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A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 4 - Jain Mandir - Jaisalmer Fort

ॐ 
Chandraprabhu ji
Chandraprabhu ji

A Tryst with Royalty - Bikaner & Jaisalmer - Day 4 - Jain Mandir - Jaisalmer Fort

               If we see the demographics of earlier society in Jaisalmer, the residents of the Fort mainly comprised of Rajputs and Brahmin. Rajputs were the strong arm of the state and Brahmins were involved in teaching and performing religious ceremonies. Jainism prohibited its disciples from hurting any living beings, so the Jains took on to trading and excelled in it. The Jain merchants were so rich that they used to finance many states and kingdoms. As per a hearsay Patwas only had 367 offices spread over Asia and financed 48 Kingdoms.

                              With so much money, they built very beautiful temples at the earlier capital of Jaisalmer state Lodurva. These temples were decorated with precious stones and received huge donations. Due to these heavy donations, the temples became very rich. This wealth of the temples and nobody to guard them, made them a soft target for Muslim kings and plunderers across the border, who would loot these temples and deface the idols. Sick of these repeated raids and plunders, Jain community approached the king of Jaisalmer for protection and struck a deal with him. Jains were allowed to build the temples within the fort and in turn, they will finance the state, fort construction and also allow the idols of Hindu deities in their temples. Probably these are the only Jain temples with Hindu Deities in them. As per the guide, the idols and other wealth were brought to the fort via an underground tunnel connecting the fort to the old capital of Lodurva. This fact is hard to believe and felt like the things told to make the tale interesting.

Jain Temples Jaisalmer Fort - Jaisalmer
Jain Temples Jaisalmer Fort - Jaisalmer


                       There are a total of 07 temples in this complex. The temples are built in Dilwara style. this style draws its name from Dilwara Jain temples at Mount Abu. There is also a very precious collection of the Jain scriptures in the library called Gyan Bhandar. The seven temples are connected with each other through a long corridor.

                               The main temple is dedicated to Parshwanath Bhagwan. Generally, the idol of Parshwanath Bhagwan is in Black colour, but in this temple, it is of white colour and looks like marble, which in reality are crushed pearls !! The other temples are dedicated to Sambhavnath, Adinath, Shantinath, Shitalnath, Chanderprabhuswami and Simanghar Swami. The first temple is dedicated to Chandraprabhu ji. This temple has beautiful Mandapam with intricately sculpted pillars which are connected to each other giving the effect of a toran. On the right to Chandraprabhu temple is Rishabdev temple. Behind Chandraprabhu temple is Sri Pashwnath ji temple.  To the south of Parshwnath temple is the temple dedicated to Shitalnath ji. The idol is made up of eight precious metals and gives the effect as is made up of gold. In the north of Parshwnath temple is Sambhavnath temple. The Kuntalnath temple is an exact replica of the temple in Hastinapur, the birthplace of Kuntalnath ji.


                           
Entrance to Jain Temples
Entrance to Jain Temples


                        The beautifully made entrance of the temple. It is not only beautifully made, but also has a story in its flow. On the top is the figure of Mahavir Jain. accompanied by a few small figures, which might be the sewaks. On the top of the pillars are the yakshas and are shown to carry the weight on their shoulders. Similar figures can be found in the paintings in the caves of Ajanta. Below the yaksha is an Apsara ( a very beautiful lady) carrying a garland as a symbol of welcome. Below these two garland carrying Apsaras on both the sides are two Apsaras in a dancing pose. Both of these are in different dancing pose. After these dancing apsaras are two figures who look like as if standing guard. Next on both the sides though small but prominent are the figures of two goddesses, which seen like goddess Lakshmi. last in the line were processions with people marching, riding playing instruments.

An Apsara
An Apsara with a garland at the entrance 
Toran at the entrance of a Jain Temple
Toran at the entrance of a Jain Temple


                                The speciality of Jain temples is delicately carved toran, which is so delicate that it almost looks like a lace.


image of Jain Teerthankar sculpted on the toran
Image of Jain Teerthankar sculpted on the toran
                               On this toran, the images of Jain Teerthankars are engraved.

Parshvnath Ji Temple
Parshvnath Ji Temple

                                 The view of the Parshvnath ji ka Mandir. The idol in the sanctum sanctorum is made of crushed pearls.

Beautiful roof at Parshvnaath ji ka Mandir
The beautiful roof at Parshvnaath ji ka Mandir

inverted lotus
inverted lotus 

                            The roof of the Parshvnath ji ka Mandir was very intricately carved. In the centre was an inverted lotus, which looked amazing.



                                      The Temple of Sital Nath ji had a delicately sculpted roof which was coloured. It had been covered with a net to protect them.  The roof had 12 dancing Apsaras.
Sambhav Nathji
Sambhav Nathji 
A circular roof with four bodies with single torso
A circular roof with four bodies with a single torso
                       
Sambahvnath ji
Sambahvnath ji Temple from a distance
                 Sambhavnath ji temple has a white idol of Sambhavnath ji in sanctum sanctorum and two idols outside.

Symbols engraved on the wall of temple
Symbols engraved on the wall of the temple
                    These symbols were engraved on the wall of Sambhavnath ji temple. They can be either the symbols of the Jain Teerthankars, but these are 16 whereas the Teerthankars are 24. Interestingly I would like to mention here that there is no difference in the features of the idols of all Teerthankars. They are identified with their symbol found beneath their crossed legs.

Adinath ji
Adinath ji


 
The ornate dome ceiling
An ornately carved dome ceiling

                               Another beautiful dome type carved roof. It has 12 Ganesh statues carved on the periphery and a pair of man and woman dancing in different poses towards the centre.


                                  After being left mesmerized by the beauty of the interior of the pillars, we came out in the passage which connects the temples. This passage is called Pheri. 

Outer wall of the sanctum sanctorum of temple as visible from Pheri
Outer wall of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple as visible from Pheri

                The pheri is filled with the statues of men and women engaged in different activities dancing playing hunting and a lot.
Various images carved on the walls
Various images carved on the walls
   


            Here we can see the images in various avatars. Extreme left is the lady with a sword and the head of a demon in another hand like Kali.

The learned Lady
The learned Lady
                       I have named this lady as the learned lady as this four armed lady is carrying a scroll in one hand, writing with two hands and a lotus flower in the fourth hand like Goddess Saraswati.


A lady dressing up
The lady with Garland


The dancing Lady
The Dancing Lady

The lady with veena
The lady with Veena

                          Above are the pics of ladies in various forms, dancing, playing music, dressing up with garlands

A couple
A couple
                 A beautiful couple looks like Shiv and Parvati.


                                 On these walls thousands of small to large statues. Also worth mention is the presence of a lot of small statues of men and women involved in lovemaking.


list of temples in the complex
list of temples in the complex
                 This completed the round of the Jain temples of Jaisalmer Fort.

Handicrafts seller
Handicrafts stall
                     Handicrafts sellers are in every nook and corner of Jaisalmer. They were outside these temples too.

contd................



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