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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.
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).
The Temple Guard
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pillar details in the Sabha-Mandapa (The Intermediate Hall)
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.
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.
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.
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,
The Statue of Vijay Seth and Vijaya Sethani
Mothers of all 24 Tirthankars
Shree Neminathji (Left and Center), Shree Chandraprabhu Swami (Right)
Shree Sheetalnathji (Left and Right), Shree Neminathji (Center)
Intricate and Beautiful Latticework in the Rang-mandapa (The Main Hall)
Shree Parshwanathji Statue surrounded by other Tirthankaras
Intricately carved ceiling of the Rang-Mandapa (The Main Hall)
Beautiful Temple Pillars and the Bells
A Replica of Kalpavriksha from Ranakpur Jain Temple – Photo by Arpit Shah
Many of the gabharas surrounding the Rang-mandapa were donated and contributed by Jain patrons.
The Gabharas, donated by Jain Devotees
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.
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’
Birthplace of Shri Hirsurishwarji converted to Apashray, Donated by Shri Nithibai, mother of Shri Hirsurishwarji.
Birthplace of Shri Hirsurishwarji.
There were 2 major Jain Tirth in the vicinity of Pallaviya Parshwanath Jain Tirth.
- Shantinath Derasar (Nanu Derasar)
- 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.
Jain Dharamshala & Bhojanalay