(The Almost Complete) History of Bheru Tarak Tirth, Rajasthan

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Bheru Tarak Dham (A Jain Temple)

Co-ordinates: –  24°36’57″N   72°40’28″E

The Bheru Tarak Dham is established in the valley of Nandgiri, the Arbudh as described in the ancient Indian literature. The whole valley represents a good settlement of Ashramas of Rishi Munis. From this valley the hilly track goes to Nakki Lake of Mount Abu. This track was used by Colonel Tod, the first european to visit Mt. Abu. This ancient track was the main source of supply of house hold goods to the inhabitants of Mount Abu. All the saints and religious tourists and the kings of various states of Rajputanas used this track for going to Abu. There were circuit houses of all the states of rajputana at Anadara, This was one of the old municipality of the rajputana established in 1868.

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The rajwada road (road of the kings) was built and the traffic moved from this road to mount Abu, but the importance of Anadara valley was not reduced. Looking to the importance of this pious place, Sanghvi Tara Chand Mohan Lal and Lalit, sons of Smt. Sunder ben and Bhaimal Ji of Malgaon constructed a beautiful temple on a high pedestal. The inspiration to built this temple was given by the Jain Saint Acharya Gun Ratna Suri.

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The temple is built of while marble dedicated to Shahastra Fana (one thousand hoods of serpent) of Parshavnath. The campus is having Dharmshala, BhojanShala and having all facilities for a religious tourists. A bus is operated from this place to Nakoda Tirth in Barmer district.

Just before you leave this place just take a look at the magnificent Entrance which was made recently with details which would mesmerize you.

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(The Almost Complete) History of Shri Jirawala Parshwanath Tirth

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Rajasthan, a beautiful land of kings, just when you thought you had seen everything you discover something new, something you have never seen, felt or experienced before.

The temple I am about to describe lies near a village named Jirawala. This small town is located just 48 kms from Abu Road station. The temple is named Shri Jirawala Parshwanath Jain Tirth.

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Shri Jirawala Jain Tirth

According to history the Temple dates back to ancient times. During ancient times the town was known by many names, Jiravalli, Jirapalli, Jurikavalli, Jairapalli and many more. The area in which the temple now stands (Tirth Kshetra) is associated to many legends.

One of the legends say that Seth Amarasha of Kodinagar and Acharya Devsurishvarji (a.k.a. Shri Devasurivara), on the same day saw in their dream that there lays an idol of Lord Parshvanath near the foot of Jayraj Hill. Following thier dream both found out the place and excavated the area. There they found the Idol of Lord Parshvanath lying in the ground. This statue of Shri Parshvanath was 18 cm high sitting in Padmasana position.They took out the Idol and a magnificent temple was built in that place.

Shri Jiraval Parshvanath

Hence under the guidance of Devsurishvarji a temple was built in 331 Vikram Samvnt Era  (Which is approximately 389 B.C.; Source – Wikipedia); and the idol was installed by Shri Devsurishvarji himself. Then in the surrounding of the temple 108 idols of shri Parshvanath were installed

As you can see in the photos a complete renovation of the Temple was underway and the Mulnayak (main idol) and other 108 idols was shifted inside a small room temporarily.

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The temple pillars and walls are carved with intricate designs by the hands of skilled labours. Some of the pillars and walls also display ancient works of art.

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I did manage to grab some shots of the workers working on the intricate carvings trying to make this place better and wonderful

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Apart from the temple the place consists of a Dharamshala, for larger group of pilgrims which is also located in the shade of a mountain. This provides a calm environment for Jain scholars as well as priests to learn and rest.

You can also find this place on Google Maps

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(The Almost Complete) History and Architecture of 72 Jinalaya

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G.P.S. Coordinates:  25°0’12″N   72°18’2″E

72 Domes of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal, Rajasthan

72 Domes of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal, Rajasthan

Introduction

On the outskirts of a Rajasthani Town, Bhinmal, there is huge complex which offers Pilgrimage to Jain’s all around the world. It is know as Shri Laxmi Vallabh Parshwanath 72 Jinalaya.

History

Bhinmal was earlier known as Shrimal Nagar (or Bhillamal), which was an early capital of the Kingdom of Gurjars. There are evidence found which indicates Lord Mahavir Swami, the 24th Tirthankar has roamed in these places. This makes Bhinal a very holy place for Jainism.

A Portrait of King Kumarpal

King Kumarpal, the King of Gurjar Kingdom had erected many temples but were destroyed by Alauddin Khilji.

There was a time when Bhinmal looked absolutely stunning with city pinnacled with many temples. It was a great learning center in old times. Many books on Jainism were written here between 7th to 10th Century.

Construction

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The pilgrimage is built almost 6 kms away from Bhinmal. Spreading itself across 80 acres of land it offers pilgrimage as well as temporary charitable rest houses to travellers.

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It is built completely in Marble and hence provides a magnificent views. The work done on construction is very intricate. All the details and colors are carved out very nicely.

 

A benevolent Yakshini guarding the entrance of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal

A benevolent Yakshini guarding the entrance of 72 Jinalaya, Bhinmal

 

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The construction of this tirth (pilgrimage) had begun at 1982 and took around 19 years to complete.

The temple spreads in the area of 4700 sq. ft. The temple is elevated with the help of 8 ft high platform. The main temple is in the center (It consists of mulnayak, the main god) and is surrounded by 72 other smaller temples

Overview of 72 Jinalaya

The mulnayak of this temple is Lord Mahavir. His statue is housed in the main temple which is 72 x 54 x 60 ft. in dimensions.

There are usually 24 Tirthankars (gods, people who has attained enlightenment) in Jainism. But this temple is a representation of 24 previous Tirthankars, 24 current Tirthankars and 24 future Tirthankars

If you are curious of the names of all (past, present and future) Tirthankars you can check out the list on this site.

http://jainsite.com/jain-tirthankaras/24-tirthankars-past-present-futureatiti-anagat-vartaman-jain-tirthankars-names.html.

Around the Temple

The other 80 acres of area is covered with huge Gardens and a big charitable complex for visitors/travellers. There are also some small temples spread out in that area.

Here are some of the photos I took at this place

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Entrance to 72 Jinalaya

 

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Dharamshala

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On the Way to Elephanta (Gharapuri) Caves Part II

The ferry docked at Elephanta. The people were rushing through to exit first (A habit due to Mumbai local trains I guess). We were welcomed by the sight of a street shop selling information guides of Elephanta Caves (which we bought and was of huge help understanding details of each structure in the caves).

A Special mention that the whole entrance i covered with solar powered street lights which is a very good initiative
Solar panels at the Docks

Solar panels at the Docks

There is a toy train running from the dock to the entrance of the village. It was meant for little children, but most of the adults had occupied the whole train and were enjoying the ride. It looked like they had found their inner child.

At the entrance we have to pay an entry fee to enter the village. From there till the top there are many many shops selling a variety of things.

There is a special marble plaque by MTDC to supplying Electricity to the Island
A Marble Plaque

You would find, lanterns, books, dolls, statues, elephants, lamp shades, paintings, candle shades, marble things, necklaces and many other things. For a foodie there are many options in the same area too
On Sale, Souvenirs at Elephanta

On Sale, Souvenirs at Elephanta

On Sale, Souvenirs at Elephanta

On Sale, Souvenirs at Elephanta
 

On the Way to Elephanta (Gharapuri) Caves Part I

Boat Hopping, a totally new experience. This experience happened while taking a ferry from Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves. Four boats were parked besides each other, anchored with each others hull. They were wildly bobbing in an irregular pattern. The last boat was the one to which we had to reach. Jumping from one boat to another felt like playing a Mario Game where we have to jump from one platform to another.

Alas we reached the Boat we were intended to reach. It had two levels. Going to the upper level was chargeable by 10 Rs. but it  ensured the most beautiful view we could get of the Mumbai Harbor
Gateway of India

The boat left. It was Sunday, so the boat was occupied by many families and picnickers. Some of the people started unpacking their baggage and started the morning breakfast on the boat itself. The Boat attendants came to sell Snacks, Chips and Cold-drinks quoting “aaghe mehenga milega” that is “These things will be costlier after you get off the boat” and they were

 

Portrait of a Child

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While standing at the front of the boat and feeling of the sea wind passing through was priceless.

Here are some of the Fishing Boats, Ships and Islands we had encountered while travelling through the waters of Arabian Sea
A Boat in Mumbai Harbor
Sailing through the Winds

A Naval Ship

Middle Ground Island 2

Middle Ground Island

Crest Odyssey 2

Shanghai

Uran from the Sea