Taranga Jain Temple
Ajit Nath Prasad Vihara
Welcome to Taranga Hills,
Taranga are hills situated in Mehsana district of Indian state of Gujarat. It has the Jain temples which are the famous Jain pilgrimage center in India. Apart from Jain Temples it also have some other famous temples.
It has a famous fort; name as Taranga Fort. Northeast of the main gate of the fort is a cave where the air is extraordinarily cool. The cave, locally known as Jogida ni Gufa, was found and used by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago. It has Buddhist sculptures carved in stone that resemble the Bodhi Vriksha or Kalpavruksha and other Buddhist motifs. You also come across some beautiful Buddhist sculptures on the mountain on the way to the cave.
In the center of a huge plateau at the peak of Mount Taranga stands this beautiful temple of light sandstone, 45 m long and 30 m across. The large temple spire is supported by enormous pillars with beautiful maidens in winding, supple movements, figures carrying musical instruments, and topped by round lotus capitals. The exterior walls are also replete with figures carved in life-like poses and 12th-century dress and ornamentation. The central image of Bhagvan Ajitnath in lotus position, a 5 m statue carved from a single block of white marble, sits amongst breathtaking carvings and is among the tallest Jain sculptures in India.
Northeast of the main gate of the fort is a cave where the air is extraordinarily cool. The cave, locally known as Jogida ni Gufa, was found and used by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago. It has Buddhist sculptures carved in stone that resemble the Bodhi Vriksha or Kalpavruksha and other Buddhist motifs. You also come across some beautiful Buddhist sculptures on the mountain on the way to the cave.
The Taranga hill is home to nine other temples. A km from the Ajit Nath temple, on the same hill, is a temple called Kotishila, a small building in the style of a Muslim mausoleum, built by Digambar Jains. It houses a marble statue of the 19th Jain tirthankar, Mallinathji.Through the centuries it has been the site for penance, meditation and ultimately, liberation of many great saints and sages.
Kumbhariya is known for its five temples, which are all that remain out of the 360 Jain temples built by Vimal Shah in the 12th century. The white marble temples shine as specimens of reverence and artistic brilliance. Located 40 km away from Taranga, the temples are dedicated to the Jain tirthankars Neminath, Mahavir, Parshvanath, Shantinath and Sambhavnath. The walls, pillars and ceilings are ornately sculpted with motifs of gods and goddesses, apsaras, musicians and horsemen. One kilometer from here are the temples of Chamunda Mata and Someshwar Mahadeva, in a beautiful spot near a stream.
Less than one km to the northwest of Taranga is a small hill with a steep slope that is difficult to climb. At the top of the hill there is a deep well, and a small Hanuman temple,with a kund. Among the various small shrines there is one with foot impressions of Chaumukhiji and Bhagwan Ajitnathji. Many Jain acharyas have attained moksha at this sacred place, so it is also called 'Siddhshila'.
The Taranamata shrine that you see as you ascend the path to the Taranga tirtha was not as popular with devotees because of the difficulty in accessing it, so another one was later built at the foot of the hills to the north. It is 2 km from Timba, where the bus drops people off.
A fort-like structure was built around the temple and mountain to protect it against invasions. Today most of it is destroyed. From the remains, the walls appear to have been 2 m. wide. It has two gates on the east and west sides. Inside the Taranga fort to its right is the image of Ganesh. A dharamshala and an upashraya are also located nearby.
Taranga (Taranga Tirtha) is a Shvetambar Jain temple and pilgrimage center, in Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. It was constructed in 1121 by the Solanki dynasty king Kumarpal, advised by his teacher Acharya Hemachandra. A 2.75 m marble statue of Lord Ajitnath is the central idol. The compound consists of 14 temples in all and some five others from the Digambar sect near shwetambar temples.
This four-story temple made of yellow stone is said to have been originally 32 stories high, and evidently lowered to its present height during renovations. The wood used in the carvings of this temple was of tagar wood (Valeriana hardwickii), which is said to be fireproof.
- Chamunda Mata and Someshwar Mahadeva Temple etc.