotus position.

The idol is White in color,but on the day we visited the idol was decorated with kavach, kind of a decorative armor and a golden mukut (crown).

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The golden interiors of the temple are illuminated with a beautiful chandelier. 8 Vidya Devis surround the chandelier. The ceiling is also decorated with sculptures of Jinas, Yakshas and Yakshinis.

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Four enchanting golden torans surrounding the inner sanctum are a sight to gaze upon.

 

Even the doors of the temple are are decorated with Ashtamangal i.e. the Eight Auspicious Symbols for Jainism.

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So if you are in the vicinity, do check out this magnificent Jain temple…

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…and its beautiful ceilings.

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P.S. if anyone knows about the story depicted in the ceilings, please do let me know or just post a comment below.

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‘The Almost Complete’ History and Architecture of Shri Parshwashanti Dham, Sanchor

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The golden sunset poured its rays on the white temple marble and hypnotized the visitors of this beautiful temple. An impressively huge complex of Parshwashanti Dham Tirth welcomes us after a long day.

History

Guru Shri Gautamswami while praying to the Tirthankars at Ashtapad Tirth created Jag Chintamani Sutra. A part of that Sutra praises Lord Mahavir residing at Sanchor. Hence the idea of creating a grand Tirth on this religious ground of Sanchor was bought to life.

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Shree Gautam Swami, Photo by jainworld.com

The complex was the dream project of Shri. Shantilal Mishrimalji Sanghvi ( Chairman of M. G. Sanghvi Charitable Trust).

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The creation Idol of Shree Adinath and Shree Samhavnath residing in this temple date back around 2300 years ago during the time of King Samprati, The grandson of King Ashoka. According to the caretaker of this temple the idol was excavated in Jalore.

Architecture

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Parshwashanti Dham

This is a fairly new temple complex spread across 6,00,000 sq. feet. The sprawling area does provide a sense of peacefulness and isolation to any devotee visiting this place. It is fully equipped with amenities for jain devotees, who could stay there.

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Huge Complex of Parshwashanti Dham

The construction was started circa 2013. The Prathistha, that is religious installation of idol in the temple happened on 11/02/2015 (V.S. 2071, Maha Vad 7).

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Ornamental Entrance Arch, more commonly known as Torans

11 Acharyas, 200 Sadhu and Sahdvi ‘Jain Men and Women Monks’ along with countless religious devotees attended this Pratistha.

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As we enter, we were immediately greeted by a lovely but enormous sculpture depicting the birth of a Tirthankara.

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Birth of a Tirthankara

There were many other statues surrounding the temple complex which did represent various phases of life of a Tirthankara, or more aptly put, a path to becoming a tirthankara.

With my limited knowledge of Jainism I had ignored the statues itself but once I understood the meaning of it, the statues were pristine. But due to limited time frame we could not explore and capture more of it.

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The entrance is decorated with ornamental arches and the pathway is decorated electric diyas on its sides.

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The temple has its own share of decorative temple pillars

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Goddess sculpted on the pillar

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Ornamental Pillar with Musicians and Dancers

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Base of the temple decorated with wallpaper consisting of 6 Elephants, 2 Horses and 3 Musicians surrounding the whole temple.

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The construction of the Museum is still going on and should be ready in some time.

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Left Side of the Temple

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A View from left side of Temple

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A View from left side of Temple

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A View from Behind the Temple

P.S. The official website claims that we can see both sunrise and sunset from the tirth dham. So next time you visit do stay for a complete day.

Reference

  1. Psdham.in
  2. https://www.facebook.com/parshvashantidham/

(The Almost Complete) History and Architecture of Pallaviya Parshwananth Jain Tirth, Palanpur

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The tyres screeched to a halt, as we found some local pedestrians walking along the small roads of Palanpur. We first inquired about the location of Pallaviya Parshwanath Tirth. They didn’t know. Then we inquired about Jain Derasars in the area, the locals told us there were many.

Thanks to an unknown blessed soul on the internet who has mentioned to ask for “Motu Derasar” (Big Temple) while asking for directions in Palanpur. The locals knew it and were happy to point us in the direction of the temple. But they also warned us not to take the car beyond a certain area as it will be difficult to traverse.

Once we got out of car, we navigated through many vibrant colored houses and small shop in the congested bylanes of Palanpur. The trivial directions painted on the houses and helpful locals gleefully guided our band of merry Temple seekers to the location.

A small entrance greeted us and guard was carefully looking at the camera I was carrying. He informed us to ask the Pujari (kind of a Temple Caretaker) if taking photos was allowed or not. But taking some photos from outside the temple was allowed some here they are.

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Once we showed photos of Adalaj Trimandir to the Pujari, he gladly allowed us to take photos of the place, but he forbids taking photo of the Moolnayak (Main Idols of the Temple).

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The Temple Guard

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Temple Pujari

History

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Shree Pallaviya Parshwanath, Photo by – Arpit Shah

The Idol of Shri Pallaviya Parshwanath, also known as Shri Prahladan Dev, was established on V.S. 1274 (approximately 1217 C.E.) by the hands of Korantgachhaaharya Shri Kakkasurishwarji in the temple built by King Prahladan  of Parmar Dynasty in the city of Palanpur, formerly known as Prahladanpur.

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King Prahladan, Photo by – Palanpur Online

King Prahladan was the 2nd son of King Yashodhaval of Chandravati and brother of King Dharavarsha of Mount Abu.

As the mythology goes, King Prahladan took a 4 tonne  Panchdhatu (Panch – Five, Dhatu – Metal, Meaning made from the combination of five different metals, which were Gold, Silver, Copper, Zinc and Brass ) Idol from Anchalgad Tirth (currently known as Delwara Temples of Mount Abu ). He melted the Idol and made Nandi Statue out of the melted metal for Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, which currently resides inside the Delwara Temple Complex.

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Nandi Statue at Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Mount Abu, Photo by knowingmahadev

After this incident he was affected by skin melting disease (mentioned as Galotkrust rog in the Gujarati Information plaque at the temple; it could be leprosy, as suggested by many websites; or could be a genetic defect;  a quick search for ‘skin melting diseases’ revealed many more ). He also lost his kingdom to the ‘Gotriyas’. In fear for his life he left his fallen kingdom.

On the road, the Prahladan met a Jain Monk Acharyashree Sheeldhaval (Shalibhadra Surishwar Maharaj according to many blogs and articles). The former king told the monk about his problems and confessed about the melting of the Jain Idol. He also asked how to repent for the things he had done.

Acharyashree Sheeldhaval instructed Prahladan to establish a new town called Prahladan Patan (now called Palanpur) and to construct a Jain Temple dedicated to Lord Parshwanath which came to be known as Prahlad Vihar or Palan Vihar.

Lord Parshwanath was then sthaapit (religiously established) inside the Temple with a huge celebration. The King was then instructed by Acharyaji to take a bath with the same water which is used to bath Lord Parshwanath.

This healed the King from his disease and the King adapted Jainism.

King Prahladan was a scholar, poet, warrior and benevolent. He also contributed and donated in spiritual and cultural occasions and charity.  “Parshwa Parakram Vyasang” written by King Prahladan is famous even today.

During 2001 Gujarat Earthquake and subsequent the entire temple caved in but the gabhara of Moolnayak Shri Pallaviya Parshwanath stood still, unharmed from the calamity. The government decided to rebuild the temple. While the workers were digging up the ground they discovered old 112 Jain statues which now recide inside the temple complex.

The complete Temple Structure was rebuilt on March 2, 2008 under the guidance of Acharya Srimad Manhar Kirtisagar Suriswarji.

Architecture.

Finally,after knowing the history, us trigger happy few took out our camera and started capturing the exteriors of the Temple, We were pleasantly surprised by detailed interiors on the Temple. You shall notice the similarities in carvings with that of Abu Delwara Temples.

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Entrance to the Rang-Mandapa (The Main Hall)

This area is called a Sabha-Mandapa “Intermediate Chamber”. The whole chamber is beautifully decorated with carved marble. The intricately sculpted entrance to the Rang-mandapa “Main Hall” would leave you with awe. The top of the entrance is adorned with a sculpture of a goddess with the helpers, followed by mounted Elephants and Horses. Just below are chiseled models of Gods & Goddesses surrounding the Entrance.

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Pillar details in the Sabha-mandapa (The Intermediate Hall))

The pillars on either side of the central door are decorated with Musicians and Dancers celebrating. And the wooden doors carved with angels pouring milk on the gods.

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Pillar details in the Sabha-Mandapa (The Intermediate Hall)

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Wooden Door to the smaller Gabhara

But just after you finish admiring the details of the marble entrance with the wooden door, just look UP!. The magnificent dome of the Sabha-mandapa is mesmerizing, with 16 Vidhya Devi’s celebrating under the beauty of inverted lotus formation with many other followers richly carved between the circles.

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Ceiling of the Sabha-Mandapa (The Intermediate Hall)

The expertly carved lattice windows make sure that the the light is equally distributed and the temple is illuminated sufficiently during the day. The intricate sculptures surrounding it are a sight to behold.

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Lattice work on the Windows and Ceiling Details in Sabha-mandapa (The intermediate Hall)

The Rang-mandapa beautifully divine. The intricate dome slightly differed from the dome of Sabha-Mandapa. The 43 Inch Moolnayak ”Main Idol” of Shri Pallaviya Parshwanath is made from Marble and resides inside the Garbha-griha in padmasana pose. Many of the statues residing inside the complex dates back to the days of King Samprati, the Grandson of King Ashoka.

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Shree Pallaviya Parshwanath, Photo by Arpit Shah

The area surrounding the temple has many idols of Tirthankaras. The unique idols to notice there are the idols of Vijay Seth and Vijaya Sethani and the statue of mothers of all 24 Tirthankaras. There also was a statue of King Prahladan according to many sources but we couldn’t find one. You should also find a carving depicting a leaf of Kalpavriksha,

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The Statue of Vijay Seth and Vijaya Sethani

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Mothers of all 24 Tirthankars

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Shree Neminath

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Shree Aadeshwarji

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Shree Aadeshwarji

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Shree Neminath

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Shree Ajithnath

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Shree Aadeshwarji

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Shree Shantinathji

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Shree Neminathji

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Shree Neminathji (Left and Center), Shree Chandraprabhu Swami (Right)

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Shree Sheetalnathji (Left and Right), Shree Neminathji (Center)

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Shree Neminathji

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Shree Aadeshwarji

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Intricate and Beautiful Latticework in the Rang-mandapa (The Main Hall)

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Shree Parshwanathji Statue surrounded by other Tirthankaras

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Intricately carved ceiling of the Rang-Mandapa (The Main Hall)

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Beautiful Temple Pillars and the Bells

 

 

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

 

 

 

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

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A Replica of Kalpavriksha from Ranakpur Jain Temple – Photo by Arpit Shah

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

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Beautiful Ceilings – Photo by Arpit Shah

Many of the gabharas surrounding the Rang-mandapa were donated and contributed  by Jain patrons.

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The Gabharas, donated by Jain Devotees

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Beautifully Lost

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Peacock Feather, Used in cleaning the Idols

Interestingly, the temple also has rain water harvesting system in case of excess downpour, which I have never noticed before in a Jain Temple.

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Ornamental Rain water harvesting outlet

Around Pallaviya Parshwanath Jain Tirth

A small two storey Apashray “Temporary Housing for Jain Monks” for Women is located in front of the entrance of the Temple. This place along with the cowshed besides it was birthplace of Jain Monk Shri Hirsurishwarji Also known as Acharya Hirvijaya. He is famous for converting Emperor Akbar to Vegetarian during Paryushan. Emperor Akbar honored Hisurishwarji by giving him the title of ‘Jagat Guru’

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Birthplace of Shri Hirsurishwarji converted to Apashray, Donated by Shri Nithibai, mother of Shri Hirsurishwarji.

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Birthplace of Shri Hirsurishwarji.

There were 2 major Jain Tirth in the vicinity of Pallaviya Parshwanath Jain Tirth.

  1. Shantinath Derasar (Nanu Derasar)
  2. Ambarzari Derasar

Unfortunately both of them were closed during our visit. But fortunately A Blog by Mr. Arpit Shah describes the temple perfectly. You can visit the blog here.

There is also Shwetamber Jain Dharamshala and Bhojanalaya in the vicinity for travellers coming to worship in this city.

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Jain Dharamshala & Bhojanalay

References

  1. http://www.jainjagat.com/viewtemple.php/Alpha/P/14
  2. https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g1156005-d3735504-Reviews-Pallaviya_Parshwanath_Temple-Palanpur_Banaskantha_District_Gujarat.html#photos;geo=1156005&detail=3735504&aggregationId=101
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vira_Nirvana_Samvat
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palanpur
  5. http://www.palanpuronline.com/Portal/History.aspx
  6. http://www.palanpuronline.in/city-guide/pallaviya-parshwanath-jain-temple-palanpur
  7. http://blessingsonthenet.com/travel-india/destination/article/id/877/tour/id/496/history-of-palanpur
  8. http://www.storiesbyarpit.com/2016/08/palanpur-divine-abode-of-lord-pallaviya.html
  9. https://www.slideshare.net/abhishinde/jain-architecture-70097629
  10. https://jainsite.com/jainism_post/jain-temples-structure-symbolism/
  11. https://jainsite.com/acharya-hirsuriji/
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiravijaya
  13. http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/54731/5/05_part%201.pdf
  14. https://justicekatju.blogspot.in/2014/11/the-emperor-akbar-1542-1605-architect.html
  15. http://ir.amu.ac.in/4768/1/DS%201660.pdf

(The Almost Complete) History of P. Niruma Samadhi, Trimandir, Gujarat

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History

Niruben Amin, was known as Pujya Niruma by her followers, was a disciple of Dada Bhagwan.

Pujya_Niruma[1]

She was the driving force behind the construction of Trimandir (Check out ‘The Almost Complete’ series for Trimandir here. ), and also the founder of Dada Bhagwan Foundation.

Hence the final resting place was created just besides the Trimandir.

General Information.

Once you enter the Gardens you will be greeted with a large grey plaque

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There is a quote by P. Niruma in Gujarati language stating (*rough translation*) “Except Moksh(Heaven), I never want anything from this world”

Then you will be greeted with a huge tree with information card hanging on it. Most of the tourists definitely miss this.

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The information card states (*rough translation again*) “I am fortunate to be born on a morning of June 2001 by the hands of Pujya Niruma. I am very happy to see the development of Simander City. I am joyful to see that the Mahatmas are moving ahead in the Gyanmarg  ”

*Please feel free to submit your own interpretations in the comments below*

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The sprawling Landscape garden around the Samadhi, gives a sense of peacefulness. The Samadhi rests between the garden in a huge open structure where the ardent devotees can give respect and pray to Pujya Niruma.

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Enjoy this 360 Degree Video from the interior of the Samadhi by Dada Bhagwan Foundation

 

(The Almost Complete) History & Architecture of Adalaj Trimandir

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qv9brqxThree Shikharas rose into existence as we searched for the famed Trimandir in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The Shikharas act as a beacon of light drawing crowds from all sects of Jainism, Hinduism and Vaishnavism.

Believe it or not, the temple houses Gods and Goddesses from these three faiths under a single roof. Hence, the name Trimandir.

Inspired by the teachings of Dada Bhagwan and Akram Vignan , the Dada Bhagwan Foundation has built this unique temple where the essence of all religions have been placed in one platform.

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Visitors worshipping Amba Mata and Dada Bhagwan

The main idols of this temple are

  1. Shri Simandar Swami
  2. Lord Vishnu
  3. Lord Shiva.

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Approximately 7 Lac visitors every year come to visit this holy place seeking gods coexisting with other gods.

We can also see the idols of

  1. Shri Rishabdev Bhagwan
  2. Shri Ajitnath Bhagwan
  3. Shri Parshwanath Bhagwan
  4. Shri Krishna
  5. Shri Chakreshwari Devi
  6. Shri Padmavati Devi
  7. Shivling
  8. Shri Parvati Mata
  9. Lord Hanuman
  10. Lord Ganesha
  11. Shri Yogeshwar Krishna Bhagwan
  12. Shri Shrinathji Tirupati Balaji
  13. Shri Bhadrakali Mata
  14. Shri Ambe Mata
  15. Shri Saibaba
  16. Shri Shri Padmanabh Swami
  17. Shri Ashapura Maa
  18. Shri Chamunda Devi
  19. Shri Khodiyar Maa
  20. Shri Kali Maa

Architecture

This is the first and the largest of the planned 24 Trimandirs. Numerous such temples in India as well as other countries are in process.

This impressive building is designed as a two story structure. The Ground Floor houses a gigantic hall used for delivering Satsangs, and the Temple is above it. The hall measures 31,250 Sq. Ft. with a seating capacity of almost 6,000 People.

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Above the hall, the temple measures 20,000 Sq. Ft. The idol of Shri Simandar Swami is 150 ft. high surrounded with other beautiful idols of Gods and Goddesses. It also houses a small Museum describing the life and times of Dada Bhagwan.

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The Entire structure including the tallest central shikhar is 108 ft. The complete structure with its intricate carvings is made with Pink Sandstone as its primary material.

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The area surrounding the temple comprises of a huge play area for kids, a Food area and a Book Store, Temple Dining Hall, Dormitories and Health Centers.

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The Trimandir is illuminated every night  is a grand spectacle to behold.

Timings

The official timings are 5:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M.

Trimandir Museum Tour

Enjoy a tour through the pictures depicting the life of Dada Bhagwan

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References

http://www.trimandir.org

http://travel.priyankawriting.com/2016/08/trimandir-adalaj-ahmedabad.html