Many centuries ago, Jain merchants enjoyed the greatest prosperity in the city of Jaisalmer. These desert dwellers of Jaisalmer were wealthy and devout, as evidenced by the numerous temples they erected in and around their city.
Today, these Jain temples are an essential part of any trip to Jaisalmer. All are built from yellow sandstone and are especially stunning as the sun goes down or rises.
All eyes are drawn to the majestic architecture and delicate sculptures of these monuments.
Wonderful Jain temples await us, and they serve as more than just places of worship for the city’s Jain population; they’re also popular attractions for visitors to Jaisalmer. Escapade the wonderful temples of the desert with a stay at a Desert camp in Jaisalmer at Manvar.
Jaisalmer Fort, with its many temples
We’ll start off in Jaisalmer’s most popular attraction, the Golden Fort.
There are seven (7) Jain temples in this fort, all of which are linked via gates and corridors. Those who follow Jainism honour the Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers).
Devotees still flock to these Jain temples, and Jain priests run the day-to-day operations. The history of these temples will be illuminated by their accounts as well.
To enter these temples, you must be dressed appropriately. If you visit these temples and pray, the priests will bless you. Find out which religious buildings we’re looking at:
The Jain temple is known as Chandraprabhu
Built-in honour of the eighth (eighth) Jain Tirthankara, Chandraprabhu, the Jain Temple of Jaisalmer may be found inside the fort itself and dates back to the year 1509.
The interior of the temple’s dome is intricately carved with delicate sculptures, while the exterior’s carved mandapa and pillars showcase the temple’s Rajput architecture.
There are walkways that lead to the upper floors of the temple, where you can get a closer look at the intricate sculptures.
There are countless sculptures of apsaras (nymphs), elephants, and other characters from Jain mythology carved into the pillars of the temple, and the carved statue of Chandraprabhu is made of solid marble.
Intricate stonework decorates the courtyards and walkways that lead to the temple’s inner sanctums.
Jain Temple of Rishabhdev
This temple at Jaisalmer Fort is dedicated to Rishabhdev, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. With its towering shikhara and intricately carved pillars, the temple is an imposing sight from the exterior.
Also located within the Jaisalmer Fort, this temple’s inner sanctum is reached through a flight of steps and features enormous pillars adorned with intricate carvings. Beautiful marble carvings enclose the Rishabhdev idol.
Numerous additional statues depicting Jain Tirthankaras have also been made. You can get to know the rest of this temple by wandering its passageways.
Parsvanath Jain Temple
Parsvanath Jain Temple is another Jain temple located inside Jaisalmer Fort. This temple is dedicated to Parsvanatha, the twenty-third (twenty-third) Jain Tirthankara. The arched torans between the pillars, with their magnificent architectural beauty, will enchant you once you enter this temple & the symmetrical designs of the pillars, and the exquisite carvings on them, is a breath-taking thing sight to witness in this temple. But the mandapa, or inner dome, will blow your mind with its intricacy.
You can explore the many sections of this temple by following the walkways between the pillars, where you can take in the intricate sculptures.
The hooded serpent on the head of the marble idol of Parsvanatha certainly draws attention.
There is a Jain temple in Shitalnath
Shitalnath was the 10 (tenth) Jain Tirthankara and this temple features a wonderful idol of Shitalnath.
This temple looks little when compared to the other temples in Jaisalmer Fort, yet it has the same intricately carved pillars, with sculptures cut out of stone.
To create the idol, eight different types of precious metals were used. Some of the temples in the Mount Abu area are styled after the Dilwara temples.
Shantinath Jain Temple
Shantinath Jain Temple, constructed in 1536, may be found inside Jaisalmer Fort.
Within the inner sanctum of this temple lies a marble statue of Shantinath, the sixteenth (sixteenth) Jain Tirthankara.
Typical of Hindu temples, the architecture is complemented by elaborate carvings of legendary beasts, dancers (both male and female) and apsaras, and elephants.
This Jain temple can be accessed via the Parsvanatha or Kunthunatha Jain temples, and it houses statues of all twenty-four Tirthankaras.
The Jain Temple of Kunthunath
The Jain temple at Jaisalmer Fort is named after Kunthunatha, the 17th Tirthankara.
The temple itself is imposing, and the serene atmosphere is enhanced by the stunning carvings on the marble idol of Kunthunatha.
Finely carved idols of male and female dancers, apsaras, musicians, and meditators can be found, as can intriguing carvings depicting stories from Jain mythology.
This temple is decorated with carvings on the walls and elephant sculptures.
Jain Temple of Sambhavnath
The primary deity of this Jain temple inside the Jaisalmer Golden Fort is Sambhavnath, the third (3rd) Jain Tirthankara.
The Sambhavnath Jain Temple’s intricately carved pillars, main idol, and exquisite torana decorations connecting the pillars are all absolutely stunning.
There is a historic library in the temple’s cellar that has numerous genuine Jain texts from as far back as the 11th century. Along with those, you’ll uncover unique artefacts like maps, books, and illustrations. This library will most certainly be of utmost interest to you if you are interested in religious literature.