Wednesday, February 8, 2012



Palanpur's main temple is the Pallaviya Parshwanath temple or Motu Derasar as it is more popularly called.

Enriching the city centre with its beautiful carvings and rich, intricate beauty is the Motu Derasar, a temple constructed by King Prahladan of Palanpur. It is dedicated to Lord Parshwanath and contains the only existing image of King Prahladan. It has witnessed several tragedies, in the form of various attacks through history, but has been subsequently rebuilt on each occasion.

Legend has it that King Prahladhan of the powerful Parmar clan of Abu once melted down a Panchbhutti Jain statue. Soon after this he fell seriously ill and no doctors could help him.

One day he met Acharya Shri Sheetdhawal Maharajshri and pleaded for help in curing his illness. On hearing the whole story, the Maharajshri told King Prahladan to build a new city and erect a grand temple and install Bhagwan Shri Parshwanath's statue in it. The sacred water after the abhishekh of Bhog should be applied on the King's body.

Kind Prahladhan built Prahladhan Vihar, a Bavan (52) jinalaya temple which is today called Motu Dairasar. The King used the sacred waters of the abhishekh to bathe himself and he was totally cured!

History records that this temple was one of the richest at that time. Prahladhan -- today's Palanpur -- was the brightest ornament of Gujarat, its prosperity and wealth vying with that of Swarglok.

Today, this Pallaviya Parshwanath temple is one of the important pilgrimage centres for Jains. It has come into the limelight after the recent discovery of many old Jin statues.

The 2001 earthquake and the heavy rains thereafter caused damage to the temple and it was decided to rebuild it.

A few months ago, while digging, the workers came upon a treasure trove of Jin statues - 112 in all! This was the 2nd time that such a find was recorded. In 1966, alongside 27 statues were found while digging. This has generated a lot of excitement. But the most astonishing thing was that while digging, the room housing the main Pallaviya Parshwanath statue caved in, but nothing happened to the statue. It was intact amidst all the ruins.

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