Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO), Ahmedabad Chapter
Monday 20 Nov 2017

Heritage Walk Description

JITO Heritage Walk:

Walled city Ahmedabad has emerged as one of the leading heritage cities across the world in recent years. The poles and ancient constructions have fascinated tourists from world over. Thirty three Jain heritage temples built at least a century ago are testimony of great craftsmanship of the glorious past. Ancient Jain Derasars, located in different poles of the walled city not only speak volumes about high standards of art and culture in ancient times but also give historical account of political developments in the city. Inscriptions on the walls of Derasars have been imbibing moral values and righteousness since centuries. To construct a bright future, it is important for the youth to understand our glorious past. With a view to create awareness among youth about the heritage sites in the city, JITO in association with City Heritage Centre shortlisted thirty three heritage sites having religious, artistic and political significance. The walk would be a guided tour by professionals and would start every Sunday at 8am from Sankdi Sheri. Approximate distance of walk would be around 1.6 km.

In the first phase, our walk will cover 15 temples and later all the 33 temples will be covered in the walk. The list of temples covered alongwith its brief description is mentioned below.

1. Mahavir Swami Derasar:

Oldest among the five Derasars of Mahavir Swami in Ahmedabad, Mahavir Swami Derasar located at Gandhi Road is known for aangi on the first day of Bhadarva Sud. On this auspicious day, shravakas from all over the country visit this Tirth. Apart from adornments, the Derasar is also famous for its unique construction, stunning sculptures of Gods and Goddesses. The visitors are also attracted by replicas of holy mountains- Pavapuri and Astapadaji with 24 images in metal and different Yantras. Remarkably, till date this Derasar has not consumed electricity. The present Derasar was reconstructed in Samvat 1922 by Sheth Umabhai Rupchand.

2. Astapadji Derasar:

The Derasar located in Doshiwada ni Pole holds unique religious significance. It enshrines the idols of the first Jain Tirthankar Bhagwan Adishvar and the twenty fourth Jain Tirthankar Mahavir Swami. The name is derived from the footprints of Lord Adishvar which are protected in the Derasar under a rayan (yellow berry) tree. The Derasar known for multi-coloured marbles was constructed at the cost of Rs. 65,000 in the year 1856 by ‘Rao Bahadur’ Maganlal Karamchand.

3. Ajitnath Derasar:

One of the most ancient Jain temples across the country, Ajitnath Derasar in Chaumukhji ni Pol is known for antique metal idols. Some of the idols installed in the Derasar are 500 to 700 years old which support the fact that this is one of the oldest Jain Derasars. The idol of Ajitnath, the second Jain Tirthankar sitting in Padmasan posture attracts large number of devotees.

4. Adishwar Bhagwan Derasar:

Adishwar Bhagwan Derasar located in Waghan Pol, Zaveriwad is epitome of rich legacy of Jain religion and devotion. Magnificent idols of this Derasar were protected and reinstalled by Sheth Shantidas Zaveri who was victimized by Mughal King Aurangzeb’s enmity. Fervent Jain devotee Sheth Shantidas Zaveri brought enormous idols of the first Jain Tirthankar Bhagwan Adishwar or Rishabhdev and installed them in the cellar of Derasar situated in Zaveriwad in the year 1609. It is believed that the idol was installed in the divine presence of Shri Kalyansagarsuri in the year 1744. The six feet high idol is attracting large number of Jain devotees since centuries.

5. Ajitnath Derasar:

The exquisitely designed Derasar located in Zaweriwad was built by Nagarsheth Vakhatchand in Samvat 1855 (A.D.1799). Acharya Udaysagarsuriji performed the ritual for idol installation in the Derasar. Another idol of deity Suvidhinath Kesariyaji was installed later by Nagarsheth Hemabhai in the year 1835. The Derasar is known for intricately carved marble pillars. The highlight of the Derasar is rare idol of the lord standing in Kaussaggiya posture which is built perfectly as per the description given in the scriptures. Two huge sculptures of Yaksha and Yakshini and majestic entrance door leave connoisseurs of art and sculpture spellbound. The Derasar is known for exquisite wooden carvings amongst art lovers.

6. Chintamani Parshvanath Derasar:

The Derasar built by Nagarsheth Khushalchand has rich historical and cultural context. The chaumukh idol installed in the Derasar was brought from the destructed ancient Derasar of Saraspur. The main idol of the Derasar is black idol of Chintamani Parshvanath which is known for attractive silver parikar. Nagarsheth Nathusha played an important role in the construction of this Derasar with three domed complexes in the year 1798. The other two domes enshrine majestic idols of Shantinath and Sambhavnath. The unusual sculpture of elephants holding bunches of mangoes in their trunks inevitably grabs attention of the visitors.

7. Sambhavnath Derasar:

Remarkable for its unique architectural design, Sambhavnath Derasar is considered as one of the oldest Derasars of the city built before samvat 1662. Unlike other Jain Derasars, this Derasar located in Shambhavnath ni Khadki, allow devotees to have a glimpse of the main Deity Lord Sambhavnath through a window placed in the dome structure. The exquisitely carved parikar around the idol of deity Dharmdev, the fifteenth Jain Tirthankar has also grabbed attention of art and sculptor lovers. It is believed that more than Rs. 1 lac was spent on the construction of this ancient Derasar which uniquely highlights sculptures of Gods, Goddesses, nine planets as well as figures of animals.

8. Shitalnath Derasar:

The Derasar of tenth Jain Tirthankar, Shitalnath Derasar is located in Shaikh no Pado. Renovated in the year 1877, this in-house temple is renowned for its structural style and elaborated wood-carvings. Lala Harakhchand, a famous Jain banker built this Derasar during Maratha period.

9. Shantinath Derasar:

Shantinath Derasar is home to six historically important stone inscriptions which were inscribed before 425 years. The stone inscriptions containing authentic information about ancient Derasars of Ahmedabad and great Jain Acharyas can be found on the walls of main hall of the Derasar located in Shantinath ni Pol. The inscriptions mirroring socio-cultural traditions of Ahmedabad reflect moral and religious thoughts of great Jain Acharyas. Beautiful wood-carvings in this ancient Derasar testify Jain communities love for art and sculpture.

10. Shreyanshnath Derasar:

This Derasar was built to enshrine majestic idol of deity Shreyansnath brought from Fatasha ni Pol. Built by Harkunvar Shethani in the year 1859, Shreyansnath Derasar is also referred as Dharamnath Derasar in some history books. According to Jain Parampara-no Itihas written by Triputi Maharaj, Sheth Umabhai donated land in Tankshal for constructing this Derasar. It is known for exquisite construction having gabharo, rangmandap and five shikhars.

11. Adishwarji Derasar:

This unique Derasar is located in Pachhiya ni Pol. Idols of four Tirthankars lord Adinath, Ajitnath, Vasupuja and Dharamnath are enshrined in this domed Derasar. Domes for three idols were built before the year 1856 while Vasupujya Derasar, the dome for remaining idol was built in the year 1906.

12. Shamala Parshvanath Derasar:

Located in Lambeshwar ni Pol, Shamala Parshvanth Derasar was built four centuries ago in the year 1606. The ancient Derasar is famous for beautiful wooden carvings of procession scene of Bhagwan Neminath. It is a joint Derasar for deities Shamla Parshvanath, Sahastrafena Parshvanath, Chintamani Parshvanath and Chandraprabhu.

13. Simandhar Swami Derasar:

This is the oldest Derasar of Simandhar Swami in Gujarat. Located in Doshiwada ni Pol, Simandhar Swami Derasar was built in the year 1606. The magnificent idol of Sukhsagar Parshvanath installed in this two storied dome structure is made of Panchdhatu (five metals). Lord Parshvanath can be seen in rare Kaussaggiya posture in this Derasar. Upper floor of the Derasar enshrines the idol of lord Adinath.

14. Jagvallabh Parshvanath Derasar:

The saying goes, the idol installed in Jagvallabh Parshvanath Derasar located in Nisha Pol is so magnificent that if you wish to take a glimpse of six feet glorious idol of Jain Tirthankar Jagvallabh Parshvanath, you have to offer a gold coin. Right from the entrance, devotee can have a glimpse of Parshvanath’s sahastrafena idol in Kayotsaraga posture. The second garbh-gruha of the derasar built in the year 1603 by Nagarsheth Khushalchand enshrines small black idol of Shri Chintamani Parshvanath in Padmasan. The idols testify the heights Jains achieved in the fields of art and craftsmanship. The Derasar also has a six feet tall idol of Jain Tirthankar Lord Adinath sitting in Padmasana’s yogic posture.

15. Chintamani Parshvanath Derasar:

The idols of Shri Chintamani Parshvanath, Shantinath and Sambhavnath are installed in this grand domed Derasar comprising three Derasars. The ancient construction built in the year 1798 is located in Vagan Pol, Zaveriwad. The centre of attraction here is intricately designed silver parikar. Apart from that, the Derasar has carved Astapadji, Shatrunjay and Pavapuri. Dolls artistically carved on the walls of the Derasar add beauty to the ancient Derasar.

The walk is a guided tour by professionals and starts every Sunday at 8am from Sankdi Sheri, Manekchowk, Ahmedabad. Approximate distance of walk is around 1.6 km.

For details and booking contact City Heritage Centre

Address:

City Heritage Centre,
Diwanji-ni-haveli,
Sankdi Sheri,
Manekchowk,
Ahmedabad

E-Mail: info@cityhc.org

Contact No : 079 - 22140830 / 31, 78743 55182