Girnar Hill

Many Hindu temples are off-limits to non-Hindus, that’s why we’ve been focusing a lot on Jain temples. The ones we’ve recently been to are The Adinath Temple of Ranakpur and the Dilwara Temples in Mt. Abu, all religious sites which are easily accessible by vehicle. Then, there are Jain pilgrimage sites which require a lot more work.

It seems as if the amount of physical work is directly proportional to the size and holiness of the site. The impressive Jain temple complex on Girnar Hill just outside of Junagadh is one of them. Set on top of an extinct volcano, pilgrims and visitors alike have to conquer 5,000 steps to reach the highest point of Girnar Hill at 1,080 meters (3,540 ft). If you only come for the temple complex but don’t care for the surrounding view, you can stop at step 4,000 after about two hours of huffing and puffing up the hill.

Though the temple complex is absolutely beautiful, with white-washed buildings and mosaic-covered domed roofs, the extra 1,000 steps to the viewpoint are definitely worth the pain. Unfortunately, the pain didn’t just stop once we were down the hill. Sore muscles and angry knees reminded us of our pilgrimage for the next three days.

3 responses to “Girnar Hill”

  1. avatar zenopel says:

    It is fantastic to read your memoirs and enjoy stunning beuty of images captured by you.Regarding Jains, they are the most educated and peace-loving community in India. Their culture and invaluable heritage have already been experienced by you first hand.You have already visited SAs -Bahu temple at Gwalior-tat is a Jain temple you must be knowing.But I am sure you must have missed SONAGIRI Jain temple hills near GWALIOR-around 80kms frm gwalior towards Jhansi.Most unexploited and extremely traditional jain stronghold area is around jhansi which is totally unforgettable.If you have not seen following, you are missing too much:
    i)PALITANA TEMPLE TOWN-GUJARAT
    II)GOMMATESWAR-NEAR MYSORE,KARNATAKA
    III)HASTINAPUR-NEAR DELHI
    IV)SONAGIRIJI-NEAR GWALIOR
    V)MUKTAGIRI-NEAR BETUL,MP
    VI)JAIN SAINT-ACHARYA VIDYASAGARJI-MP
    VII)ACHARYA MAHAPRGYA JI
    After visiting above, you will go back to your country with a fulfilled feeling.Please be vegan while visiting jain sites then only you will feel connected with them.
    Wish you best of journey of best seren places.
    -ZEN OPEL

  2. avatar Thomas says:

    Dear Zen Opel,

    thank you for your comment, we really appreciate our reader’s input. We’ll be in India for at least 6 more months and are planning on visiting as many Jain temples as possible.

    Thanks a lot for the list of temples, and let me assure you we are vegetarians while traveling in India.

  3. avatar Dheeraj says:

    Jainism predates Buddhism and the two have a lot of siiarilmties. While Buddhism spread beyond India, Jainism remains largely in India. As such it is not ‘mainstream’.Likewise, Christianity and Islam has a lot in common but unfortunately today and more recently, differences are more apparent.To me, the right approach is to know the history and origin of major religions, the sociological context at that time and the comparative siiarilmties and differences. This approach is difficult for most people, time-consuming, and requires persistence and consistency, being open-minded, non parochial, non dogmatic and non bigotry. This is a very tall order and most believers, followers, practitioners, devotees and all ye faithful don’t bother!

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