Jain temple

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Jain Temples at Palitana

A Jain temple is the place of worship for Jains, the followers of Jainism,[1] Derasar is a word used for a Jain temple in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Basadi is a Jain shrine or temple.[2] The word is generally used in South India, including Maharashtra. Its historical use in North is preserved in the names of the Vimala Vasahi and Luna Vasahi temples of Mount Abu. The Sanskrit word is vasati, it implies an institution including residences of scholars attached to the shrine.[3]


Jain Tirtha, Karkala

Jain temples are built with various architectural designs.[4] Jain temples in North India are completely different from the Jain temples in South India, which in turn are quite different from Jain temples in West India. There are two type of Jain temples:

  • Shikar-bandhi Jain temple(one with the dome) and
  • Ghar Jain temple (Home Temple without dome).

All shikar-bandhi Jain temples have many marble pillars which are carved beautifully with Demi god posture. There is always a main deity also known as mulnayak in each derasar. The main part of Jain temple is called "Gambhara" (Garbha Graha) in which there is the stone carved God idol. One is not supposed to enter the Gambhara without taking a bath and without wearing puja (worship) clothes.

A Jain temple which is 100 years old is called a Tirtha.

The main deity of a Jain temple is known as a mula nayak.[5]

A Manastambha (column of honor) is a pillar that is often constructed in front of Jain temples.


There are some guidelines to follow when one is visiting a Jain temple:[6]

  • Before entering the temple, one should bathe and wear fresh washed clothes or some special puja (worship) clothes - wearing which one has neither eaten anything nor visited the washroom. However, drinking of water is permitted.
  • One should not take any footwear(including socks) inside temple. Leather items like belt, purse etc. are not allowed inside the temple premises.
  • One should not be chewing any eatables (food, gum, mints, etc.), and no eatables should be stuck in the mouth. Drinking of water is also not permitted
  • One should try to keep as much as silence possible inside temple.
  • Mobile phones should not be used in the temple. One should keep them switched off.

Prevailing traditional customs should be followed regarding worshipping at the temple and touching an idol. They can very depending on the region and the specific sect.


See also


  1. Babb, Lawrence, A (1996). Absent lord: ascetics and kings in a Jain ritual culture. Published University of California Press. p. 66.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Basadi".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent - Glossary".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Jain temples in India and around the world,Laxmi Mall Singhvi, Tarun Chopra, Himalayan Books, 2002
  5. Jaina Iconography, Volume 1 of Jaina-rūpa-maṇḍana, Umakant Premanand Shah, Abhinav Publications, 1987,p. 149
  6. CultureShock! India: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette, Gitanjali Kolanad, Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd, 2008 p. 45

External links