Located in Gujarat, Palitana is about 51 kms south west of Bhavnagar. Held in great reverence as a popular pilgrimage for the Jains, the history of Palitana is an ancient one. A part of the Saurashtra region, Palitana boasts of spectacular temples, cities, alluring beaches and wildlife. All these combine to create an enchanting influence on the tourists visiting the place. indianholiday.com is a treasure trove of information on the history of Palitana.
The history of Palitana dates back to 1194 when this former princely state was founded. Palitana was one of the major states in Saurashtra. Palitana is renowned for its Jain temples. Most of these temples are located along the hills and the mountain ranges. Among the five hill locations where the Jains have set up their cluster of temples, the Shatrunjaya Hill in Palitana is by far the most popular among all.
Not much is known about the history of Palitana, but the Jain temples have a significant role to play in the historical background of Palitana. Palitana boasts of as many as 863 temples that can be categorized into two divisions according to the phases in which they were constructed. Some of the temples were constructed during the 11th and the 12th century. This phase was marked by the revival of temple building.
The remaining temples were built during the 16th century. Some of the temples, which were mostly built during the 11th and the 12th centuries suffered serious damages at the hands of the Muslim invaders. Most of the temples that remain today are the products of the 16th century. On flipping through the pages of Palitana's history one comes to learn the fact that the construction of these temples cannot be credited to a person or a group. It was at the initiative of the wealthy businessmen of the times, who were the followers of Jainism that these temples came into existence.