Location of Shri Mahavirji Temple
Shri Mahavirji Temple is a Jain temple devoted to the 24th Jain Tirthankar. This Digember Jain pilgrimage centre is 90 Kms by rail from Sawai Madhopur on the Delhi-Mumbai Broad gauge route. The main temple is in side in inclosure known as katla.
The town of Sri Mahavirji is one the most popular Jain pilgrimages in India for here is one of the holiest Jain temples in Rajasthan. The Shri Mahavirji temple on the banks of the river Gambhir was built in white marble in honor of Mahavira, the 24th Jain saint. The temple has a nice legend attached to it.
Legend of Shri Mahavirji Temple
The legend behind the construction of this temple is rather quaint; it is believed that a local milkman observed that his cow, after a long dayâ€™s grazing, would return in the evening with her udders empty. Obviously puzzled, the man followed the cow, and discovered that the creature would stand atop a nearby hillock and allow all her milk to flow away on it.
Architecture of Temple
Shri Mahavirji Temple is an amalgamation of ancient and modern Jain architecture – quite contemporary in design, unlike the ancient Jain temples which were highly ornamented and richly carved.
It is a complex of smaller temples with the main temple having idols of Jain saints, placed within delicately carved pillared niches.
The temple is a vast complex constructed with white sandstone, and has cupolas of red sandstone along with the chhatris & spires visible from all around.
A huge statue of Shantinath, one of the Jain ford makers, stands as high as 32 feet and there is a tower where the footsteps of Mahavira have been consecrated. The main Chattries are visiable from a distance and are built of red sandstone. The walls of the temple are illustrated with carvings of religious scenes.
A man stambh (Tower) Made of marble is installed in front of the main temple. Devotees pay specail homage at this point their Chattri is also erected bearing the footprints of Shri Mahavirji.
An annual fair is also held here which attracts Minas, Gujars Jains, and people of other communities in large numbers. The fair last for the five days and ends with a colorful Rath yatra.
It is a spendid sight to view the temple at night when lights illuminate the entire complex.
Best Time to Visit
The period between Chaitra (March-April) and Vaishakh (April-May) is when the Sri Mahavirji annual fair is held. Itâ€™s an occasion for great rejoicing, and definitely the best time to visit the shrine.