Painted on cotton cloths, Shatrunjaya patas map the physical and divine characteristics of the sacred hill in Palitana, Gujarat. In the 18th and 19th centuries, these textile paintings functioned as map, photograph, souvenir and shrine all rolled into one. READ MORE
Tap on the red + signs on this Shatrunjaya pata and get familiar with some common terms associated with Jain pilgrim spots.
Each Shatrunjaya pata will depict the Adishvara temple of Palitana, painted in the top left quarter of the artwork. The temple is named for the first spiritual leader or Tirthankara of Jainism, also known as Adinath and Rishabanatha. He is believed to have preached his first sermon on Mount Shatrunjaya. The temple was originally built in the 6th Century and rebuilt in its current form in the 16th Century. It went through several stages of full-scale rebuilding and major structural additions, in addition to some cosmetic changes. The main sanctum is expanded on three sides to provide a circumambulatory path around the main murti—this is an enlarged form of the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, which was popular throughout this region during the rule of the Solanki dynasty (10th-13th century). As a ‘living’ site, Shatrunjaya doesn’t fall under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India, but under the management of the Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, the largest and the oldest Jain trust.
People on the path
Every year, an estimated 2.5 million people visit the pilgrim centre of Palitana. Mount Shatrunjaya is home to an astounding 863 temples. Tourists and pilgrims walk a 3.5-kilometre path to the top-most temple on the hill-range. Believers with mobility restrictions are carried on dholis. Once they reach the temple complex, visitors are not allowed to eat or even drink water.
Shatrunjaya patas capture something of the natural habitat of Mt Shatrunjaya and the Shetrunji river. The hilly terrain, wildlife and trees are all represented to some degree in these sacred paintings. Palitana is about 150km from Gir National Park and lions are no strangers to these parts; we see plenty of evidence in this 20th-century Shatrunjaya pata from the Sarmaya collection.
As this video shows us, overcrowding at Gir has sent the big cats roaming further out of the Park and in recent times, there have been a few sightings on the banks of Shetrunji.