Article: Temple-cities

Contributed by Julia A. B. Hegewald

Replicas of temple-cities

Miniature structures in the grounds of the Dādā Baṛā temple complex in Delhi. These small shrines supposedly reproduce the layout of the famous temple-city of Mount Śatruñjaya in Gujarat, one of the major pilgrimage sites for Śvetāmbara Jains

Shrines in the Dādā Baṛā temple compound
Image by rajkumar1220 © CC BY 2.0

It is fascinating that, due to the particular importance and sacredness of certain temple-cities and venerated hills, there are Jain sites throughout India that imitate their layout and shape.

The sacred hill of Mount Bāmaṇavāḍjī in Rajasthan, for instance, which itself has nine large temples and thirty small pavilions – chatrīs – is perceived to be a replica of the sacred Sameṭa Śikhara in Bihar.

Another striking example is the collection of small shrines on raised ground inside the Śvetāmbara Dādā Baṛā Jain temple complex in Delhi. This is said to recreate in miniature form the layout of the famous Mount Śatruñjaya in Gujarat.

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