*About Palitana Jain Temples, Shetrunjay:*
One of the most significant pilgrimage destinations for Jainism, Palitana Jain Temples are situated on Shetrunjai hill and is a cluster of over 900 jain temples and shrines. Lord Adinath, the first Tirthankara is seated in the main temple. The site is important to Jains as it is associated with disciple of Lord Adinath, Pundarika, who is said to have attained Nirwana here.
Devotees have to climb about 3800 stone steps to reach the temple complex. Chaumukh temple structure (temple structure that has all four sides of idols visible) is a unique characteristic of this temple complex. The interior of the temple is embellished with intricate carvings on pathways, ceilings, niches, doors and walls.
The constructions of these temples are believed to have begun in the 11th century. The Palitana Jain temples are built in north Indian style of temple architecture, with elaborate carvings exhibiting splendid skills and craftsmanship. During the invasion of Muslims in this region, some of the parts of these cluster of temples were destroyed which were later restored and rebuilt by Jain patrons.
The clusters of these temples are called tunks; there are total nine tunks on the hill which is surrounded by smaller shrines. The tunks are generally named after the merchants who founded them. Inside each tunk, there are temples with walls intricately carved with ancient motives and sculptures of dancers, musicians, deities, animals and birds. Some of the temples are found with jharokhas (balconies) and ornate pavilions.
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