Walk the paths of Pilgrims in Palitana
One of the most spiritual destinations in India is the pilgrimage town of Palitana, another of the great reasons to visit West India. Here you’ll find the world’s largest temple complex Shatrunjaya Hill, dotted with over 3,000 temples. Every year Jain pilgrims flock to the town in their thousands, especially during monsoon season for the Kartik Purnima festival. Rumour has it that this sacred location is where Ādinātha the first of the Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers) meditated.
Shatrunjaya is a tourist hotspot, as it holds the accolade of being the world’s only hill with more than 900 temples. Thousands of white marble temples are dotted around, some of which are almost a thousand years old. This incredibly steep hill is climbed by devout Jains once in their lifestyle, a journey of 3,300 steps over a 500m climb. Visitors unable to tackle this trek can be carried regally on a dholi, a seat on poles with four bearers.
Other structures include the shrine of the saint Angar Pir, where women who want children bestow miniature cradles as offerings and the intricately carved Adinath Temple.
Palitana was also the first city in the world to be legally vegetarian, and the buying and selling of eggs, fish and meat has been illegal or outlawed since 2014.
Peruse the sights of Palitana