Tourist Destinations of Rajasthan
"A group of beautifully carved jain temples were built in the 12th to 15th century within the Jaisalmer fort."
Within the fort walls, there are seven beautifully carved Jain Temples built between the 12th and 15th centuries. The cluster of temples is connected by a series of corridors and walkways. Shoes and all leather items must be removed before entering the temple.
The first temple you come around is the one dedicated to Chandraprabhu, the eighth tirthankar (Jain Teacher), whose symbol is the moon. It was built in 1509 and features fine sandstone sculpture in sandstone in Mandapa (Fore chamber of the inner sanctum of the temple).
To the right of the Chandraprabhu Temple is Rikhabdev temple. There are some fine sculptures around the walls protected by glass cabinets, and the pillars are beautifully sculpted with apsaras (Celestial Maiden) and gods. This temple has a lovely and tranquil atmosphere.
Other temples which may be currently closed to the non - Jains, include the temple dedicated to Parasnath, a few steps behind Chandraprabhu. Entry is via an enormous and beautifully carved torana (Gateway) that culminates the image of the Jain tirthankara its apex. There is a voluptuous carving of an apsara balancing a set of balls on her raised forearm.
A door to the south side of the temple leads to the small Shitalnath Temple, dedicated to the 10th tinrthankar. The image of Shitalnath enshrined here is composed of eight precious metals. A door in the north wall leads to the beautiful Sambhavnath Temple.
Steps lead from the courtyard before the Sambhavnath temple to the Shantinath Temple, which was built in1536. The enclosed gallery around the temple is flanked by hundreds of images of saints, some of marble and some of Jaisalmer sandstone. Steps lead below the temple to Kunthunath Temple, which was also built in 1536.
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