Suresh Limbachiya

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eBook : Jain Temple at Bhadreshwar – Kutch ::: ભદ્રેશ્વર મહાતીર્થ – ભદ્રેશ્વર- કચ્છ

Posted by Suresh Limbachiya on 03/04/2013

Bhadreshwar

Jain Temple at Bhadreshwar

ભદ્રેશ્વર મહાતીર્થ – ભદ્રેશ્વર- કચ્છ

(Dear Reader……Click on ABOVE link  read ebook)

The ancient temple site is located west of the village of Bhadreshwar (or Bhadreshvar), just a few miles far from the seashore. The ancient name of the place was Bhadravati, which was a flourishing city and one of the most important places of Jain pilgrimage of ancient Kutch.

According to some local legends the temple and the village nearby were built during the period of Mahabharata while historical sources mention one Shravak Devchandra as the founder of the temple. The temple was renovated in V.S. 1134 (1077 CE) by the Shrimalis and in V.S. 1314 (1257 CE) by  Sheth Shri Jagdu Shah after a famine.

In the 14th century the city descended but the temple were resurrected in 1631 CE by Sheth Vardhaman Shah, who reinstalled the ancient image of Bhagawan Parshvanath.

The temple was extensive described by Harihar Singh in his book “Jaina Temples of Western India” (Varanasi: Parshvanath Vidhyashram Research Institute, 1982):

[The temple] “stands in an oblong courtyard about 48 ft. by 85 ft. inside, around which runs a row of about 44 (originally 48) devakulikāswith a colonnaded corri­dor in front. It consists of a mūlaprāsāda, a gūḍhamaṇḍapa, a mukhamaṇḍapa, a raṅgamaṇḍapaand a nālamaṇḍapa, the last compartment partly projecting out and built over a stairway which is landed up from the ground through a porch and opens in the raṅga­maṇḍapa. The temple-complex is reared upon a jagatīwhich is reached only from the north to which direction the temple also faces.

The temple has been restored and altered so often that all its original character has vanished. During recent years the entire temple has been coated with white pigment, so that it is very hard to decide which part of the temple is old and which one is new. The pillars, architraves and ceilings having been coated with white lime and painted with variegated colours, the interior looks very odd. Besides, the rear half of the court is covered with iron grilles. Four of the devakulikāsin the front row are quite recent” (p. 168).

In January 2001 the temple was destructed by an earthquake. Jaina Voice announced at July 29th, 2002 :

“The world-famous Jain Temple of Bhadreshwar has been completely demolished because the structure was considered unsafe due to the extensive damage from last January’s earthquake. The main temple, which was nearly 2,500 years old, used to attract people from all over the country. “It is shocking not only for Jains but everybody in Kutch,” says Vanechand Mulchand Doshi, the manager of the Seth Vardhman Kalyanji Trust, which manages the Bhadreshwar Temple. The demolition work has been completed and temporary arrangement has been made from where pilgrims can take darshan of Mul Nayak Mahaveer Bhagwan and Parasnath.Fortunately, over 146 icons, most of them between 500 years and 2500 years old could be saved and all have been temporarily housed. Despite the fact that the temple does not exist, pilgrims have been pouring in from across the country. The Bhadreshwar Temple Managing Committee has been working on a project to reconstruct the Temple.”

After archaeological researches at the site the reconstruction of the temple had been initiated.

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