Jain Pilgrimages

  • Post last modified:17 March 2023
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Jain Pilgrimages

Jainism as a religion prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. It is one of the oldest religions of the world finding its roots in ancient India. Tradition says that this belief has been preached by a succession of twenty-four propagators of faith known as Tirthankara. Jainism emphasizes spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life.

Practitioners of this religion believe that non-violence and selfcontrol is the means by which they can obtain liberation from the cycle of reincarnations. Jainism is a religious minority in India, with 4.2 million followers, and has adherents in immigrant communities in Belgium, the United States, in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Jains have the highest degree of literacy.

Jainism is based on four main concepts given by its twenty third Tirthankara, Parsvanatha. They are Truth(Satya), Non-Violence(Ahimsa), Not Stealing (Aparigraha) Not Owning Property, (Asteya) and celibacy (Brahmacharya).

Vardhamana Mahvira was the last and most popular Tirthankara. He was the son of a Ksatriya ruler. He was also spreading his own teaching from the age of 42 like Buddha.

After a penance of 12 years, he became a Jina. It is said that he was the twenty-fourth tirthankara or the enlightened teacher of Jain religion. In Jainism, a Tirtha is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the Sangha. A Tirtha provides the inspiration to enable one to cross over from worldly engagement to the side of nirvana.

Tirtha (Jain Pilgrimage centres) have significant importance in the religion. A true Jain is supposed to visit these Tirthas during his lifetime. Further such Tirthas were classified into the following categories.

  • Siddhakshetras: Known as site of nirvana liberation of an arihant (kevalin) or Tirthankaras like Ashtapada Hill, Shikharji, Girnar, Pawapuri, Palitana and Champa, capital of Anga.
  • Atishayakshetras: Where divine events were displayed by Mahavirji, Rishabhdev, Kundalpur, Aharji etc.

  • Puranakshetras: Such places are associated with great Tirthankaras; Ayodhya, Vidisha, Hastinapur, and Rajgir.

  • Gyanakshetra: Such places are associated with famous Acharyas or centers of learning like Mohankheda, Shravanabelagola and Ladnu.

  • In modern days the Jain Pilgrimage centres called the Tirthas are divided into six quarters geographically, such as:

  • North India: Hastinapur, Taxila, and Ashtapada

  • South India: Shravanabelagola, Moodabidri, Humbaj, Anantnath Swami Temple near Kalpetta

  • Eastern India: Shikharji, Pawapuri, Champa, Pundravardhan

  • Western India: Palitana, Girnar, Mount Abu, Mahavirji, Shankheshwar, Mahudi

  • Central India: Vidisha, Kundalpur, Sonagiri

  • Overseas: Siddhachalam, Nava Ashtapada, Siddhayatan

Jain Pilgrimage Centres (Tirtha)

Mount Abu

Mount Abu is located in the Southwestern corner of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is a popular Jain pilgrimage center because of one of the most beautiful Dilwara Jain Temple, located around a lake called Nakki in the mountains.


Situated in the state of Gujarat in the foot of the Satrunjaya Hill, Palitana is group of 863 magnificent Jain temples built of white marble. The temples follow the contours of the valleys of the mountains with lush green forest.


Sauripura located at around 80 km from Agra, is considered to be an important place of Jain pilgrimage. There are seven big temples of the Svetambara Jain Samaj and two temples of the digambara Jain Samaj.


It is situated in Bhelupura, Bhadani Muhalla (UP) and known as the ‘Jainghat’. It is the birthplace of the seventh tirthankara Suparsvanatha. There is a white coloured 68 cm high idol placed here and worshipped by the believers of Svetambara sect. on the other hand, a black idol of 46 cm height is placed here by the believers of Digambara sect.


Bhelupura is situated near Kasi in UP. It is the birthplace of twenty-third Tirthankara Lord Sri Parsavanatha. It has a white stature of 60 cm, which is worshiped by the believer of Svetambara sect, and a black idol with hight of 75cm worshiped by the believers of Digambara.


Pawanagar is situated in Gorakhpur, UP and is famous for being the place where Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana. A magnificent Manastambha has been constructed within the temple premises here. The temple houses four beautiful carved idols.


It is situated on the right bank of the Betwa River at the western and of the Lalitpur range of hills in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Border. The site was a Jain center from the Eighth to the seventeenth century AD. The natural setting of the fort houses a group of 31 Jain Temples.

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