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Mallinath Temple in Girnar, Gujarat

Girnar is one of two hills venerated by the Jain community of India. Girnar is situared under a 4000 feet high hill. It rises to a height of more than 600 meters, its five peaks crowned by 16 carved and sculptured marble shrines that embellish this illustrious hilltop temple city. The beautiful Jain temple of Mallinath is a strong attraction.

Mallinath Temple in Girnar is also flanked by another famous temple named Neminath. There are Hindu temples as well. It is an abode of Hindu as well as Jain religions. The yearly Bhavnath fair devoted to Hindu Lord Shiva pulls thousands of people. Girnar is the famous pilgrimage centre for both Jains and Hindus and has been considered sacred since the 3rd century BC. Buses leave from Junagadh's local depot hourly, leaving passengers at the mountain base, from where five thousand uneven steps lead to the summit. The path climbs through eucalyptus forest before it becomes tortuous.

The effort it takes to climb the final two thousand steps of the Mallinath Temple in Girnar is worth it. The views on the way to the summit of Girnar hill are breathtaking. Reaching the top you shall see a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Amba Mata which draws both Hindu and Jain pilgrims.

Steps lead down from this temple and then up again along a narrow ridge towards Gorakhnath Peak, where a small shrine covers what are apparently the foot-prints of Gorakhnath, and by proceeding more you shall notice the third peak where the imprints of Neminath's feet are sheltered by small canopy. At most the distant point of the ridge, a shrine devoted to the fierce Hindu goddess Kalika, the eternal aspect of Durga is positioned. This place attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is a very sacred place where wishes come true.

History of Mallinath Temple, Girnar

On a plateau below the summit, approximately ninety minute's climb from the base of the steps, the charming huddle of Jain temples has been slightly renovated since its erection between 1128 and 1500. Girnar Mallinath Temple was built by the brothers Vastupal and Tejapala who also funded temples in Mount Abu and Shatrunjaya.

It is believed the famous 22nd tirthankara Neminath have died on Mount Girnar after 700 years of meditation and asceticism is depicted as a black figure sitting in the lotus position holding a conch in the marble Neminath Temple which is situated just opposite to the famous Girnar Mallinath temple.

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