PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Sri Saccha (True) Sumatinath Bhagwan in black color, seated in a lotus posture,of height 79 Cms in a shrine on the top of a beautiful hill near the village of Talaja at the confluence of two rivers, Shatrunjay and Sarita. (Shve).
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
In olden times, this shrine was believed to be a Tunk of the great, holy and eternal Mt. Shatrunjay shrines. Today it is considered as one of the Shatrunjay panch Teerthi. The antiquity of the place is evident from many small and large caves located on the hill. It is said that when the eldest son of Sri Adinath Bhagwan, Sri Bharat came here on a pilgrimage, he built here a beautiful temple. In the year 640 AD, Chinese traveler Hu-en-sang his in his diary referred this shrine.
A reference is available about King Kumarpal of 12th Vikram century having built the present temple here. In a stone inscription found in the village of Timana dated Vikram year 1264, “Talaja Mahasthan” has been described. Upadhyay Sri Vinayprabhvijayji has described this shrine in his composition entitled “Tirthmala Stavan”. The idol of Sri Sacha Sumathinath Bhagwan is believed to be of the period of King Samprati. The last renovations were carried out on the temple with consecration ceremonies on Vaishakh Sukla 13 in Vikram year 1872.
On the hill, there is a total of 32 caves without pillars. The idol is a worker of miracles. A reference is found that this idol was discovered from under the earth in this village in Vikram year 1872 and consequently a contagious disease which was spreading at that time in the area round about had stopped from further spreading and was finally rooted out and general peace and comfort and health were established. From that time, people began calling the idol as that of “Sacha” (True) Sumathinath Bhagwan. At the time of the last repairs and renovations the idol was ceremonially installed here and from that day a lamp is lighted with continous flame without being allowed to extinguish in the temple which is seen today, forming saffron colored collyrium above in the niche.
Besides this temple, on this hill there are other temples, such as the one of Sri Chintamani Parshvanath Bhagwan, the other of Sri Mahavir Bhagwan, a third temple with a four fold image facing four directions (CHoumukhi) and one Guru Mandir in which idols of Sri Gautamswamiji, Sudharmaswamihi, Jambuswamiji, Kalikal Sarvagna Sri Hemchandrasurishvarji, Vridhichandrasurishvarji, King Kumarpal etc., are installed. In the village of Talaja, there are two large temples where the Presiding Deity are Sri Shanthinath Bhagwan and Sri Mallinath Bhagwan.
The magnificent temple located on the top of the hill and several natural caves and caverns look extremely enchanting from a distance. The way in which the caves and caverns are formed is worth seeing. The pilgrims watching from the top of the hill, the cluster of temples with their gorgeous Sikhar of Mt. Shatrunjay on one side and the natural confluences of the two rivers Shatrunjay and Sarita on the other side, get completely absorbed in devotion of a rare order.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
The nearby railway station of Talaja is 1.5 Kms away where horse driven vehicles for transport are available. Palitana is 38 Kms away where buses and taxis are available. Talaja bus stand is only 200 meters from where the ascent of 600 meters of Talaja hill commences. The ascent is not difficult.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
There is a dharamshala for lodging at the base of the hill with all facilities and a bhojanshala for meals.
MANAGED BY :
Sri Taladhvaj Jain Swetamber Teerth Committee Babu’s Jain Dharamshala
P.O. Talaja - 364 140
Dist : Bhavnagar, Gujarat ,
Tel: 02842 – 22030 / 22313 (Pedhi)
02842 – 22259 (Mountain Office).