Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jain Temples of Karanja

Marthwada-Vidharbha Circuit- 8 days, 1750 Kms
Pune-Ahmednagar-Parbhani-Navagarh-Jintur (480 Kms)

Jintur-Lonar-Mehekar-Karanja (216 Kms)

Karnja-Amravati--Chikhaldara (153 Kms)
Chikhaldara-Partwada-Muktagiri (44Kms)
Chikhaldara-Semadoh-Chikhaldara (50Kms)

Muktagiri-Achalpur-Akot-Shegaon (120 Kms)
Shegaon-Mehekar-SindkhedRaja-Jalna-Aurangabad- (265 Kms)
Aurangabad-Nagar-Pune (236 Kms)


Type: Historic Jain Digamber temples
Base town: Karanja
Where: 62Kms from Amravati, 256 Kms from Aurangabad.
Route taken: Jintur-Lonar-Karanja
Time visited: October 2011
Time to see around: 2/3 hours
How to reach: These are in the heart of the city
Lodging-Boarding facilities:  Sri Mahavir Brahmacharyashram
My Meter reading from Pune: 715 Kms

History: Karanja is birth place of Shri Nrusimha Saraswati Swami Maharaj, supposed as the 2nd incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. The town is named after Saint Karanj. The town was looted twice by famous Maratha sardar Prataprao Gujar on the order of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
We reached in the evening and went straight for Chandranath temple. Karanja is an ancient jain center. Three beautiful Jain Digamber temples are worth visit. One would easily recall Dilwara temple of Mt Abu except here Karanja temples have all wood carvings.
The Moolsangha Chandranath Swamy Balakargan jain Temple The entire sabhagriha is carved in red colour shesham wood. Each pillar and arch has delicate and detailed carving depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharta and other mythological stories.
Besides the idol of Chandranatha, there are several stone and metal idols. The idol of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami in Padmasana is also very attractive. Two brass Sahasrakuta temples are also seen.




 








After the visit we headed for the Mahavir Brahamacharayashram. Mess and loding facilities are available here.
Early morning we headed for Kastha Sangh temple.


Shri Chandranath Swami - Jain Kastha Sangh temple

This is more beautiful than the Chandranath Swamy temple. This too has delicate carvings on all the deep red shesham wood 42 pillars and the ceiling in sabhagriha. Several are carvings from mythology. Some of them are breath-taking 3-d like carvings. One such example is a sculpture a tiny elephant which appears like a flying horse if viewed from 45degree angle.

Unfortunately pictures are not allowed.

We proceeded to our next destination- Chikhaldara

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