SHRI PANCHASARA PARSHVANATH JINALAYA
Panchasara Parshvanath Jinalaya, the glory of Patan was originally built by Vanaraj, the founder of Patan (Anhillpur Patan) at the instance of his guru Sheelgunsuri. This is a known fact of history. Vanaraj’s father Jayshikhari was the ruler of the kingdom of Panchasara. And therefore Shri Parshvanath Jinalaya was named Panchasara Parshvanath. When Patan was founded, the idol of Panchasara Parshvanath was brought of Patan, the new capita of Gujarat and was consecrated in a temple which also was named Panchasara Parshvanath Jinalaya. According to references found in historical records this ancient and miraculous idol of Parshvanathji is here in this Jinalaya begins with history of Patan it has a great historical importance.
This Jinalaya was called as Vanraj Vihar also. Now it has become a matter of the past. Vastupal was one of the renovators of this Jinalaya in the past. There are many references to that effect. The renovated Jinalaya of the past was made of wood. It remained wooden upto sixteen century. With the passing of years and decades and centuries its condition got deteriorated badly and it had to be built again from the base. This idea occurred to the mind of Sheth Shri Babusaheb Pannalal Puranchandji, a native of Patan. And this Bavan Jinalaya was built by his family. On the auspious fifth of bright half of Jeth of V. S. 2011 the idol of Lord Parshvanath was consecrated in the new Jinalaya by Param Pujya Acharya Samudrasuri Maharaj Saheb. It was done with a festival of great enthusiasm and pomp. Around this Jinalaya there are 51 mini temples. 86 new idols of Jain deities were consecrated in them. 24 out of them were 24 Tirthankaras which were made of slabs of becoming colours to the bodies of the Lords.
Some idols of this Jinalaya are as ancient as Samprati Maharaja’s time. The consecration ceremony of these idols was performed by the worthy hands of Param Pujya Punyavijayji Maharaj Saheb amidst chanting of mantras on sixth of bright half of Vaishakh V.S. 2016. In the ‘bhamti’ [circular passage along the wall of a temple] there are 218 idols of marble and 26 are those of metal.
The length of this grand temple is 180 feet and its width is 90 feet. This newly built Jinalaya was built with the Jodhpuri, Makarana, Jesalmer and Dhrangadhra stones under the supervision of renowned sculptor Shri Prabhashankerbhai Sompura. All the places, domes, pillars, chowkis, ceilings, walls, mandaps of this Jinalaya are decorated with wonderful carvings and artistic images. The dome over the entrance on the pillars of which dikpals, Vidyadevis, etc. are carved is very artistic. ‘Samvarna’ is made on the upper side of it. On all sides of samvarna there are small balconies. And graceful forms of gods and godesses are carved on them. Just adjacent to entrance there are six chowkis the ceilings of which remind us of the carving of the temples of Abu. Going further there is a spacious nrutya mandap (place for dance-performance) and going forward there are three chowkis with wonderful carvings. Fourteen dreams and Ashtamangal are carved on their walls. Domes of nrutya mandap and gudh mandap have fascinating carving in stone under them. In the middle Padma Sheela, Twenty four Tirthankars, images of yakshas and yakshinis etc. are carved in definite order.
Going further from gudh mandap, Prabhujis are seated in artistic marble niches on both the sides, and at the end there are three garbhgruhas. In the main garbhgruh a grand 45-inch idol of Lord Panchasara Parshvanath is there. On one side of Parshvanath Lord is the grace idol of Chandraprabhaswami. Every pillar of the Jinalaya is full of intricate carving. The carvings comprise of biographical events of former births and lives of gods. Moreover, there are carvings of images of apsaras, gandharvas, yakshas, etc.
This perfect Bavan Jinalaya with wonderful architecture has become spectacular with its brilliant, kalashas on their lofty summits and flowing dhwajas (symbolic flags) on dhwajadands. With the breeze of wind the dhwajas are dancing as if they are inviting the darshanarthis to the Jinalaya for darshan of Prabhuji. And the bells of dhwajadands are jingling as if they are challenging the entrance of sin into the holy land of Patan. Built in V.S. 2018 this grand Bavan Jinalaya stands with grace like a dev-viman on the vast plain of holy land of Patan. This Jinalaya reminds of the marvelous architecture of the world famous Jain temples of Abu.
There are other five Jinalayas in this complex. Moreover, there are dharmashalas (inns) and bhojanshalas (places where is provision for food and meals) with all facilities. Because of this, there is a always a rush of pilgrims. For the last many years a three-day festival is celebrated on account of anniversary of the Jinalaya which falls on the fifth of bright half of Jeth. Devotees from distant places come during these festival days and take advantage of dev-darshan.
Administration of this Jinalaya is conducted by Shri Panchasara Parshvanath Derasar Trust.