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Jain Shrines

Jainism in Uttar Pradesh

The Jain literature refers to Kashi or Varanasi as a Jain Tirtha (Holy Place), as four of the Jain Tirthankara’s were born in Varanasi. According to Jain tradition, Varanasi is the birthplace of Sri Suparshavanath, Sri Chandraprabhu, Sri Sreyansnath and Parshavanath -- the 7th, 8th, 11th, and 23rd Jain Tirthankaras.


Sri Suparshavanath

Sri Suparshavanath was born in “Bhadaini” which is situated on the banks of River Ganges in Varanasi. Also known as “Jain Ghat” this place is about 1.5 km away from Bhelupura. Sri Suparshavanath was the 7th Jain Tīrthankara who was born to King Pratistha and Queen Prithvi at Varanasi on the 12th Jestha Shukla in the Ikshvaku clan. This makes the “Bhadaini” very sacred not just because Sri Suparshavanath was born here, but also because he took Diksha and was enlightened with true knowledge here. It is also said that he attained moksha at Sikharji on the sixth day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the Hindi month of 'Phalguna'.  At present, there is a white colored idol placed and worshiped by the believers of Shwetambar sect. On the other hand, a black idol is placed by the believers of Digambar sect. The Dharamshalas of Shwetambars and Digambars is also present in this area.

 

Sri Chandraprabhu

Sri Chandraprabhu the 8th Jain Tirthankara was born in Chandrapuri, a town which is located on the banks of River Ganges, about 20 km away from Varanasi. Sri Chandraprabhu was born to King Mahasena and Queen Lakshmana Devi of the Ikshvaku dynasty. According to Jain texts, his birth-date was the 12th day of the 'Paush' Krishna month of the Indian calendar. Chandrapuri has a white idol which is worshiped by a majority of the Shwetambars. Lord Chandraprabhu took Jain Diksha (initiation) and got the light of true knowledge at this place. He is said to have become a Siddha (a liberated soul).


Sri Shreyansnath

Sri Sreyansnath the 11th Tirthankara of Jain Religion was born at Singhpuri, which is near Sarnath in Ikshvaku Dynasty. According to Jain beliefs, it is said, he became a Siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma.Lord Sreyansnath was born to King Vishnu and Queen Vishnudri Devi of Ikshvaku Dynasty. His birth date was the twelfth day of the 'Falgun' Krishna month of the Indian calendar.

 

Sri Parshavanath

Sri Parshavnath the 23rd Tirthankara of Jain religion was born in Bhelupura. He is the earliest Jain Tirthankara who is generally acknowledged as a historical figure. Bhelupura has a white and a black idol. Sri Parshavanath is credited with starting the tradition of "four fold restraints" for monks – don't kill, don't steal, don't lie and don't own property.

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Ram Nagar Fort & Museum

Located on the eastern bank of River Ganga, Ram Nagar Fort is a beautiful place to witness the sunset over the river. It is an 18th-century structure built by Maharaja Balwant Singh and is the ancestral home of Maharaja of Banaras. The fort is built in red sandstone. It houses a temple dedicated to Ved Vyasa, writer of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic.  The Fort includes an eccentric museum boasting a royal collection of vintage cars, swords, palanquins, ivory works, an old weaponry section and an extremely unusual astrological clock. It also treasures manuscripts, especially religious writings, along with precious handwritten manuscripts by Goswami Tulsidas. Many books illustrated in the Mughal miniatures style, with beautifully designed covers are also a part of the collection. There are five hundred and thirty-five illustrations expressing Islamic ethos, each having a decorative border with ornate floral designs or cartouches. The Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman Temple also located in it. Inside the giant walls of the Ram Nagar fort-palace, there is a big clock. This clock not only displays year, month, week and day but also astronomical facts about the sun, moon and constellation of stars. Owing to its rich cultural heritage, the fort has emerged as a prominent shooting destination for numerous Indian film makers. The Fort is popular for its grand extravagant festivity of annual Dussehra festival, when the palace is adorned impressively and comes alive with colour and life.

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