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Palitana Temples

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Palitana, India.

  • Photo of Palitana Temples
  • Photo of Palitana Temples
  • Photo of Palitana Temples
  • Photo of Palitana Temples
Photo of Palitana Temples
Photo by flickr user gandhiji40
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Palitana is the most important destination for Jain pilgrims, and it is quite beautiful enough to almost justify the belief that anyone who dies without visiting it can never quite attain spiritual perfection. Around a thousand temples make up this magical site and all are carved from marble, decking the 2000-foot-tall hill of Shatrunjaya from base to peak with pale, delicate spires increasing in height the further up they are, like a miniature mountain range, interspersed with columns, halls and shady, walled courtyards. They were begun sometime during the 11th century and though many were almost completely destroyed with the arrival of Muslim forces in the 1300s, they were restored in the 16th century and remain as records of the devotion of famous and wealthy Jains throughout history. The pearly, ethereal carvings of dragons, flowers and complex patterns would alone provide enough entertainment to last far more than a day, but beware… the gods are said to return to their hillside palaces by night, and even the temple priests leave strictly at sundown for fear of meeting them!

Written by  larapiegeler.

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